planning ahead

18 days until 2012. does that freak you out like it does me!  during the home stretch leading into a new year, i usually get a little flustered as i realize i haven't put enough thought into what i want to accomplish, change and do in the coming year.  i received some great inspiration for evaluating accomplishments and contemplating goals here on this blog.  Promise Tangeman is a graphic/web designer whose work i really love and this post helped me process.  her tips can be applied to any lifestyle...not just small business owners, but busy mom's, working professionals, and students too.

this year, for reason i feel freed up in my mind a little more to be able to do so. i don't know why...because the past 2 seasons have been jam-packed with busy-ness!! and this season is no different. currently, i'm facing:

Christmas...and all that entails!...
my son turning 18 (next week), moving out (2 weeks) and getting married (in 6 months)
THE shower, THE wedding, THE reception
the release of my daughters first recording (February)
my next recording...(???)
upcoming trips
Metro One, our music label, and what changes we'll make
and a host of other items i will not bore you with

my free-er mind could be attributed to one of the items on the agenda this new year that will be viewed differently than in the past: and that is fitness and nutrition.  i hired a trainer for my husband one year ago, as a Christmas gift, and though my husband was NOT happy about this initially (it was risky, i admit), our lives have dramatically changed as a result.  in the best way possible.  for starters, since Brian does the heavy lifting in the kitchen (and by that i mean he does all the cooking) we are basically at his mercy as far as what we consume.  and what we USED to consume was an enormous amount of butter, cream, pasta, and bread. we also used to eat out a lot.  i'm not saying we don't eat any of that anymore, or don't go out anymore, we do....but very rarely.  we've learned about delicious substitutions and the value of those substitutions...and the complete lack of value in the stuff we used to put in our mouths.  now Solomon, our son, refers to us as 'the health nuts'. but until he prepares his own food he's stuck with quinoa, fish, roasted chicken and mashed potatoes (now made with the skins on and non-fat plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream and whole milk) and an enormous amount of veggies:)

in addition to the changes in what we do, and don't, eat, we actually move on a regular basis...as in exercise.  we don't over do it.  our routine consists of 2 workouts a week with Troy the Trainer (he varies it to include lots of running, weights, calisthenics and boxing). we also try to incorporate an activity at least once a week (in summer we stand-up paddle board, wakeboard, ride (horses and bikes) or hike; winter sports include snowshoeing, snowboarding, skiing or cross-country skiing)

i'm thrilled to report that i have lost close to 20 pounds in the last 12 months, and Brian is down nearly 50 pounds.  we both reached our goals and then established new ones.  we can do things (sports etc) that we couldn't do before.  self-control and consistency have proved true.  it's not been easy, but having accountability has made a massive difference. here are a handful of tips that have helped us achieve our goals this last year...

my top 5 fitness/nutrition dos/don'ts:

1. DO make a goal.  DO make it specific, ie; 'i want to be x pounds by x date' or 'i want to be able to walk/run x amount of minutes or miles by x date'.  and also be specific about your reasons why.  try not to make goals based on looks alone.  DONT just say.."i wish i was skinny". leave skinny out of it.  this is about changing your life and being a good steward of what God has given you, not about looking like a celebrity.  beauty fades, muscles deteriorate. above all guard your heart! both spiritually and physically speaking.  maybe you have diabetes or sleep apnea, and i'm telling you exercise and good food WILL HELP!   one thing that i have found to be both fun and helpful is creating an inspiration board (a visual reminder including photos and/or words, verses or quotes, that will serve as reminders of WHY you're doing this)

2. DO drink tons of water.  there are different statistics all over the internet as to how much water a person should consume on a daily basis.  (here is one to get you started) we each have a 24 oz acrylic cup (with a lid and straw) that we fill up every time it's empty.  i try to go through 4 a day.  sometimes it's more. sometimes i set it down and forget about it :/  but i try to keep it/take it with me all the time.

3. DO buy fruits and vegetables.  stick to the outside aisles at the grocery store.  keep your fridge stocked with fresh food, not stuff in boxes or bags.  DONT buy pre-packaged/processed baked goods.  pretty much anything with a long shelf life has enough chemicals in it to fry your brain and stop your heart.  this includes all the baked goods at costco!!! seriously.  Troy's motto is "if God made it...
eat it!" we try to live by that.

4. DO read the ingredient labels on everything you buy.  DONT be fooled by the 'low-fat' claims on the front.  search the names of the ingredients so you can begin to develop a knowledge of what they are and do.  then you can make informed, good, decisions.

5. DO move! pick an exercise, make a  plan....try several until you find something fun and that you'll do regularly. if you don't belong to a gym or want to hire a personal trainer, just get outside and walk.   some gyms offer classes that you can pay for as you go.  find a friend, or group of friends, to workout with together and establish some accountability.  DONT do this alone!

hope this inspires and encourages you to think about next year with a clear mind.  take an hour and write down your hopes and dreams, your goals and desires.  you can do whatever you put your mind to!

Brian, before (we live in MT...we shoot things)
Brian and me, before (in Rome 2010)

Brian and me, 'after' (Napa, September 2011)
Izzi and Brian, 'after' (September, 2011)