Although anniversaries are frequently the opportunity to look back and reflect on what we've achieved over the last year, this time I very much feel like I'm looking forward to the future. Much of the reason for this is because I find myself preparing for a few things that have been on my goal list for just a little bit too long.
Here's what I think has happened:
When I started spark people, I was given a few simple ideas to keep me on track to reach my weight loss goal. I wasn't just taught how to set goals, I was given simple ways to meet them and it worked for me. I got excited by spark points and fitness minutes and trophies. (I still do
) I also liked the idea of setting myself a goal of ten minutes of exercise a day. I knew that I could do that. I learned not to focus on the ominous final destination, but on the little steps I could take each day instead. Eating too much junk food was no longer guilt ridden because I simply added it to my calorie tracker, and, slowly but surely found myself eating less and less of it. For me, this really worked.
Once I reached my goal weight, I slowly began to toy with the idea that other goals in my life could potentially be reached too, if I just did a little bit each day. I now knew that I liked trophies and accumulating fitness minutes, and this naturally flowed into jogging. By signing up to races I knew I would earn myself some sort of medal at the end of the race, and I also knew that I would be spending time building up my mileage. Again, this has worked really well for me, I think because I'm learning what motivates me. This running routine is now such a part of my life that I get itchy feet if I miss more than a week doing it. I'm still amazed to have discovered a love for an activity that I used to dread when I was at school. We really are never too old to discover new things about ourselves.
Something intangible has changed. I think that I used to be really full of self-doubt. Now, I feel that I am actually a capable person. A worthwhile person. And that reaching out for what I want in life may actually be a worthy pursuit.
So, my husband and I went through our dreams. We brainstormed and realised that we had the resources to take a break from the rat race and be a bit brave. We moved to a small seaside town. Now, it is in Ireland, (not your first choice for a sunny seaside resort, I know), but a door opened which gave us the option to try out this dream and see whether living away from the city would work for us. We've been here a month now. We're still adjusting, so I'll keep you posted.
I will also be starting a Phd programme at one of the local universities here. This is another dream of mine. It's both daunting and exciting at the same time - but then so was losing all that weight and that worked out really well for me!! I'm nervous, but I think I have the tools in hand to do this (without the fresher fifteen!!)
Where am I now? I'm in a more confident place. I can't say it's a happy place because emotions come and go and problems and unexpected events are always there to put a spanner in the works, as we all know.
I've learned to embrace the journey towards reaching our dreams, and, maintaining my weight has taught me that there is no finite end when we reach those goals. We just move on to something new, something just a little bit more challenging. It's a good place to be.