Open Thread: What’s Your Resolution?

New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000New Year’s Resolutions:  love ’em or hate ’em, everyone kind of makes them.  You take stock of your life, you resolve to “be better”… what are your goals for 2012?  What do you want to do better? (Pictured: New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000.)

For me the answer to that question is to “get fit.”  I’m unfortunately at my highest weight ever after the baby, but what really bugs me is how much my muscles deteriorated — due to some pregnancy aches and pains I couldn’t do much more than swim during the last 5 weeks of the pregnancy for cardio, and you’re not supposed to exercise before 6 weeks postpartum… which took me more like 12 weeks because every time I started to exercise I felt so off I thought, “this can’t possibly be right,” and would make another doctor’s appointment.  Having now been cleared by my OB/gyn, my primary, and my podiatrist, I have no excuses left… so I’ve started Couch to 5K again.

And oh: it hurts.  But I love, love, love this program.  The first time I did it, in 2006 or so, I was pretty fit from DVD workouts, but was under the impression that I could never, ever run because my lungs just couldn’t handle it.  Someone suggested Couch to 5K, and I remember eyeing the program warily — it’s basically just a 9-week schedule that tells you how much to run and how much to walk during 3 30-minute workouts a week.  There is no way it could possibly be true, I thought.  I will never run.  But I did it — my lungs burned, and I remember coughing for hours after some of my runs, but I finally figured out how to breathe and run at the same time.

This time around, my lungs are fine — but it’s my leg muscles that are killing me.  After the first very mild workout, I tried to do 15 minutes of leg exercises in addition to the run — and the next day I could barely walk.  Ouch.  OK, lesson learned.  But still: starting the program as someone who literally has been on the couch for far too long, I’m here to tell you: everything that the Plan asks of me, I’ve been able to do.  I love the challenge of each workout… and I love the built-in impetus with the program, the mild fear that if I skip a few days or even a week that I’ll be losing ground and have to repeat a week or two.  I also love that it’s only 30 minutes — perfect for busy women with no time.

Readers, what are your resolutions? Has anyone else done Couch to 5K, or do you have any other fitness goals?

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  1. hellskitchen :

    I started the C25K but I often stayed at one level for several weeks instead of one week. I ended up getting to 3.5 K but gave up after that. I still haven’t figured out how to breathe and run but my biggest problem is that I get incredibly bored running on a treadmill and can’t get in the zone, no matter how hard I try. Someone suggested I should run outside but I am worried about how I am going to keep time and do the run/walk switches as directed by c25k. Any advice?

    • The “Get Running” App is great for C25K. I used it on my iphone and it was easy to navigate and still listen to music. Too bad an old injury sidelined me because I really liked the program and looked forward to my runs by the 5th week.

      Resolution this year is to be completely in the moment whenever possible (no checking work email while playing with my son, usually work can wait) and to be more protective of my time. If reading makes me happy, then I can’t complain I don’t have time to do it when I wasted an hour watching bad tv that I didn’t really even like.

      • I have also resolved to be more protective of my time. I’ve fallen into what I’ve decided is really just a bad habit of spending an inordinate amount of my personal time doing things that I feel obligated to do, but don’t really enjoy (like entertaining or going to cocktail parties when I don’t really feel like it, or making food for every single potluck event at my kids’ school), and not giving myself permission to do the things that recharge my batteries (like spending a whole Sunday morning reading the paper or talking on the phone with an old friend). This must change.

        • This x1000. I started this resolution a few months ago and vow to keep it going into the new year.

    • You can download free C25K podcasts from itunes that time the intervals for you. You have to listen to the guy’s music rather than your own, but it’s fine. I actually use it on the treadmill too, bc it allows me to just zone out or watch tv rather than worry about timing everything.

      • I downloaded a Couch to 5K app that lets you listen to your own music, and then it interrupts your music with a voice cue when it’s time to switch from running to walking (or vice versa). You can get a free trial version for the first few weeks of runs, and the full version is only 2 bucks or so.

        • I wear an old Timex that has a chronograph on it (you can set the timer running at 00:00:00) — and then when I see it hit 5 minutes I say, “ok now run until 8 minutes,” and then when it hits 8 minutes I say “now walk until 9:30″… really dumb but I can only keep the next number in my head at any given moment! :) When it gets tricky (week 4 onwards) I run with a little post-it that tells me how much to walk/jog.

        • I use Interval Trainer for iPhone for the same purpose. It lets you set up your warmup, intervals (run, walk) and cool down, and you can choose from an array of alarm tones to signal when it’s time to change. It plays in the background of whatever playlist you like.

          I also like RunCoach, a free app that lets you set a goal (say, a 5k race on a particular date) and gives you runs and cross-training advice to get you there. It can interface with your calendar so that a reminder of the day’s workout shows up at the time you specify.

        • Yes, this is the app I have used before, and it’s great! I am also re-starting Couch to 5K–with one of my goals being to do a 5K every month this year. Now, granted, I did one on Jan 1st but I WALKED 95% of it! (I figure that time will be easy to beat next time?)

          I’ve also decided I want to take at least one photo per day.

        • I’ve used this app too, and like it so much that I am going to use its sister app for Bridge to 10K. It worked really well for me and I liked being able to listen to my own music while having the prompts come through as well.

        • hellskitchen :

          thank you everyone! I have an iphone so downloading apps should be easy. I’ll try the Interval Trainer that Anonny suggests. N, is that the one you used as well? Or are there other c25k apps that let you listen to your playlist?

