What Challenges Will You Take on in 2009?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

As another year comes to an end and a new one begins, many of us, me included, will set aside time to re-evaluate the events in our life and prepare the way for the events of 2009. While I have never been one to make yearly resolutions, I do like to set aside time to re-examine all the great and wonderful events of the past year, while allowing time to make way for new undertakings in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

I just heard on the news that 87% of all people who make resolutions will break them by the end of the January. With that being the case I wonder why so many of us make them to begin with. I think, at least for me, resolutions allow many of us an opportunity for a new beginning--time to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. But can’t every day or any day, for that matter, be the opportunity for starting fresh and new?

A few months ago I brought my uniform pants (these were the only remaining black pants that I could wear when I was a 190 pounds and therefore because I wore them almost every day my family nicknamed them my ‘uniform’ pants) into the gym to show my running group that I had indeed been almost 70 pounds heavier. Ashamedly, I pulled them out of my bag and raised them in disbelief that I had ever allowed myself to get that heavy. Well, that was when my running pal Chris piped in and said, “Nancy, being overweight was a blessing for you”--now I was about ready to belt him one when he said that especially since most men have no clue what they say is perceived by us women as an insult, but he went on to explain—“if you did not have the struggle with your weight, you would have never joined Sparkpeople where you have met some amazing friends. You would have never ventured into this gym where you had the opportunity to meet us (my running group), you may have never taken up running which has totally transformed your life beyond your limits and most importantly you weren't guaranteed to have a better or happier life if you were thin.” Talk about a V-8 moment!

So as January 1st quickly approaches, 2009 will be the year I go out of my comfort zone to take the leap into the world of new adventures. Below are some adventures I plan to undertake in the next 12 months.

  • I will continue to work on my nutrition. I am looking at a rainbow based diet. Now before you all wonder if this is the latest fad diet on the market, well not quite. It is a diet consisting of fruits and veggies in a number of different colors; in other words, eating at least 3 servings of veggies in varying colors-red, green, orange, yellow, purple, and white and 2 servings of fruit in the same color choices but you can only eat one color for each veggie or fruit. For example I will have a white banana for breakfast, green baby spinach with red bell peppers for lunch, followed by a serving of blueberries for a snack, and then yellow squash for my supper. Keep in mind this will also include some lean protein, whole grains and dairy products.

  • I am going to take a spin at spinning. Hearing that Stepfanie and Coach Nicole are both spinning aficionados, I think this activity is something so unlike running that I am more than up for the challenge of spinning my wheels. And so I am going to look at the class schedule when I head to the gym to see where the wheels will take me, even if that means I am cycling into a mirrored wall.

  • I have the cardio and strength training routine down pat, but now I really need to work on my flexibility, of which I am greatly lacking. Therefore, I am going to check out a Pilates class. I have been told it will really help with my running as I gain better core stability.

  • Finally, I am going to learn to love fish. I have been able to do well without it, but after reading all the great benefits of the Omega 3s, I decided that it is time for me to venture into the world of fish. Any and all suggestions on how I can better appreciate this great source of protein will be greatly appreciated.

    So as you say good bye to the past and look to the future, don’t forget to embrace where you are today. Life is so full of hopes and dreams, challenges and obstacles, but knowing that you have others to walk it with you every step of the way makes this journey-AMAZING! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making my life so meaningful. I think Chris was right-my weight issue was a blessing for without it, I would not be here today.

    I wish you all a VERY Happy and Healthy 2009!

    What challenges do you plan on taking on in 2009?

