“I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions, “Dry January”, “New Year New You” or other such arbitrary means for betterment. But the fact is, I entered this year feeling not exactly my best self. Granted, I’ve felt worse on New Year’s Day. At least this year I well-rested and didn’t have a hangover (because I didn’t go out the night before, for various reasons). But my sobriety only made it all the more clear that the only trousers that fit comfortably at the moment are leggings.
I know: don’t panic. A little bloat is expected after a 10-day trip to France, and bonus: I know that a great solution to the over-indulgence blues is a juice feast. But I know from experience that this “quick fix” doesn’t mean much if there isn’t some forward planning to go with it. A little more on that later. In the midst of all my thinking and scheming, my friend and fellow smoothie addict Jacqueline Meldrum set out a challenge called Jumpstart 2015, the rules being as follows:
- A freshly made smoothie or juice (made of mostly veg) for breakfast and lunch
- Drink more water
- No alcohol (Jac asserts that this is optional but I reckon that for many of us it’s the key to feeling awesome)
- Eat more soups
- Normal meal in the evening
This is pretty close to my own plan for the coming weeks so I thought I’d overcome my cynicism and, in the spirit of camaraderie and support, join Jac and fellow bloggers in this challenge. (BTW, Jac notes that she isn’t medically trained and the challenge is based on common sense, but it’s worth noting that her challenge is pretty much on par with the Clean program, designed by an M.D., and which I can say from experience is pretty solid!)
3-Day Juice Feast
As mentioned, I’m beginning with a 3-day juice feast to bump start my jumpstart (not that kind of bump start). I am essentially following Jason Vale’s 3 Day Juice Program (you can find the program with recipes in full on The Fresh Network Blog). I found it very therapeutic to take some time to scrub my kitchen, and my appliances, and set up a little home juice bar in my kitchen. (In case you’re wondering, my tools of the trade are the Froothie Optimum 9400 blender and Optimum 600 slow juicer.)
Following this, I plan to follow the challenge pretty much to the letter, with some fitness goals thrown in:
- Monday – Friday: Cardio training in the morning – either Swim or Cycle
- Monday – Friday: CrossFit in the afternoon
- A walk every day
- Some kind of long walk or bike ride on the weekends
Some of my training may necessitate some solid food mid-afternoon (or mid-ride / mid-hike!) but in general the plan is to eat and drink super clean. And embrace soups!
Goals: What This is All About
This year I want to take on some big fitness challenges. Things that come to mind:
- The Omm
- The Pennine Way
- The Pembrokshire Coast Path
- Cycle tour in France
- Multi-day wild camping adventures
I’m NOTE going to do all of these but if I did even one I’d be pretty stoked.
And I can’t deny that some of this is aesthetic. I want to comfortably fit into my trousers! I want to like what I see when people take pictures of me!
What worked in 2014?
But in writing all this, I think it’s important to remember my successes and what worked in 2014.
- CrossFit – I am definitely way stronger than I was at the start of the year and I’ve met some amazingly supportive people as a result
- Swimming / Spinning in the mornings – I just feel better when I bump start the day with some exercise, preferably cardiovascular
- Juicing / Smoothies
- Walking every day
- How water with lemon
- My solstice friends
- Social activities that are active, either physically or mentally (i.e. not purely focused on food and booze, not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
So all of that is part of my strategy for the coming months. Then…
Why didn’t all of that work in 2014?
I’m pretty sure that my big downfall is drinking. Drinking means I eat more, I sleep less and I perform poorly (or at least at a sub-standard level) at all physical activities. I know I’m not alone on this one. I am very grateful that I know so many awesome people, and that the opportunities to socialize keep increasing! But it’s up to me to recognize that not ALL social occasions necessitate drinking lots of booze and having a cheese board.
I’ve recognized in myself that I’m a person of extremes: 85% of the time I’m an uber healthy, super clean-eating superstar. The rest of the time I’m the person obsessed with making cocktails, tasting all of the wines and making dutch babies, no matter how full we are after dinner. It’s a dilemma, because I actually LIKE that I go all out in the things I do. I just can’t do that all the time. And that goes for the uber healthy stuff, too, because I’ve been there and I was a total bore to be around.
For most of us doing Jumpstart January, or any other kind of New Year reboot deal, it’s all about changing our physical selves. But the problem is totally mental. But that’s ESPECIALLY why doing something like this is important: it takes clarity of mind to figure out how to overcome life’s challenges. And that’s what I love about Juice Feast: it gives me that clarity, and seemingly boundless energy, to plow through what’s bothering me and get to the heart of the problem and hatch a solution.
I finish with a quote from a friend that I keep coming back to for inspiration, especially when I find myself dwelling on past mistakes: “Nothing to fear. The reality will be what it is.”
Also, from Wheel of the Year: “These old parts of ourselves we banish now / what’s past is past / we look to the new.”
And finally, this song.
Be sure to visit these rad peeps who are also taking part: