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Reflections, Perspective, Thanks

Saturday, December 31, 2011

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KIMMIE124
    It's only a wee bump Sassenach! :) emoticon
    2189 days ago
  • ANNROSE126
    Thanks for a great pep talk.
    2194 days ago
    Thank you Audra for putting in words what we all needed to hear. We are all successful in some way, and sometimes, like my new Mantra, it's the "failures that give us the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently" - Henry Ford was a brillant man.

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    2195 days ago
    I feel a lot like this...both in how the past year has gone and how 2012 is going to be. Thank you, Audra. I have tears of graditude in my eyes as I type this. You are an inspiration. Truly.


    2197 days ago
    You are still a success Audra! I understand your feelings completely. I've been there also many times!! I know 2012 will be a better year for you. You are starting it out right! I am also struggling to get going again but will never give up.

    Lets get this party started dear friend!
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    2205 days ago
    you are still doing it! I've learned to love Boot Camps this year. I not only have exercise buddies, but the trainers make me push myself past my comfort zone and work my a$$ off. I injured my foot (stepped in a hole) while running soccer fields for boot camp. I couldn't do a lot of the cardio and some of the strength, but I kept going to class. There was one circuit day, we were supposed to do burpees. My foot wouldn't take it, so I told the trainer, I'll give you 25 full pushups. Then I looked around to see who the he** said that, and realized I could do it. And I did. The second boot camp, I dead lifted 135 pounds on the last night of class. This coming from a gal that used to have a hard time with supersets and a pair of 8# weights.
    Ps- I've also trained for Zumba Toning, and Z Gold Toning. Not to shabby for the older demographic!!! Keep at it, Audra, You will get back to where you were. You are determined, and you have the support of tons o' people!
    2207 days ago
  • MJPECK7015
    You're so right...perspective makes a huge difference. Congratulations on having a successful 2011 when you look at it from your trainer's perspective. And best wishes for a successful 2012!!
    2212 days ago
  • RAMA62
    Audra, thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to so many of us. Your honesty in your journey and your struggles is such a help to everyone who reads your blog and follows your progress. Best wishes for a great 2012!

    2213 days ago
    I could have written this blog myself. Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency about your struggles. It gives courage to the rest of us who have struggled this year. I am totally with you; 2012 is going to be a much better year!
    2213 days ago
    THANK YOU for this blog - I love it - such a motivation. :-) I am so excited for what 2012 has to bring and how well we are all gonna do, and you will make your goal for our 4 year anniversary! :-)
    2214 days ago
    What an awesome blog! Thank you for putting 2011 in perspective...We can do this together!
    2214 days ago
    Great blog, reminds me of a quote from "Its a Wonderful Life", 'no man is a failure who has friends' (Clarence).

    With this blog, 'no person is a failure as long as they don't give up on themselves'.

    I know personally, with menopause I had gained 10 unwanted pounds, but I have managed to keep it there with a five pound loss (so really a five pound gain). I managed to do this by still tracking, exercising and being part of the Spark philosophy.

    Wishing you all the best for another 'successful' year!
    2215 days ago
    Audra, what a great blog,, and how true!! Wonderful--hugs to Kurt, many hugs to you,. and good work staying connected--by your fingernails for a while there--and never letting go!!!

    I'm so proud of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2215 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/31/2011 9:57:07 AM
    Thank you! I was feeling down because of a small gain this week, but your story has helped me change my attitude. I'm not quitting and I will celebrate my successes, not my setbacks.

    Happy New Year!
    2215 days ago
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