Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a brilliant farewell to 2013 and that you are having an amazing 2014 so far!  We had a wonderful New Year's Eve, which started off with a yummy breakfast with my Mom at Bread Co., followed by some bumming at the mall, and concluded with a fun night with friends!  What a great way to ring in the New Year!

Nick also had his very first (non-family) sleepover last night! My little guy is growing up so fast!  He had a wonderful time and is already asking me when we can have his friend over to our house to spend the night.  He and Jack both stayed awake until midnight last night, but interestingly enough, Nick crashed tonight before Jack.  He partied hard, that sweet boy.

I intended to post my recap for The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge yesterday, but time got away from me and I wasn't able to blog.  As a reminder, my original goal at the end of August was to lose 24 lbs. by the end of the year, but I decided that my goal was a bit of a stretch.  I modified my goal to 18.7 lbs at the end of October. So without further ado, my final number for The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge is 4 lbs lost.  No where near the nearly 19 lbs. I had hoped to lose at the start of the challenge and a far cry from the almost 13 lb. weight loss I had attained at the beginning of November.  I'm a little pissed at myself for gaining 8 (!) freaking pounds over the past two months, but I suppose to look at it on the bright side, I still lost weight in this challenge.  It's a small silver lining and I mean small.  I really don't like not meeting a challenge, but as with my first weight loss challenge, this challenge taught me a few things:

  1. When I push myself too hard for a short time to reach a goal (a la the Birthday Challenge), I tend to burn out and fall out of my routine very quickly.  The key for me in my weight loss journey is slow and steady wins the race (this is also my mantra for running).  I have to be able to find a lifestyle that is sustainable for me, even if it means losing weight at a slower rate than I want. 
  2. I also learned that if I decide to continue with weight loss (or other) challenges (and I've not given up on my challenges yet; I still like a good challenge) a shorter time span is better for me.  If I break the challenges up into smaller pieces, I can focus more clearly.  I think having an almost 4 1/2 month challenge, combined with the issues mentioned above, made me more lackadaisical towards this challenge.  I wasn't as motivated because I felt like I had all the time in the world to complete my goal and I'm a pretty good procrastinator (in college I could write a massive paper like a boss...the night before it was due).  
  3. Trying to lose weight during the holidays is difficult.  Certainly not impossible if I'd had the right mindset, but definitely difficult.  I hope during the holidays this year I will be in maintenance mode (fingers crossed!), which I'm sure will present a new set of challenges, but maybe it will be a bit more manageable (or I'll have better willpower). 
  4. If I give myself a pass, I'm going to take it.  My mindset, willpower, call it what you will, is the biggest factor to my successes and failures.  I've seen how my mindset can work to my benefit while running as I've described before, but this challenge was a good look at how I work against myself when given the chance.  As I hit plateaus with this challenge, it didn't light a fire inside of me as it would normally.  Instead, I'd cut myself some slack and tell myself that all would right itself when I started training for the half.  While it's true that I hope to get in a better space over the course of the next few weeks while I'm in training, I can't help but think how much better it would have been to start off on a good foot (i.e. not an 8 lb. weight gain from the holidays). 
  5. This challenge was a good lesson in maintenance for me.  I worry a lot about maintaining my weight loss once I get to my goal weight.  When I first started "falling off the wagon" with this challenge, I was in the same 3-5 lb. weight range, which actually made me feel good about maintenance mode.  I wasn't doing much to stay within that range and when I get to my goal weight, I am ok with being in a small range, as I know my weight will fluctuate.  When I really "fell off the wagon" and fell hard, it was because I really had let myself go.  I was enjoying holiday treats to the max, drinking a lot of soda, eating poorly, and not exercising.  So to get to my goal weight, I need to keep working hard (but in a way that is sustainable for me) and when I get to my goal weight, I can continue with my healthy lifestyle and stay within a comfortable weight range. 
So with all of that being said, yes I am more than a little disappointed to not have met The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge, but I can take the lessons I learned above and apply them to the next stage of my journey.  After all, today is the start of a New Year! 

On an exciting note, you might notice a new badge on the side of my blog...I just received an e-mail today indicating that I've been accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador (http://www.girlsgonesporty.com/)!  I was drawn to their founders and their community of women who work, and play, hard to be their best selves.  They "encourage women everywhere to embrace whole health and an attitude of adventure - body, mind, spirit and lifestyle- right where they are now."  I love the concept of whole health and I've really taken this to heart this fall.  I have to take as much time to take care of my mind and spirit as I do my body and lifestyle.  One of my goals for the New Year relates to my whole health and I will be sharing my goals with you soon!  In the meantime, I am thrilled to be a part of the Girls Gone Sporty community and I look forward to meeting fellow members of the community! 

In light of my post above, I came across another great quote on Cori's (http://olivetorun.com/) Facebook page.  I think I would feel a bit better about The Final Nut of 2013 Challenge if I had put my whole heart into it.  I know that I wasn't successful because I wasn't in the right mind space, so going forward, I plan to keep the below quote in mind. 

"Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory."