8 Things I Want to Try in 2018

Ray Beam Ray Ramblings, Ray's Utility Belt, Trail to Trifecta 2018 41 Comments

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions.  How many times did you resolve to lose a certain amount of weight or go to the gym a certain number of times per week? If you’re like me, then probably almost every year. And if you’re like me… you probably stopped by February every single time.

There’s a lot of hype around New Year’s as a time to start over — “New Year, New You!” and all that jazz. In the end, 2018 is going to be a series of days, just like 2017 was. If you want to start some new goals, download my goal-setting worksheet for a 28-day jump start.

1. IIFYM – Flexible Dieting

I’ve done keto for more than a year, and while I enjoy it, I’m ready to try something new. My philosophy when it comes to weight loss, muscle gain, and fitness, in general, is to do what works for you, and part of that is trying out different styles of eating.

According to the IIFYM website:

IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”

IIFYM is the easiest and most sustainable diet plan there is.

Unlike restrictive diet plans that require that you eat boring food, our weight loss program encourages you to eat the foods you love.
As a result IIFYM can help you restore a healthy relationship with food.

The best part is that our weight loss plan works 100% the time for 100% of the people that follow it. We guarantee it!

Sounds like a big promise, but it’s entirely based on energy balance (calories in vs calories out) and that’s the only thing I trust when it comes to fat loss. Flexible dieting does not restrict any foods, but sets up macronutrient targets (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) to facilitate fat loss (or muscle gain, depending on your goals.)
I’ve lost most of the weight I intended to lose (ngl, I have some more vanity pounds to shed) but I want to switch my focus more towards recomposition, strength, and performance and this seems to be along those lines.

2. DXA Scan

Speaking of recomposition, I want to get the best analysis of my current body composition. So, this is in line with item number 1.
I don’t know why New York City has such a dearth of places to actually get your body fat percentage tested — and DXA scans are pretty much the most reliable way to do it. According to DexaFit‘s website:

DEXA means dual-energy absorptiometry. It is the gold standard for measuring body composition and bone health. It’s the preferred method trusted by medicine, research, and sports labs around the world.

A DexaFit DEXA (DXA) scan is a simple and easy 10-minute test that measures your total body fat and includes the exact breakdown of bone mass, fat tissue, and muscle in your body.

Your results are not an estimate. They’re the most precise and reliable body fat test available today.

DexaFit is opening a branch on Long Island, so while it’s a bit of a schlep for me, I’m making it a point to get out there.
While the scale is good for tracking trends, it’s not going to give you the complete picture of your health. I’ll make sure to write up a complete review when I go!

3. Living on my own

For six years I’ve lived in the same apartment with the same roommate. We argue like an old married couple because at this point we basically are. Our place has the whole “first apartment out of college” aesthetic going on because… well… it is. I’ve never actually figured out how to take it and make it something more.

I have to be honest, this is intimidating! I’ve never lived on my own before, but I want to see if I can do it and what it will be like to live my day to day life completely on my own terms.

So this year, I’m going to get a clean slate, and this time my only roommate is going to have four paws with very sharp claws.
I’m getting my own place, and I really want to work to make it mine. A Ray Cave, if you will. Believe me, having a good setup for home workouts is going to be a huge factor in choosing a place!

4. Visit a Fitness Studio in another country

My brother has been finishing up his senior year of college abroad at Trinity. My fam has been planning a trip across the pond to visit him in the spring around the time he finishes his finals. Staying overnight in a castle, visiting the Ring of Kerry and Newgrange, and drinking some legit Guinness are all on the itinerary.

I’m adding one for myself — I want to try a fitness studio in Dublin!

I’ve been trying to do more exercise while traveling. I hit up a Bikram studio in Chicago once and meant to drop by a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school on Kauai this past year but my torn ACL got in the way. I hope to get some serious adventuring in!

5. A Cosplay That Shows off Some Skin

Cosplay has been an on-and-off again hobby since I was a teenager. I’ve never really been big on showing off my body, mostly because I’ve never really felt there was anything to show off. My cosplay history has been primarily zentai-suit based. Not bashing zentai costumes at all, I’m a huge fan. It’s like walking around all day getting a hug!

The most skin I’ve shown in a cosplay was my Starbuck in Unfinished Business boxing outfit I wore to Dragon*Con in 2011.

But cosplay is about being someone other than you, someone you aspire to be. So, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone a bit, and aiming to do an old-school Ms. Marvel-era Carol Danvers cosplay.

6. Spartan Trifecta

You had to have seen this one coming. *stares at the Trail to Trifecta category above* I’ve done four Spartan Sprints so far (two at CitiField, one at Tuxedo Ridge, and another at Citizen’s Bank Park.) I had really hoped to complete the trifecta in 2017, but my torn ACL took me out of the running. I’m in better shape now than I have been during any of my previous Spartans, so this seems like the perfect time to tackle this challenge.