          • Looks like the one I have is called 5K runner — I see the 10k runner version that Nonny mentioned on there as well. Perhaps if I can resolve my knee issues I can try out the 10K program in the spring!

          • The one that I use is called “Ease Into 5K”, by Bluefin Apps, if that helps.

    • I used a cheap (< $15) sports watch. It had two countdown timers on it which ran consecutively. That is, I would set the first timer to 90 sec. and the second to 60 sec. and it would countdown 90 sec. and then 60 sec. continuously. I don't know the precise model I used, but I got it on Amazon and believe it was a Timex.

    • I get really bored running too and the two things that help me most (like 1000% percent improvement) are running outside and using a heart rate monitor (distracts me from noticing I feel like I’m dying I think).

    • Definitely use a Couch to 5k app if you have an iPhone or even an iPod touch. It tells you when to walk and to run, although you’ll only get speed, pace and distance if you use an iPhone.

      Alternatively/in addition to the app, get a running watch (I prefer the footpod versions over GPS so that I can use it on the treadmill as well) to time your intervals.

      I’d say take your time, even if it takes you longer to get to the next level. I went the other way and tried to finish faster by running 4x a week. Ended up with shin splints (now resolved). But sticking with it and eventually being able to finish a 5, 10, and later a 15k felt fantastic.

  2. One of my goals is to workout for 10000 minutes this year! Last year, my goal was 8000 and I got pretty close! I also want to graduate to a full push up and work on my upper body strength

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Try the Hundred Pushups program (google it). Same concept as couch to 5K but for pushups. It works!

    • Start doing pushups with your legs up, as in resting on a bench, step or similar. Start with the support around your knees and gradually over the weeks work out to support at ankles. Then drop to the floor level again. Do as many full pushups as you can and when you feel your form going do the rest of the set on your knees. Once you can do your full sets you can start looking at fancy versions (one handed etc). Id also keep one set of raised feet pressups. It works you in a slightly different way.

  3. If you are having issues breathing and painful legs with C25k, it is quite likely that you are running too fast. Run slower. No, slower than that. I was also one of those people who thought they would never be able to run. This year I did 4 half marathons.

    • This is great advice!! Running too fast is one of the biggest mistakes beginning runners make. You will get faster with practice, but in order to build your aerobic capacity, you keep it nice and slow. For a long time – like, months. It can be frustrating; I absolutely didn’t believe that running slower was the way to get faster, but for me it totally worked. I think in large part this was because it allowed me to keep running, without getting frustrated or, more importantly, injured.

    • I agree – running slower is the key. Also, joining a running group helps. I had never run more than 3 miles and 5 years ago was inspired to run a half marathon. I joined a running group, met some wonderful people who motivated me, understood all the running-lingo, and kept me from getting bored (plus if I couldn’t talk while I was running, I was going too fast (at least for me)). Running a 5k, half marathon, or even a full is exhilarating (and addicting), and I’m not sure I would have been able to do it without the group.

  4. I have successfully followed a C25K program and a C210K program. Whenever I couldn’t complete a workout (and had to walk when I was supposed to run), I would repeat the entire week. I never had to repeat a week twice. Often, if this isn’t working, it’s because you’re running too fast. And BTW, I never experienced “the zone” until I was running 6+ miles. It doesn’t get easier, really, but you can just go longer and for some crazy reason start to enjoy it. But I never enjoyed the first 3 or so miles. Never. Neither did my husband, back when he was a marathoner. So try to have reasonable expectations. You may have to run longer to get to the good stuff. If you do, it’s worth it.

    My resolution is to take better care of myself. I have extreme physical reactions to stress, even when I don’t really think that I’m all that stressed out. Currently that means not being able to wear antiperspirant (since starting a new job in early November) and heartburn. The only “fixes” to these symptoms have been antidepressants, which I am not interested in taking at this point in my life. I plan on making my preventative maintenance Dr’s appointments (including dentist – eek), get started on a skincare plan with my derm (including skin check), continuing to work out 3-4x a week (which I started 12/1), eating better and practicing the Navy Seals 4x4x4 breathing technique to manage “emotional excitement.”

  5. I just started the Couch to 5K too — usually I do spinning in the winter, but I thought I would try something different this year. I’m really enjoying the program so far, but my knee is not — after only two weeks of running I’m having some knee pain (not while running, but while climbing stairs, etc, later on in the day). Experienced Corporette runners, any thoughts? I bought a new pair of running shoes (the ones I was using were probably 10+ years old), but past that I’m not sure what to try. I’d like to keep running!

    • As said above, try running slower. Also, squats. Lots of squats. ;)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was a competitive runner in HS and started getting knee pain so bad I could barely walk. I apparently was running w/ one foot turned to the side too much causing me to gain too much muscle on one side of my knee. Having more muscle on one side of the knee than the other caused the knee cap to be pulled out of line. The solution was physical therapy to build muscle on the weak side and to work on running with proper form.

      Fast forward15 years or so and I started getting really bad ankle pain with Couch to 5k. I saw a fancy running shoe store fitter guy who watched me run and again noticed my foot turned too far to one side. He fitted me with running shoes that have a heavier weight on one side to keep my foot straight.

      There are names for both the foot thing and the knee thing but I can’t think of them. The foot one might be over pronation or something.

