2010 in review and my resolutions for 2011

2010 was the year of the unplanned.

If I knew what was going to happen in 2010, I might have decided to go into hibernation and avoid it all. It started with my GP telling me I should start seeing an OB/GYN for my annual Paps, especially with my PCOS symptoms. She also told me my eggs were aging–she may have even said they were hard-boiled–and that I should start thinking seriously about having babies sooner, rather than later, if I wanted to have them at all. (I said “No thanks–Evan and I would like another couple of years before a baby enters the relationship.) I went to see a specialist to more effectively treat my PCOS, possibly identify a cortisol or thyroid issue and blast through a 2 year long weight plateau. Instead, I was told I needed to see a weight loss surgeon, go on a liquid diet or adopt a 1200 calorie diet (which the doc also said wouldn’t work). I did the 1200-1300 calorie thing on my own terms and managed to lose 15-20lbs. It was the year I participated in my first triathlon and the year I started running. It was the year my grandfather got sicker, the year I worried about how my family and I would survive his eventual passing, and the year I wrote just 1265 words–his eulogy–but they were the most important 1265 words I ever wrote in my life. It was the year I didn’t get a job that I wanted–only to realize that I didn’t really want it after all. It was also the year that Evan moved in and the year we unexpectedly found ourselves pregnant–against all odds.
So it’s no wonder I can check very little off my 2010 resolution list. Surprisingly, I’m not the slightest bit disappointed by this, nor do I feel a sense of failure or a lack of success. 2010 may not have brought what I wanted or expected, but it did allow me incredible growth, some good memories and a new perspective for 2011.
To review, my 2010 resolutions were as follows:
Again, start integrating writing into my life more and work on my book: I will write at least 10 pages a month (thanks to scheduled writing time!) and participate in at least 10 writer’s group meetings. I will also look into writer’s conferences in Philly and New York. Didn’t happen. I attended just 2 writer’s group meetings. Once my grandfather’s health derailed, some of those weekends that were meant to be filled with a writing date, were instead replaced with treks to Connecticut to see family. Other time was spent training more intensely for the triathlon–especially long, outdoor bike rides once the weather shaped up.

Lose another 50 lbs. I will do this by religiously tracking my food, wearing my Bodybugg, following a clean-eating diet and working out 5-6 days a week. To stay motivated and make sure I’m staying on track:
  • I will use my monthly wall calendar to document my workouts–those yellow highlighter crosses really make me feel good when I’m blinded by them at the end of the month!
  • I will schedule workouts in my planner.
  • Reincorporate strength-training in my workouts 2-3 times a week (I started this goal this week and my chest and arms are still crying about it.)
  • I will continue to use Sundays to plan my meals and workouts for the week.
  • I will try at least one new healthy recipe each week.
  • I will avoid cookies and sweets at lunch, instead bringing a piece of minty gum as my lunch “chaser.”
  • I will drink 6+ glasses of water daily.
  • I will drink 1-2 cups of green tea daily. Supposedly, it boosts metabolism, but it could be a healthy coffee replacement.
  • I will take measurements on the first of each month. No, I will not post them for all of you to see. :P
  • I will have an agenda to discuss with my doc at my annual check-up in February/March. It will include weight loss, my c-reactive protein levels, my back pain, my muscle tightness, discussing birth control options and whatever health concerns come up.
  • If I don’t lose weight consistently between now and my physical in February/March, I will return to the nutritionist.
  • I will take my vitamins, supplements and metformin regularly.
I know better than to pledge a specific weight loss amount. But I’m happy to have broken past the plateau and to have lost another 15-20lbs before a really rough fall and a surprise pregnancy made that number in the scale start to nudge up. I did many of the things on this list: track religiously, take my medicines and vitamins near-daily, plan meals and workouts consistently (perhaps my biggest skill), reduce coffee intake, increase green tea intake and consume more water more consistently than ever before. I did not return to the nutritionist, nor did I take my measurements monthly or develop a consistent weight training routine.

Find another fitness challenge to give me a NSV to work towards in 2010. I haven’t settled on what this one is yet. Run a 5k? Be strong enough to try out for a roller derby team? Participate in a mini triathalon?
Done times two! I did the Philly Women’s Sprint Triathlon in July and the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving.

Reconfigure my budget and make a better savings plan for 2010. Generally, I do this every year, but this year’s paycut due to the economy and the desire to take another real vacation (cruise!?!) means that this year’s budget update is extra important.

I did develop a budget (using Mint.com!). My savings account is pretty healthy, and I’ve done better at managing my money, despite getting very little reimbursement for the expenses related to the car accident I was in this past April.

