Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 To-Do List

Ever since 2005, I've been writing "to-do" lists for the coming year. The tradition started with my friend Brianne, as we sat on her porch swing one warm day toward the end of the year. These aren't resolutions, but I suppose they have the look of them. The difference is I don't have to tackle them all at once. I'd just like to work on checking them off.

So without further ado, my 2011 list:

1. Get a passport. My friend Nancy says that you're much more apt to plan a trip overseas if you already have the passport.

2. Go somewhere warm on vacation (a cruise, Hawaii, anywhere I can guarantee snow won't follow me).

3. Run a half marathon. It seems silly to put this on my to-do list, because it used to be assumed I'd do one or two a year. But I haven't done one in nearly two years. I have my sights on two this year, but I'll be happy if I can do one of them.

4. Save at least $1,000 in my longterm savings account. This used to be easy to do, but ever since I moved into a higher-rent place, I've found it more difficult. It's still very much doable, though. I just need to be conscientious.

5. Do a new race in a new state. Doesn't matter the distance.

6. Make some progress on my family history (tangible to-do: e-mail relatives a question a month).

7. Go to the gym/run/workout more days in 2011 than in 2010. Below is a breakdown:

In 2010
January: 12 days
February: 10 days
March: 12 days
April: 14 days
May: 6 days
June: 13 days
July: 15 days
August: 11 days
September: 12 days
October: 11 days
November: 7 days
December: 2 days

(P.S. Isn't it funny that the month I worked out the most last year was the month it was 90-105 degrees every day?)

8. Drumroll please....
Lose weight. Gosh, I don't know the goal. Last year my goal was to get back down to 167. I got to 197 and then zoomed back up to the unthinkable. Maybe I should break the goals down.

By May 1: Get below 200.
By Sept. 1: Get to 175.
By Dec. 31: Get to 167.

Writing it down, it's totally doable. I know it is. They are realistic goals. But I know it's just not as easy as it looks from the comfort of Dec. 31, 2010.

P.S. I know, dear friends, you've seen some of these goals from me so many times before. I often wonder why anyone reads this blog anymore, as I feel like a broken record nearly every day. But, well, I'm still alive and as long as I am, I will keep trying to be a better person.

P.P.S. You'll notice the marathon goal is not a part of this list. I'm being realistic. That goal isn't going anywhere, but to think it's doable in 2011 would be setting myself up for failure. And I'd like to keep that word at a minimum this year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taking stock

There are so many negative things I could dwell on today. How I fell back into old, horrible eating habits these past two months. How I managed to run less this December than last December, when I only logged four days. How I've gained back all the weight I lost at the beginning of the semester, and then some.

But despite stepping on the scale this morning and seeing a number that struck fear in every part of my body (and for the first time in years, I just can't reveal it, I'm so ashamed), I feel OK. I feel at peace.

Want to know why?

It's been a heck of a few months. I worked at the newspaper. I taught class twice a week and graded papers/planned lessons every day. And over the course of three months, I had three books from Random House to proofread - which means I was pretty much working three jobs the whole time.

And for the first time, I felt like I did a really good job at all three. I was complimented on my designs by people I respect in the design/newspaper world. I was given the Accuracy Award. I never took a sick day. I received incredible comments on my student evaluations. I caught some great errors in the books. I'm proud of myself for the work I did.

Sure, I could have still accomplished all of the above and not gained weight. With the exception of not having time to exercise, the busy schedule didn't cause this weight gain. The busy schedule didn't make me eat pie. I did that to myself. I take full responsibility.

So many times this semester I asked myself, "What have I done?" The shame I feel is consuming. But. All I can do is keep trying. All I can do is renew my effort. All I can do is hope that I can stop this cycle of yo-yo dieting, reclaim my life and finally set out to accomplish those running goals I covet.

All I can do is hope that 2011 is the year I make it happen.