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Hi friends!

It’s been quite awhile, I know. Between a quick vacation to San Diego, traveling for holidays, and my masters classes, I’ve been swamped. The first thing to go, unfortunately, was this blog.

Our house decorated for Christmas

Our house decorated for Christmas

I’ve missed it, and I’ve missed you, and I plan on updating at least once or twice a week now that things seem to have settled down a bit. I’ll give a quick picture recap of our trip to San Diego, of our holidays, and of what else is going on in our lives, but for now, I’d like to share my 2014 non-resolutions.

First, let’s look at last year’s. I’ve crossed off the ones I completed.

Beat my half-marathon time by running a second half.  Complete a single pull-up. Write down one thing every day that makes me grateful. Lose a few inches around my stomach and tone up. Not worry about my weight but instead worry about how my pants fit. Write down why I love Bob every day. String together 20 double unders in a row! See my best friend more often than once a month. Re-paint our bedroom. Make the bed every day. Start volunteering somewhere. Read 12 books. Run a 5k. Run for the pure joy of it. Keep the bedroom clean. Light candles often.  Treat myself to nice undergarments from Victoria’s Secret. Learn how to wear scarves. Meal plan weekly. Go away somewhere fun for my birthday. Try a new recipe every other week.Visit Nashville. Launch a mobile website for my company. Go to CrossFit 4-5x per week. Throw an awesome baby shower for a dear friend. Clean out the office and guest room closets. Donate or trash items in the basement that haven’t been used for over a year. Complain less.

Bob & I after the "It's a Wonderful Run" 5k

Bob & I before the “It’s a Wonderful Run” 5k

I think I did okay. I ran out of time for the half marathon training, and because my attendance at CrossFit since I started classes had decreased dramatically, my pull-up didn’t happen. Pretty sure I didn’t lose any inches (although I didn’t have measurements.. that was dumb). Also, I managed to see Cassie (my best friend) often, but once classes started, I stopped seeing people for the most part. And I cleaned out the office so I could make it warm and inviting for schoolwork, but ignored the closet.

Cozy corner in the office to read.

Cozy corner in the office to read.

This year’s non-resolutions?

I’m keeping them pretty simple. And taking a few from last year.

Work out 4-5x per week. CrossFit 2x per week. Weightlift 2x per week. Run for stress relief. Enjoy schoolwork. Learn from my classmates. Launch a responsive design website at work. Clean out the office & guest room closets. Complain less. Do something fun at least once a week. Take more bubble baths to relax. Eat clean 85% of the time. Be more like Pollyanna. Love my husband more than myself. Walk (or run) the dog once a week. Journal more as a way of de-stressing. Go to church more often and enjoy the community there. Update the blog 1-2x per week.

This time next year, I’ll only have one more month of classes until I graduate. 2014 will go fast, between the schoolwork, regular work, and Bob traveling for work (more on this later). I want to enjoy every minute, and keeping calm & joyful will be my priority.

What about you? Any non-resolutions? 

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Meg and I will be traveling to Bradford, PA tonight to spend Thanksgiving with her parents, sister, aunt, and grandmother. We probably won’t be updating the blog over the next few days, because of this. Since Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the “holiday season”, I wanted to write a quick post to join the millions of weight loss posts about the holidays – but I think this one might be a bit different.

One of my absolute favorite blogs out there right now is Holly Would if She Could. She does CrossFit and eats paleo, but that is far from the main substance of her blog. She is open, honest, and genuine about her quest to become the “best version” of herself. I love the blog because I am constantly inspired by her determination to improve herself.

Holly wrote a post last week that I could not agree more with. Her post “Here’s a Holiday Survival Tip: Lower Your Standards” hits the nail on the head for what I am going to try to do this holiday season. I would really encourage everyone who is stressed about weight gain or eating during the holidays to read that post. In a nutshell, my big takeaway from it is to keep things in perspective this holiday season. The beginning of her post includes:

I am really getting sick of reading the same old magazine articles with recycled tips and tricks about how to stay healthy during the holidays.

The holidays are a time when people eat and drink more than they should, and move less than they should. So it is understandable that there are tips and tricks everywhere, but Holly raises a great point: sometimes you need to just enjoy the moment.

My absolute favorite bit of wisdom she includes is:

I generally feel comforted by the fact that I try to do my best. I try to do my best everyday, not just during the holidays. So I am 100% ok with the fact that My Best during November and December looks a little different than My Best during the month of January.  And knowing that is a treat in itself.

Should you go crazy and eat trays of Christmas cookies? No. Should you go crazy and stress about every meal and drink? Also: no! That is going to be a very tough balance for the next 6 weeks, but I think it is important that I try to do that.

Even if you lower your standards for eating, you should not lower your standards on ugly Christmas sweaters (Christmas 2011)

I want to enjoy my time with family and friends over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. The whole reason I wanted to start losing weight, and the reason I am putting an emphasis on fitness, is to improve my quality of life. I don’t want to sacrifice the enjoyment of spending time with those I love, and breaking bread with them and sharing drinks, at the expense of the quality of life that I am actually trying to improve!

Don’t get me wrong – saying no to a slice of cake is not going to lower my quality of life – if that’s what you’re thinking then you’re missing the point. What I am saying is stressing about that dessert, or worrying about how I am going to “survive” a holiday party, or making a host/hostess uncomfortable with my dietary restrictions – those will have a negative impact on my enjoyment of the holidays. The holidays are about spending valuable time with loved ones, and it’s time we should not take for granted, nor should we allow anything within our control to damper it.

Stanley says “Happy Holidays!”

Therefore, I am going to try to make the best decisions I can make, but I am going to also try hard not to stress about desserts, drinks, and other non-paleo choices I plan on making. I am going to have pie tomorrow at Thanksgiving – and I am going to enjoy every bite guilt-free! I am going to enjoy some of my mom’s tremendous cookies around Christmas – and I’m not going to do burpees to atone for my sins. For New Year’s I am going to toast to 2013 with something other than water, surrounded by great friends who I value and love deeply.

New Year’s Eve 2011!

As Holly wrote:

Clink a glass of your choice to your families and friendships. Toast to happiness and especially to the health that you work so hard for every single day of the year. Those pumpkin cheesecake filled moments with the ones you love are priceless and they won’t be around forever. Things change, lives change and who wants to be hand wringing over a glass of champagne or a bite of cheesecake when they can be laughing just a little bit too loud with an old pal. Sometimes we do ourselves a favor by lowering our standards.

I couldn’t say it better myself.

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