Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bring it on, 2016

Thanks for the avatar, Bitmoji.

So. 2016. Not to sound old, but time is flying. I am one of those people who think 1990 was only ten years ago. But since it IS 2016, it's time to figure out how to travel this trip around the sun. I know calendars are a somewhat arbitrary invention of man, but there's something so cleansing about a new year and all that stretches before us.

I saw something at the end of the year, probably on Pinterest, along the lines of "My New Year's resolution this year was to lose ten pounds. Only thirteen more to go". Funny, and a little true. It seems my goal EVERY year is to lose weight. I'm not aiming for a specific number, just wanting to feel more comfortable. But mostly, I want to be around - and participatory! - in the lives our kids and grandkids. And in that spirit, what better time than a new year. And even better, the first Monday in January, since everyone knows diets start on Monday. Wait! No diets! Read on...

I saw something on Instagram last month that said December 1st is the new January 1st, and so in that spirit, I made a list of resolutions starting December 1st. I was really good about keeping all of them for the first two weeks of December. And then, well, life got in the way, as it pretty much always does. And because they weren't official resolutions (i.e. New Year's) , they were fairly non-specific: less screen time, eat healthier, exercise consistently, read more, drink less, consistent sleep, blah, blah, blah. Because the list was so nebulous and non-quantifiable, I pretty much faked it for awhile and then forgot about it. 

I love it when real life happens! A beautiful surprise Christmas Eve snowfall with my favorite girls and first-born grandson!
  L to R: Aly, Erin, Brody trying to catch snow on his tongue, Emmy, and me

This year I decided to get more specific. I am using a Moleskine journal to make it all official. Also, I decided to set smaller goals for each month, with the thought that they will turn into habits and be easy to build upon. In the past, I would dive headlong into everything (1200 calories a day! 5 days of cardio each week! 3 days of weightlifting! 1 of yoga! 8 glasses of water! 8 hours of sleep! 10,000 steps! Journal every meal!), before realizing it was all unsustainable for the long haul. This month's habits are small steps on the journey:

The no alcohol part is strictly for the month of January, since we have absolutely nothing going on. TRUST ME, if you know me, you know how much I love a glass (or two or three) of wine or a gin and tonic. Or a martini. Or a good sour beer. Insert All the Booze Emojis here. I just thought I'd take a break, since I don't think I had an alcohol-free day the last ten (and if I'm being honest, probably longer) days of December. 

Calligraphy practice, but it certainly fits here.

I am still using My Fitness Pal to record all my meals, but I am also using a daily page in the Moleskine to record all the food, along with any other pertinent info. And opposite that page, I'm recording the time I went to bed and woke up, along with the quality of sleep (which is usually poor). I also have a checklist on that page, to see how I did on the above habits.

I've been doing a lot of reading this year about why diets don't work, the sustainable way to weight loss, and two things jumped out at me: 1) Most diets don't let you eat enough food (seriously, 1200 calories aren't enough), and 2) you need to change your habits for the long run. I knew #2, but again, I felt I needed to identify the habits I wanted to incorporate and make them measurable. To figure out my Total Daily Energy Expenditure, I used this calculator. I figured out my BMI and TDEE at both my current weight and my goal weight, and then subtracted about 500 calories. I can seriously eat 2000 calories and theoretically lose weight. Oh, and another thing I learned was that most everyone underestimates how much they eat and overestimates how much they work out. Just a little something to remember...

You'll notice there is nothing about movement in my list for January; that checklist will come next month, even though I am working on that all the time.

For now, to quote the socks that my friend Bev gave me for Christmas, "kick this day in its sunshiny ass". I think I'll go calligraphy it and put it on my bathroom mirror. It may become this year's motto.

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