So, Janet and I started the year out with about 50 resolutions. Don’t worry: this is perfectly normal. I like to have a lot so when I fail a few it’s not a big deal. I like to aim for 50% completion. Hey! Just like high school!
I have an issue with accountability: if I’m not paying attention to something, I have no clue what’s going on. This is very true with money and calories. I usually walk around with a vague idea of what’s going on around me but sometimes I wonder about myself. I don’t know what I did to survive without Janet leading me around by the hand.
Having a budget (budge), and sticking to the budge, was a top priority for us this year. I don’t like budge. It holds me accountable for my spending and that sucks. Ignorant bliss is behind me now. Ah, good times.
Janet and I spent the past week in San Francisco (Janet had to work, I had to tag along), and then to Austin to visit friends. We walked a lot in San Fran and ate a lot in Austin. I’m drooling right now thinking about bbq and Chuy’s. After scrutinizing budge yesterday, it seems Janet and I falter in two areas: travel and more travel. I really didn’t see that coming.
It’s shocking to realize how much we spend and where we spend the money. I kinda knew about the travel part, but I never realized how much we (Janet) spend on gifts. Wow, do we really know that many people? If yes, do we really like them that much? Just kidding, Mom.
Aside from budge (curse you, budge!), I like most of our other resolutions. Some are typical: go see our doctors, get our teeth checked, eat better, lose weight, etc. Some are writing related: self publish two books, publish an article, etc. And a few seem to go against other resolutions: buy new glasses (budge), spend the summer in Oregon (budge again), attend a couple of fall weddings in Austin (curse you, budge!).
A friend of Janet’s from work is helping us with our healthier resolutions. We’ll call her Karen. Karen is a sweet lady (she apparently snuck out and hid from me last time I was in California) who is coordinating a competition between several women. She wanted to do something a little different than the usual lose weight competition so she created six different challenges and let us pick three we wanted to tackle for six weeks.
The Six Challenges are as follows:
#1: Food Journal/Tracking. The first week starts with keeping track for 4 days per week and adding up to 7 days per week by the end.
#2: Cardio. Karen started us slow – probably was concerned some of us might keel over from the strain (me) – with 10 minutes a day per week at the start and climbing up to 30 minutes a day per week at the end.
#3: Fruits and Veggies. 3 F & V’s per day the first week growing to 5 per day the last week. Now, you vegetarians, don’t look down your noses at us, don’t scoff at 5 per day, some of us were born with a bag of cheetos in our hands.
#4: Water. The first week – 32 ounces of water per day, bubbling up to 64 ounces every day by the last week. And no, Janet, Diet Snapple doesn’t count as water.
#5: Steps. Here’s the popular pedometer challenge! 8k steps per day the first week powering up to 12k steps at the end. That’s a lot of steps to do every day.
#6: Strength training. This last challenge starts with 30 minutes per week to start and pumps up to 60 minutes per week by week six.
Janet and I chose numbers 1 – 3. We both drink a lot of water – Janet because she is thirsty all the time and me because I sweat a lot. I know, sexy image right? No, no – I’m already taken. We can’t do number 5 because we both lost our pedometers – Janet’s got flushed and mine is floating around the car somewhere. It’s not like we can buy new ones (budge!).
Number 6 we can’t do because we felt we would be cheating. Our trainer – we’ll call him Krieg – comes by once or twice a week to beat us up for at least 60 minutes. I think he enjoys beating us up, by the way. Oh, I forgot, I’m supposed to be nice to Krieg for a couple more weeks. He’s a Packers fan. Take it from a Seahawks fan: there’s always next year!
The catch, with the challenges you pick, is: if you miss your daily/weekly goal you have to put a dollar into the pot. The lucky dog who puts in the least amount of money after six weeks wins the whole pot. You know Janet and I are serious about winning: we need that money for travel expenses.
Janet and I started our food journaling on myfitnesspal.com. What a fun game of accountability. This is the best invention ever! Okay, maybe not – ever! – but I think it’s pretty handy. You figure out what your resting metabolism is – mine is 1585 – and that’s the maximum number of calories you can eat in a day to maintain your weight without the burden of having to move around. My kind of day.
So, you add the food you’ve eaten into your log and it adds up your calorie intake and also your fat, carbs, and protein grams. The log is helping to open my eyes about what I’m eating and how I’m eating. I almost feel enlightened. And the best part? The part that’s like a game to me? When you exercise, your handy exercise log will add the calories you burn over to your daily food intake. I know!
The more you exercise the more you can eat and still maintain your girly figure. If you have one of those; I seem to have lost mine a couple of decades ago. I love it! It’s a lot of fun, watching what I eat and exercising now. I never thought I’d say that in writing.
Cardio was a challenge I really needed to do. With Krieg, I’ve built up a lot of the muscle I lost over the last few months. Unfortunately, you can’t see the muscle under all this weight (no, seriously, stop. I’m taken). I need to burn off a ton of calories so you can see, what I can only assume are, my nicely defined arms.
The Fruits and Veggies challenge has got to be the hardest on the list, at least in my opinion. Starting out with three was no big deal: you eat an apple here, a banana there and you’re good to go. Well, now we’re into five a day and it’s hard (quiet you vegetarians and healthy people!).
With five a day I pretty much have to change the way I eat, especially in the winter. Summertime? No problem. I’d just sit on the back porch with a slab of watermelon and a little shovel and be done! All the fun fruits are, inconveniently, only grown in the summer. I’m trying to branch out on my varieties. Yesterday, I bought cauliflower and Persian cucumbers. Okay, that’s not much of a stretch, but I am trying.
I’m enjoying the food journaling a lot, budge not so much (curse you, budge!). What I’ve really learned is I need to hold myself accountable for the things I do in my life or I will walk around in a smoky haze not knowing what the hell’s going on. Hey! Just like high school!