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      Go for the spinning. I envy you. My 7am spinning classes have been cancelled at the gym I go to. Only option is a 6am class which is to early for me. I started to spin when the instructor from another class encouraged me. I was the largest women in the class but I still went. Still one of the bigger women in class but I can now keep up with most of them. - 1/6/2010   7:22:35 PM
    • 77
      I've started by taking Alli, in high hopes that it can help me. I'm emotionally on a roller coaster right now and that is all that I have. I hope to better my self in all ways this year and give my children a year to live better in and stay happy and worry free from all to come. I love them all and the hope they keep me with cause with out htem there would be no more me.
      They are my everything and the good thing is that they feel that it is all about them which it it. But at the same time it is me. - 1/15/2009   12:16:04 PM
    • SLO6400
      eat more fruits and veggies.
      try new recipies - 1/14/2009   1:09:34 AM
      I'm liking the rainbow diet idea. Never hear it before. I don't make new years resolution, I work on myself daily. - 1/11/2009   7:54:31 PM
    • 74
      I have started on the path of once again restructuring my diet. (By diet, I mean what I eat. I also realize that this needs to be the way I eat, forever and ever, amen.) SparkPeople helped me to eat more fruits and vegetables and limit the treats. Now I am restructuring my diet to become a fish-eating vegetarian (pescatarian). I won't forbid myself from eating red meat or poultry entirely; if I really want a steak, I will eat a steak. I believe that if I deny a strong craving that I will wind up blowing my diet some other way. So I will be a pescatarian most of the time. I have started this goal at the beginning of December, and I have only veered out of the plan to eat turkey 3 times since then. The reason I started this pescatarian deal is that it seems, from what I've read, to be the healthiest diet out there. Since I started, my hypoglycemia seems to be better maintained.

      My next feat is to get to the gym more often. I haven't been doing as well as I was last spring and summer. I need to get back on track with the exercise routine and get off of this plateau that I've been on since September. My goal here is to get to the gym at least 4 times a week. I am also going to aim for doing sun salutations (yoga) for 10 minutes every morning.

      I suppose these goals make my theme for the year would be another year toward a healthier me. Last year, I aimed for "fabulously fit by 40" (my 40th birthday was January 4th). I'm hoping to carry that through the decade now by having the "fabulously fit 40s!" WooHoo! Unhealthy no more! Okay... time for lunch and then kickboxing! - 1/11/2009   3:23:41 PM
      I am cutting soda/pop completely out of my diet. I used to drink at least one can/bottle/cup every day and even double that on the weekends. I've been drinking a LOT of water since the December 31st and I haven't had any pop in 10 days! GO ME!

      I am also exercising regularly this year...at least a little bit each day. As simple as it may sound...just exercising...it's not something that has ever been a staple in my life, so it's a challenge to get myself to do it, but a challenge I take on with the greatest of motivation.

      Something I would like to do before 2010 rolls around is complete a 5K run in less than 42 minutes without stopping to walk. I'm far from being a runner. I walk on the treadmill several times a week now for a couple of miles, but running for more than 20-30 seconds at a time is something I just can't do yet.

      I hope I can look back to January 2009 in 12 months and be proud of how far I have come. Good luck, everyone! :0) - 1/10/2009   5:58:49 PM
      Start practicing yoga at least 4x/week - for additional strength, flexibility, and balance

      Join challenges to motivate me to get my steps up (on my pedometer) - 1/9/2009   10:29:07 PM
    • SANJJI
      My goal: to get back to the physical condition I was before the heart attack I had last year. That one really sent me for a loop.
      Thanks SP for helping me.
      SJ - 1/8/2009   1:43:19 PM
    • 70
      At the end of December, I met a lady online, who lives locally, with the same physical limitations as me, and really hit it off. We're going to be workout buddies and meet twice a week at Bally's (water therapy in the warmer kid's pool). After some roadblocks, we met yesterday for the first time and had a good workout, and it worked out great! I commit to regularly going to swim throughout 2009! - 1/6/2009   12:13:00 AM
      exercise more, eat healthier, walk more, drink more water - 1/4/2009   9:13:00 PM
    • 68
      To incorporate exercise into my day, keep within my daily calorie allowance, be happier! - 1/4/2009   4:34:23 PM
    • 67
      My goal setting has not been effected by the passing of 01-01-09. I have my same old long term goals of last year's and just a few more for this year that wouldnt be if I hadnt progressed as far as I did from my previous goals. - 1/4/2009   2:41:11 PM
    • SLO6400
      to live one day at a time. if i totally screw up one day a new beginning starts the next day.