    • It may be that your IT bands are too tight. I get a lot of knee pain, but it actually stems from having tight IT bands! I’m a spinner also, so maybe you have a the same issue. I’d suggest you look up some stretches or try using a foam roller if you think that might be your issue.

      • (Started running at 11, still going strong 20 years later.)
        It’s good that you have new shoes, but they must also be the *correct* new shoes.
        Bring your new pair of running shoes to the closest specialty running store. The store must specialize in running shoes, meaning no general chain sports stores (Dicks, etc.). Fleet Feet and similar chain specialty running stores are okay, though, as long as their primary focus is on running shoes. The people who staff the specialty stores are runners themselves and can evaluate the shoes you bought. The shoes you bought might be completely inappropriate for you. The staff can evaluate your stride, gait, and other important things that are likely bothering your knee. They probably can help you figure out the reason for your pain or at least give you some ideas to try out.
        Never underestimate the knowledge and expertise of your locally-owned, running-specific store. Plus, they know about other beginning running groups in the area and we all know it’s more fun to run in a group than alone on a treadmill!

      • a suggestion for any new runners – go to your local running store and get your gait analyzed! making sure you are in the right kind of shoes is crucial! (i work at a running store, so yeah, i’m biased…) Running stores usually have a collection of all types of runners, from beginning to professional, working there, so you will find someone who has had your same injury or concern.

      • Hm, from a brief googling around that actually sounds quite plausible. Thanks! I’ll try some IT stretches and see if that helps. The person I saw at the running store initially suggested that it might be “runner’s knee” caused by weak thigh muscles, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case — after years of cycling I have pretty monstrous thighs!

        • Do you get knee pain/tightness when you cycle, too? I have occasional IT band and knee issues (due to ACL surgery) and suggest that in addition to doing IT band stretches, warm up your legs before running/cycling with a quick set of walking bodyweight lunges. In general, I manage my knee and IT band by doing a pretty comprehensive set of weighted leg exercises every week or so (squats, lunges, calf raises, and the abductor and adductor machines, plus unweighted box jumps). However, doing the walking bodyweight lunges every time I go running has been so, so helpful for staving off IT band problems, especially when I’m pressed for time and don’t have the ability to do a full set of leg exercises that week.

          • I did have knee pain when I first started doing longer rides (oddly the other knee, though). When it was acting up I tried to be more careful about pedaling at a higher cadence and not just grinding up hills, and I haven’t had problems with it in years. I’m not sure if these are all IT band issues or not, but I figure it certainly can’t hurt to try some stretches and such. I’ll give the walking lunges a try as well (although I can imagine I’m going to look like a real goof at the gym!).

          • I also dealt with IT pain by cycling at a higher cadence, so you might be right. If you’re running at the gym, you can always just do regular lunges with handweights or whatever – the walking bodyweight lunge was just a suggestion for when you’re just looking for a quick warm-up before you run out the door. But I don’t think it’s goofy to do walking lunges at the gym at all.

          • I read this quickly and thought it said do you get IT band irritation during your cycle! No one ever believes me on this, but my IT band only bothers me when I’m on birth control. I never had IT band problems until i went on bc, and so far I’ve conducted two experiments by going off. It helps to strengthen your hip abductors, but I can only increase my distance pain free when I’m not on birth control. I can also significantly improve my times without extra training by going off bc.

            I’ve read a couple articles that say serious long distance runners (doesn’t describe me!) and college athletes should not be on bc because it affects your muscle composition and stuff.

    • I love Couch to 5K! I tried it over the summer and stalled out around week 6 – but I’m doing it again now, beginning at week 5. I started Bikram Yoga in mid-November and swear by it. It’s done wonders for my body and has really helped my back and joints. I was afraid my legs wouldn’t be able to handle starting the running program again after about 6 months off but there was absolutely no pain where there was a lot formerly. I credit that to the yoga. Bikram is very restorative. If you have the time to take a few classes, I suggest you try it out!

    • I second going to a running store to have your gait analyzed. If you’re in a city with a Fleet Feet chain, they have free weekly seminars on gait modification also.

      If your form is OK, you may have patellar tendonitis (aka jumper’s knee). A chopat strap might provide the support you need, and Advil and ice can help reduce inflammation. But be careful not to run when you are really hurting – you may end up doing more harm than good by increasing inflammation.

    • Thanks, all — I actually did buy the new shoes at a running store (the Running Room, I think?). They had me walk back and forth across the store a few times to check my gait, and apparently there was nothing too unusual there. I’m not sure what my running form looks like — my gym does offer video analysis, but I’d rather see whether or not I stick with running before shelling out a hundred bucks or so for video analysis.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I’d suggest barefoot running or minimalist shoes. I don’t want to get in an ideological debate with other runners here, but basically the concept is that running shoes cause you to heel strike, which increases impact, which increases stress on the joints.

      Links for further info to follow in a reply to avoid moderation.

      Be aware that if you do make the switch you need to pay attention to your form. If you run in minimalist shoes with the same form you use wearing sneakers, you’ll hurt yourself. Also, there’s some adjustment required for minimalist shoes, because you’ll be using muscles that you aren’t used to using (it took me about a week, but I have heard that women who wear high heels regularly have a harder time adjusting).

