The Five Pound Challenge Continues– & Other Resolutions

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Actually, the five pound challenge is not really new, but an ongoing challenge. You can find it at: http://tinyurl.com/5poundchallenge

Last summer a group of friends and I made a commitment and contest to lose five pounds in a month. I always figure when you make goals or resolutions, they need to be attainable, so we’ve stuck with the five-pounds-at-a-time theory. We all lost the first five and then made a commitment for another five. I was just a pound or two short of the second goal when Hunter had his motorcycle accident. Little did I know when I started the challenge that I would have the stress of my life to help me out. I am the opposite of a stress eater—I can’t eat at all when I am stressed. So I managed to lose the second five pounds easily, until Hunter came home from the hospital and I was cooking 6 high-fat, high-calorie meals a day for him and I gained it back.

Between that and the holidays, I’ve managed to keep the first five pounds off and have now renewed my vow to get that second five pounds gone again. I have a feeling this will be a constant battle, hence, my second resolution.

I resolve to work out more, with a focus on exercising my upper body. After a couple years of running three miles a day, my legs are in great shape (a major benefit for skiing) but my upper body looks more closely resembles the Pillsbury dough boy. Since it’s been too cold to run outside and the treadmill has become painfully boring, I have been working out daily to a dancer’s video that includes an upper body workout using a resistance band. I really like dancing so this video workout is a lot of fun and I am already seeing the results.

My third resolution has nothing to do with fitness and weight. I resolve to quit multi-tasking. That sounds like it should be a simple resolution to keep, but it’s not. I have found that multi-tasking is not always a useful activity. For instance, I am frequently guilty of talking on the phone and checking my email at the same time. But I find that neither is done well and eventually I wind up realizing I have no idea what the person on the phone just said to me when he/she is obviously waiting for a response. Another bad example of multi-tasking, which I can honestly admit I have never been guilty of but have seen it a lot (and is a major pet-peeve of mine) is a riding instructor talking on the phone while they are giving a riding lesson. Although there may be some appropriate times for multi-tasking, that’s a really bad example. Have you ever found yourself multitasking inappropriately?

One of my husband’s least favorite forms of multi-tasking is when a person sends text messages while conversing with someone else or when they listen to an ipod while in the company of someone else. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.

Now that I have focused my attention on multi-tasking, I realize how often I do it—in fact I am doing it right now while I write this blog and stop to put a load of laundry in the dryer. So my true resolution this year is to be more aware of when I am multi-tasking, when it is beneficial and when it is not really the best use of my time. I find that by limiting my multi-tasking compulsions, I actually get more things done better.

So I welcome this new year and new decade and I resolve to lose a few pounds, get my upper body in better shape and have a more singular focus in life. What’s your new year have in store for you?