February 13, 2017

Big goals and plans!

Why, oh why, is the time going by so quickly?! I cannot believe that it's been a week since I've been home from California. I don't feel like I've been insanely busy, but looking back over the week, I guess I have been.

I've been doing really well as far as my depression goes. I still feel the effects of it, but I am actively working on making plans and doing things that will make me happier in the long run. I know I've been writing a lot about my depression lately, but it felt like it was all-consuming for a while. There are a lot of people who have expressed that they are grateful that I've been openly discussing it, so I wanted to write candidly about it. Now, I am hoping that I'll be writing more and more about feeling better and getting back to the "normal" groove I strive for.

I've been thinking a lot about what exactly caused this tailspin last year.
I felt on top of the world a year ago, and everything took such a drastic turn. I was at my lowest weight (about 121 pounds) a year ago, and I was training SO hard for my 10K. I was regularly running sub-8:00 miles, and feeling fantastic about it.

I don't write this now to dwell on the changes, but rather to hopefully see what happened to cause the change. I've finally narrowed it down to my first therapist. I started therapy last spring, because I was having panic attacks almost daily and my anxiety was terrible (the depression was almost nonexistent a year ago). I ran my 10K in April, crushing my goal and finishing in 49:03. Then, I had no idea what to do next.

I did it!! Now what?!
I mentioned to the therapist that I have always been a goal-oriented person. I set a goal, and do my best to complete it--and I love setting goals! The therapist told me that I should try to be content with my life without always having a goal. She said that I needed to learn how to just be content as-is, because what if I can't set goals one day--would it send me into a tailspin?

Well, in retrospect, I should have listened to my gut feeling and continued to do what worked for me for so long. There is nothing wrong with having goals! By not setting any new goals, I felt lost and unmotivated. I started skipping more and more runs, simply because I wasn't training for a race or anything.

I kept hoping that I would eventually feel motivated to take care of myself even without having a goal of some sort, but it never happened. I put on a lot of weight very quickly last summer, but without a goal in the fall, I had no plan in place to take the weight back off.

One thing that I am very grateful for is that I had an epiphany about my summer weight gain. I no longer feel ashamed of it, and I don't panic about it. I'm not embarrassed to to post photos of myself at this weight anymore. I don't enjoy being a higher weight, of course, and I'm actively trying to take it off; but, I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed anymore, either. I'd say that's a big improvement!

Anyway, I think the therapist's advice to stop making goals was definitely the wrong plan for me. I know what she was going for, and she had good intentions, but my personality thrives on goals. So, I started a bullet journal for my goals and to track my way back to goal weight and being in shape. (My current therapist agrees that goals are the way I get things done, and I thrive that way).

Since I am SUPER excited about going to Vegas in November to meet up with a ton of From Fat to Finish Line fans, my main focus is to be happy with my appearance and my physical condition when I go on the trip. There are 38 weeks until the Vegas trip, which is plenty of time to accomplish this. Ideally, I'd like to weigh about 125 for that race (I'll be running the half-marathon, and while I don't care to set a time goal, I'd like to feel great during the race).

I weighed in on my fancy new scale Wednesday:



I've been at this weight for about a month now, I think. (In case anyone is wondering, the new scale is the Health O Meter Professional 349KLX digital floor scale (Amazon affiliate link). It was definitely a splurge, as it was pretty expensive--but considering how much I use it, and that having a nice one would make me more motivated, it was worth it. I love it! And I'll never have to buy a scale again.)

So, my "if all the stars align" goal is to weigh 125 by November 9th. That would mean losing about 0.87 pounds per week, which is totally do-able. Of course, all the medication changes lately could have any number of consequences on my weight, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. My actual goal weight is 133, and not 125, but I've realized that I do better when I aim bigger than when I aim smaller. So, even if I "only" get down to 140 or 135, I will still be very happy with that.

