My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to lose 14 pounds. I achieved 50% of my weight loss goal, with 7 pounds. That’s roughly half a pound per month. I wouldn’t make very impressive “before and after” pictures.
It’s that time of the year again when people are making their resolutions for the new year, which is in a few short days. I must have read over 20 blog posts about resolutions, and not surprisingly all of them are weight loss related. I love making New Year’s Resolutions myself, but before I do that, I have to look at how I fared with the resolutions I made last year.
I didn’t really make resolutions as much as very specific goals that I wrote out in a timeline. My fitness goals had four categories: weight, endurance, event, and outdoors.
As for weight, I wanted to lose 14 pounds by the end of 2014. I was 129 on January 1st and I wanted to get down to 115.
As for endurance, I wanted to run a 5k in under 33 minutes and be able to do moderate to high intensity cardio for an hour at the drop of a hat.
As for event, I wanted to do four 5ks, an obstacle race, and test for my black belt in taekwondo.
As for outdoor, I wanted to ski a bunch, go camping, run outside, and hike the Manistee River Trail.
Just mathematically speaking, I failed to achieve the majority of the goals I set for 2014. I only lost 7 pounds instead of 14. I didn’t run any 5ks or an obstacle course. I only went skiing once. This year I pretty much realized that I’m pretty bad at running, especially outside.
On paper, it seems like that 2014 was a big fail in terms of health/fitness. But naw, I don’t feel that way, actually. Sure, I didn’t hit any of my goal numbers, but I achieved some other awesome things in 2014 that I didn’t even write down:
- I ate healthier. Week in, week out, I made consistent efforts to eat healthier. I didn’t abandon it in March, or August, or December. What’s even more amazing is that I didn’t really struggle. I didn’t go on any ‘diet’ that restricted what or how much I ate, but I just ate better. Cut down on processed food, ate more whole food. It’s hard to quantify, but I know that I am eating better now than I was last year. The biggest achievement is that I was able to change my eating patterns and palette. Kale? I’ll eat 2 servings a day of that shit man, no problem. It’s now possible for me consume my carbs just from vegetables. Before? No way. Sure, I’ll go ham on some Zingerman’s pastries if I happen to be in Ann Arbor, but the point is – my diet is different from what it was. It’s better, and the great part is- I like eating vegetables. I want to eat vegetables with every meal.
- I love weightlifting. I’m a total novice, but I really enjoy lifting weights. In late 2013, when I was first trying to lose weight, I was a cardio bunny. After a few months of just hitting the treadmill and elliptical, I decided to throw in some strength training just because, and now I’d rather do that than cardio. I still do cardio these days mostly because my endurance and stamina is really low, but weightlifting is what I look forward to when I work out.
- My priorities have shifted. The number on the scale isn’t the most important thing to me now – it’s about being health and fit. Pretty cliché, I know. But I realized this when I didn’t have a freak out when I weighed myself this morning and it confirmed that I only lost 7 pounds in 12 months. My new priority of being healthy and fit regardless of my weight is the effect of the previous “achievements” I mentioned. It’s taken me a while, but I realize that the number on the scale isn’t what makes me feel good, or even look good. It’s what I eat, how strong I am, how much energy I have, how fast I can run, how many miles I can walk with a pack on my back.
So while I can’t be that person who can say I achieved all or even most of my resolutions from last year, I’m pretty happy with what I was able to achieve in 2014. Not numbers on the scale or muscles ripping my shirtsleeves, but a year’s worth of steady, consistent effort for health and fitness.