A year ago today, I joined Spark People. It took me a few days to start actually using the site and committing to my goals, but a year later, I'm actually still here. I can't even begin to describe how proud of myself I feel. Even when I didn't make progress and couldn't figure out why and even when I didn't make progress and knew exactly why, I never gave up. That's definitely new for me.
In the past year, I've gone from smoking around a half pack to a pack a day (usually depending on where I was or how much I was drinking) to being a non-smoker. January 16th will mark one year without so much as a drag from a cigarette.
In the past year, I've lost a little over 40 pounds, focusing on food and learning to eat healthy and whole. It's amazing to me to look back at my food tracker from early last year and realize just how far I've come with the quality of things I put into my body.
In the past year, I've gone from 2.3 mph on the treadmill being a true aerobic workout to being able to walk and jog for at least 7 miles (I have 8 miles scheduled for tomorrow). At 10 am on New Year's Day, I walked and ran a Resolution Run 5K (finishing with the best time I've had in nearly 10 years), and I'm registered to attempt my first half marathon at the end of February.
In the past year, I've finally figured out how to be kind to myself and love myself - at least most of the time - and I'm learning daily how to have patience and how to persevere.
A year ago, I was looking at a picture of myself from the annual Christmas Eve party and I was just.... floored. I didn't know how I'd let myself get so out of control, and that picture was the first time I really realized just how unhappy I looked - nevermind how unhealthy. This year, I'm in love with the photos of me from Christmas Eve. I don't know that I necessarily look much thinner, but the pictures seem like night and day (at least to me). This year, I just feel like the light has come on in me.
So now, what's next?
So far, I've lost a little over 40 pounds even after holidays, a broken skull, and quitting smoking. Assuming I can avoid at least one of those limitations (and hopefully both of the latter), I'd like to lose a little more than that this year. I'm re-focusing on my food intake and tracking, and working on reformulating my eating plan to help me with this. I'm setting a goal of 60 pounds this year to put me at just over 100 lost total, but as long as I keep losing, I'll be happy.
I'd like to finish my half marathon within the time limit, but even if I don't, I want to be proud of myself for training and being able to complete the 13.1 miles.
I will do at least one other half marathon in the next year, and I'd like to continue working on my fitness so that by the time I do that one, I can pretty much run the whole thing (excluding pre-planned walk breaks).
I will break 40 minutes in a 5K (my current running pace is around a 13 minute mile, so if I ran the whole thing, I'd still have to go a little faster).
I will be back here this time next year, celebrating all of my accomplishments in 2014 and planning for what's next.
I have a long way still to go, and I know that. Even knowing that, what gives me hope and confidence for the future is that these changes I've made in the last year are not fleeting. I'm not looking for what I can do until I get to where I want to be. Living a healthy life this year has made me crave living even more healthily.
I want my life to be rich, stimulating, and fulfilling, and the more I work towards that, the more motivated I feel to go even further. I can't wait to see where that brings me in my second year here.