Ringing in the New Year - Part II

Monday, January 5, 2015

A few days ago, I talked a little bit about 2014 and took a second to reflect on my goals. Overall, it was a pretty successful year! I finished a year of medical school, got married, started a new home, and completed two half marathons. That's A LOT of cool life changes all at once. 

As 2015 peaks over the horizon, it's naturally to reassess and begin to draft ideas of where I want to go next. As happy as I am to have accomplished so much in 2014, I know that I still fell short in some areas in my life. There is always room for improvement.

So what are my goals for 2015? I really want the "theme" of my year to be all about simplicity & self-love. With those two main ideas guiding my actions and intentions, I feel like I will be able to reach many of my other goals. 

On Instagram, I already shared a few of my intentions for the coming year and pointed out that "weight loss" isn't the star attraction on that list anymore. Not because I've reached a healthy weight or that I've gotten complacent. I haven't given up, rather my priorities have shifted. 

Much of my life has been focused around a number on the scale. For the time we were first weighed in middle school gym class to near daily weigh-ins as a adult - it's truly exhausting. Within the last two years, I've slowly started to realized that happiness isn't just your pants size or weight. Nor does health and body acceptance only come to those who are conventionally thin. It's complicated & messy.

As one reader pointed out, when we start to focus on the small victories - pants that fit better, being able to run a few minutes more than last week, more energy, better sleep - the bigger picture starts to become clearer. As you will see in my goals, I want to support the small victories which will add up to the BIGGER wins down the road. 

Obviously, life isn't all about weight loss. In fact, it's only a small subset of what I do every day. As I progress into the professional world, it's important to analyze and support my development as a future physician. I want to continue to be a better wife and daughter. A better friend. A better human being. I think it's important to realize that pursuing a healthier life does not have to be our WHOLE lives, but it can be part of what makes our lives better overall. There are still so many other wonderful things to accomplish and achieve. Even better if we can find ways to incorporate ALL of these missions together. 


My goals are pretty self-explanatory. I really just want to streamline the processes of my life. Eliminate the extraneous things that don't need to be there like . For me a big part of that is spending money. 

I love shopping just about as much as I love food, hence why grocery shopping for the week is pretty much heaven on earth. I certainly get that "thrill" from a new shirt or necklace or yummy candles for the apartment and somehow it feels a "hole" when I'm feeling down or want to celebrate. As you can imagine all those little things start to add up and take up space! This year, I'm downsizing and doing an outright purge of my closet, bedroom, and other spaces (Nick will be so happy!). I will need to add to my professional wardrobe this summer when I start rotations but until then, my focus is to donate/sell all the old things I've been holding onto and limiting the new items that come in. Something that has been working for me: for every new item, get rid of 2 old items. This can be shirts, old magazines, nearly empty hairspray or mascara, etc. 

And as a sidenote, I think when you're losing weight there are many different things trying to pull at your resources (in this case, cash). Every Instagram guru has an Ebook, weight loss shake, or supplement they want you to buy. It's so easy to be attracted to these things (believe, I have two boxes of Shakeology I'm trying to get rid of...email me!). Or there's a new workout available, or you should do a juice/herbal/liquid cleanse. Or. Or. Or. Enter the simplicity principle, again. Would some of these things be beneficial? Maybe. But at the end of the day, I'm much better off learning to do this MYSELF. Researching nutrition on my own and learning to eat so I don't need five supplements filled with god-knows-what. Saves money, maybe not time, but I think the lessons are more valuable this way. Just my two cents. I told myself no more spending money for things I can get for free. I'd much rather invest in a good pair of running shoes or put money towards our belated honeymoon.

As for finding balance, I want to continue to strike a good school - life balance because I think establishing my priorities early on in my career will help me maintain that balance when crazier things like residency, babies, owning a home, etc. come along. A few people have told me in the past that I seem to have a good balance already which is somewhat true, depending on your priorities. I don't let school completely consume my life because, after all, there is life after school. It is important for me to do well in school, to learn and enjoy learning, so that always takes a high priority. However, my physical/mental/emotional/social health are also important to me via cultivating close friendships, spending time with family, having relaxation time, having date nights, etc. P.S. all you professional students out there - take care of yourself! Work hard but don't be miserable! When I started school, I realized pretty quickly that in order to have balance and be a generally happy person, I had to be comfortable with being an "average" student. B's are my best friend - "B"alance. :)

Overall, I'm pursuing a happier, healthier version of myself. Someone who can be kind but also strong. Someone who can show empathy but also assert herself. Someone who does things to improve herself not out of self-loathing or fear but out of self-love. This is my greatest obstacle in life - the feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt. Looking in the mirror and hating what I see. I don't want to feel like that anymore and as I progress in this journey, I start to see pieces of that old way of thinking starting to fall away. This year, I hope to shatter through the negativity completely.

The Plan

I guess my plan is reflected in my goals. 

As far as school goes, my focus is shifting to these two very important board exams (USMLE & COMLEX step 1) I'll be taking in June. 8 hours of testing the first two years of medical school. I will certainly be blogging about my preparation, including the materials I will be using, very soon. Just know that I'm going to KILL these exams. *imagine me punching them in the face*

Final exam studying! 