Right now, I am training for the Indy Mini (13.1) in May. Once I finish that, I will pick another race to train for, just to keep myself going with goals. Indy is 12 weeks away, and training starts today! I'm following my own "Finish Strong" plan, which is a good choice for my current goal and situation.

I set up some pages in my bullet journal to get me started and motivate me to focus on my goals.

A little visual to see as I lose weight--I'll color in each
square as I reach that weight
To keep track of my weigh-ins, I like to do something that I did when I was losing the weight in 2009-2010. I calculate how much I need to lose each week in order to hit a goal by a certain time frame. Then, when I weigh in, I look to see how close I am to that goal number. I would ideally like the difference to be 0 or a negative number each week. On March 1, for example, if I weigh in at 154, the difference would be -1, because the goal for that date is 155 (meaning I'd be a pound below my goal for that date). Anyway, this is where I'll track that. I am also going to keep track of my weekly calories again. That was helpful last year when I needed to make adjustments. 

This is for a loss of one pound per week
Another reason I like to list a goal for each week ahead of time is so that I can see, "Hey, if I stay on track, I can be in the 130's by June 21!" or things like that. It helps to look ahead--kind of like on My Fitness Pal, when they tell you what you would weigh in five weeks if every day were like the current day.

I also wrote out my entire training plan for Indy, so I can color in the squares as I finish each workout. The goal is to have ALL the squares colored in, with the exception of four days that I'm allowing myself to play hooky.


Finally, I'd like to maybe do a couple of consistent blog posts each week as well. Would anyone be interested in the Motivational Monday posts again? I miss seeing all of the success stories in my inbox! If you're unfamiliar, I used to do a series on my blog called Motivational Monday. Each Monday, I would share a paragraph or two from someone who wanted to brag about a race they completed, a new PR, weight loss, trying a new activity, eating better, etc. Anything at all (health or fitness related) that someone wanted to share was fair game.

So, if you'd like to share, please send in a submission to me at MM@runsforcookies.com (MM for Motivational Monday). Please send one photo of your accomplishment, as well as 1-2 paragraphs telling us what you're proud of accomplishing. Depending on the response, I'd like to start next Monday, so please get them submitted soon! (Here is another explanation for submissions)

In addition to doing the Motivational Mondays again, I'd like to pick a couple of other consistent posts to do each week. On Wednesdays, it would be nice to get back to Wednesday Weigh-ins and a weekly recap of weight loss related stuff. I was thinking on Sundays, I could post a recap of my training/exercise for the week. Finally, I thought of doing something called "Foodie Friday" or something like that, where I will share a new recipe or food product and write a little about that.

I think by having series of different posts, I won't feel so lost as to what to write about. Having been blogging for so long, I feel like I've said everything there is to say! So, by having a consistent topic, I won't feel like I'm being redundant.

Wow, this post is much longer than I anticipated! I am feeling very excited about setting new goals and making plans for reaching them, though. I think this will help my depression a lot. Now, I'm going to head out to do my 40-minute run. I think I'll go to the state park. It's nice and sunny today!

36 comments:

  1. Good luck with your goals! Look forward to hearing your journey

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  2. This is so interesting. When you first wrote that you therapist recommended not having goals, I almost (or I may have - I can't remember) wrote that I thought it sounded like a bad idea for you. I don't think I did because I am aware that I don't actually know you, haha. I am also not a licensed therapist. I am glad to hear you are back on track and making strides toward happiness.

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  3. Thank you for this post, you have just inspired me to set some much-needed goals! How did you choose that scale? I am in the market for a scale and am willing to spend money on a good one but I have no idea what makes a scale 'good'. Thanks!

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    1. I just chose it based on the fact that it's a professional scale and the reviews were good. But it's extremely accurate and consistent.

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    2. Thank you so much, I always appreciate your reviews of products and I value your insights!

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  4. I love your journal pages! Working on a colorful journal/goal list is on my to do list...
    Best of luck on your goals!

