Well, it’s now December.  The last month of 2017.  Holy crap, that went FAST!

Fast, unlike the trot of turkeys I did on Thanksgiving.

Let’s talk about what didn’t happen, because it’s kind of a LOT.

  • Swim at least twice.  (I swam ZERO yards.)
  • Ramp up running (at least as much as I had envisioned November 1st)
  • 8 Strength sessions (I think I did… two?)
  • Eating healthy food every day but Thanksgiving
  • Tracking my negative diet quality calories.  I did some days, but fell off after we started remodeling.
  • Finish the Carl Sagan book.  I’m at 70% – I’ve had to do this one in 10% chunks between my other books).
  • Finish 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I’m halfway through and could power through it in a night if I wanted, but I’m actually enjoying reading one section at a time and absorbing it.  So, I’ll try to finish it this week.
  • We did not make it to a comedy show.  So I really need to figure out what to do with my 7 pairs of tickets because that’s a lot to do in one month.

While usually I’d be bummed about admitting all this, not this month.  My body has appreciated the break from formal training and has enjoyed just generally being active a few hours a week.  My give-a-shit is at full capacity with the kitchen remodel and wrapping up work for the year.  Here’s what I have accomplished:

  • I wrote two chapters in my book.  Admittedly enough, I had two random days off, and those were the days I did it, but hey, small victories.  I am now at 8.5 chapters of 15 planned, so I’m over halfway!
  • We went camping and had a lot of fun at the tri series party.
  • I launched one major update at work and am a few days from a smaller one.
  • And, most importantly, we have finished like 95%  of our kitchen remodel.  Which is all the bullet points I need to feel good about what I’ve done or not done this month.  When I wrote my To Dos last month, I seemed really concentrated on the logistics, not realizing EVERYTHING that went into the actual doing.  I basically spent the second half of November painting things while everyone else did the harder stuff.

Holy crap, y’all, it’s a usable kitchen!!! …even if it needs paint and a backsplash and some other stuff…

I’m actually happy to have had the experience.  Would I do it again?  Yes and no.  Doing the cabinets ourselves mostly just took time and having done it once, I would be *ok* trying to do it again if we weren’t under a huge time pressure.  Paint and hardware, no problem.  However, our in-laws replaced all the drywall and did the electrical and the plumbing (changing where the sink and dishwasher were) and I would DEFINITELY not have taken that into our own hands.

I also do not regret paying people to do the counters.  Like, one bit.  They were 3 hours in, out, and on with their lives and apologized to me that it took so long.  No. freaking. problem.

So, while there’s still some minor cosmetic stuff to do, we’ve got a fully functioning kitchen and our house is relatively clean (and will be completely back to normal by the middle of this week).  That’s a huge relief.  I was pretty good about that through most of the process, but when we unpacked the last box yesterday, I felt so much more relaxed, much more than I realized.

So, December.  Last month of the year!  This month is about wrapping all that up and returning to a bit of relaxed normalcy in terms of training, eating, and life.

Let’s talk training. 

My cycling miles have gone from hundreds to tens.  Like last week, I think I literally biked 10 miles.

For sanity’s sake, the OFFICIAL schedule resumes mid-month because, reasons, but from now until then my goals are:

#1 – build up my run miles and start incorporating a little speed 1-2 times a week.  These can be little fartlek sections, track intervals, but I need to start seeing some 9s on my watch in small doses.

#2 – resume strength training – 2x week, even if it’s just a Oiselle dozen or 15 mins of pushups and random stuff, I need this habit back in my life.

Everything else will come later.  I miss the pool.  I miss playing bikes for hours on end.  I miss lifting heavy.  But right now I’ve got a bit of the run love back and I’m excited to nurture that!

Food/Scale

I give myself about a… B- for nutrition last month.  I am so glad I cooked up so much healthy food – we ate almost everything, minus one soup I’ve got thawing for tomorrow.  During the weekdays, we ate reasonably well when we were eating at work.  However, at home, on the weekends, we definitely reverted to pizza (twice) and italian sandwiches on french bread and some other super yummy but admittedly junk foods to keep everyone fed and without prep or cleanup.  I don’t regret it at all, but I remember one Saturday thinking that my intake for the day had been a kolache and four slices of pizza and a small salad.  Not my normal eating patterns for sure.