Married life: this is actually one of the "easiest" areas of my life. I've been amazed out how well N and I have come together as a married couple in the last 6 months. Since we never officially lived together, I expected to have more challenges getting used to sharing a space with another human but so far, so good. Because N has been working a lot, it's not a big deal that I study a lot. When we are both free, we really enjoy our time together. As I've mentioned before, we've started going to the gym together and aside from the holidays, we try to keep each other accountable health-wise. We both love to cook (clean up is a different story) so we do a lot of eating at home, even on weekends. So our plan is just to keep doing what we're doing - support each other, share the responsibilities of the household, and savor the free moments of time, even if its just cooking a meal together or watching a movie. 

Spirituality: I don't talk about this very much on my blog but from our wedding planning I'm sure you realized N & I are both Catholic. He was born and raised, I converted when I was 13 years old. Within the past year, we've stopped attending mass regularly for no particular reason. I think we would both like to prioritize our faith and make involvement in our local church important again. (Are you happy, Mom? I know you're reading this :) 

Hobbies: my hobbies outside of running and blogging are pretty limited but I'm working on that. I certainly wish I was little more exciting. I'd much rather read a book than go bungee jumping but I'm certainly open to anything that comes my way in 2015. I do want to continue this blog and making a habit of writing 2-3 times a week. That's probably the best I can do. I'm not sure how long I will keep the blog going but for now, here I am! 

Finally, for fitness,  I set a lofty goal of completely 12 races in the next 12 months. I stopped signing up for 5Ks last year since I can run them on my own and I don't usually like to spend the money. I MAY have to enter a few to complete my goal (shoot, didn't I just say I was spending LESS money this year?). So obviously running is going to start being a thing in my life again. I kind of fizzled out after my last half marathon. 

Running and possibly Crossfit. I signed up for a Elements (read: beginner) class at my local box which is free for the first two weeks. I want to see if I like it or not! One thing that has really been missing in my life since moving to Indianapolis was the group aspect of fitness. I used to LOVE my aunt's boot camp classes - a) because someone was telling me what to do & b) because I had people to do it with. When working out, I really thrive off of other people's energy and effort. It's also nice to have someone telling you what you need to improve on and if you need to correct your technique, etc. Anyway, I've really lost my zest for fitness - we start tonight and I can't wait! 

Do I still have weight goals I want to meet? Yes. During December, I regained the 5-6 pounds I lost during November. So my first goal is to get those pounds off. After that, it's another 5 lbs, and then another until I reach where my body wants to go. Hopefully that number is in the 150s but who knows. I just want to be healthy and strong.

My food plan (eating/diet/whatever you want to call it). Last month, I told you all that I had started Weight Watchers, again. Another impulse decision by Heather-spends-a-lot. From the very first meeting, I pretty much knew it wasn't going to work for me at this stage in my journey. Everything that made me quit the first time was still there. WW seems to conjure up my disordered eating habits from high school (that I still battle today) - restricting points, scale obsession (exercising/sweating up a storm before a weigh in, restricting liquids, etc), skipping over healthier choices because they have a few more points, going off plan the day of a weigh in, etc. The point is, I'm not doing it. 

What AM I doing? I'm keeping it simple. Eating whole, healthy foods in appropriate portions. I'm sticking with My Fitness Pal - logging my meals and workouts. The end. I'm keeping my macros right at about 30% protein, 35% carbs, & 35% fat (fewer carbs on non-training days), but I will not be obsessive. I am going to minimize dairy, grains, added sugar, etc. (things we KNOW contribute to cravings, weight gain, body fat, etc). and focus on getting as many nutrient-dense plant and animal foods as possible. Simple and I know it works for me. The best part? It's FREE.

Since this is starting to get kind of long, I'm going to end it here. I have a tendency to ramble.  

This is where the 2015 begins - in the choice to be better than last year. I can't wait to read your goals for the year and watch you all achieve them. Let's have the best year, yet! 

What is your #1 goal for 2015?
What is the "theme" for your year?


  1. I love the idea of a "theme" for the year. Also, balance is so important in all areas of life. Definitely something I've learned in the last few years since entering the professional world, getting married and having a baby. It's definitely hard to stay balanced during the holidays though. It sounds like you have a great 2015 ahead of you though!

  2. I too have been thinking about eliminating the "lose X pounds by December 31st" goal. By focusing on other things the weight loss is going to come when it's supposed to. I really enjoyed your thoughts on things pulling at your resources when it comes to weight loss. I couldn't agree more! I know I have definitely thought about spending money on programs, books, etc to help me on my journey but thankfully the thought of spending all of that money has stopped me from giving in. Now I need to learn those valuable lessons through research.

  3. I really like the idea of having a theme for the year. My theme will be something outside school/"work". Since the military pays me to complete my graduate degree and requires me to maintain a certain fitness level to stay in the program, fitness-related goals will not be included in this theme. All that being said, I'd like to become more educate on subject matters outside my obligations. For this year [and the subsequent years], I want to become financially literate and perhaps familiarize myself in the world of investment. Instead of asking myself if I can afford something, I want to assert my agency and make myself able to afford it -- the it being money-generating assets. I have a lot to learn...Here is to an educational and enlightening year for us both!