      • Lawyer Bird :

        For further info, I suggest:

      • Lawyer Bird :


        • Not trying to start something, Lawyer Bird, as I myself do agree that there are benefits to the minimilist idea – but I want to piggyback off of what you said – barefoot/minimal running is a transition, and a change – it goes beyond just being aware of your running form, it really involves listining to your body and starting slow – like, 5 minutes at a time slow. It’s a giant change. Many people discuss how tribes in Mexico and our human predecessors used to run barefoot with no problem. True, but our culture and generation(s) were raised in shoes. I’m not saying don’t try minimalism, but I’m also saying, take it SLOW. There are options of shoes that are NOT as severe as say, the vibrams – some companies, such as Saucony, are offering 8 millimeter “drop” shoes rather than a traditional 12 mm drop. I only write because this is something i’m passionate about (running) and as an employee of a speciality running store, I see farrrr too many injuries from people who jumped in, “feet first” (haha i’m a loser) to minimalism.

          • Lawyer Bird :

            I completely agree. My physical therapist (for a shoulder injury not related to my running) told me she sees a lot of injuries from people wearing Vibrams. She was surprised that I like them so much, but she conceded that of course she only sees the people who have problems.

          • This. I attempted vibrams, but then realized that this was too much (too little?) too soon when my ankles started to hurt from impact. I didn’t manage to move to forefoot striking, even when I consciously tried to. Now I run in Nike frees and heel strike much less than in my super-cushioned Asics.

    • I used to have knee pain and shin splints when I ran. I heard something about barefoot running and looked it up. The form that you have when barefoot is the proper form — you land on the balls of your feet rather then the heal or whole foot. It absorbs the shock soooo much better! So I tried running barefoot and didn’t like it. I wasn’t about to run barefoot outside but couldn’t stand the treadmill. So I just put my shoes on and forced myself to run correctly – landing on the balls of my feet. It took a little while to get used to it. My ankle and calf muscles were sore at first. But soreness is better than pain! My knees and shins quit hurting!

      • guess Lawyer Bird and KC posted while I was typing! I agre that it is a transition. I would basically run (w/ new technique) a block, walk a block. Took a week or so to build up the new muscles. Definitely worth it!

        • I’ve been a competitive runner since I was about 12. Do half marathons all the time. Never had an injury until I switched to the vibrams. First I got a stress fracture in my foot and then I got a bone marrow bruise in my knee. I walked in them only for about 3 weeks then very slowly built up and had only made it to ten minutes of running when I was first sidelined. Most of the people working at my local running store three months later still are not even up to more than five minutes of running in them. Some people can adjust fast but if you select these shoes you must be very careful as you can really hurt yourself.

  6. Woman of Color :

    I am starting the Insanity program next Monday. I too am a new mom (“new” – baby is a little over a year), and

    • I’m restarting Insanity as well. Last cycle, I didn’t lose any weight but went down a full size and felt so much stronger.

    • I LOVED Insanity. I lost a ton of weight pre-wedding with it. Love. Have so much fun with Shawn-T!!

    • Pink on Black :

      I’m considering doing Insanity as well. But got somewhat concerned after reading how some people have injured their knees and back from doing it. Anyone with views on this? Also, how much space do you find you need and is there a lot of jumping that might disturb neighbours? And would like to confirm that there isn’t much equipment needed?

      • There is no equipment needed at all and you don’t need much space. I did it in my small living room. There is a LOT of jumping involved. My knees can’t take high jumps so I replaced the jumps with squats.

  7. Three things – To run (not jog) the October Sugan G. Kolman 5k. I’m staring up the C25k program again, at a faster pace, because I honestly can’t believe it worked. (I’m an ex-athlete and an asthmatic, and *never* ran log distances.) Also, to find work as an attorney, as I am currently underemployed in order to support my family. And lastly, to finish my novel, despite having no apparent time/space to do so.

  8. Anne Shirley :

    Read more Shakespeare! Yes, I want to be fitter, but I’m always working on that. I like to use the new years push to tackle something I think I’ll enjoy that I haven’t made time for in the past.

  9. My goal is one (1) yoga class a week – if I get another…great. I manage to get my workouts in, but never take the time to stretch. As such, I know that I will do some minimal effort, necessary task (like picking up my teenagers’ wet towels off the floor) and throw out my back, or hip or something.

    I also made a goal, over much protest, to make my daughters do one load of laundry each a week. Really, I figure they are going to need it sooner (my Senior) or later (my freshman)! In their eyes, I need to be reported to DCS! Wish me luck with this one.

    • My mom had me ironing shirts (while watching tv) when I was in middle school. :) Laundry is a life skill! They should totally be responsible for operating the machinery AND folding their clothes. Then they can teach the cute boys at college how to do laundry.

    • My 11 year old does her own laundry and folds it. She is allowed to watch TV while folding, so it’s not too bad. I will throw a load of her stuff in if she is not home and I am doing laundry though.

    • totally with you on this one! I had my kids doing their own laundry in high school over much protest, and it did make the transition to college easier. Also should be on your list: how to write a check, how to balance a checkbook, how to check the oil/check the tire pressure/change a flat on a car, and how to cook at least one meal.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        YES on how to balance a checkbook. You’ll be bailing them out constantly if they don’t learn this. My mom just remembered this the very hard way as my much-younger (still at home) brother somehow overdrew his account by $400.

    • My three year old loves to help with laundry! The washer and dryer and at his height; the only thing he has trouble with is the soap. I’m planning to keep him doing this until it turns into his independent chore.

      • Your son is 3??? I remember you posting about a 1-year-old. Man, does time fly.

