… and just like that, we are a quarter complete with 2019. It seems crazy to me that April is already here, but what a year it has already been! G and I are actively working on the outside of our house now that the weather has broken, Copper is continuing to grow in size and in our hearts (best puppy award), and I finally have answers to my medical issues. It took various rounds of doctors’ appointments and blood work to figure things out, but I have a diagnosis. And thus, a game plan. By making small changes over the past few weeks, I am already beginning to feel like myself again. My brain fog has lifted, my joints no longer ache, I am losing weight, and my energy is returning. All in all, my spirits are rising.
Which means I have need to set some goals for the upcoming month in order to keep feeling better and better. I have set two SMART goals for April (and the remainder of 2019) to spur on my health progress and I would love to share them with you in order to hold myself accountable. So without further ado, my April goals:
After discussing my symptoms over the past four-to-five months with my general practitioner, we have come to the conclusion that I have IBS. As I am not ready to do a full-blown colonoscopy, this diagnosis is not 100% positive, but the various tests I’ve gone through have weeded out more intensive and far scarier diagnoses. As all factors point to IBS, I have chosen to live my life acting as though this has been 100% proven. I am now doing a lot of research on how to strive and thrive with IBS. Finding relief has a lot to do with determining my trigger foods. So my first goal is related to my eating habits:
Goal #1: I will eat a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian diet two days a week for the month of April.
In March, I decided to eat vegetarian meals every Monday and Thursday. I found my body reacting very positively following these days and am opting to continue the practice into the new month, but with a new twist: gluten and dairy free meals as well.
I have been keeping a food journal through March and it seems that my body tends to flare up when I consume large quantities of dairy products and grains. For a girl who loves a bowl of mac’n’cheese beside her seasonal Oberon, this was a depressing find. I would rather feel good internally though than keep up with my craft beer and creamy delicacies.
I will be cutting all dairy and gluten products from my diet twice a week. This option allows me flexibility and realistic results — if I were to try to cut dairy and gluten from my diet completely for the entire month, I know I would fail. So this is the smarter goal.
Apart from eating, finding activity in my day-to-day life is extremely important as well. So my second goal is focused on exercise:
Goal #2: I will spend at least 30 minutes at the gym with 106HR or higher at least four days a week.
My energy has been returning over the past few weeks. Whether it be due to the end of winter blues or my body rebalancing, I’m ecstatic to feel the need to get up and do things again. I have returned to the gym and working out in the mornings. Throughout March, I completed 4-5 days a week at the gym, and I want to keep that goal for April. So my goal is to hit the fat-burning heart rate for at least 30 minutes at least 4 days a week.
In addition, I have hopes to grow my daily step-count. Copper and I have enjoyed walking around our neighborhood in the evening and I have an accountability partner in him to keep my step count rising. If his puppy-eyes can’t force me to get my sneakers on at night, then nothing can!
I also plan to utilize this 30 Day Fitness Challenge I created for April. It is a simple progression of push ups, squats, deadlifts, crunches, and planks to go along with my weight lifting schedule each day. Plus there is a running/walking interval schedule which will cover at least 30 minutes of cardio at the gym. This will be the perfect way to start my mornings and build my endurance!
Does anyone else LOVE that this month begins on a Monday? My Type-A personality was all kinds of hyped with this knowledge. Just another reason to make my heart happy as I strut into the new month.
Have you set any goals for April? I would love to hear yours and cheer you on throughout the month! Please comment below so we can hold one another accountable — April is going to be a wonderful month. 🙂