Goals and predictions for the new year.

January 3, 2008

Yesterday I was reading a blog article on the New York Times website, in which life coach Michael Melcher gives some advice about taking stock at the end of the year. The blog is actually on “Shifting Careers,” but I thought Melcher’s advice was pretty good in general. He suggests that you make a list of all the events, big and small, that took place in your life, and then try to figure out which events on the list are most important to you, and why. This will give you a sense of your priorities for the year ahead. He asks:

– What’s surprising about your list?
– What’s predictable about your list?
– Based on this list, what’s important to you?
– Based on this list, what’s not really that important to you?
– In the past year, what are some ways that you’ve grown personally? Professionally?
– In the coming year, what are some ways you’d like to grow personally? Professionally?

So I came up with a lot of text in response to these questions, and I’m getting closer to a list of goals for 2008. I have one or two clear goals in mind for my professional life, but I’m not sure about my personal goals, especially with respect to weight, and fertility.

Regarding weight, this morning I woke up and weighed myself, only to find that my weight had FINALLY broken a long-time barrier — after weeks of seesawing up and down in a 3 pound range, but never getting lower than 163.5, I am now down to 163, a 35 pound total loss. Yay!

Of course, as soon as I got this news, I proceeded to nibble and snack my way through about 1000 calories. I ate a tangerine (35 cal), an ounce of pepper jack cheese (110 cal), two slices of deli ham (80 cal), two slices of smoked turkey (50 cal), a teaspoon of mustard (5 cal), a little over a half an ounce of my favorite blue cheese, Roquefort (75 cal), sixteen Trader Joe’s multigrain crackers (165 cal), a tablespoon of salted butter, on the crackers (100 cal), two balls of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough (280 cal), and a glass of 1% milk (110 cal). Self-sabotage much?

And I think that I do have some ambivalence about losing more weight. Last night, when I was writing out my analysis of my 2007 weight loss and my thoughts on losing more weight in 2008, I could literally hear/feel an inner voice protesting against the idea of losing more weight. Not against continuing to eat mindfully and exercise regularly, but specifically against setting the goal of losing another 10 to 12 pounds, which would put me at my elusive “goal weight,” as well as into the “normal” range on BMI measurements.

I’m not sure where this voice is coming from–am I actually afraid to get thinner, maybe afraid for my health or for my sanity? Maybe I am simply tired of the constant vigilance that losing more weight would take. After nearly six months of careful record keeping, I know the calories of most foods so well that I can keep a running tally in my head. Maybe my inner voice wants me to take a break from all of that and just focus on staying where I am and staying healthy. I’ve always been just a little bigger than my friends, my whole life–is it possible that a BMI of around 26 or 27 (currently my BMI is 26.7) is actually “normal” for me? Dieting down another 11 pounds to get my BMI to 24.9, which is the highest end of “normal” according to the charts, doesn’t necessarily seem worth it.

But I also have a vague intuition that this year may be my year to get pregnant, and that losing more weight will work at cross-purposes to that goal. I do feel very good in my skin right now. When I look in the mirror, I see a healthy, strong woman, healthier and stronger, even, than she was ten years ago, with a trim waist and a full bust and full hips and thighs. A woman who looks killer in a pencil skirt and white shirt and pumps, if she does say so herself, a woman whom no one would call “fat.” And I don’t know if I need to try to become a woman whom someone would call “thin.”

Especially since getting thinner may or may not have any real health benefits at this point. And might even make it harder to get pregnant.

Of course, just to add to the ambivalence, I’m not completely sure that getting pregnant is at the top of my goal list for 2008 either. I mean, it’s obviously on the list, but I feel much more urgent about my professional goals right now. Maybe this is because I actually deeply believe that I’m going to end up pregnant this year sometime anyway, even if I don’t set it as a “goal,” and I really want to get some professional ducks in a row before devoting a big part of my brain and energy to handling pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for our new baby, whenever s/he arrives. As I said above, I do have a vague intuition about all of this. Nothing specific enough to make a prediction, but just a sense that things may change dramatically for us this year, in a good way.

To quote my favorite presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, “I think 2008 is going to be a good year. That’s what I think. I think some big things might happen in 2008.” Barack, for this country and for all of us out here in the infertility blogosphere, I sure do hope you’re right.

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