      slo - 1/4/2009   11:18:16 AM
    • 65
      My resolution is to keep my resolutions. I will work to NOT be another statistic and give up by February. - 1/4/2009   9:50:21 AM
      do more exercise. - 1/3/2009   11:57:15 AM
    • 63
      making time to work out - 1/3/2009   9:25:38 AM
      Kick up my cardio a notch. - 1/3/2009   7:46:12 AM
    • 61
      I've been a Sparker for 14 months, so I'm just going to do more of the same. - 1/3/2009   2:16:06 AM
    • 60
      I simply plan to be more consistent with exercise and staying within my target number of calories. - 1/2/2009   11:49:06 PM
    • 59
      Nancy - thank you for your wonderful insight! My big goal this year is to participate in a half marathon.... There are many smaller goals I must meet to get there and I am thankfull that I have a big support system to help me get there.

      Thank you for being a part of that group Nancy! - 1/2/2009   6:32:33 PM
      Kudos to your friend at the gym. I like knowing that my heaviness has brought me greater knowledge and a journey in discovering myself. If I had always been thin I might not have become introspective and willing to deal with my own emotions. - 1/2/2009   3:01:26 PM
      I to do not believe in making new years resolution. I would rather set small goals throughout the year.Thanks Maggie for the comments about shrimp and crab being in the fish family. Had not thought of that.I like shrimp but not a lot of other fish,unless it's fresh caught trout! Even better if I am the one who caught it because I have the added benefit of a relaxing hike to the stream - 1/2/2009   2:45:39 PM
    • SEMARKS71
      I am going to commit to drinking my water daily and reducing my soda intake. I want to set a reasonable goal and I am not ready to cut loose from my caffiene yet...
      Also, I now have oatmeal packets in my desk so when I miss breakfast because I am running late, I can still have something hearty at work. - 1/2/2009   2:18:59 PM
    • 55
      I like the idea of looking at it as an adventure. I want to set realistic goals to draw closer to God this year without simply saying, I want to grow closer to God. I want to be a healthier mom, and certainly am with 40lbs lost and about 4700 fitness minutes, but I also want to continue the activity and get to a healthier weight. - 1/2/2009   12:43:49 PM
    • 54
      I think these are all great. and hope to follow each and every one.
      my plan also it to move more. i don't want to be in a wheelchair yet. so i have to keep moving .. so off i gooo..
      one foot in front of the other and repeat. - 1/2/2009   11:42:23 AM
    • 53
      Wonderful blog. I love the rainbow diet. I do eat lots of fruits and veggies but never thought of the different colours. A must try for me. Another goal is to run 30 minutes four times a week. I am so enjoying the running and I really never thought I would. It seems late in life (62 in March) to be starting this but I need the challenge. I have strong legs, good balance and healthy joints, so I am a fortunate one. I need to up my strength routine as well and be more consistant with it. - 1/2/2009   10:35:01 AM
    • 52
      What an awesome and inspiring article...thank you so much and Happy New Year! I got so many ideas from this that I cannot wait to try. - 1/2/2009   9:44:24 AM
    • 51
      I like your rainbow diet. I have kept a list from Prevention Magazine about fruits and veggies. It is very similar to what you are talking about, but it only divides the produce into 3 categories. You are to eat so many items from each list during the day. The first column was the more boldly colored fruits and veggies, such as blueberries & red bell peppers. I am going to get my list out today, before I go shopping and try to follow it in our menu plan. - 1/2/2009   7:36:48 AM
    • SLO6400
      thank you for your story. i was so glad to hear chris's comments to you. i believe we are all better people for having our weight problems. i know i would not have the same character and personality that i have now.

      i do not make resolutions either, i like to set goals for the year instead. besides loss of weight this year my goals are

      1. to be able to walk more, either with or without my walker
      2. to not isolate myself as much
      3. to take up painting again
      4. to get a more healthy eating plan (the rainbow diet sounds very interesting
      5. to manage my diabetes better. this includes checking blood sugars, regular doctor visits, make sure i maintain a proper supply of insulin, and of course the weight loss.

      thank you again for your story. - 1/2/2009   2:41:07 AM
    • 49
      Hi Nancy...you write such great blogs and we seem to have many similarities...especially being a non-fish fan...I am working to overcome that problem too and look forward to having some success this year. The vegetables and fruit seems to be a little easier for me...unless we are at the end of the money for the month and need to eat what we can afford. I figure we need to see if we can rectify that problem and my husband and i will work together on it.

