Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Progressive Planner: Health Goals

This is maybe one of my most disappointing sections.  Despite having less sections than financial, it's probably the area I need to most focus on.  So today's post will be incredibly lengthy.  I apologize for that.  However, it's packed full of great information on calculating your target weight, exercise and diet challenges, example goals for weight loss and more!

With that being said, let's dive into my 2014 health goals!

Weight Loss

According to this calculator, my BMI is likely 30.9, which is, sadly, obese.  I'd like to officially hit a healthy BMI of 24.9 by the end of the year.  That's 145 pounds for my height.  I'm currently (ugh) 180 lbs.

By June 13th, I will have 201 days to lose 35 pounds.  This means I'll need to burn about 610 calories a day between diet and exercise.  I'd like to split that 610 even between diet and exercise, making 305 for each.

If you want to see detailing of my math for how I'm calculating my daily burn, click here!

Between my height, weight, lifestyle and metabolism, I likely burn 1750 calories a day.  Pooh!  So, if I want to see that 305 calorie deficit, I will need to consume 1445 calories a day.
How will I be tracking my calorie consumption?  With MyFitnessPal.com!

That leaves me with a 305 calorie workout session. I will be choosing between running, Les Mills Combat, TurboFire or my list of daily exercises to burn those calories.  It'll likely take me about 30 minutes a day.
How will I be tracking my calorie burn? With my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor!

As crazy as it sounds, this is doable!  Of course, as I increase my muscle and metabolism, I will burn more calories per day, so this could go much faster.  It could also end up going slower if I hit a wall.  While weight loss is mostly just a math game, plateaus do happen.  I will deal with how to break the plateau if I hit one.

So that's the official plan.  609 calories a day.  Just drilling away at it, right?  Wrong.  Losing weight requires a changing the lifestyle I've been on since I started gaining weight in late August 2013.  As with last year, I want to create small, positive goals and healthy challenges to lose those five pounds-ish a month.  Here's the chart I came up with:

Links to each 30 Day Challenge

I also want to revamp my wardrobe once the weight is lost. This has been a continual goal I've had since I started my weight loss journey.  I usually have a scale for each five pounds since losing weight becomes harder the smaller you are.  I'm giving myself significantly more money this year to make the wardrobe more appealing.  Plus, I mean, $275 is practically endless money at thrift stores.   Who knows, maybe I'll even actually purchase some new clothes too!

In addition to the final reward of a new wardrobe, I need small rewards along the way to make the weight loss worthwhile.

On top of getting money for every pound loss towards a wardrobe and getting a personal reward every five pounds, I'm also making a memento of my weight loss journey with a charm bracelet!  I'm going to create it at my first milestone goal, then add a charm to it each milestone until completion.  I want one charm per every five pounds lost.  Because I technically started at 192 in 2011, by 177, I'll have lost 15 pounds total and will need to start with three charms.  I'm hoping that the bracelet will reflect more than just who I am, but my weight loss journey in detail.  Here's some ideas I have for charms and their meanings:

The numbers 1, 4 and 5 representing my end goal.
Butterfly: Overcoming Hypothyroidism as the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly.
Leaf: The salads I need to eat to get to my final weight.
Moon: Finally achieving eight hours of sleep every night.
Fruit: For achieving my fruit goal.
Shoe: My love of running.
Key: I've always viewed a key as representing myself.  The phrase "When one door closes, another one opens" rarely applies to me.  The universe rarely opens the door; I typically have to open it myself.

These are just some examples.  I'm not 100% sure I want to go with all of these.  And I'm very open for suggestions!

Phew! That's a lot of time spent on weight.  I can definitely say that losing weight is one of my biggest goals.  Because of just how involved it is, I'm going to break this goal up into three major goals:

A smaller, doable accomplishment.

A harder but still doable accomplishment.  Still not the end goal.

Still requires me to get to 145, but measures it in a way that doesn't fixate on my weight specifically.

So what about my other weight loss goals?

Level TSH

While my test March indicated my thyroid was level, my most recent test came back at 10 (your TSH levels should fall somewhere between .3 and 3).  This year, I'd like to hit optimum TSH levels and get my thyroid thing officially behind me.

