I started my SparkPeople journey from a very dark place a little over 2 years ago. I was at a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to make my life feel tolerable to me. I started to be more active on SparkPeople and make small changes to develop healthier habits. Gradually, new habits became ingrained and I started to lose weight. I learned to treat myself better and that other people need to treat me better, too. Ultimately, this year I found out what has been truly holding me back. I have always been wracked with so much guilt that I thought I did not deserve to be happy or loved. It was over this past year, with deep self-exploration, that I realized I have been punishing myself. I learned to forgive myself and use my experiences as learning opportunities.
With developing self-confidence, I wanted to try new things. I started doing Jiu Jitsu in October 2011. I never imagined I would be a grappler, nor that I would become a competitive athlete. I did a lot of Jiu Jitsu training this year. I trained a minimum of 3 days a week, usually 4-5 days. I have started to study more technique outside of class as well. I scaled back from doing high-intensity exercise other than Jiu Jitsu, and then realized that I needed to quit power lifting. I was working to failure too much between lifting weights and practicing Jiu Jitsu. I have instead been doing Pilates, yoga, and body weight exercises for strength training. I have lost several inches all over over the past few months. So, I will continue to use my own body weight for resistance for now. Of course, I get in some strength training with throwing the guys around at the gym.
The highlight of 2012 was winning second place in my first Jiu Jitsu tournament, and then first place in the next one. I never imagined that I would compete in a sport, let alone win. It was the support from the guys at the gym that helped me train and feel like an athlete. They had confidence in me, and I let that sink in. I look forward to future competitions and will be doing several in 2013.
My livelihood, Jiu Jitsu class.
After my first win at my first Jiu Jitsu competition, June 2012.
My first Jiu Jitsu competition, June 2012--I won second place.
My gold medal win at Jiu Jitsu competition November 2012.
The day I proved to myself that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
I had a goal of losing 60 pounds by the end of December. I lost 30 pounds this year. I am fine with the amount lost. I also reached 50 pounds down in March. I was very excited to pass that milestone. I am currently about 65 pounds down. I am not going to set a specific number to reach in 2013. I DO know that I will be pretty ripped by the end of 2013, but I am not concerned with the number on the scale.
My diet had its ups and downs in 2012. I was consistent about tracking most of the time. Even when I didn't track, I noticed that I didn't treat my eating as a free-for-all. Even when I didn't track, I was eating more moderately. I eat an array of fruits and veggies throughout the day. For the most part, truly junky foods like refined foods are unappealing to me. After learning to really taste my food, I became more turned off by junk food. Luckily, good dark chocolate is a health food.
Progress pics: My "before" pictures and my progress pics from this year. I will post an updated progress pics blog this month!
February 2011, at about 295 pounds
March 2012, at 243 pounds (55 pounds down)
Messing around yesterday while out with a friend (I was drawing a boot!).
I never thought I would reflect on a year and be completely satisfied with how it went. This was usually because I did not lose as much weight as I wanted. The less I cared about my weight, the more I was able to see what I did right everywhere else in my life. For me, losing weight used to be about me wanting to be someone else. I didn't want to be myself; I didn't really like anything about myself. Ultimately, my body weight was a culmination of imbalances throughout my life. Every pound lost is not just getting me closer to my goal weight; each pound is a reflection of months of self-exploration and loving myself. I came to realize that losing weight ultimately was not really about the weight. I am finally treating myself with the love and respect I have always deserved.
I don't have real specific goals this year, but I plan to continue with focusing on Jiu Jitsu. Everything required to become good at Jiu Jitsu promotes balance throughout my life. I will be kicking off 2013 with an exciting opportunity to train with some of the best in the world. A week from now I will be in Los Angeles with some of the guys from the gym. We will be doing a week of intensive training with Eddie Bravo, Rhasaan Orange, and hopefully Joe Rogan. I will also be going to see a taping of Conan O'Brien; I saw him live in New York, and now in Los Angeles. I can't wait to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean!
I'm ready, 2013.
Here are my end-of-the-year blogs from last year:
Hot By the Apocalypse: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
The Year of Open Doors: 2011 in Review: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa