I've been driving my wife a little nutty, and she has no idea why. I'm not normally one for New Years resolutions, but I set one this year. And it's not really a resolution as it is a goal. Here are my fitness goals and why I keep talking about them to my wife.
My 2016 Fitness Goals Fail
I've had a target weight for a number of years. I'm about 5'8″ (or maybe a little smaller as my wife says I'm shrinking). I've never been muscular and I've never been dramatically overweight. I hover somewhere in the average range. My ideal weight is 155 pounds, along with a 15% body fat percentage. I'm normally closer to 160-165 pounds, and around 20% body fat.
To start last year, I was around 162 pounds and 21% body fat. I wanted to run regularly for the full year, and figured that I could maybe get to my target weight goals.
It didn't happen.
Instead, I went backward. I actually checked in a few times throughout the year, and I basically went in a straight line upward.
I only put on about 6 pounds but every 3-4 months I'd be 1.5-2 pounds heavier.
It was annoying and as I got to the end of last year, I decided it was time to offer a little more than lip service to the idea.
My 2017 Fitness Goals
My goals were simple: The same as I've set in the past. 155 pounds and 15% body fat. I realize that as I get older, these are probably harder and harder to reach. Your body just seems to add a little here and there along the way. But, I figure at 42 I have a shot, right?
My Plan To Reach My Goals
So what am I doing to hit my goals? Nothing drastic. I'm not going on any big diets or embarking on any big fitness changes. It's a series of small things that I hope will add up for me.
Admitting I Failed
I actually spent some time looking and thinking about what went wrong. I not only missed my goals, but I went completely in the opposite direction. Seeing that I missed the mark throughout the whole year was evidence that I didn't just miss my goals. I'd failed.
Revamping My Exercise Plan
I have really enjoyed running since my wife introduced me to it a few years ago. I do this activity primarily on the treadmill at the nearby Planet Fitness. My problem is that I set a goal last year to run as many times as I did the year before. So all I did was run. I ignored all advice, both from professionals as well as my wife, urging me to do different exercises. I never lifted weights. I never did other cardio. I just ran. This year, I stopped tracking running and started tracking walking, running, weight lifting, and other activities.
Getting Serious About Cutting Back Snacking
I love to snack. Practically every day at work, I'd reach into my drawer and pull out a Nutri Grain bar or some crackers or something else. I'd get home from work and have something to get me through dinner. Then, after dinner and before bed, I'd be good for something else. Three snacks, each probably 200-350 calories. This was a couple of thousand empty calories per week. While I haven't and probably won't cut snacking altogether, the plan is to cut back my snacking intake about 80%. So far, I've made the adjustment and kept up.
Reducing Calories From Drinking Alcohol
My drink of choice for the past few years has been whiskey and coke. I'm going to try to reduce my alcohol intake but am also going to shift to what a few others around me have taken on as their drink of choice. This is vodka mixed with La Croix. Just changing mixers will cut at least 100 calories each time I pour a drink. Add that together with trying to reduce my intake, and it should again cut some significant calories.
Having An Accountability Partner
As I mentioned to start the article, I've been keeping my wife in tune with how things are going. When I get back from the gym, I'll tell her about what I did that day. If I get back from work, I'll mention if I had any snacks or that I haven't snacked (so far it's only not having snacked). I'll make a point of saying that a drink has 100 calories less than one I would have had last year. When the scale tells me I've lost half a pound, I'll let her know. I know this amuses her, but I do it so that I can stay accountable.
I learned last year that trying to be accountable only to myself didn't really do a lot. But by telling her of how things are going or what I'm doing, it keeps me accountable and keeps me more on track. I don't need her to do anything more than listen, but just having someone that I know is keeping track other than me (even if she doesn't mean to), is a difference maker.
Staying Focused Is Key
So far I've seen some positive results. I'm down 3.5 pounds to 165 pounds and down to 19.5% body fat (starting off at 21%). With the fact that I'm just making small changes, I know that hitting my targets aren't anything in the immediate future. But, I'm hopeful at this point that I can make slow progress to at least get closer. More importantly, I'm hoping that this year my trend doesn't go up. Even if, at a certain point during the year, my progress flattens, that will be a turnaround in itself versus what happened last year!
Readers, do you have any fitness goals for 2017? Do you have a plan? Does one of them include any type of accountability partner, whether that be a family member, significant other, or even something like a blog? Let me know in the comments below.