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  5. I wish I had your handwriting, its beautiful! And I love that weight loss flow chart you have. Might have to copy that. I'm also excited to see Motivational Monday again! Maybe this will give me motivation to get out there and do something worth submitting :)

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  6. I love the ideas of your new posts! Please don't stop posting! You have no idea just how much you motivate me.

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  7. I definitely identify with this. The goals and the notebook and the tracking and seeing my progress helped me lose 30 pounds and run my first marathon. A month later I was diagnosed owoth breast cancer and that slowed the momentum. And I feel like I've been back exercising a year but I'm stuck. So I want to go back to filling my calendar with runs and goals! I look forward to OUR progress!!

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  8. Good for you Katie... and for US, all your followers! I personally cannot wait to walk (RUN) this new journey with you. Interested in doing another RAGNAR? This time in our glorious home state? We have a couple of spaces open on our team and it would be a tremendous joy to have you!

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  9. Good for you. You know yourself better than anyone else and if you need goals to stay motivated, have at it. I love how arts and crafty you are. You are so extremely creative and those little goal progression charts are so pretty to look at. I think you got your art talent from your very talented painter Dad! It's genetic for sure. Best of luck with all your aspirations.

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  10. Way to be motivated!! You have been busy with your charts...I love the weight one and coloring in a box when you reach that weight....I am totally making myself one of those.

    And I need to set some goals too...little ones....I think my first goal will be to think of a goal. ha!

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  11. Good for you for all your exciting plans! Good to hear you are feeling more upbeat... and it's always good when you are honest about feeling less than fine, too!

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  12. It's so good to hear you excited again! I'm glad you have kind of pin-pointed things and have a plan. I would love to see the Motivational Mondays again. :)

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  13. I too have been at loose ends since I moved to a new state in October. I LOVE your countdown pages in your journal. I'm going to go do that niow!

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  14. Yay I am so glad things are looking up for you. I love your goals you have made. Best of luck! I also like the motivational Mondays.

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  15. I'm so glad you're back to setting goals, because when you are motivated, I get motivated! Love it, Katie. Welcome back!

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  16. I love your weigh in sheet! What a great idea to actually write down your weekly goals instead of just saying I want to lose 1 pound a week! I miss motivational Mondays and would love to see it back!
    -Amanda

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  17. I get depressed when I feel out of control and for most of my life, controlling my weight was my medicine. I could feel in control about something which numbed the pain and sadness. The only problem was that I was not dealing with the pain, so it would always come back. This is year 2 of not dieting. I won't lie. It has been the hardest thing I've ever done, but I am learning a lot about why I am the way I am. I also haven't been able to run because hurt my back. I hope you can feel better soon. As always, you look beautiful always. More importantly, you're a beautiful person. thank you for sharing your journey. I hope your goals can make you feel better. One day at a time is my new mantra.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your training schedule--I'm doing the Pittsburgh Half on the exact same day as the Indy Mini and I was having a tough time deciding on a plan. I like your less-pressuresome speedwork! The Hal Hidgon plans have worked for me in the past, but coming off an injury from last year has me a little burned out on them. Looking forward to trying something new. Good luck!

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  19. Funny that you posted this...yesterday I had set a goal myself to try to lose the next 30 lbs by Vegas. I've been pretty stagnant for awhile with regard to my weight loss and I was hoping that this event would give me the push I need to get going again. I'll definitely be following along with you to keep me motivated! Also, I love the idea of the Foodie Friday posts...I'm always on the look out for new recipes/products to try. It's nice to shake things up :)

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  20. I wish I was better at sticking to goals. I feel that if I set a goal I set my self up for failure.

    Side note I am kicking my self in the ass right now. I was talking with a friend about heading back to Vegas this year to do RnR again but decided against it. If I knew you were going to be there that would have probably tipped the scales in favor of me going LOL I know it is the fiscally responsible thing to skip this year and go next but how fun it would have been to finally meet in real life in vegas!!!??

