My Health & Fitness Goals for 2018

I polled my Instagram followers over the weekend and simply asked, Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

These were the results:

I was a little surprised by that, but maybe we’re all getting a little jaded when it comes to resolutions. I pretty much figure making something a New Year’s Resolution is a sure way to guarantee I’ll fail. Ha!

I’m not making any official resolutions either, but I do have some goals for 2018, both personally and professionally. I’ll be looking over my reader survey results and diving a little deeper into my analytics before setting any specific professional goals, but my primary personal goal is to get back to a good exercise routine and clean eating lifestyle.

I’ve been a real sluggard over the past few weeks. I haven’t been running much because it’s been so. so. so. cold. My trainer was away, then I was away, then she was away, so I haven’t worked out in several weeks. (I’m awful about working out on my own.) On top of that, my diet has been haphazard at best, and I’m definitely feeling the effects of that.

In order to reset my body and reestablish cleann eating habits, I’ve decided to do a round of Whole30. I did a modified Whole30 in August of 2016, and I’ve never felt better. I lost 8-10 pounds and kept it off for about six months before it started creeping back on. As of this past weekend, the scale is back where it started when I resolved to make changes 18 months ago, so I decided to go all in and do another round of Whole30.

I’m sharing this with you as a way to hold myself accountable because I know how easy it is to decide to make changes and then let it slide after a few days. I made these lifestyle changes before and kept them going long beyond the 30 days passed, and that’s what I intend to do again. In fact, I’m not looking at this as a 30-day thing, even though the program is called Whole30. I prefer to look at it as a permanent lifestyle “change” — although it’s not really a change so much as it is a reset because it’s the way I try to eat 90% of the time.

When you do a diet program like this a few times, it’s easy to look at it as a series of failed attempts, but you can’t tell yourself that or you’ll never succeed with the next one. I prefer to see it as a succession of fresh starts, all on the same journey to good health and wellness.

Every time I set out to make changes, I learn something new. Some stick and some don’t, and that’s okay. The only sure thing is this: If I hadn’t tried, then I’d be far worse off than I am now.

For example, when I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox in the summer of 2014, I dropped the sugar from my coffee after 20 years of drinking it that way. I never went back. Plus, doing that program definitely helped alter my tastebuds and lower my tolerance for sugar forever. Of course, some of my bad habits slowly crept back in, but then I did a modified Whole30 in August of 2016. Since then I’ve gotten much better about incorporating vegetables into my breakfasts and lunches (that was one of my focuses during my modified Whole30), and I rarely eat or even really want dessert anymore.

When I did that modified Whole30 in August of 2016, I wanted it to be less of a 30-day program and more of a lifestyle I could maintain, so I did make some exceptions to the program (like cream in my coffee and an occasional glass of wine.) I also didn’t really count 30 days. I just set out to make some lasting changes, and I did. I dropped some weight and kept it off for quite a few months afterwards, but when the next summer rolled around, I got lax with my eating habits and I also wasn’t able to exercise for a month due to vertigo. Then the holidays hit, and, well, here we are!

Despite all that, I refuse to see myself as a failure. Besides, this is less about losing a few pesky pounds and more about feeling better and being healthy. Every time I do a diet program, I make some lasting changes, and over time it has improved my quality of life.

Food prep and planning is my biggest challenge when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I really detest it. If someone would just drop off a meal plan, approved recipes, and groceries every week, I’d be all set! Ha! (Yes, I’ve tried Hello Fresh, but it’s pricey, and they never seem to give us enough meat for our family of 5 adult-sized eaters.)

So this week my goal is to re-familiarize myself with the Whole30 guidelines, make a meal plan and a grocery list, and then dive in. I actually started yesterday, and I can’t wait to start feeling better. I get a lot of questions about what I eat, so here’s a list of 10 healthy dinner recipes I compiled last year around this time. It’s a good place to start.

Nike Therma running top // Nike Pro HyperWarm training tights // Nike Air Zoom Pegasus running shoes // Swell water bottle

The other part of making this goal happen is getting back to regular exercise habits. Now that the holidays are behind us, I plan to get back to my strength training workouts 2X a week and running 3-4X a week with the goal of getting back to 5X a week by springtime.

I also want to get back to racing. It’s been over a year since I’ve run a 5K, and I can’t believe I’ve let that much time go by! I’m never more consistent with my workout goals than when I have a race to train for, so I just signed up for a 5K on March 17th. St. Paddy’s Day races are always fun, and that gives me plenty of time to get my speed back up. While I’d love to set a new PR, it’s probably more realistic to try to run it in under 30 minutes. At this point, I just want to get back out there and feel a part of the running community again. I really miss that.

I think the most important thing to remember when setting goals is to make them reasonable and sustainable. I’d love to run another half marathon, for instance, but I’m going to start with a 5K. I’d love to be the size I was when I was 21, but that will never happen. I can, however, fit more comfortably in the clothing already hanging in my closet, so I’ll start there. Most importantly, I want to feel better, sleep better, and have more energy, and the goals I’ve set should help me achieve that.

Well, I’ve rambled on a lot longer than I was planning to when I started writing this post. That is probably way more than you wanted to know about my health and fitness goals for 2018!

I hope some of you will join me — not necessarily with the same exact plans as I have, but with the overarching goal of making some lasting health and fitness changes this year. I’d love to hear what goals you’ve set for yourself and what changes you’re planning for 2018.

Facebook Live TODAY at 1PM EST!!!

I hope you’ll join me around 1PM EST for my first Facebook Live of 2018! We’ll be discussing all things food and fitness related, or anything else you want to chat about. If you have questions you want me to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments, or you can always email me.

I’ve had people say it’s hard to find my Facebook Lives sometimes. When I go live, it should appear as a Facebook post at the top of my FACEBOOK PAGE. It is not on my personal profile, it is on my Page. If you have liked and followed my page, my Lives should show up in your Facebook feed, but they may not because Facebook is a jerk sometimes. They should always be visible on my Page, though. Sometimes I don’t get on right at 1:00, although I do try to, so you may have to refresh the Page a couple times till you see it. I hope that helps!