Just what is TSH?  The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is produced by your pituitary gland that regulates your thyroid gland's productivity.  High TSH levels indicate that your thyroid isn't processing TSH properly.  An underfunctioning thyroid can cause all sorts of issues for you, including weight gain, hair loss, cold sensitivity, dry skin, lethargy and chronic fatigue, brain fog and more.  It's a mess!

I've already taken a bit step towards getting my thyroid level.  I think the generic version of my medication, levothyroxine, wasn't working properly.  The last month that I took it, it would dissolve in my mouth before I could even get a sip of water.  Despite costing ten times more than levothyroxine ($40 versus $4), I switched to the brand name, Synthroid, as per suggestion of one of my friends with the same illness.  I've been on Synthroid for a few weeks now and not once has a pill dissolved before I could get a sip of water.  Nor has it dissolved after getting the drink.  It's been fantastic.  I do feel much better too.  Because my thyroid suddenly fluctuated, they're wanting to test me every six weeks instead of every three months.  I'm interested to see how my test results will come back in July.

Become a Happier Person

I have Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome.  Many of my symptoms flare up during times of intense stress, anxiety and frustration (my Scleritis while we were moving, my psoriasis flaring at every single stress point in. My. Life. Ever., etc).  If I want to help my immune issues, I absolutely have to boost my happiness.  On the bright side, a lot of my goals this year are scientifically proven to improve anxiety, depression and general unhappiness!  This includes exercising, as mentioned above.  However, for each month, I want to focus on a specific goal, whether it's part of my overall plan or not, that will make me happier.  This table outlines that:

In addition to these goals, the Life and Goal Organizer I purchased has several worksheets on happiness.  Seventeen of them to be exact.  If I want to make it through all of them in the next six months, I'll want to do about three worksheets a month.  I'll leave it up to my personal decision on which worksheets I tackle instead of scheduling it out, but three is a definite goal.

So let's take a look at my 2014 health goals on the primary chart:

And here's my check-in template for this section!

HEALTH - 0% Complete
Happier Person Technique – 0/X Days – 0% complete.
Life & Goal Organizer Happiness Worksheets. – 0/3 Worksheets – 0% complete.
Burn [305xDays] Calories. – 0/[305xDays] calories – 0% complete.
Consume 1445 Calories or Less. – 0/X Days – 0% complete.
Lose X pounds. – 0/X pounds – 0% complete.
Weight Loss Reward. – Done | Not Done – 0% complete.
TSH Test [When Applicable]. – Done | Not Done – 0% complete.

Some notes:  None.

Next time:
My 2014 Home Goals.

Question for my readers:
What are your 2014 health goals?


  1. Good luck on your fitness journey ! I'm also doing a hybrid of two Beachbody programs : Turbofire and Brazil Butt Lift. I really love Chalene's energy :) and I'm feeling so much better since I workout 6x/week. Its sometimes hard to push play and do the workout, but the benefits are worth it. I feel less stressed and sleep way better (I was having severe episode of night terrors and sleep-walking when I was unfit).

    1. TurboFire is amazing! Chalene is crazy excitable and never breathless. I envy her! Brazil Butt Lift may make me want to kick puppies though. My balance is completely off-center, so my feet are usually killing me afterward. But it's something I should probably do. Maybe next year?

  2. OMG I love the way you think and work things out. I am totally inspired. I have been floundering lately and you have just inspired me to get it together and make an actual plan!! Thank you and good luck with your plan, it sounds fantastic

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad these posts are coming off as useful more than an overload of lists, tables and personal plans. I don't want to overwhelm everyone! But if I can inspire someone or motivate someone, then posting them up here has been worthwhile!

  3. I've been on levothyroxine for years and never had issues with pills dissolving. Very weird. Good luck on your journey!

    1. It's been a constant issue for me between two different pharmacies. Charli hasn't had the issue either, but we think the cause might be that my dosage is so high. So far, none of the Synthroid pills have dissolved, even when I've inadvertently carried a conversation with the pill in my mouth. Bonus!