Read at least 20 books this year. YES! I have to put the Nook Evan got me for Christmas to good use. Currently on my agenda to read:

  • Finish Jillian Michael’s Master Your Metabolism: done
  • Also finish Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper: never picked this back up
  • Dave Eggers’ Where the Wild Things Are novel: totally misplaced it and only recently found it. It’s added to my 2011 book list!
  • Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’: done
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: done

I only read a little over a dozen books, if you add the list below, which have been read since February; however, my reading picked up significantly in the last 2 months of the year, so I hope to capitalize on this in 2011:

  • Several books about PCOS
  • Geneen Roth’s “Women, Food & God”
  • David Sedaris’s “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk”
  • Aimee Bender’s “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”
  • “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”
  • Hilary Thayer Hamann’s “Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel”
  • “Managing the Millenials” (for work)

*****

So what does this all mean for 2011? I’m not setting any huge swooping resolutions. That just ain’t gonna happen. I’ve learned this year that sometimes “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” so I’m just gonna live life, but I am giving myself some guidelines that are less resolution and more a reflection of my values and what’s important to me.

My relationship with myself

Reading “Women, Food & God” was so much more transformative than I expected it would be. I’m trying to release my need to be an obsessive planner and calorie counter and focus on having a healthy relationship with food and getting a good balance of the food groups that my body needs to stay healthy. I expect to continue this by tracking food groups (not calories or carbs) as needed, not using food as a coping mechanism when I’m struggling emotionally or when I’m tired, being attentive to my body and it’s needs, and, finally, by continuing to appreciate and love food through trying new recipes.

It also means making sure I have enough down time, which for me, is best spent reading. My starter book list for 2011 includes:

  • Emma Donaghue’s “Room”
  • Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” for the Women, Food & Blog blogger book club.
  • Tom Rath’s “Well-Being”
  • Peter Lake’s “Beyond Discipline”
  • Dave Eggers’ “Where the Wild Things Are”
  • Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs”

My relationship with my career

I’ve stalled on the professional development front. I’m vowing to update my resume, get involved in activities and tasks that will fill out my resume and prepare me for that “next step.” I will be better at developing a timeline and staying focused and on task for the big projects, so I don’t get bogged down by the little fires that pop up. Finally, I will increase my reading on work-related literature. (Currently on my plate: the previously mentioned “Well Being” by Tom Rath, which is actually a book about balancing life and career and “Beyond Discipline” by Peter Lake.)

My relationship with others

This year, I found myself spending more time with family but losing out on time with friends due to a combination of factors (sick grandfather, training at night, busier than anticipated work schedule with more night commitments, etc.). I want a better balance. I know my traveling days are restricted with a baby coming into the picture (Or are they? We’ll see how this kid and this new momma deals with travel.) but I do want to make sure I’m connecting with my out-of-state friends monthly via phone (and perhaps a little more frequently via e-mail), and I want my child to get to know these awesome people who are in my life. I also want to find ways to strengthen my connection and relationship with Evan. Although he moved in late this summer, we still struggle to find quality time together due to our opposite work schedules. Even weekends aren’t necessarily bonding time for us as he sometimes works or has craft shows related to his business or we have commitments with family or friends (weddings, holidays, birthdays, etc.).

My relationship with my planner and task list (AKA “Living in the present with an eye towards the future”)

I need to live in the moment more. The surprises of 2010 forced me to do that at times, and although I’m caught up now in baby planning, or, really, more specifically, “baby wondering (is it a boy or a girl? will the sequential screening test indicate any abnormalities? will I develop gestational diabetes? how will we manage my on call schedule and how will I manage going back to work? what do we need to plan for financially? will we have a ginger baby?), I know that once this kid comes out, planning isn’t going to really do me much good. My life is going to be turned upside down. As a result, I’m just going to enjoy the moment and make sure that any impulsive decisions are made while considering the implications for the future. (Example: pre-baby cruise might not be the best way to alleviate post-baby money worries, but with proper financial planning, I can work around that and a pre-baby cruise can help me sneak in some couples bonding time with Evan and continue to strengthen our relationship prior to become full-fledged parents.)

That’s it. No overwhelming task list for 2011–just a set of guiding principles to help me enjoy this next year to the fullest.

Are you making any resolutions in 2011? Please feel free to share them!

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3 responses to “2010 in review and my resolutions for 2011

  1. Thanks for the tip on highlighting days in which you worked out and how great it was to see so many highlights and such…well that is definitely a tactic I am going to adopt for this year as well…THANK YOU!!!

  2. Looks like you had a great year – and i think you did really well considering it was the year of surprises 🙂

    My only resolution in 2011 is to lose 15 lbs. I’ve seen a lot on blogs and facebook of people saying “weight loss resolutions never work,” but the only other time i really tried to lose weight I made it happen – so this year I’m pretty sure I can do it again!

    I think you’re in for a fun and exciting 2011!

  3. I don’t really make new year’s resolutions, but this year I did. My resolutions are focusing on making myself a better and happier person both mentally and physically.

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