My very favourite thing about January 1st? The need for new stationery! (Are you a stationery geek too?)
A new calendar to keep my family’s activities organized. A new journal for me to write my thoughts and dreams in. My first Fitbook to plan and record my workouts and nutrition.
But before I move forward, I’m taking the advice of my blogger friend Kareen (of iameatingright) and making time to review and reflect on my accomplishments and near accomplishments of the past year.
While these reflections are personal, I do believe that many of you will have had similar experiences and will relate to one or more of them.
1. Make a fitness plan and stick to it. When I look back at the workouts and programs I engaged in throughout the year, I’m struck by how often I changed plans midstream. From whole body metabolic training to body part splits to incorporating yoga and running, I tried to do a lot of different things; none of which I stuck with for long enough to really reap the benefits. I like to think of this as ‘shiny new thing’ syndrome.
I did, however, get to the gym and engage in some sort of exercise 5 days out of 7 almost every week in 2012!
2. Find ways to work around injuries. Way back in July, I strained my intercostal muscles. The recovery and rehabilitation process was long and drawn out. There were a lot of movements that I couldn’t perform pain-free. Although I continued to teach and hop on the Cybex ARC trainer daily, I let my weight training slide. Rather than figure out what I COULD do, I worried a lot about what I COULDN’T. As a consequence, I lost considerable ground in the weight room. And because I didn’t adjust my nutrition to take into account all of those calories I was no longer burning daily, I saw the scale go up (and stay there!).
This experience has made me much more sensitive to my clients’ injuries and has led me to getting more creative with their workouts, so as to keep moving them towards their fitness goals.
3. Acknowledge and accept that the hormonal effects of aging may require you to change the way you exercise and eat. I am 45 1/2. Peri-menopause is part of my daily experience. Mood swings. Food cravings. Hot flashes. All caused by changes in my hormonal profile. Like it or not, my body responds to food differently than it used to. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without repercussion. Not so now. Same with exercise. In the past, cardio and light weights were enough to keep me lean and strong. Now I find that my body needs heavy weights to maintain muscle mass and keep the belly fat at bay.
Earlier this month I PR’d on three exercises in the same workout; squats, dumbbell bench press and bent over row. I’m excited to keep up the strength training momentum in 2013!
4. Place your own fitness needs before those of others. I spend 15-20 hours per week teaching group fitness classes and training clients. As I look back at my 2012 calendar, I see many, many days when I cut my own workout short or delayed it to a low energy time of day to accommodate a client’s last minute schedule change or to sub a class for a colleague. I put on everybody else’s oxygen masks first.
I will remember and avoid this tendency as I plan my own January workouts.
5. Don’t be afraid of trying something new. Over the past year and a half I stepped outside of my fitness comfort zone more often than ever before! I took a Burlesque class! I tried CrossFit and Trampoline fitness! I made yoga a regular part of my fitness routine!
What shall I try in 2013?
Whether you’re making resolutions or not, I encourage you to watch Kareen’s video and take a few minutes to think back on your OWN 2012. Celebrate your successes, identify areas where you could have done better and make a plan for tackling those aspects of your life in 2013.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and fit 2013! xo Tamara
What was your biggest health and fitness accomplishment in 2012?
How will you improve even more in 2013?