Friday, January 2, 2015

Gently Taking the Bull by the Horns

I'm standing on the edge of 2015 looking into the fog, trying to spot any clues of what the year might hold.

My ability to read the future has never been particularly strong so there is no point assuming that it will work this time.

And, to be honest, I prefer to think that life is what you make of it rather than what it makes of you. Don't waste time waiting around for life to do things for you. Just make it happen yo!

So let's grab this 2015 bull by its proverbial horns and steer it in the right direction shall we?

In 2014, I decided to try a new online program to help me keep track of my activity. It's called Training Peaks and, after a full year of use, I can say with surety that I do like it. I have not signed up for the full version but even the watered down free edition has enough to keep me happy and on track. Getting to see weekly, monthly and annual totals for each activity is ridiculously satisfying and I will be continuing to use it in 2015. 

A few days before the beginning of this new year, I decided to try another new program. This one is called My Fitness Pal. I know I know, I'm a little late getting on this bandwagon. After only a few days, I have already come to appreciate the value of this wee app. 

I had several reason for trying this app but the main one was to get a better sense of the type and amout of food that I consume every day. As someone with Type 1, I'm pretty good at figuring out how many carbs I consume in a day but I am also pretty abysmal at knowing how much protein, iron, calories, vitamin A or B12 I consume. And, let's be honest here, the fact that I am 5 pounds heavier than I was this time last year is another good reason for me to pay a little more attention. 

I've been logging my food and activity for one week already and I have learned that: 
1. I easily consume enough fibre every day for two people

2. I don't eat enough protein. In fact I did not eat enough protein even once during that first week. 

3. My diet is naturally low in sodium but also naturally high in sugar, most of which comes from all the fruit I eat, especially with breakfast. My Fitness Pal usually starts warning me by lunch time that I am over my sugar quota for the day. And that's before my evening baklava treat. 

4. Exercise makes a big difference in terms of the number of calories I can eat in a day. When I run or cycle, the number of extra calories that translates into makes it easy for me to stay within range. When I don't, I have to be more vigilant to avoid going over. 

5. Avoiding lows is a great way to avoid overeating and spotting incoming lows early enough to treat them with something nutritious like an apple or a banana is much better than taking in empty sugar calories. I now wince when I have to add two packages of fruit chews to my daily total. 

6. Wine should really come with a nutrition label so that I know how many calories in each glass. Once I looked it up I realized that I had better really want that second glass before I pour it. And I had better have gone for a run that morning too.

So 2015 looks like it's shaping up to be a year of paying closer attention to what I eat in addition to paying attention to what I do. Stay tuned as I am sure I'll be nattering on about all the stuff I am learning.

Other goals?

Find my swimming mojo again and get back in the pool.

Be able to call myself a triathlete again. Last summer I did not do one triathlon and I mean to change that this year by doing several.

Two half marathons - minimum.

Do more speaking engagements in the type 1 diabetes world. I did two last year and would love to do 5 or more this year. They are a wonderful way to help others and inspire myself at the same time.

Lose those five pounds I put on last year - slowly, safely and without sacrificing my health or my sanity to do it.

Get my damn golf handicap below 35 by the end of the 2015 season.

And, by adding up all the kilometres I run, walk, swim and bike, I want to make it all the way to Regina, Saskatchewan, via Thunder Bay of course. That's 2747km, 300k farther than last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment