I’m hoping 2011 will end up being a year in my fitness and health I can look back as a significant turning point and improvement.
I became more knowledgeable about nutrition this year – and took what could have been a very difficult transition to living grain-free with relative ease. I think the most major part of this transition was made possible through being comfortable in my own kitchen and enjoying the process of finding new meal options and new ways to prepare food. As many in the Paleo community have said, once you take the initial steps and live for a short-time grain-free, and see the major improvement in quality of life – it becomes easier to continue on that road!
I went in the course of 12 months from vegetables being a part of my diet, to vegetables being at least half of my food intake each day. I went from grains being 40% of my caloric intake to grains being 0% of my caloric intake. I went from eating a few types of vegetables to now eating nearly every type of vegetable (and really willing to try any more that come along!)
Heading into next year, I plan to continue the Paleo lifestyle and expand even more on vegetables. I’m really looking at ways to increase the seasonality of my food intake – I’m already working to remove some of the out-of-season fruits and vegetables from my diet and replace with more seasonally appropriate or non-seasonal foods.
At the beginning of 2011, I had posted intent to try to run 1000 miles this year. I didn’t come close – and I’m fine with that! Initially, the winter weather we had in Atlanta interfered with that goal, and as the spring came other pursuits consumed my time instead of running. I ended with 353 miles for the year – which was a respectable increase versus 2010 (247 miles). I managed to improve every one of my race distance personal records, starting on 1/1 with a 10k PR and concluding on Thanksgiving Day with a Half Marathon PR. I want to improve my sprinting and overall speed before the end of the year.
I’ve improved on weight lifting as well. I’ve seen strength gains on every major lift, and I’ve transitioned in the direction of making whole-body lifts my primary mode of exercise. I plan to continue in this direction and increase my mobility in ways that matter. I want to be able to support my body in more directions – working towards exercises like muscle ups. Looking and feeling well will be important too.
I had bigger hopes for my soccer skills after the middle of the year. I wanted to be in a position to try out for our company’s national soccer team, but at the end of the year just felt I wasn’t there yet. It’s going to take more individual time practicing ball skills, and committing to finding time to play pick up or league play (or both) every week. That starts tomorrow with pick-up play at the local park.