      • My mom told me that separating laundry was a colors game when I was about 3 or so. By the time I was old enough to be hip to her game, I was in the habit of doing not only my laundry, but a lot of the household laundry as well. I still don’t mind washing/drying/folding. It’s the putting it away at which I fail.

        Other good my mom tricks include: calling raisins “raisin candy” and referring to the play pen as the “toy box,” as in “if you’re good, I’ll let you play in the toy box this afternoon.” She was a pretty tricky mom.

        • Bursting out :

          Fantastic! Storing these away for future reference…

        • Love these. I grew up (well, for a while) thinking that plain yoghurt with a bit of jam mixed in it was “pudding” and that digestive biscuits were “cookies”. Oh, the tricksiness of moms.

    • Doing laundry is such an useful life skills! I was amazed at how many in college didn’t know how to do it. The key is TV during that time.

    • I started doing my own laundry junior after my mom ruined one of my favorite shirts by somehow splashing bleach on it. After that, I wouldn’t let her touch any of my stuff. You should try that tactic! ;o)

    • You are not alone (and don’t need to be reported to DCS!), but I don’t know how to help you.

      My SD (16) announced last month that from now on she will do her own laundry (up til then, I did all the laundry in the house) “because in two years when I go away to college, I will have enough new stuff to learn without also learning laundry for the first time.” Unclear who does her laundry the other half of the time, when she is with her mom.

      By contrast, her brother (21 and still living with his mother full time) shows zero interest in learning any life skills and absolutely, positively cannot be pushed to do so. His parents and I have tried everything for the last 3-4 years to no avail.

      Not sure why one is self-motivated and the other cannot be forced. The entire issue is bizarre to me because I was doing my own laundry by 13 at boarding school. Big deal. Move on.

      • I started doing my own laundry when I was in first grade. I don’t understand how moms have the patience or the time to keep doing this for their kids past the age ten. It’s totally unnecessary. It’s not difficult or complicated for kids to do on their own. Kids should learn how to pitch in and take care of their own stuff.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        Not everyone’s self motivated. I tell this to my mom a lot, as she’s dealing with my much younger bro who barely manages Ds and Cs (he’s still in high school). She’s baffled because I was always a straight-A, college-bound student with a part time job from age 15. I knew what I wanted in the big picture and what I needed to do to get it, whereas he only sees what he wants in the short run (female attention, mostly, and a nice truck). Not sure how to help you with this, other than to let you know that it’s totally normal.

    • Seattleite :

      I made my DD start doing her own laundry at around age 12, when I found one-too-many folded shirts in her laundry hamper. The stinker had tossed them in there rather than put them in her drawer! She griped about it until she left for college….

      …then, when she became an RA soph/jun years, I could look forward to the September phone calls: “Mom, thank you so much for teaching me how to do laundry! You would not believe how many freshman I had to teach to run a washing machine today! OMG! What were their parents thinking????”

      Karma isn’t *always* a b1tch. :)

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I guess my mom needed to be reported to DCFS when I was about 9, then.

      Seriously, by high school I was so picky about my clothing that I wouldn’t allow anyone else to touch my laundry – a quirk that remains today. Maybe if you accidentally ruin a favorite item they’ll take a greater interest in doing their own wash?

    • My mom had me and each of my 4 siblings doing our own laundry by the time we were 12. To this day, laundry is my favorite “chore”.

  10. Go Kat! I dislike running, so I’ve stopped trying to like it. But I love to do floor aerobics, step, and dancing. Did the xBox Just Dance 3 video with the kids — “Apache, jam on it, jam on it.” Kick my butt!! (Tonto, jump on it, jump on it!)

  11. My resolution is to be more gracious, even when others are not (or don’t appear to deserve it). I can control only my own actions, and I would like to do that without allowing someone else’s bad behavior to cause me to forget my own manners. This will definitely stretch my patience, and I realize will be easier said than done!

    As far as fitness, I thought I would never be able to run either, but joined a beginners’ running group through a local running store. They really brought us along slowly, and by the end of three months I was able to comfortably run 5 miles at about a 9-9:30 minute mile pace – without all the burning lungs, etc.

    • How nice to be more gracious! I have always liked this quote (though sometimes I don’t seem to remember it): Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

  12. A local pilates/yoga studio did an open house where you could take up to 5 classes for free. I tried out their version of the barre workout – and holy crap. That is a work out. I went twice – and I think I’m going back. The class times aren’t the greatest for my schedule, but I only really need to go 2 or 3 times a week.

  13. ohmydarlin :

    The 100 Push Up Challenge is also a good program for those of us who are goal-oriented.

    In my (neverending) quest to eat better, I’m doing Paleo for 30 days. If I like it, I’ll stick with it, but 30 is a good start, right?
    Y’all have any thoughts on Paleo meals at work? Bringing in lunches?

    • Check out Pinterest for Paleo meal ideas!