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  21. First - I'm so glad you are finding things that work for you. Second - I love bullet journaling, and your pages are lovely!

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  22. Gorgeous bullet journal pages, and love to hear that you are feeling back on track! :)

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  23. I started a bullet journal for my weight loss this week also! Fun new trend for sure! Happy to see that you are feeling like YOU again! Depression took over my life for a long time and still creeps in periodically. It is awful. Good job for sticking with recovery! You got this!

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  24. I love to read your posts and would love to see the weekly blogs. I, too, live by goals and just had this conversation this weekend my friends. I seem to accomplish great things when I plan out weekly manageable steps, whether it be my graduate degree, weight loss goals, or exercise plans. I have great confidence that you will meet your goals and look forward to reading your posts!

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  25. Loved looking at the entries in your bullet journal... very creative and artsy!

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  26. Oh Katie! I have to tell you that I hated that therapist so much (I'm a psychologist and I thought it was the worst strategy ever), I also know that you dont want to be told what to do so I kept it to myself. Anyway, I'm happy you found a path now where you can walk with determination, that determination that I truly admire from you.
    I wish I had met you in Surf City last week, hopefully you come to visit Angela and plan a reader meet up :)
    I never comment, but today I want to let you know that you motivate me and inspire me a lot, even during your darkest days. Those just make you more special than how you already are. Big hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much! If you're a psychologist, clearly you know your stuff, so I wouldn't mind an email with your thoughts if you read any red flags ;) I really love my new therapist, and she knows I'm a goal oriented person. It would have been so nice to meet you in Surf City! I will definitely be back out to San Diego or L.A. area again soon. I had so much fun!

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  27. I've been an avid follower of your blog for AGES. You inspire me so much. I am overweight and reading your blog is one of my go-to's to keep me on track with losing. I find that when I don't take time to read supportive information I fall off the wagon (just put on 20 of the 40 lbs I lost last year because I was simply too busy to look after my own self-care). I too suffer from depression and anxiety. Thankfully at this time I can self-manage with cognitive behavioural techniques (I teach those but I need to remember to use them myself often!), so seeing that there's others out there going through similar generalities normalizes where I'm at, which helps me greatly to not cope with food.
    You have no idea how much of an inspiration you are for me. Don't ever doubt that you're making a difference, or that "you have nothing to write as nothing happens". To read about Joey's escapades, or the kids activities make you human and I enjoy those lighthearted posts as much as the ones where you bear your sole and those that focus on running. Your blog is not singly-faceted and I truly appreciate that.
    Keep it up and know that you've got many who have got your back! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Helen! Reading weight loss blogs was SO helpful in 2009-2010 when I was losing weight. If nothing else, it motivated me to keep going.

      I've found with the cognitive behavioral techniques, it's hard to remember to use them in the moment! I always think later, "Oh, I should've done that one thing..." But they do work well when I've put them into practice.

      Anyway, I'm so happy that you enjoy reading my ramblings. Thank you!

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  28. Yikes, the price tag on that new scale! I've thought about getting the FitBit scale for a few years, but the price of it gives me pause. But your new scale makes the FitBit one look like a bargain, ha! Did something happen to your other new wood scale you got not long ago?

    Good luck on your goals! I was never a big fan of the Motivational Monday posts (since you asked for opinions on that...), but the Food themed posts intrigue me. I enjoyed the Tuesday Taste Test posts you did for a while.

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  29. I remember my college professor telling me that he thought goal setting was overrated. I think I lost a little respect for him that day, but I guess that's what works for him. I would be lost without goals. No goals for me equates to being a slug, depression, dark stormy skies, etc. I need goals.

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  30. I am really excited for you and I am learning a lot from you. Wishing you all the best as you smash your goals this time. Love you

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  31. I love ow you are looking back and figuring out what did or didn't work for you and then moving forward with what you've learned! Great job!

    And yes!! Motivational Monday posts were always so encouraging.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)

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