My Health and Fitness Goals for 2018…
Don’t laugh. I am well aware of the new years resolution statistics.
Most of them end in failure.
But! Personally, I enjoy setting goals for myself because it’s always good to strive to be a better you. Even trying is better than not trying at all.
Share my sentiments?
Hence why the post is titled GOALS for 2018 and not My New Year’s Resolutions ? And I believe the simple rephrase will increase success rate by 1000%! – Haha okay I’m exaggerating a bit now. But you get my point.
This year my focus is on setting goals that are achievable and realistic so I can look back and proud of what I have achieved the past year.
Surprisingly, this is probably my biggest, not to mention most challenging, goal for the year. In context, here I am referring to mindfulness when it comes to EATING. Last year, I kind of started implementing the idea and you won’t believe the impact it has had on my life in such a short timeframe!
You’re going to need a little background on me first: I am an extremist by nature. From a young age, I used to tend to overdo things. When I ate, I ate A LOT. When I went to gym, I trained VERY HARD. This went on for years and years and years. The result was that I fell into a yo-yo lifecycle of depriving my body to get fit and lean…and then because of all the deprivation I would eventually fall off track and binge until I felt sick and gained all the weight back. What a vicious cycle I tell you!
Last year, I didn’t consciously try and be more mindful. It kind of just happened after a while. Probably because I was (and my body was) sick of the cycle. Another contributing factor in my case was fasting. I wanted to write an article about it, so I tried fasting two days a week for a month. After that, I felt like I needed to listen more closely to my body’s hunger cues (I’m one of those people who can eat and eat and eat and I don’t realize I get full because I eat so fast).
Listening to my body is probably one of my biggest challenges. Sure – there are tons of people who can do it effortlessly – those people who “forget” to eat (seriously how?!??). Anyway, I’m not one of those people. Starting last year, I have made a promise to myself to continue to listen to my body. Only eat when hungry and stop eating when satisfied – this means when hunger has subsided and NOT when you are full. Don’t make food the main focus at the table; eat slowly and enjoy the company and savour the taste of the flavours. At a restaurant, stop eating when you are satisfied and take the leftovers home (you won’t believe how hard it is to leave a few slices of pizza!).
Already, this practise has made a world of difference to me. I no longer deprive myself of anything – i.e. only eat salads and never burgers or pizza, I now focus on moderation and enjoying those things every so often (but mostly still eat food that is most nourishing). My weight has probably been the most consistent as ever (I even lost some weight).
My goal is to continue practising mindfulness in 2018.
Put my health before what I want to look like
This one kind of ties in with the previous. Strange, but only recently have I realised that most of us put an expiry date on our fitness goals. For example, we might choose to do a 12-week fat shredding program we found on bodybuilding.com and expect to 100% be in shape by the end of program and never have to gym again!
It’s been quite a mind-bender, but this year I’m aiming to make exercise a lifestyle habit – which might sound like a cliché, but more specifically I want to exercise because I want to do what’s best for my body to keep it healthy and NOT (necessarily for aesthetic reasons). Yes, it is a mind-bender indeed and a COMPLETE mind shift.
I started implementing this way of thinking last year, and much like the “mindfulness” goal, it has had a huge impact already! Basically, a while ago I was trying my best to lose weight and doing EVERYTHING I possibly could. This went on for ages, and I was putting in so much effort and not getting any results. After a while I just decided, “You know what, I am tired of counting calories, depriving myself, overworking myself and stepping on the scale only to be disappointed! From now on, I am going to forget about weight-loss and the perfect body, and instead focus on giving my body what it needs to be healthy: healthy food in the right quantities and regular exercise to keep it fit and strong.” I was sure my body would eventually reward me for that!
A few months later I had – without dieting, and even occasionally eating junk food and drinking alcohol – lost 5kgs! That might not sound like a lot, but you won’t believe the amount of effort it took to lose even 1kg before! (I should probably mention that I wasn’t overweight, just a tad flabby so weight-loss was very difficult to achieve).
Do a pullup
This one is a bit silly, but nonetheless a biggie to me. The reason being, that I have been gymming seriously for 7 years and still for the life of me I CANNOT DO A PULLUP!! To be honest I think it’s a genetic ability, because of the amount of effort I have put into training my arms and not being able to do a simple pullup – then other skinny girls who have never even put their foot into the gym being able to do one effortlessly.
Anyway, this year I am going to put ALL of my energy into training for this specific movement! And if I still can’t do one by the end of the year I will know that it is INDEED a genetic ability.
Haha wish me luck! 😉
Reduce my use of artificial sweeteners (aka Coke Zero)
I admit guilt! Yes, I abuse the use of artificial sweeteners WAY too much. The reason is that I have a slight tendency to overindulge in my Brandy and Coke Zero on the weekends. Yes. It is indeed my biggest weakness – and also probably one of the very few unhealthy things I consume. However, this year I am going to try and reduce my consumption ? How? Hm, I haven’t really figured that out yet…but I’m guessing that I am going to have to find another drink of choice.
Make training more enjoyable
In my busy schedule this one is quite the challenge. During the week I work until 5…and then sit in traffic unless I hit the gym close by. So, Monday to Friday I opt for gym-time. Sure, it’s not the great outdoors, but at least I miss the afternoon rush hour and get some exercise.
But instead of the same old same old gym routine, the goal for 2018 is to mix things up by trying different forms of exercise at the gym – swimming especially – and getting outdoors on the weekends with a good cycle, run or hike.
Drink enough water
Another pretty basic one that I’m sure is on many people’s list of goals. The key to success is making goals as easy as possible to achieve – for example, by eliminating the laziness element from the equation.
I’m going to buy a nice big bottle (1 litre or so) and make sure I reach at least 2.5l per day! No exceptions! Another important goal is spacing out my water consumption nicely throughout the day so that my level of hydration stays more or less constant (and not gulping down the entire 2.5l at 10 o’ clock at night!).
Eat as close to natural as possible
To be honest, this one isn’t tooooo much of a challenge for me, but it’s still on the list. I want to continue to eat as close to nature as possible – which means avoiding processed foods and drinks.
This does, however, translate to A LOT of effort when it comes to meal prep – but my body will definitely thank me ? The idea is that you should be able to see what the food was originally: for example, meat and milk comes from cows, fruit from trees, vegetables from plants, nuts from trees etc. A good thing is that this way of eating dramatically reduces the length of your shopping list and your body is happy because it doesn’t have to process all that cr*p!