Make sure to sign up for our mailing list to get updates on Trail to Trifecta!

Also, you can save $10 off a Reebok Spartan Race using the code SPEAR10.

7. Hosting a Podcast

I’ll be adding a category on the menu above, but I’m launching a limited-series podcast Countdown to Infinity over at Dueling Genre in January. My co-hosts, Chris O’Connor and Becca Rhebergen, and I will be watching and recapping one Marvel Cinematic Universe movie a week until the release of Infinity War in May.

This is hardly my first foray into podcasting. In fact, you can hear me and Chris as the voices of Gwen and Gibson on Geek by Night.

Come give us a listen, and in the meantime check out all the other awesome podcasts on Dueling Genre.

8. Turning Thirty

This one is not so much a “want to try” as a “have no choice but to.”

Being an adult is weird, guys. Most of the time I look around and wonder “who decided to let me be a grown-up?” But the more I look around me, the more I talk to people, the more I’m pretty sure that being a grown-up is a lie we tell children to get us to listen to them.

I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing in this world. There’s no magic moment when you’re suddenly wise and mature and whatnot. There’s just experience and mistakes and learning; there’s falling down and getting back up again; and I suppose eventually you just kind of figure it all out, somehow.

2017 was a strange year. Sometimes I felt like I was in the Upside Down or the Darkest Timeline. Between the political climate of the world, and my own personal struggles — surgery and rehabilitation, major changes at work, family crises to work through — I’m ready to see this year end.

But more than that, I’m ready for the new opportunities 2018 is going to bring.

I hope to see you all throughout 2018, and I’m wishing you the happiest, healthiest New Year!

Remember, you don’t need a New You. You just need to focus on what you’re going to do. Have any 2018 bucket list items? Let me know below!

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Comments 41

  1. These sound like some great things to try in 2018. I haven’t heard of the top 2 you mentioned and I definitely haven’t ever stayed on my own so I feel you there. I hope 2018 is great for you, happy new year!

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  2. A cosplay that shows off some skin?! YES GIRL! Do it! Honestly, that is an awesome goal! Step out of your comfort zone, in the coolest, yet nerdiest way! HAHA! LOVE IT! Make sure you blog about it! I want to see!

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      I totally will! Definitely going to do a full con recap! I’m also hoping for a chance to interview Mr. A from CosFit.

  3. I wish you all the best for the new opportunities that 2018 will bring, Remember o Live, Love, and Laugh while making all dreams come true

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  4. Wishing you much success in getting your own place, starting that podcast and yes turning 30. It all will be a fabulous experience 🤗

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  5. I hope you accomplish all of these quests in 2018. I didn’t realize there was such a thing as a DexaFit DEXA scan. I wonder it if would help with my bone health. My bones are really weak which is how my spine collapsed.

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      It’s primarily just a commercial endeavor, a way of getting the exam without necessarily having a doctor prescribe the test. At least that’s my understanding.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your spine!! That sounds like it must have been really scary! I hope you’re recovering.

  6. I will also be turning 30 this year! Yay for 88 babies!! 🙂 I have been to Ireland, and even though I don’t like beer, we still went to a real Irish Pub and got some Guinness. I still didn’t like the taste, but the experience was amazing!

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  7. Oh yeah! get it girl! Sounds like this year will be amazing. Making your home your own!?? What a fun thing! We have been doing that here in our house that is our first home purchase. I’m loving going room by room. ALSO! I do kept as well. I started last FEB! I took October-December 21 off but have been feeling really good being back on it. I do think the break was totally needed.

  8. I like what you said when referring to dieting, do what works for you! I didn’t make a huge list for myself but staying fit and eating right is definitely up there.

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  9. Wow, this is such a fun list! It would be fun to visit an exercise facility in another country!!

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  10. Good luck on doing what you want to do in 2018. Living on your own is something that I have personally done for quite some time but gets harder and harder for new generations. My grown children moved out and then came back home again. Flexible dieting sounds very interesting as well

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  11. This sounds like a great list of new things to try. I’ve had years where I challenged myself to do something I had never done before. I found it both intimidating and exciting. Best wishes to you in 2018!

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      I’m enjoying it immensely so far! There were cookies in the office today and I knew it wouldn’t fit today but I could fit it in tomorrow. So I have one waiting for me! 🙂 Delayed gratification is going to make it better, too!

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      My mother says that’s how Weight Watchers used to be back in the day. It makes sense to me, and I love the flexibility of it!

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  12. I recently started a podcast with a group of my friends that is sports related. The number 1 most important feedback that I’ve received is that the audio quality is the most important thing. I absolutely love the idea of your Marvel podcasts!! All things superheroes are my weakness haha

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      Good luck with your sports podcast! I’m very lucky to be working with Scott Carelli over at Dueling Genre. I have a great mic thanks to him.

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