My 2013 Manifesto
Monday, December 30, 2013
With only two days left in the year, I just wanted to look back on all of the stuff I have done this year that happened regardless of my weight, my diet, my exercise... it was my life.
It started out bad, but also amazing. Its hard to think but a year ago my left arm was literally ripping itself from my body. My 2nd brachioplasty surgery didn’t happen without major complications... like my armpit literally ripping itself open. This happened right at the end of 2012 (two days before X-mas) so right around new year’s I was still all bloody and bandaged.
And I would be for five months. It took five months to heal. The irony is that side looks aesthetically better than the side that healed “normally.” The side with the gigantic open wound = tiny scar. For five months of 2012 my arm wasn’t fully attached to my body. I may be overdramatic sometimes, but that was the physically most painful process of healing. And added stress. And added inconvenience. But its over. I’d still do this process all over again, but I probably would have looked at more doctors. Who knows. Its over and I’m happy with the results.
That’s how 2012’s beginning sucked. It was also awesome in the fact that I was dating TJ and had an amazing x-mas (even though it included a flooded 1st floor, bandage changes (he was a trooper), and a dinner consisting of crackers and cheese since he didn’t have food in the house), and a wonderful New Year’s Eve/Day. Those days kept adding up all year... and he proposed in September. We’re getting married on 10-4-14, so needless to say next year is going to be great.
I sold my house... and defended my thesis... and moved... all in the same week, with one arm tied behind my back (ok, it wasn’t behind my back, but I wasn’t supposed to use it). Talk about stress! I apparently can’t do anything small. I have to do it all at once. Oh and I sold my house in April (thankfully to the first person to walk through the door) – but wasn’t done with my job until August. So I commuted 2.5 hours every weekend home with my parents and crashed at my friends houses during the week (they rock!). It was stressful trying to be a guest for three months in other people’s homes without being a burden or making a mess.
So throw a job hunt in the mix for 2013. Lots of applications, some interviews, a lot of nothing... I was on a last ditch, OMG I’m unemployed in less than a week induced e-mail craziness – and I found a teaching job at a university. I literally was hired on a Saturday, picked my book up on Sunday, and taught on Monday. Life works in mysterious ways. Now I was super broke all of the end of 2013. I am living with my parents... but I just have to keep reminding myself, I have everything I NEED. I don’t need to obsess over what I do not have that I WANT. I need to focus on all of the good and try to get that annoying little brat in my head to shut the f*** up. ;-) She can get annoying. Now with job hunting... Its going to be a lean next two months. I get paid once more from Lindenwood and then nothing until the end of February. I am going to drain my bank account dry. That’s it. All of my reserves will be GONE. It lasted me through six months like I had hoped, but until I get paid in February I’m SOL. My family has been helping and TJ too. Its nice to know I have a good support system in place.
Exercising... 2013 was a weird year for me. After 2012 when I had my surgeries, I kind of hit a brick wall with exercising. I didn’t realize how addicted to it that I was. How bad I felt when I didn’t get it. The negative thoughts about how “lazy” I was and how much more I could be doing (even less than a week post surgery) – made me realize I might have had an unhealthy exercise plan. Cardio + 4 feet of stitches = pain. I was dumb. I’ll admit it. Then when my arm fell off, I was in so much pain it was hard to do anything. Add to that a super cute boyfriend who liked it when I cooked for him + stress from everything above = I got happy fat. I did. I went over 200 lbs again. I tried a keto diet = fail (18 days of shark week in one month + headaches + grumpy = no bueno). I tried counting calories again but then the moving and staying in other people’s houses and not having all of my resources made it hard. So I kinda got bouncy...
What got me moving again was my arms started to swell and get jiggly. After $6k and 6 months of pain, there was no way I was going to mess them up. I ended 2013 on a good note with fitness. I finally started swimming again. I got into a good routine at the YMCA I joined with my mom – tried to spread the health spark to her and get her moving again. I also started weight training. My arms are doing good. I see some bicepts. My booty also completely recovered from its 2013 slump. I even ran into the problem that I worked my butt out so much that I literally didn’t fit into my pants. My waist was almost the same, I just raised/lifted my butt so much that it didn’t fit. *note the fiancé is NOT complaining about this ;-)
So here I am on December 30th. Looking back at 2013 I am not ashamed of my weigh gain and loss and gain and loss. I focused on doing A LOT of major lifechanging things. I didn’t give up completely. I didn’t throw in the towel. I took the good with the bad and moved on. I didn’t let the negatives weigh me down and block out the positives. I am not going to let the fact that I am leaving 2013 heavier than I started bug me because weight is just a number. My body looks BETTER than when I started 2013. I have muscles. I am strong. And heck both of my arms are fully attached! *bonus!
Going into 2014 I have a few goals in mind. I am not going to put a number in there. While I would love to weigh 175 and rock some MoBama arms on my wedding day, I’d rather focus on making the commitment to myself to schedule gym time during my busy schedule. Focus on the positives again (I’m going to get a jar and write a note for every good thing that happens to me, and then open it on New Year’s Eve 2014). Stay strong – keep building those muscles. Remember that life is going to throw me curveballs, but as I jump outta the way (I was way better at dodgeball than baseball) – it might put me on an even better path that I didn’t know existed.
So if you are like me and are leaving 2013 weighing more than you did on 1-1-13 – just remember all of the things that you DID do. I don’t know about you, but I am fully looking forward to 2014. The challenges, the joy, and the Sparking.