My primary feeling about 2012 is that it pretty much stank. I can’t say that I liked 2012 all that much and I feel like it was a difficult year to get through. But that really isn’t being all that fair to poor 2012 actually. It had a lot of high points mixed in with some lows. But if there weren’t any lows, then I guess I couldn’t appreciate the highs as much as I should.
Back in December 2011 I selected my word for the year, and I honestly felt like I was picking a somewhat “safe” word: STRONG. Whooowheeeee – If only I had known what I was doing! Just as a little recap I pick a word that I want to be my focus each year. 2010 was Peace and it was a real doozy – learned my lesson for sure! 2011 was Quality and in hindsight, it was a boring word and I can tell I picked it because I was scared after my “peace” year. 2012 was Strong and in choosing it I wanted to focus on strength; not just physical or mental, but strong relationships, strong faith, strong sense of self. And it didn’t take long for me to realize that in order for a person to gain strength, they have to break their muscles down before they can rebuild stronger than before. And the same goes for all those other areas outside of physical strength. In order to become stronger, I had to break myself down into little itty bitty pieces and then begin the process of rebuilding. It was HARD. I’m not going to lie. There were many times I wanted to just say SCREW IT – I DON’T CARE ABOUT BEING STRONG…I JUST WANT TO BE WEAK! But that wasn’t really true. And I was tested this year. I have already chosen my word for 2013 and I’m really excited about it, but I’m going to hang on a little bit longer before I share it. So stay tuned!
In reflecting I have gone back through past blogs and it’s kind of funny, I tell ya! Because I said a lot of really great stuff…and then did NOTHING. I said back in January 2012 that I wanted to spend more time biking, hiking and playing tennis. Uhhhh…yeah…about that. I did bike a few times. I played tennis once. And I think I might have hiked once or twice. In past years I probably hiked at least a handful of times. I said that I was making better food choices and that was probably true for a few weeks and then it was back to the same place. I said I was finally going to reward myself with NOOK $...I didn’t buy a single nook book all year due to achieving goals. I think I “earned” a few dollars but I never spent them because just like always happens when it came time, I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on something that was frivolous when there were so many actual and real NEEDS.
The highlight in January was running the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Definitely a fantastic event and I had an absolute blast even though when I finished my thoughts were along the lines that running 13.1 miles is not for me. So January 2012 appears like I was pretty fired up, but I wasn’t able to keep that momentum going because In February 2012 I hit a massive roadblock.
Blog for January: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
(can skip the first big paragraph…the good stuff comes later!)
STRESSSSSSS – Hit me like a mother trucker in February. There were a whole lot of reasons that are pointless to even think about again. Just suffice it to say that I pretty much fell off the face of the planet right about this month. I’ve never had a nervous breakdown, but I really felt like I could have earlier this year. My closet became a safe haven for me and I pretty much just did what I had to do to get through each day and exercise and eating right weren’t things that I had to do so I didn’t. For the first time in the 3+ years that I’ve been on my healthy journey this was the first time that being that way felt like an OBLIGATION instead of a PRIVELEGE. Beginning in February life felt like a black hole and it took every ounce of strength I had (see, there’s my word) and some I didn’t but borrowed from others instead.
Blog for February: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
In March life wasn’t much better, but my two blogs – that’s right – a whole whopping TWO blogs reflect my unwillingness to give in to the whirlwind that was life at that time. I even grew a little bit…there’s not a lot to say about March but I certainly learned that I was stronger than I thought.
Blog for March: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
April was a real turn the corner kind of month. I finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel that was February and March. It wasn’t all better, but I could finally start to somewhat *think* about life again. We were facing some major life changes but I felt like I finally had the strength to face the head on. I also spent some time refocusing my efforts and did a little “reset” of the healthy part of my brain in April…and what do you know? It actually WORKED! I started slowly and surely getting back on track. I was truly aided in my efforts by some IRL challenges I was doing with my family/friends that were non-weight-loss related and more fitness based, as well as looking forward to the annual 10k I run in June. After taking a couple months off, my work was certainly cut out for me.