My official weight average this month is 184.1.  I weighed 24 times so it’s a pretty good average.  That’s -1.2 lbs down.  As frustrating as this slow going progress is, it’s still progress.  And I know because this morning, when I weighed 184.7, I was like, ack, that’s up a bit.  Last month this time I would have been stoked.  I’m really hoping I can see a 170-something number this month, if I made it through Thanksgiving and a remodel with a weight loss, surely I can make it through December with the scale continuing to be my friend, right?

So, I’m making the same goals this month as last month.

  • I will track all negative diet quality foods for this month starting today.
  • Exceptions: vacation, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve.  Vacation, I’ll be diving too much to gain weight, and I’ll allow myself those other days to celebrate and not worry about calories or the quality of my food.  Every other day is normal healthy eating because these are the holi-DAYS, not holi-MONTHS.

Life!

Hoping to get back to more of this in December!

December is a good month progress here because I’m off work for most of it so I can actually do stuff but also have time to relax.  Last year I powered through a lot of my triathlon coach training.  This year, I hope to make a bunch of progress on my book in a similar fashion.

I have 7.5 chapters left.  I would like to knock out at least FOUR of them.  I have five days off while Zliten is at work, and I’m giving myself one of those days where I just can’t even and not making any progress between Christmas and New Years.  If I can get more, great.  The overall goal: it would be a nice birthday present to finish the first draft by next March.

Finish all the little kitchen things and get my house back to it’s normal organized chaos.  What’s left:

  • Bolster kick plate on the peninsula so we don’t need extra tile
  • Fix tile spots
  • Backsplash
  • Touch up cabinets
  • Paint walls

I have a little bit of organizing I’d like to do with the spice rack and pantry but that’s all future goals.

Write a personal mission statement.  In reading 7 Habits of Effective People, I see a lot of things I do well and a lot of things I could do better.  Establishing a core set of principles in an easily distilled statement I can refer to when I’m making decisions in all aspects of life sounds like a good idea.  While my husband kindly brought up that I sort of do that on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis, I feel like crystallizing words around who I aim to be is a good exercise.  Of course, this also includes coming up with 2018’s map and plan like normal.

We get to go back to one of my favorite places in the world!!!

Figure out how to travel lightly.  For this vacation, we purchased BCDs and regulators for diving (they cost only double the gear rental fee for just that week and we’ll never have to rent again).  However, that means our scuba gear now takes up most of two large suitcases and the camera equipment takes a small one.  We are going to have to travel REALLY sparsely otherwise.  Good thing four swimsuits, two pairs of shorts, a few t-shirts, two pairs of sandals, and a cover up doesn’t take much room (but I need to limit it to pretty much that).

Take my annual facebook/twitter break.  It was mentally necessary last year.  This year, I’ve found some awesome groups to be a part of, so these sites don’t stress me out as much as they did last year this time with all the political BS, but I still .  It will get logged out on my phone the day I leave for vacation and I’ll limit myself to it when I’m in front of my actual desktop for a while.

Play some GAMES!  This is usually the month I actually get a chance to lose myself in some video games and I really am looking forward to it!

Catch up on my reading.  Finish Carl Sagan, The 7 Habits, and choose at least two more – probably the 4 hour work week and Bedtime Stories for Triathletes, but I also just bought two running books that probably would make sense to read while I’m training for a half marathon, not to mention some new fiction I’m looking forward to… ah, the life of a hangry bookworm.

I’m looking forward to enjoying another month of THIS beauty we put up yesterday…

Relax.  I have 24 days off work starting at 6-ish PM on Friday.  While I’ve made it through a little less haggard than I have in some previous years, I definitely need some time to recharge and become a patient, pleasant, and kind human being again.

Happy December, everyone.  What’s up in your neck of the woods?  Fun holiday plans?  Heading to a tropical destination? Netflix and PJs? Becoming a ski instructor for the winter?

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