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’ve been eating paleo for about 5 months or so and have never felt better. i blog irregularly about it. recommended reading: fitbomb dot com (for a comprehensive and plain english guide on the “why” of paleo) and his wife, nomnompaleo dot com (for great recipes and a view of what she takes to work). also like balanced bites, marksdailyapple and primal palate.

      i bring both breakfast and lunch every day and eat at my desk. i am a very habitual eater (same thing day in and out for months at a time until i get sick of it). breakfast is almost always one chicken sausage link (read ingredients lists very carefully, as almost everything has added sugar) with two over-easy eggs and a handful of raw spinach. sometimes i do smoked salmon and soft-boiled eggs with spinach instead. lunch is usually a spinach salad (raw spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crumbled bacon) with some form of meat (today was leftover pork loin, other favorites are pork chops, ground beef patties, or crockpotted chicken thighs) and a little plain brown mustard. i have a stash of buffalo jerky in my drawer for snacks. if i don’t bring lunch, i generally go out and grab half a rotisserie chicken (there are 2 or 3 places within a few blocks of my office that have these) or a salad. on half-chicken days, i am grateful i have an office door to close.

      i usually throw together my salad while my eggs are cooking in the morning, though sometimes i’m industrious and i pack it the night before. i was worried about the greater time commitment of eggs vs. my previous go-to breakfast (yogurt, fruit and granola), but it’s nothing – start to finish, including time to wash the pan and spatula, eggs & sausage take me 7 minutes. i live close enough to work that they’re still hot when i get in.

      • ohmydarlin :

        I’m very habitual as well, so I don’t mind (and actually prefer) having only a handful of good, easy recipes :)
        Thanks a bunch for the websites, I will be checking those out!

      • Cats Ahoy! :

        Hmm… I’ll have to check this out. I have been eating low-carb since October when I found out I have diabetes. My goal for the next few months is to get my A1c under 6.

      • Hah! I just tried to go to nomnompaleo dot com, and can’t get through– servers are overloaded! Wonder whether that’s a result of a Corporette link? And, if so, whether the the author is wondering, “Where did this traffic come from all of a sudden??”

    • karenpadi :

      ugh. Paleo. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been because I tried to do Paleo for a year. For some it works but for me, it didn’t. If you start gaining weight, please don’t keep trying to stay Paleo. Please just start eating carbs again.

      • ohmydarlin :

        Interesting! I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for the different perspective :)

        • Foodee Project. They have a website and blog – collects paleo recipes from around the internet. And yet another perspective: I thought I was gaining weight on it, but it turns out I wasn’t really doing it right. I was not fully in (I’d have a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 in each of my 5 cups of coffee or one teeny bite of [fill in the blank]). If you are committing to 30 days, go all in. Eliminate not only grains and sugar but dairy and sweeteners, too. Try not to cheat (and I’m sitting here staring at chocolate covered espresso beans – but I … will … not … NO!) :) I imagine it doesn’t work for everyone (like karenpadi), but I had to really give it a FULL go to understand it. (And I upped my workouts — I don’t believe the “and you don’t even have to exercise!” mantra that sometimes accompanies it!)

          • the whole30 (on the whole9lifedotcom) is 30 days of strict paleo – just like you are advocating. Lots of good tips and details on there. I started it a couple weeks before Christmas — got derailed by all the traveling and family gatherings. But for 13 days it was great! I felt awesome and lost some weight (not sure how much b/c they don’t want you to weigh yourself until the end). But I will be trying to eat that way in general now.

    • Wish I had seen this post earlier. An additional blog that I follow is Everyday Paleo which is about a woman who creates paleo meals for her family.

      Not sure what your training will be like but I do high intensity/endurance/power lifting training, and while paleo, I had to eat almost twice as much food to keep me satiated. That, however, was a huge issue because I couldn’t exactly eat in the middle of my meetings at work.

      Other pieces of advice, be ready to crave sugars/carbs especially in the first week or two. However, those cravings do subside if you don’t cheat. While I am not sticking to the paleo diet (for multiple reasons I don’t need to describe here), it has helped me tremendously to add more vegetables into my diet. I am very happy with that!

      Lastly, look around your city to see if any restaurants cater to paleo eaters. One in Atlanta, Urban Pl8 comes to mind. There also is RSB Catering (also in Atlanta) which will provide paleo meals for you. Good if you’re on the go!

  14. Anon for this :

    Threadjack. I’m a midlevel associate in a midsize firm. I’ve had great reviews this year (better than previous years) and exceeded my billable hour quota by more than any other year but for the first time, didn’t get a year-end bonus. The firm had a good year! I’m at a loss to figure out what happened. I’m disapponted and a little worried. ‘Rettes, what would you do? Time to dust off my resume?

    • Have you asked why? That seems like the first step.

    • karenpadi :

      Time to talk to a partner. Bring along your past bonus amounts, review, and billable hours.

      Act a little peeved (not unprofessionally so but make it clear you aren’t happy). Some women will preface the conversation with “I know this is an uncomfortable topic” or “I don’t really know why I’m asking about this but”. This is the kind of situation where I pretend that I picture myself as a man. Just go in and say “I want to know where my bonus is.”

      Have a dollar amount ready. Do you want $5k? $20k?

  15. I have also resolved to be more protective of my time. I’ve fallen into what I’ve decided is really just a bad habit of spending an inordinate amount of my personal time doing things that I feel obligated to do, but don’t really enjoy (like entertaining or going to parties when I don’t really feel like it, or making food for every single potluck event at my kids’ school), and not giving myself permission to do the things that recharge my batteries (like spending a whole Sunday morning reading the paper or talking on the phone with an old friend). Lately, I just feel so drained. This must change.

  16. I like to think of goals rather than resolutions. IDK why; seems more likely to succeed I guess?

    1) We limit our son to 1 hour of screen time a day. My resolution is that if he’s not doing screen time, I’m not doing screen time. I spend too much time on FB, blogs, etc and am trying to cut back.

