A note: I am adapting the bulk of this blog from a SparkMail message I sent to the 30somethings with 100+ pounds to lose SparkTeam on 12/31/11.
This is obviously the time of year for reflections and for planning for the coming year... and I want to share a personal story that might affect some of you, too.
For the most part, I've considered 2011 an "epic failure" on my personal journey to good health... I started the year 25 pounds lighter than I'm going to end it... injury, illness, depression, high-stress levels... everything just came together and I melted down some... I think I perfected the art of emotional eating, and even did some destructive eating - you know, when you eat to make yourself feel worse? (Hopefully you DO NOT know what I mean... I don't recommend destructive eating... but I bet a lot of us with 100 pounds to lose have done it a time or two.) I've certainly felt down on myself, like I've failed not only myself, but everyone else on the team who's looking at me as an success - when I was being anything but successful.
All this brings me to my favorite Christmas card this year... it wasn't the card itself, it was the words written on it - from my trainer:
"2011 was a success. You didn't give up! We will continue to work hard in 2012."
He had handed me the card after a tough session that had left me feeling sweaty and accomplished... I opened it and read it as I was walking out to the car, and this total wave of emotions poured over me... I even cried a little, sitting in my car in the parking lot... it was such a different take on the year than I had...
And when I think about it now, he's right. This year wasn't an epic failure... it was tough, and I'm not really going to miss the "trials and tribulations" of 2011... and I'm energized by the thought of turning the page to January 2012 on Sunday... but what I went through in 2011 was part of my personal journey - and I am stronger now. I didn't give up! And that's all the success I need right now.
Looking back, through it all, I continued to do a few things consistently...
1) I drank water! Lots of it.
2) I got myself to the gym as often as I could, mostly to workout with a trainer who was helping me through some of the injuries and rehab.
3) I stayed on SparkPeople. I let this site keep me connected. And even if my ticker was moving in the wrong direction, I was at least here - surrounded by people who were there for me when I needed them.
When I look back at my last blog, I still am not 100% sure what's "broken", but these past few weeks, I've really started to get some of my mojo back and I'm starting to feel "like myself" again. I've had some realizations:
1) I'm going to probably log 10 hours at the gym in these last 10 days of the month - or dang close to it. My body's not 100% happy with the increased workload - but it feels better than when I sit around! And sore muscles make me feel like I'm making progress again!
2) I'm still down just over 90 pounds from my heaviest, and I have set the goal to be back down 100 pounds by my 4 year SparkPeople Anniversary in February.
3) I've joined another gym (taking advantage of a work incentive) and have more options than ever for group-exercise classes, which I really enjoy.
4) I've seen how the lack of exercise drags me down in every area of my life. I've seen how making the time to get in a workout improves every area of my life. I've seen the wisdom in taking a rest day. I'm figuring out how to shift my focus.
5) When I track my food, I stay on track. These past few weeks, my calorie burn has been great - but so has my intake... if I get the food locked in again, the scale will go down.
So if 2011 wasn't your best year, but you're still here, you're still digging... change your perspective if you need to, like my trainer changed mine.
YOU didn't give up either.
YOU will continue to work hard in 2012.
YOU are where you're supposed to be.
THANK YOUR BODY for the amazing things it does for you.
THINK BACK to the past and learn from the experiences you've had.
BE PRESENT in the moment and BE KIND to yourself.
LOOK FORWARD to being the best you can be.
I want to wish everyone a SAFE, HAPPY, WONDERFUL New Year's Celebration.