Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!  With the start of the new year comes new goals...I've thought off and on about this all year, even going as far as to keep a running list of ideas that would pop into my head on my iPhone.  Yep, I'm a bit of a geek like that.  Ha!  As I looked at my list this past week, I narrowed it down to a handful of goals that I've been thinking about for a long time.  I was going to whittle the list down to a very meaningful five, but at the last minute added one more item because...well, you'll see.

1.  Take Swimming Lessons
I've finally decided to take the dive (OK, I couldn't resist) and take swimming lessons!  I never learned as a child and have always regretted it because how the heck am I supposed to do a triathlon if I can't swim?!  Yep...I would love to do a triathlon one day...I can run and I know how to ride a bike even though I haven't done it in years...but swimming is the one discipline that eludes me.  I've signed up for adult lessons starting January 15th at the local rec centre not very far from me, which is awesome.  Am I scared?  You bet...but it's better to try than to not try at all, right?  If I can run 42.2 kilometres, I can definitely squeeze myself into a bathing suit in public.

2.  Take a CPR Course
This one was inspired by my step father in law, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year.  He had a heart attack one night while out for dinner...and for some reason it took ages for the ambulance to come.  While they were waiting, no one performed CPR on him because no one knew how.  Now it may have been that he couldn't have been saved even if CPR had been done but I would hate to be in a similar situation and stand by helplessly when I could have done something. 

3.  Volunteer for a Food Related Cause
The Year of Volunteering was a resounding success, but I was thinking that this year I'd like to expand on it and volunteer for a food related cause in addition to volunteering at races.  As someone who loves food, it truly breaks my heart to think of people who can't afford to have a nutritious, healthy meal.

4.  Improve Mobility and Posture
This past year I've been plagued by injury after injury, and it dawned on me that a lot of this was my own doing...I fully admit, I have very poor posture habits when sitting and standing which has resulted in muscle weaknesses or tightness that have contributed to all my niggling issues this year.  This year I vow to improve my alignment by doing the following things:

Foam roller the crap out of myself and stretch nightly
Work on head positioning (dang forward head)
Stand as much as possible at work and sit properly (no slouching!!!)
Work on areas of weakness to improve muscle imbalances (glutes, neck, upper back)

Work with my physio regularly
Go for regular massages

I’ve had all these bad habits for ages so it’s going to take a lot of work to fix what’s taken years to create, but half the battle is awareness and consistent application.  Game face mode:  ON.

5.  Floss Once a Day
I know...such a cliché, right?  But every time I go to the dentist, my hygienist Dave (who is awesome) always implores me to floss regularly...I've been blessed to have good teeth and he compliments me on how great my brushing is, but the flossing...not so much.  This last time I kind of realized...I take good care of my body and my health by eating well and exercising but then I slough off on flossing when it's no big deal and takes mere minutes.  I've been flossing like a rock star in the past three months and want to knock his socks off the next time I see him.

6.  Jars of Awesomeness

these jars are kinda big, but i'm planning on being pretty
darn awesome in 2014...hee hee!

What are these, you ask?  Well last year, my friend A started a gratitude jar where she wrote little notes of things she was grateful for throughout the year and then voila!  At the end of the year you have a Jar of Awesomeness.  I promptly forgot about this when planning my goals until I saw a Facebook post by Michele, the owner of my bootcamp, where she started a jar where she was going to put in one dollar for every workout she did.  Inspired by both these ideas, I'm starting my own Jars of Awesomeness this year.  It's so easy to forget all the small moments or things that happen throughout the year, so what better way to write little notes to yourself.  And what better way to have a little shopping spree fueled by your own hard work?  My bootcamp buddy D is also joining me in this endeavour...looking forward to seeing what the year brings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Goals - Year in Review

Heya folks! 

Soooo...I didn't exactly mean to take a five week hiatus from blogging, but oops.  The last little while has been nuts...we headed off to Maui at the end of November so we were busy getting ready for the trip and the impending holiday season...we wanted to hit the ground running when we got back and we definitely have been going full steam ahead since returning!  Work has been busy and there's been so many dinners and such to go to...thankfully we've been keeping up our workouts and squeezing them in wherever and whenever we can.  A sanity saver for sure!  Anyways, hope everyone had a lovely Christmas...ours was full of copious amounts of food and lots of family, so am now decompressing and getting ready for the new year.