Blog for April: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
I think the first time I felt like my normal self again was in May. Spring was in the air, my 40th birthday was on the horizon, my girls were turning 18, and my son, DIL and granddaughter finally found an apartment after a year of living with us. Life was looking so much better! Even looking back at my blogs I see that I must have felt pretty good in May – even though I talked a LOT about how busy I was. I think I was just so happy to finally have some of the stress lifted I didn’t even care that I was turning 40. But on my Birthday I celebrated in the best possible way – with a nice hike along the Pacific Ocean with family and I totally surprised myself by crossing a crevice on a small bridge – this from the girl that is TERRIFIED of heights! It was awesome!
Blog for May: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
June, July and August were all a nice summer blur. I totally rocked our real-life challenge that began on Memorial Day and ran through Labor Day. I was getting fitness on a regular basis, trying new recipes, drinking all my water every.single.day. I set some goals and totally crushed every single one of them. This summer was a blur of happiness and contentment with just the right amount of adversity sprinkled in to keep it interesting!
Blog for Summer: thepursuitofaqualitylife
I started September off by winning the real-life challenge that I was doing with family/friends! I did end up calling it a draw between me and my sister because, honestly, we both totally rocked it the entire summer and she was breathing down my neck the entire time. We split the pot and reveled in the bragging rights earned! I also set my plan to get me through the end of the year and then – BAM – had it all change when we found a half marathon in January 2013 we wanted to do. So my quest for a sub-2:30 half kicked in and I decided to take my training to the next level by implementing the plan from Run Less, Run Faster. Training got off to a bang in late September and I was thriving from the structure and challenge of the new training plan.
Blog for September: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
October began the time where I let my freak flag fly freely. I was in fall baking mode and enjoying my training like nobody’s business! There really isn’t much to add…It was a great month and I enjoyed the heck out of it! I got to meet a blogging idol, Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things at a book signing for her memoir Bloom. I ran two virtual 5k’s. My training continued to be challenging but in a good way.
Blog for October: thepursuitofaqualitylife
November was really not all that long ago, right? But outside of it being Thanksgiving and the kick-off to the holiday season it was a somewhat frustrating month as my training came to a stuttering halt when my left knee started giving me issues. They continued the entire month and it threw off my entire training plan, quest for a PR, and my running mojo. Honestly, it made me question EVERY.THING about who I was if I couldn’t be a runner. It was mentally a very tough place to be and the idea of my word for 2012 started coming back up in one of those “oh yeah, life…I see you are trying to teach me something but I don’t WANNA!” kind of ways. I enjoyed the holiday, but not to the fullest extent because of where I was at physically. But I gained new appreciation for those that have dealt with injuries and it reminded me that I want to run forever – so if the body says slow down – I must listen closely. The highlight? I set a tracking goal to not touch the candy jar the entire time in November as it was constantly full of marked-down Halloween candy (and let me tell ya – the boss didn’t scrimp – he found the GOOD stuff!). AND I DID IT! Not a single piece was consumed and I was super proud of myself…so proud of myself that I continued it into December and am still going strong!
Blog for November: thepursuitofaqualitylife
And here we are – at the end of the year. 2012 is coming to an end, and if the Mayans were right then later this week will actually be our final swan song. LOL In looking back through the year and reflecting on what I wanted and what I actually got, I have to admit that I got what I wanted from 2012. I was challenged, I was tried, I was a great cheerleader to myself, I fought the worst amount of stress I’ve ever encountered and I lived to tell the tale. Do I feel stronger? Heck yeah I do!! Strong was a scary word for a lot of the year, but I stood tall and I pushed and I pulled and I may not have lost any weight in 2012, but I gained a heck of a lot of strength.