      Exercise is probably my biggest challenge and after having a talk with my doctor...I will continue with my "baby steps" and just keep doing what I can do.

      Thanks for a wonderful blog and I definitely look forward to more. - 1/2/2009   1:39:19 AM
    • 48
      If anyone else is interested in trying pilates I really recommend the Winsor Pilates DVDS. I have been doing the pilates workouts for years and when I do them consistently I see results really fast. It helps both flexibility and strength. I like that you don't need any other equipment (just yourself! :) ) and that you can do them at home. - 1/1/2009   9:30:55 PM
    • 47
      Don't know if you get this far, but the Flat Belly Diet recommends tilapia and tuna fish as fine sources of Omega's as well as verious nuts and olives... yup and I am getting more of that naturally now by following that diet... as well as dark chocolate yummmm... that's my 2 cents worth, lol, Lindie - 1/1/2009   8:58:14 PM
    • 46
      Another nicely written article, Nancy. As for resolutions, I won't make any, but I do desire to continue promoting SP to other people and to continue my exercise (mainly walking) and healthy eating so I can lose at least 14 more pounds.
      Concerning fish, you have gotten lots of good suggestions and I will just add a few more. We like it baked with a light covering of salsa. So simple, so tasty. And fish is good baked in milk with dried herbs sprinkled over. Salmon is one of our favorites and we usually do it on the grill. Good Luck with your new venture! - 1/1/2009   8:45:29 PM
    • 45
      Hi and congrats to everyone, as well as continued success in 2009!
      My 2009 resolutions are:

      1. Continue my fitness program that includes 5 days of spin class 3-4 days of weight training, and 1 day of yoga class.

      2. Work on yoga poses 2-3 additional days

      3. Tighten up my calorie intake and continue with my healthy eating

      4. Run at least one day a week.

      5. Reach my goal weight of 145 pounds

      SP Nancy, good luck with your spinning class, it's an awesome workout and will ft nicely with your running program. Also, salmon is my most favorite fish in the world, boiled with cajun spices is really excellent. I try to have it 1-2 times a week - 1/1/2009   8:40:43 PM
    • K_RENEE
      good ideas here, and all the comments everyone else has been leaving too. But I think this year, I will challenge myself to do everything I say I'll do, but never finish. You know, all the sentences we start off with "One of these days, I'm going to (fill in the blank)." Why not make today one of those days? :-) - 1/1/2009   7:22:16 PM
    • 43
      I need to learn to love fish too! I could use advice on starting out..like non-fishy tasting fish and whatnot. :) - 1/1/2009   5:03:59 PM
    • 42
      Several challenges face me. In fact, the more I improve my lifestyle by making it healthier, the more challenges I can see! Perhaps the big one for the year is that I must find a way to walk for exercise and just to enjoy it! Walking was once a great joy for me but has been physically painful for several years due to fibromyalgia and arthritis; becoming slimmer and more agaile (strength and toning exercises help) may help me over the hurdle of this challenge. - 1/1/2009   4:16:08 PM
    • 41
      I don't make New Years Resolutions. I set yearly goals. It seems to help. The trick is to get them deeply into your mind so you don't forget them. - 1/1/2009   3:20:31 PM
    • 40
      Hi Nancy,
      Best wishes with your goals. Definitely try MOM2ALEX2004's method of cooking fish, They do the same at Red Lobster using parchment paper with tilapia inside - it's excellent. Tilapia is a very mild fish - low in calories and fat - that may get you more comfortable with adding fish to your diet. I personally love fish and sometimes when I know I'm going out in the evening to someplace that maybe questionable regarding healthy eating I'll take a steamfresh bag of veggies (4 servings) and a cup of starkist's gourmet seas tuna or salmon for lunch to school. That way I know I'm getting most of my veggies in for the day and a good protein as well as being low in fat and calories.