So now that we’re almost at the end of December, I’ve been thinking a lot about the year that’s past and reflecting back.  I don’t know what it is, but for some reason odd years have always been better for me...coincidence I’m sure, and I’m not already writing off 2014 or anything...but 2013 has been a really memorable year on so many levels.  I’ve discovered new loves, had a few ephiphanies and challenged myself to try new things.  So a year of growth I guess you could say and the starting point was 2012’s goals (link here) which really provided a framework for some of the most amazing experiences I’ve had this year.

1. Volunteer

I’m glad to report that the Year of Volunteering was a resounding success!  Finally...finally...I got my butt off the couch and signed up to volunteer for races this year.   The impetus for this was the Boston Marathon bombings...completely distraught at what happened, the night of the bombings I signed up for the local 10K race as a way of supporting all those that were there.  It’s like some kind of weird foreshadowing that I would name this blog Foodie at the Finish Line, because that’s where I ended up for each race and I absolutely loved it!  I completely caught the volunteer bug this year...I was so lucky to meet some fabulous people, experience some memorable moments and be a part of many runner's day, albeit in an eeny weenie teenie tiny way...but most of all having the opportunity to give back to a sport that I absolutely adore is something I'm hooked on.  As much as I love running and while I may run the occasional race (running a 5K race in Maui in 2014!), I think I’m hanging up my racing shoes in favour of volunteering.  One of the epiphanies that I had this year was that I was getting too hung up on personal bests and comparing myself to other runners...I mean it’s always great to have goals and to strive to do better, but I was getting lost in that and losing sight of the ability to run for the love of running and just hitting the open road.

2. Do One Chin Up
Success!!  OK,  I haven’t been able to do a chin up unassisted yet but doing one chin up in public (in public, people!!) was more of a mental thing than physical as evidenced by this post about my very first chin up experience.  I did manage to move down a band size in the pull up bands and was working hard on doing an unassisted chin up before I started having shoulder issues.  I’m hoping with lots of work on my posture and alignment, I’ll be able to fix my right shoulder problem and get back at the chin up goal.  I'm so thankful that I was invited to join the ladies at PISE because it introduced me to one of my new loves strength training, and it's absolutely something I'd like to continue on with and do more work on. 

3. Eat Mindfully
I initially set this goal with smaller changes in mind, but it ended up that Hubs and I completely revamped how we ate and are now fully on board with the new way of eating.  Simply, we had no choice in whether or not to change...Hubs had some bloodwork done that didn’t come back great, so we made some significant changes in our diet which I wrote about here...very little processed food, reduced drastically the amount of meat we eat (we still eat fish and poultry occasionally, but beef very rarely), cut back on sodium and really worked on making our diet more plant based.  Hubs’ bloodwork came back normal after only three months of these changes, and we both feel amazing.  I actually can’t get over how different we feel...I don’t remember the last time we had a bad run, whereas before we were amazed when we felt good on a run.  My taste buds have totally changed...I don't like super sweet things, crave healthy food (am extremely sick of eating out during the holiday season) and am really starting to get turned off salt.  Another epiphany here...I’ve worked out for years and have always been a  bit of a cardio bunny, but have come to realize that eating clean in combination with strength training and cardio is what works.  I always thought I ate really well before (now in hindsight I realize I really had some room to improve) and never got the results I was looking for...eating clean and adding strength work has made all the difference.  The adage “you can’t exercise away a bad diet” really rings true for me.

4.  Do Yoga
Gah.  I know, I was doing so well with hitting all the goals but this one...not so much.  I started off OK and managed to get to some classes, but then went on a downhill slide and made it to only a handful of classes this year.  Boo urns. 

5. Try One New Recipe per Week
Ending off with a success!  I think I missed maybe two or three weeks out of the year, but I’ve managed to make at least one new recipe per week and some weeks two or three so I think that makes up for it!  Because of how we had to change how we ate this year, I had to find lots of new recipes that were tasty but still good for us and there were definitely some real winners this year. 

So not bad!  Four out of five goals hit and some life changers.  I’m really happy with how things fell out this year and love the idea of setting fewer but more meaningful goals for the future.  Now 2014...what shall we do with you?