Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 Resolutions in Review

This is the first time I've ever seriously attempted to make and keep New Years resolutions. Before I think about 2010, I should review 2009.
  • You all know about Book Challenge 2009: to finish more books than I acquire. I not only succeeded, but I also achieved a secondary goal of finishing at least 100 books in 2009. I haven't kept track before, but I'm sure that's more reading than I've ever done before. It was also a challenge to review every book on this blog. Acquiring only 96 books is a real achievement for me, too; I bought at least 200 in 2008. Of course, since I only came out ahead by five books, this effort has done little to reduce the clutter in our home, but at least I feel like I didn't make it worse in 2009.

  • Another resolution I made was to eat at least one salad every seven days. It sounds lame, but if you knew how badly I eat, you'd have to acknowledge that it is a big improvement. I probably ate less than five salads in 2008, but in 2009 I managed to eat 53. While I didn't strictly adhere to the "every seven days" regime, at least my average was better than once a week.

  • In May 2008, I started weight training regularly again, so I made several resolutions for 2009 based on training goals. My first objective was to deadlift my body weight, which I achieved in March. My next goal was to deadlift my entire weight set, which, to be honest, isn't a whole lot more than my body weight anyway. Although I managed to pull 300 lbs. from the floor in May, I repeatedly failed to lift 305. Since the entire weight set is 310 lbs., I didn't quite make it (I identified grip strength as my weak point in this exercise). Then I changed my workout program for summer and never got back into deadlifting. Another resolution was to do 20 push-ups in a set, which I did several times. I'm sure that sounds like nothing to you skinny bastards out there, but at my weight that's like doing 20 reps of a 180 lb. bench press. My final resolution was to commit to more frequent workouts, but I reconsidered that one. Increasing frequency can be counterproductive because the time between workouts is when muscles grow, and I had found a workout interval that worked well for me. But then I stopped lifting regularly in September, so I'll mark that one as a failure.

  • Almost as an afterthought, I made a resolution to lose 25 lbs., which would be fairly modest given my immense mass. My weight never varied more than five or six lbs. throughout the year. I never made much of an effort to eat less or exercise more, so I can't say I'm surprised or even particularly disappointed by this failure.
All in all, I guess I didn't do too badly. I succeeded at the resolutions where I made the greatest effort and commitment. Throwing away my gains from weight training by blowing it off for the last few months of the year was a big mistake, though. Why did I stop lifting when I was making progress and enjoying it? Who the Hell knows?

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