Sunday, January 13, 2013

Belated Happy New Year!

A belated Happy New year to all of you! Like many of you, a new year is an occasion to take stock on my journey to better health.

Last year I focused on three overall targets including downsizing and distance. While I did not hit my downsizing target of being out of the obese category, I did lose a few pounds (down to 171) and maintained my overall 44-pound weight loss for the year. I did pass my distance goal in cycling of 1850 miles by 767 miles for a total of 2567 miles with an average of 49 miles per week. I rode 62 miles in the Tour de Cure and 67 miles in the Venus de Miles.

I learned how to train for events that are physically taxing and how to eat to fuel long training rides. I completed the first phase of the Live Well Fitness program at a local hospital where I learned about my own basal metabolism rate and learned exercises to strengthen my core. With this program’s guidance I lost 2.2% of my body fat or 3.6 pounds of fat and increased my lean muscle mass by 4.4 pounds.

I have more stamina and strength than I did a year ago. This was very noticeable on our recent trip to the Netherlands (upcoming post) to see family and to scout out venues and sights for a January 2014 trip with students. All of that scouting involved a great deal of walking (several kilometers a day) and two long bike rides (totally 40 miles). I never felt that folks were waiting for me to catch up. Indeed I felt terrific getting all that exercise in while we scouted out museums, landmarks, and engineering projects that will be part of our trip next year.

Now for my goals for 2013:
Weight loss: My target this year is a 16-pound loss. I have just a little under 4 months until I begin my serious training for my first big charity ride on June 1, 2013. My plan is to focus hard on good eating and regular exercise during the pre-training months and hopefully come close to that 16-pound mark. I know from last year that once I start hard training it will be almost impossible for me to lose any more weight.

Cycling: Distance: I would like to increase my overall cycling miles to 3000 this year. Speed: I would like to increase my cycling speed to 15mph on average. Time: Finally, I am targeting less than 5 hours for both the 62 and 67-mile events. 

Balance: I finally discovered balance between my professional work/activities and personal life during my sabbatical of 2011. I maintained that balance during 2012 once I returned to my academic position at the college where I teach. For some one who truly enjoys the intense work that I do, that is no small feat. 2013 includes a number of professionally significant events, including an upcoming accreditation of our teacher education program, submission of more papers for publication and co-editing a book within my field of inclusive STEM education. With those activities/events on the horizon, I need to be more diligent than ever to maintain balance so that I can keep up my healthy life style. Life is far more than just work no matter how much I enjoy what I do. 

Now it is my turn to check in with all of you and find out what your own plans are for 2013!  Stay strong and TTFN,


  1. WOW!!! Now those are some awesome goals. You know what, I know that you can and will do them. Good luck Michele. I have the utmost faith in you.
    Take care my friend.

  2. It looks like you have a fantastic 2013 planned, personally and professionally! You certainly are in the hot field in education. My major focus is on avoiding high sodium foods, which of course are usually high in other things we should avoid.

  3. You have come such a long way, Michele, and your goals for this year are excellent! I will continue to read your blog, because you are wise and very genuine. My best to you, and I'm hoping that we can meet up sometime in 2013.