Okay, 2017. Game on.

Here’s the reason I love sport so much: you get to see what people are made of when the chips are down. I think there’s even more to it: you get to see what people become when the chips are down, and by association, you get to see what’s possible when the chips are down.

So if the chips are down as you start 2017, this is the place to be.

Game on, 2017. We’re ready to end the year better than we started it, no matter what else is going on in the world. (Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I started a health transformation at a time that was pretty dark: the 2008 recession, right after I had purchased a home on my own. The bottom fell through the real estate market, there were no jobs to speak of for months, and so I was living off the income I’d made earlier that year working for Sports Illustrated at the Beijing Olympics. As the money dwindled, life got seriously scary.

This was the fall and winter of 2008. Long story short, that’s when I decided that since I had time on my hands, I was going to finally try to get my head around becoming healthy. Over the next several months, I found a weight-loss (really, a nutrition and lifestyle education program) that worked for me, followed it as best I could while giving myself a break on the days that didn’t go as well as planned, and kept going. That’s what worked: being the little engine that could.

Fast-forward nine years. I’m a married mom now—and today the struggle is entirely different. Now I’m carrying just a little bit of extra weight: 10 pounds, to be (more or less) exact. It’s the difference between looking just fine and being healthy from my doctor’s point of view…and being able to get back to running long-distance races, which is what I loved before having my baby but has become really hard to get back to, because I’m a very slow runner right now.

This is not about vanity, by the way.

This is not about having washboard abs (I’ve never had those) or fitting into size “impossible” jeans. It’s about health and happiness. I love to run, and I haven’t been able to be happy as a runner for two years now (I had to stop running during my pregnancy). So, what to make of this Every48 idea – the idea that you can achieve wonderful health and happiness by making a commitment to regular, decently intense exercise, at least one hour of “every 48” hours? I haven’t felt that kind of mojo in a long time—and that’s part of the reason why it’s taken so long to get back to blogging after baby.

Here’s the promise: We’re in this together.

I believe, with every fiber of my being, that we are capable of taking care of ourselves beautifully and brilliantly, no matter what else is going on in the world. It’s a scary world right now, and a lot of clear-headed, compassionate leaders are going to have to step forth to help solve the messes we’ve gotten ourselves into as a country. I would so love hearing that a new Congress had as its first priority funding parental leave, instead of defunding Medicaid, you know what I’m saying?

But here’s the deal: no matter how much or how little we have, no matter what else is going on, no matter who is President, no matter what is going on in the world beyond our sphere of influence, we can make decisions today, right now, that will help us take care of ourselves. Right now.

So, that’s 2017’s promise. Game on, no matter what.

Here’s where I’m at. I have a beautiful son and a body that still doesn’t obey my commands. I have a startup business that I want to catch fire in 2017. I’ve been “phoning in” my weight loss efforts for the last six months—in other words, I’ve been on a mental plateau, which has manifested itself into a physical plateau. And I want to be a Boston Marathon qualifier in 2017. That means getting back to business in a big way.

This year, you’ll find new Every48 posts twice a week: Mondays and Thursdays.

I’ll report on the latest health science and the studies that aren’t quite fully baked yet. I’ll let you know exactly what I’m doing to get off this mental plateau (getting back to writing the blog is one of those things, so thank you for reading!). And you might even find more information on getting into the game—or back into the game. You might find a recipe, or three, for healthy go-to meals that I’ve discovered and that my family loves. You’ll definitely find inspiration to move in whatever way you can, all backed by science. You’ll find the tools you need to end 2017 stronger and fitter than you started it. That’s my promise to you this year.

Welcome to the 2017 edition of Every48. Game on.

This week’s workouts: The big ‘un was finally getting outside in the cold for a 45-minute run. It was slow (more than two minutes slower than my pre-pregnancy easy pace) but it happened. And, it was actually a 49 minute and 30 second run, because I decided to run for a few extra minutes. So there. Now, get out there and get after it today! More from me on Monday – have a great weekend.

~ Nicole

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