    2) 2 Running goals: run 366 miles this year and train for and run a 10K. I run 4 miles a couple of times a week, so I should be able to hit my total mileage goal if I stay consistent. The 10K seems a bit scary; I can easily do a 5K, but a 10K will take a plan. I’m using bridge to 10K App on my phone since I had so much success with couch to 5K last summer.

    • I didn’t realize there was a 10K app. Which one do you use?

      • If you don’t mind somewhat bland trance-y music, try the Podrunner interval series at djsteveboy dot com slash intervals.

      • It’s called bridge to 10K. It starts where the couch to 5K left off.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think of mine as goals as well and I’ve broken them all down into a checklist of items to achieve.

  17. Fun thread! I just posted on the last one, but I’ll repeat it:

    My resolution is to work harder and make more money. My salary is mostly based on what I bring into the firm, so I’ve set a very lofty goal to try to make enough to bring myself an average of $2,000 per week that I work in 2012 (I started with a goal of $100K, but then revised when I thought of the fact that I might need to take time off later in the year, depending on what happens.) This would be a huge leap for me (haven’t done the math yet, but I think I made a little over 70 last year), and I’m going to try to get as close as I can.

    Must limit my Corporette time, though!

  18. SV in House :

    Goal 1: de-clutter. I filled up 4 bags of clothes, shoes and bags on NY Day, so at least I am in good shape on that one!
    Goal 2: journal my food intake, which hopefully will result in losing weight
    Goal 3: get back to my 2008 marathon pace
    Goal 4: act mindfully

    • 1. Definitely get rid of excess clothes, books and paperwork.
      2. Alter my clothes. They’ve been sitting there, waiting to be altered. I know how to work a sewing machine, I just have to actually *do* it.
      3. Pick up after myself.
      4. Track food intake.

  19. Always a NYer :

    This year I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. Getting healthy is always a goal but I really want this to be the year. I’m starting Zumba, which is really out of my comfort zone (most of my exercise is done at home and by myself) so I’m looking forward to how that unfolds. Cooking more from scratch is another goal I want to fit into my hectic schedule. Moving to Europe over the summer is also on the agenda. I’ve wanted to live in London since I was 10 and figure it’s now or never. There’s nothing tying me here and if I can transfer with my company, why not?

  20. I have a ton of resolutions. The nice thing about being unemployed I suppose.

    – Eat healthier: Cook dinner at home 2-3x a week, eat more vegetables
    – Work out at least 100 mins/week (This is the amount that I think I might actually do)
    – Knit a pair of socks
    – Go to a fun convention (I’ve never been and I’d really like to at least once)
    – Do something social 1 night a week (we just moved to a new city where we don’t know anyone)
    – Spend at least 15 minutes a day on some form of professional development
    – Spend at least 15 minutes a day writing something
    – Read at least 15 nonfiction books (I normally read close to 100 books a year, so this isn’t as absurd as it sounds)
    – Read a poem a day

    If/when I finally get a job I expect some of these will fall by the wayside, but I’m ok with that.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love yours, especially the convention one. Every year I swear I’m going to Comic Con but never follow through. This year I’m planning to go to the New York Comic Con but I wish there would be an awesome Dictor Who one somewhere nearby.

      • I really want to go to NorWesCon in Seattle since I have a lot of friends there that I can stay with. I’m not sure I can swing the traveling costs, though. There are a few here in Denver that are kind of small but might be good for getting my feet wet.

        I feel like there must be a Doctor Who one in New York somewhere. lists all of the fannish events in NYC every month, you might want to check there if you aren’t already aware of it.

    • Cats Ahoy! : I learned to knit socks using that tutorial. It’s great. I love knitting socks. Enjoy!

      • This is great, thanks! I’m a long time crocheter so I’m working on getting more comfortable with knitting in general in January, try a project in the round in February, learn how to knit on dpns in March, etc. There aren’t any stores near me for classes, so I’ve been looking for exactly this kind of tutorial.

        • Don’t think you’ve failed if you can’t get the hang of dpns. I’ve been knitting for years and I can’t stand dpns. I knit all my socks on circular needles and enjoy it so much more. If you want to eliminate the dratted dpns from your life, go circular.

          • Yeah I’m a pretty experienced knitter but have never gotten into socks. I bought some hand dyed sock yarn a couple years ago but it’s still sitting in my stash. dpns are a total pain. One Christmas I had decided to try knitting a new hat pattern for a friend (it’s a pattern that can be adapted to any size head and any gauge yarn) and I got so frustrated with the dpns that I threw the whole thing in the garbage. When you get to a place where circular is too big, you just go to two circulars.

    • for reading a poem a day, the website of academy of american poets has a link where you can subscribe to “poem a day.” I’ve found a lot of new poets I like this way!

  21. Anonymous :

    My resolutions this year are:
    1) to stop overanalyzing my relationships, from where i fit in at the firm, to my friends, to my romantic ones. I have enough stress in my life without stressing about the things and people that make me happy. I have no issues in any of my relationships right now, yet i still overanalyze and ruminate about them — it is such a waste of time and energy.
    2) to clean more regularly. I declutter on a daily basis but I have way too many dust bunnies as pets these days

  22. I don’t make new years resolutions – if I want to change something, I do it immediately :)

    • Equity's Darling :

      I made a New Years resolution a few years ago to never make another resolution. I’ve been pretty awesome at keeping that resolution.

