Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 in Review (non-riding)

I feel like both 2008 and 2009 were pretty good years for me. However, I set some goals for 2009 and fell short of many, if not most of them.


As I stated in a previous post, I reached all of my riding goals. In fact, I actually surpassed them, so I ended 2009 extremely happy and satisfied in that regard.


I had a goal to save more money. Nope, didn’t happen.


My goal in 2009 was to be more social and I can’t say that this really happened either. I did go to a couple of parties and social events. The Adult Camp in Aiken trip in March was pretty social. But in general, I was not very social at all.

Health, Fitness & Weight

Probably my biggest failure in 2009. These are the goals that I set last January:

Re-commit to Jenny Craig. Be more careful with lunch (I don’t eat JC for lunch). Continue to use JC meals for breakfast & dinner.

I did start off the year very committed. I went back on JC for most meals and was very good about sticking to it. I kept it up for about two months with no results whatsoever. It was so frustrating because JC had worked so effectively at the start of my weight-loss effort. I guess I just had reached a point where I needed something else, I just didn’t know and don't know what that something else is. After two months of miserable failure and frustration, I gave up. At that point I had been on a Jenny Craig meal plan for almost a year and had had enough. I’m still a fan of the program, I just couldn’t do it anymore.

• Get back on the scale (both at home and at JC).

I did this in January & February while I was religiously following JC. I did stop once I stopped going to JC however.

• Start eating fruit mid-morning at work again.

Nope. Well, I can’t remember, I probably did start off the year doing this. I did not carry it through the year, however.

• Alcohol for social occasions only.

Actually, I was pretty good in the alcohol area. I can’t say that I only had a drink during social occasions and at no other time, but I have cut down on my alcohol consumption considerably over the past few years to the point where I now many times will go weeks without a drink. If I do have something it is usually only on a Friday or a Saturday night (and rarely both). I have also found that I get headaches pretty quickly once I start drinking alcohol (that never used to happen) – it’s almost like my head is reminding me with a small hint, what a hangover feels like, so don’t go there. Anyway, alcohol has not been a problem and so I also don’t feel like I can blame any of my weight issues on that.

• Continue 2x/week personal training sessions.

I did continue these through March or April, but stopped for a few reasons. First (and probably the biggest, at least most immediate, reason), is that it is very expensive (even with the company discount) and once I bought a horse, a lot of extras had to be cut. Work heated up and became very busy where I had trouble fitting it into my schedule, in addition to carving out time to ride everyday. Lastly, I really did not like the bulkier muscles that I felt that I was building. I really liked the training sessions for the motivation, the focus and to keep me on track. But I feel that I have the kind of body that builds muscle too easily. Fine, if you’re a guy, but as a woman (particularly a short woman) it is not doing me any real favors. I think that maybe my body would benefit more from the pilates/yoga-type of resistance work.

• Pick up the running again – run a minimum of 3x a week through March.

I was actually pretty good about running. Until sometime in March. I unfortunately had a fall from a horse while I was at Adult Camp and, while I wasn’t really injured, my hip and shoulder on one side was very sore for a very long time (well over a month). It was too uncomfortable to run and so I fell out of the habit. What I didn’t do that I should have was walk during this time, walking did not jar my sore areas. But I guess I probably used this as an excuse to fall off the wagon.

I seem to have this love/hate relationship with running. I am not a natural runner, so it takes quite a lot to get myself into any kind of running shape. There is a lot of ground work that has to go into getting myself to the point where I can run for more than a 30 second-1 minute interval at a time and my ability to run falls away very quickly if I am not being consistent. So, when I do fall off the running wagon, the thought of what it’s going to take to get me back there is very often just completely overwhelming. It also takes me a very long time to reach a point where I enjoy the running. So a long step-up period during which I am mostly miserable is just a hard mental hurdle for me to get over when I’m not in running mode and am trying to psych myself up for it. On the flip-side, however, I always feel pretty good after I’ve had a run and when I can get into the swing of it (and I’ve done that ground work to get me into that place where running comes a bit easier) I feel pretty fantastic.

• Plan to bump up mileage and/or the number of running sessions per week after March (hopefully the snow will start to be on the wane by then and I’ll be able to use some trails).

Yeah, not. The opposite happened. I stopped running all-together.

• Weather, snow & salt permitting, walk dogs on significant walk (or run) – minimum 2 miles, 2-3x per week.

Nope. Poor dogs.

• Look into a “Y” membership, or re-up with the Spinning studio.


• Ride 4x a week (includes 2 training sessions/lessons per week).

This I pretty much did, at least through the competition season.


Work was actually pretty good for me in 2009. I think that I took on a lot more over the year, increased my responsibilities as well as my knowledge-base. I was exposed to more customer and partner groups, expanded my relationships with team members and other peers and widened the scope of my professional expertise overall. My year-end review was probably one of the best that I've received, so I ended the year feeling quite positive about my professional life.

What I didn't do very well this year (in particular with regards to work) was manage stress and fear. It was a very uneasy year in the world and my company went through upheavals as many other companies did. I found that I can very easily be sent into panic mode and that it also doesn't take much at all for me to doubt myself, feel a loss of confidence or feel threatened -- I'm not an idiot, I realize that it mostly comes down to self-esteem & insecurity issues. When these "panic times" cropped up I could pretty much always recognize that I was not dealing with them well, I could intellectualize the logic of the situation, but the emotions and the chemistry of the situation almost always took over.

So, some of my 2009 goals were successful, but I continue to disappoint myself with my lack of commitment to health, diet and exercise. That is one area of my life where I have continued and sustained failure. I can get into a mode where I do exercise consistently, where I eat generally healthy and more or less correct portions, yet I can not seem to keep it up long-term. I also think that periods of stress and fear, as well as loneliness, greatly exasperate my issues with food and interfere with my willingness to stick to exercise commitments. Because 2009 was a pretty stressful year for me (even though it was a good year, in aggregate), my diet and exercise habits were affected in direct proportion.

With all the above said, however, I ended 2009 pretty satisfied overall and pleased with the year I had.

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