Last week I shared my 2016 Resolution.
And that post sums up how I want to approach the year ahead. Instead of being so hung up on getting to the place I am going, I want to step back, breathe, and enjoy the journey.
I have a clinical and critical mind (*some may say perhaps a little too honest and critical*), but a deeply emotional spirit. So I am trying to balance these two sides of my personality. My approach to life has always been a bit of paradox.
Being direct and goal-oriented tends to muddle the journey. But my Type-A spirit is always scheming and striving. So I cannot resist the lure of setting goals and intentions for the year ahead.
I have broken them down into four categories: Home Life, Fitness, Diet, and Career. (*bare with me this is a long one, feel free to skim and just read the highlighted bits*)
I decided to start with Family this year, because the truth is this is really my primary focus for 2016. 2016 is the year I hope we expand our family. Part of my cringes when I read that, as this is something I have struggled to share. But I try to treat this blog as an exercise in brutal honesty, and that is the truth,
The road back, following my miscarriage in September has not been as linear as I had originally hoped.
It is no secret that I have been stressed. And since September I have admittedly been battling against my own self-imposed timelines. Deep down I wanted to get pregnant again in 2015. Because for whatever reason, I felt like it would help negate the sadness I felt about the miscarriage. I felt like if I could get pregnant before the clock struck midnight, then 2015 could still be about that Baby Joy that I long for, instead of having the year be about the one we lost.
But ironically, starting a new year and not being pregnant has been oddly freeing for me. Those imaginary timelines and that pressure is gone.
And I have finally gotten to a place where I understand that there is only so much that I can do. And this like many other things in life cannot be controlled or scheduled.
I am hopeful, that I am finally getting both my body and my mind in the right place to make this dream a reality. But if by mid-year we are still struggling, then we will start exploring other options.
We are ready to have a family, and I have always been open to the many ways that family takes shape. So hopefully, 2016 will reveal what will be best for us.
This one is already in the works, and just 5 weeks away. February 10th we head to London and then Paris for 11 days, and I cannot wait. I am looking forward to quality time with my husband, art, good food, an the kind of adventure that only travel can bring.
I don't know about you, but Christmas was just good for my soul. We were busy. It was a jammed packed schedule of family, travel, and hosting. But spending that time surrounded by all the people that I love really helped remind me how lucky I am.
It is easy to think about the next step, the thing you don't have, and get bogged down in your everyday To-Dos. So for me, Christmas Break reminded me how many wonderful people surround me and how much I love my ordinary yet magical little life. I just need to spend more time simply embracing each moment.
Typically this is when I put together a detailed race schedule, with hopes of new distances and personal bests. And I won't pretend making the shift away from training for endurance and performance has been easy for me. I often miss my 2 hour training rides and my long runs. But as mentioned above, I have different priorities this year. So 2016 is going to be year I embrace a more balanced fitness approach.
The past few months have been struggle. I wanted to relax my training to focus more energy on getting pregnant, but as result treated exercise extremely conservatively and drove myself a little nuts. I started to lose myself in this process and was sacrificing healthy habits unnecessarily.
Exercise has just become a huge part of my life. And while I know Marathons and Half Ironman's don't work for me right now, I know being healthy has to remain a priority.
I have not been in the pool regularly since we moved last year, and swimming is something I want to get back to. It is a great full body workout, but also gentle on the cardiovascular system and joints. So this week I am heading back to water
Strength Training 2x/week
I swear I have written this 100x on this blog.I always say I am going to start regularly incorporating Strength Training, but then I never do. Whether it is because my focus shifts toward increasing mileage for my next race, or I am fresh out of surgery, or preparing to head back to the OR for another - I always weasel my way out of it.
This year will be different. This year I plan to strength train a minimum of 2x\week. Strength training is a bit of a foreign concept for me, so I have started going to the BodyPump classes at Goodlife. Being in the class has been helpful to keep me motivated and to figure out what the heck I am supposed to be doing. Maybe with time I will branch out on my own, but so far the classes are kicking my butt.
Yoga is a must for me spiritually. As much as it is workout, I find I do a lot of soul searching on my mat. It helps me calm my mind, surrender my fear, find my strength, and refocus. So I committed to 2 yoga session per week in 2016.
I don't know if this will last for the whole year, but running is my first love. I am keeping my mileage low and lately I have been skipping my GPS altogether so I don't focus on pace/time. But a 30 minute run 2x a week is just something I enjoy. It helps keep me balanced.
Maintain Gluten-Free Diet
I am meeting with my Naturopath Cara this week to discuss my Thyroid levels and potential Non-Gluten-Free diet options while I am traveling. But I have noticed a big change in my overall health since going Gluten-Free 2 months ago.
In fact, over the holidays I cheated. On New Year's Day when I was feeling tired I had Kraft Dinner for lunch. (*its a tried and true comfort food for me*) Thinking because I don't have celiacs that I wouldn't really notice a difference.
I was wrong.
My stomach was not happy for the rest of the day, and I developed a migraine by dinner time.
Obviously not ideal, but lesson learned. Gluten and I are not friends.
Refocus on Whole Foods
December is always a bit of diet disaster - between my birthday and Christmas. But I have noticed, especially since going gluten-free, that I reach for pre-packaged food way too often. It is easy and convenient, but it is also often full of sugar and not that healthy. So this is something I need to stop doing.
I have been an endurance runner for many years. And I have always been a carb lover. I could get away with lots of carbs before, because I would run 20-30km and burn it all off. But now that my lifestyle is changing, but diet has to change too. So I am striving to increase my daily protein.
Continue to increase my Portfolio at Work
I love my job with Polar Canada, and I had a great year work-wise in 2015. So I would obviously like to keep that ball rolling in 2016 as well and continue to increase my portfolio.
I had every intention of applying for my Master's Degree in 2014, But I had an unexpected surgery, I lost my Dad, and then needed surgery again. I let life wear me down.
It is not something I am proud of. I have always prided myself on being able to pick myself back up. But at that moment - I could not do it.
I needed a break, I could no longer juggle work, life, family, and school. Something had to give. And for me it was grad school. I know why I made the decision I made. I don't even think it was a bad one. I needed that time. But I also don't want to be the kind of person that gives up on something that was important to them just because life got complicated.
I have had a chance to catch my breath now. And while I wouldn't exactly say I have been in full on relax mode for the past few years. Grad School is something I want to look at again.
This won't be something that happens this year, but I want to start exploring options and seeing if this is something I can do part-time in the evenings.
So that is the plan.
These are all my goals, hopes, and dreams for year ahead.
Hello 2016. I hope that you and I can be friends.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,