      I generally make goal lists for the coming year on my birthday, and otherwise tend to do what you do- if I want to try something new, change my behavior in some way, or eat healthier, I just do it now.

      • I do the same thing, my birthday just happens to be in the beginning of the year (Jan 9) so it ends up being like a resolution.

        Still, my resolution for last year was to change jobs, I gave my notice in the beginning of December and started my new job this week.

        My resolution for this year is to lose the weight that law school and my first, very intense job packed on. My new job is less intense and should give me time to exercise, but I have about 85 pounds to lose. I’ll need the whole year and then some for that one!

        I’ve realized though that I hate gyms, I enjoy running but don’t really lose a lot of weight that way, and don’t feel comfortable running too much at this weight. I have p90x but haven’t done more than 2-3 videos. This month I’m focusing on diet and walking, and hopefully next month will continue the diet and start running a little bit. After that, I’m going to focus on fun things, I was an elite tennis player, and love to hike, rock climb, ski, etc… Once I lose enough weight to be able to do those things again, that’s what I’ll focus on! :-)

        • Good luck with this! Setting out to do it is the most important thing. I lost 90 lbs several years ago and it’s not easy, but it’s great to finally get to the point where you’re ready to tackle it.

          As far as exercise, I didn’t like gyms either. I feel like whatever will get you moving and with the fewest impediments is best for you. It you’re going to walk outside, I’d recommend either walking on a track that’s measured or plotting a track with your car that is a certain number of miles, then make goals as to how long it will take you. I like working out at home so I purchased a treadmill and I use it 6 days a week. I also have an exercise bike for post-surgical knees. The treadmill folds up nicely in a corner of my livingroom. I now have added weights to my workout and that requires a gym but I’ve come to enjoy it, too!

        • If it makes you feel any better, I’ve read that weight loss (or management) is like 90% diet / 10% exercise. Or 80% diet / 10% exercise / 10% sleep. I just like to say that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Not saying you don’t need to work out, get fit, etc., but if you revamp your eating, you’ll be over your biggest hurdle and will have positioned yourself for the greatest success exercise-wise.

          Good luck! Keep us posted!

          • So so true. I do 60 minutes of cardio 6 days a week and weights 3 days a week and it doesn’t keep weight off if my diet slips. But I keep doing it because I feel so much better!

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Agree. And also, I’m always really annoyed when the gym gets super crowded in January and I can’t wait until all the resolution people stop coming in mid-February and it goes back to normal.

      Not meant as snark to all of you resolution folks, but it’s something I’ve observed year after year and the crowds get on my nerves.

      • Ahhh, totally agree on the crowded gym! There’s always at least one day in Jan where I show up for spin class and all of the bikes are suddenly full of new years resolution people.

    • I’m sort of with you on this one. I thought about what resolutions I might make, but realized I just want to focus on working toward my already-pretty-well-defined goals.

      Right now, that’s dropping 9 pounds and becoming a runner (which has sub-goals of working up to jogging 30 minutes without stopping to walk, then 3 miles, then 5 miles).

  23. Miss Zarves :

    Need advice here … I am returning home from extended family time tomorrow and have been looking forward to it, especially because it means I can pick up where I left off with the great guy I just started seeing.

    Naturally, then, I woke up with a cold sore this morning. ($#!@!) I’ve taken my medication for it (Denavir and, for the first time, Valtrex) but I don’t get the feeling it’s going to be gone by tomorrow, or whenever I see this guy next. So what do I do? Make up some reason why I can’t see him for a week? See him but explain, I have this gross thing on my face so please, don’t kiss me? I hate these damn things.

    • If you’ve just started seeing him, put off another date until it goes away. I once had a second or third date with a guy who very nicely told he about his coldsore in advance of the date, and the date was a total bust… The initial sexy attraction was tweaked in bad way. A couple of months in with him, when I would have known him and been attracted to him as a more complex person, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

    • Could you be honest about it, and tell him you have a cold sore? I’ve had 2 boyfriends in the past who have had occasional cold sores, even early on in both relationships. In both cases, they were up front about it and just very careful about not kissing me, not sharing drinks, etc. I didn’t mind it (it didn’t gross me out, cold sores are common, right?), and I was just careful too. I was actually grateful for their honesty, because as a result I never caught the virus.

  24. I want to start the Couch to 5k program so that I can run (or at least jog without walking at all) a 5k in May. Then I want to do a 10k in October–that might to too lofty, so maybe beat my May time and do another 5k in October. We’ll see.

    I also want to pay off all debt except my mortgage and student loans, which really isn’t that much, but needs to get done.

  25. CPA to be :

    Mine are to pass all four sections of the CPA exam by the end of the year, and to take better care of my appearance without feeling guilty about it.

    I’m starting off the second resolution by vowing to get haircuts every two months (and do it without sitting tensely in the chair thinking about how that money could be used for something better.) I have also started using Crest 3D whitening toothpaste, after reading good reviews about it.

    I used to make tons of difficult resolutions, but I found that if I picked one “hard” resolution and one “fun” resolution, I was more likely to succeed at accomplishing them.

    • Anonymous :

      A good, well-maintained haircut saves you plenty in time and unnecessary hair products! Totally worth the money for stress-free hair. Also, I think it’s the cheapest way to instantly look better. It’s cheaper than a new outfit!

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