      I do make resolutions, that are doable and help me to grow as a person. I even put it in my own blog to make it more real,then printed it and have it posted on my freezer as a reminder.

      Best wishes as you meet your goals in '09
      Frances - 1/1/2009   3:08:58 PM
      great article!
      I'm going to send myself positive messages and leave behind all or nothing thinking! I would never treat my best friend the way I treat myself and this will be the year to put myself on my priority list! - 1/1/2009   3:04:44 PM
      1. Tell all the great family and friends in my live how much I appreciate them.
      2. Follow nutrition and fitness goals and track that info.
      3. Think before I speak.
      4. Love and live life to the fullest! - 1/1/2009   2:57:20 PM
    • 37
      Nancy great article. I assume you're not a fish lover?! Orange Roughy is a very mild white fish. It can be prepared as some of the others already suggested. I usually just season all my fishes with lemon pepper. Weather I broil ,grill or bake in the oven. All are pretty easy and fast. O.K. now for what new challenges will I take on this year. Since I track my foods & PA. I usually burn any where from 2500 to 3500 wkly. My goal is to lower my BMI. According to most charts I'm overweight. Gee no surprise. However they also say my BMI is higher than it really is. At my Dr.'s it says I'm 26.2. I'd like to bring it down more so hopefully I can quit taking my Zetia. - 1/1/2009   2:49:13 PM
    • 36
      Finally was able to this page!
      I am not making any resolutions! I would rather keep on the same path and not be the 87% - who needs another opportunity to fail? Not me!
      If anything, I would like to figure some things out and so I know I need to do some heavy duty soul searching ... Somehow along the way I concluded that I needed to always put myself last ... so I am reflecting, not resolving!
      - 1/1/2009   2:41:00 PM
    • 35
      I am going to try to reduce the amount of Sugar that I take in, in 2009. - 1/1/2009   2:28:53 PM
    • JEFFERS2010
      a challenge i will take on.. will be trying to do this with no support at all in my house. - 1/1/2009   2:11:53 PM
      No resolutions for me. That way I won't break them.
      Get rid of all temptations tha are aound the house since november. Home made cookies and candies. I am getting back to nibbling and not eating a meal. Bad habit and will take me time to stop it. - 1/1/2009   1:44:11 PM
      I decided that I am going to not eat if I am not hungry. I don't want to call it a New Year's Resolution though.... I want it to be more like a life resolution. - 1/1/2009   1:18:01 PM
    • DAWNB14
      Thanks for posting your story. My main resolution this year is a continuation of last year's resolution, and I'm really hoping to reach my goal weight by my birthday in June. I'll be off to a good start, doing my exercise today walking on the treadmill. - 1/1/2009   12:27:18 PM
    • 30
      Thanks for sharing your story! I hope that I'm at the same place that you are now by the end of the year. What I hope to do is to continue doing what I have been doing for the last 4 months: exercise, eat well and within my range (er... for the most part...holidays), and drink my water.

      The challenges I have place with myself are to

      -Run as much of my first 5K by March by following this 10 week running plan (doing good so far)
      -For 2009 meet my 11,000 minute cardio goal (at least 30 minutes a day)
      -And maybe I'll try one of your challenges--try a spin class a couple of times: Seems scary. - 1/1/2009   12:05:44 PM
      Thank you for your blog. While reading it I had the idea of planning my menus with colored pencils to see if I am eating enough different colors of foods. Have you ever tried eating seasoned salmon? Salmon and asparagus is my meal of choice when I need to get back on track after a slip. My body seems to thank me after eating it! - 1/1/2009   11:41:52 AM

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