Countdown to 2014 Part 2: Operation Blonde and other Challenges for the New Year

Over the past few weeks I’ve been discussing my fitness goals and challenges with my friends and loved ones, and I came to a realization about my motivators.  While lessening joint pain, wanting to be able to more easily carry my toddler, getting to a better BMI for potential conception, lowering my blood pressure, etc. etc. are all very worthy motivators for health improvement, they don’t actually work very well for me.  When I let my mind wander, when I brainstorm, when I really think about it, what really motivates me the most often feels petty, small, and selfish.  Vain, even.  When it comes down to it, I’m most motivated by the promise of being able to wear heels for hours with less pain.  With the prospect of being able to shop in “normal” clothing stores, and to feel cute in the clothes once they fit.  It is the much more “fun” side of weight loss that makes me smile, that makes me want to hit the treadmill harder.  While “having more energy for the kids” feels very abstract, fitting back into my red patent leather heels with the open toe is very concrete- and also wicked fun and compelling for me.  I’m a femme- so much of my identity- my power- comes from my femininity and the fun of playing “dress-up”.  I’ve gotten more and more out of touch with this side of myself in the past few years, and I think that getting back in touch might be key to my success in 2014.  Because, in the end, results are results.  If being motivated by the prospect of a cute dress motivates me to lose 10 lbs, and the side effect is my blood pressure decreases?  Score.

And because I’ve never been a fan of delayed gratification, I’ve decided to allow myself a small treat for ever 5 lbs I lose at WW (like a magazine or new lipstick) and a bigger treat for every 10 lbs (a pair of earrings or an article of clothing).  I’ll be sharing that progress here as well.

While I’m still struggling to accept the fact that my brain and heart get more excited about a wardrobe makeover than about a better doctor’s checkup, I’m going to embrace it with my first challenge for 2013, which I’m calling Operation Blonde.  For Operation Blonde, my challenge is to reach a weight below 190 lbs (my lowest point last time I saddled up for this rodeo!).  Once I weigh in below 190 consistently for 3 days, I get to make an appointment with my stylist to dye my hair blonde.  It’s something I’ve never had done professionally (I’ve gone red multiple times) but I’ve always wanted to do.  This challenge would mean losing 35+ lbs.  I would like to achieve this in 2014 but, as I have no clue what my abilities will be to lose weight in the land of Hashimoto will be, I’m not setting a timed goal.  It’s a when goal, not a by-this-time goal.  When I came up with this idea, I actually giggled, which tells me it hits exactly the right button for me- fun, not needful (if I never dye my hair blonde, it won’t matter), and something that I’ve wanted for a while.

My other big challenge for 2014 is the “100 days of (s)miles in 2014” challenge put on by  (  The main challenge is to:  1.Run 100 miles in 2014.  2.Never go 3 days without running.  3.Run at least 3 days a week.  and 4.Never miss a Monday.  I think that this is a doable challenge for me- I can run a mile comfortably in 15-17 minutes currently, which is very doable 3 times a week.  I especially like the “never miss a Monday” part of the challenge, as it helps set a good tone for the week.

I have 3 other running related challenges for 2014:

1.  I’d like to meet a 365 miles in 365 days challenge.  Unlike the 100 Days challenge, these miles can be run or walked, but they must be mindful movement, and it must be measured/logged in some way. Today when I was discussing this the idea of a photo shoot as a reward came up, and I had the same giddy response as I did to the dyeing my hair idea.  For now, no set reward, just a general challenge.

2.  I’m also going to track how many days in a row I can go walking/running at least a mile.  Once I break that streak, I’ll set myself a challenge for the next streak.

3.  I’d like to beat my previous 5K record time of 42:00 at the 2012 Red Dress Run in Hartford.  I’d like to beat my time by 2 mins, 1 second or more to get to a 5K time under 40 minutes.

I have other plans for my health that I’m not setting specific goals for, which include:

*redeveloping a Meditation/Journaling/Stretching routine in the morning and before bed

*getting back into DDP Yoga and/or other yoga

*trying Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique

*developing methods to track my progress, including using photos, a measurement log, and data from the Fitbit Force I ordered for myself.

I also hope to document more of my journey here, because I find blogging to be helpful for accountability as well as documentation.  I love reading about others journeys, and I hope that if you choose to follow along  you find something useful in mine!

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One Response to Countdown to 2014 Part 2: Operation Blonde and other Challenges for the New Year

  1. Euphrates says:

    Good for you! Those all sound like good S.M.A.R.T. goals. :) I think part of my problem is knowing how much eventing (doing 5Ks and mud runs) and training for them motivates me, and there’s just not going to be time this year. I’m still working full time (I have to, in order to keep insurance – which is required for clinicals – for as long as possible, though I know next semester there will be absolutely NO way and I’ll have to cut back, which has me worried), and they recommend you only work 24 hours a week tops when you’re in nursing school (a recommendation I am definitely starting to understand and appreciate). I had been thinking of doing the Flying Pig Half Marathon with my daughter and girlfriend this year, but the training schedule (even though it would be on nights I’ve got of work) would interfere too much with the homework load…and just that realization has me bummed out enough to be feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. *sighs* And honestly, until I actually got started on this semester (we’re in week 3 now), there was no way to predict what things were going to look like enough to plan anything. Now that I’m here, well, I think it’s time to take an honest look and see what I can do. I could certainly eat better, but I know for me without the addition of movement it’s such a slow process I get discouraged. But I can’t keep burying my head in the sand this way…something has to give, or I’m risking a catastrophic life event (I know the signs too well not to be honest with myself there). Pondering is…

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