Nutrition: My goal for January was to most eliminate flour and sugar from my diet. This did not turn out well. While I’ve done this in the past, I’ve always gone into the process from a fairly healthy dietary place. The adjustment struggle wasn’t too bad. This time, though, my diet was a mess before I began, and accordingly, I fell apart within a week. I grew sick and weak, and my anxiety skyrocketed so badly that I missed an important family event on the first weekend of the year. After that, I switched over to counting calories and minimizing – but not eliminating – flour and sugar. Even so, nutrition was mostly a bust this month. Between travel, multiple illnesses in the house, and the crushing depression/anxiety related to politics, there was a lot of stress-eating.
Plan for February: I’m using the TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) concept of calories to create my daily range of 1700-2000 calories, based on maintenance level for my goal weight. The Feb plan is to hit that range at least 85% of the month (24 days). This includes the week that I’ll be in San Antonio on vacation. That will require lots of discipline!
Fitness: On this side of things, I actually did really well in January. My plan was to complete as much of the Yoga With Adriene 31-day challenge this month, and I completed the whole thing. I didn’t actually manage to do yoga every day, but I was never more than a day or two behind, and I would double up some days to catch up. I noticed a huge difference in my strength and flexibility throughout the month, and plan to keep going with yoga regularly.
Plan for February: Circuit training! For the first three weeks of the month – after that, I’m on vacation – I’ll do a 30-minute circuit workout 2-3x per week. The circuits will alternate between low impact cardio (like elliptical) and low impact heavy strength training. Non-circuit days will continue to focus on yoga. If the circuit training proves too harmful for my healing foot, I’ll switch over to daily yoga again instead.
Results: As for how well these two January challenges helped me toward my goal of better health, I’d say that the food was mostly a wash, and the fitness did at least help in terms of keeping my foot in better shape. One of the causes of my fracture pain is a tight Achilles tendon, which puts more pressure on the middle of the foot where the fracture is. By keeping the Achilles stretched and loose, there’s a lot less pressure, and therefore less pain (and hopefully more healing!) in my foot.
I also did a really good job getting myself more into the habit of regular exercise. I only missed five days of exercise this month, including sick days, and I racked up almost 30 hours of exercise through the month. (As a comparison, my highest fitness month in 2016 was almost 20 hours, and most months didn’t even reach 10.) Unfortunately, fitness alone doesn’t really translate into weight loss, and so at least on that side of things, there wasn’t much change. I am happy to say that I saw a tiny downward movement on the scale, though – about three pounds. It’s a start, and at least I can definitely say my strength and flexibility improved throughout the month!