The Changes I Made in 2009

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, however that does not mean I don't like to set goals for myself. In fact, when you read Chris Downie's book, "The Spark", you will gain a deeper understanding as to the importance goal-setting has in our lives--not just in losing weight and getting fit, but changing how we live and who we are meant to be. In other words, when we accomplish success in one area of our lives, many times it pervades in other areas of our lives, he calls this The Crisscross Effect. How cool is that?

But before I look ahead to the challenges I plan to take on in the new year, I would like to tell you a few of the goals I accomplished in 2009.

On January 1st I decided it was time for me to give up one of my last vices-- to quit my Diet Coke habit--a habit I had had for over 25 years. It was always something I wanted to do, but never quite had the courage to do until then. I am proud to report as of today I have been Diet Coke Free for a whole year.

Fitness-wise, the year began with my focus on building a solid running base. Having spent the better part of 2 years racing many 5Ks, 10Ks, and a few 1/2 marathons, I decided to use this year to really work on my endurance. Thinking I would spend the year bettering my 1/2 marathon distance time, that all changed in February. Coach Jen sent me an email and asked if I would be interested in running the 2009 Chicago Marathon with her in October. Well, it took me all of a couple hours to decide, so on the second Sunday in February I took the plunge and registered.

Not every goal I met in 2009 had to do with nutrition or fitness. In fact two of my biggest achievements had me presenting my personal journey at the SparkPeople Conventions in San Diego in May and Cincinnati in September. To think a formerly overweight woman from Texas, who could not bend over to tie her shoes 5 years earlier, was now talking about her own journey to healthy living. It was truly one of the highlights in my life. The reason? I had to face my fears head on and you know what? I DID IT!

In June I took on my next fitness goal. I have always been fascinated with Pilates. Having failed at other group classes, I found Pilates to be a nice combination of group camaraderie and challenge. It looks so much easier than it is, but what a fantastic workout. It will be back on my goal list of 2010, that's for sure.

In July, I fulfilled my goal of becoming a certified running coach via the Road Runners Club of America. What a thrill it was for me to go from non-runner, to runner, to now a certified running coach in less than 4 years after I started running. This is the crisscross effect Chris speaks of quite often in the book.

October had me fulfill a life-long dream of running my first marathon, while December gave me the wonderful opportunity to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon Relay with my high school classmates from 30 years ago. Inspiring others to live their dreams is something everyone of us can do.

As I say good-bye to 2009 and hello to 2010, I have learned to appreciate unforeseen challenges and goals that seemed impossible at the time. Once our goals are met, they are what makes us who we are today. Every victory, no matter how big or how small, is a step in the right direction to living our dreams.

Have you taken time to look back and reflect how far you have come since you started your own journey to a healthier you?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


Slow and steady wins the race,, or rather "Slow and steady, wins us back the life we wished we had ealier, but can NOW HAVE".

I ve been on a lifestyle change now for 5 yrs,, in that time I've lost 78 lbs. (YEAH !) Some have this much quicker, but did it last? Where they happy going thru this ? Did they take the time to deal with the emotions this brings UP? JOURNALING is sooo important Report
As soon as a finished reading your final questions, a recent comment came to mind that I took lightly at the time but really brought home how far I've come. My son's friend who is 16 years old and athletically gifted to say the least, said he couldn't imagine running as far as I do and would probably not be able to keep up after the first mile. And went on to suggest that I help coach the school's cross country team.

I guess it doesn't hurt to step back for a minute to realize just how far I've come, and remember that it was hard work and didn't happen overnight and those goals I'm reaching for now will also be achieved with a little hard work and time.

Just do one thing better today than you did yesterday and call it a win. Report
great. If you DON'T QUIT, you can do it. Report
You are inspirational, to say the least! I have never wanted to run a marathon, but I have definitely wanted to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack (as opposed to dead last) in a 5k. That's my goal for 2010. Guess I better get busy! Report
Awesome! What a great year it was for you! :-) Report
What an awesome 2009 you had! I have a feeling 2010 will be even better. I have looked back on my own journey and I am thrilled to be able to see my toes, tie my shoes and have my families arms reach all the way around me to hug me. The simple "joys" that weight loss has brought me keep me pressing forward. Report
Great story! I have been slowly cutting out Diet Coke too! I also started back to the gym after paying all these years so 2010 will be a year of new beginings! Report
That is so wonderful! What amazing and positive changes and how inspiring you are to all of us! I too love Pilates and running and have a Diet Coke "addiction"... I have been really on the fence about my first short-term action step (LOVE The Spark book! Just started reading it today!) and I think the Diet Coke thing might be one of them, thanks to your encouragement. My goal for 2010 is to be healthy and active and I think doing away with artificial ANYTHING is going to have to be part of that in so many ways. Thanks again for your blog. You are amazing!!!!!!!!!! Report
Congratulations, Nancy! I would love to hear more about what some of your dreams are for 2010.

My list includes: resolving my foot problem, and resuming running; running at least a couple of 5Ks; resolving the rest of my physical problems; knocking off another 30 lbs; being a good role model and motivator for my kids, and a kind and attentive friend to all my sparkbuddies; and significantly improving my strength and my posture.

P.S. Laura started a positive streak in French. We're rolling! And my "baby" turns 13 next week, and no, I'm not talking about the adorable furry 4-legged dinner-stealing one currently sleeping on the couch.

And - no peanut M&Ms since July 20, 2009. Report
Wonderful article. I can relate with the Dt Coke. I am trying to cut out or lessen how much I drink. After reading all the comments, I feel I can achieve this eventually. Thanks for the wonderful look back on your year. Report
Nancy, you really did accomplish wonderful things in 2009!! Your last question made me smile, since my blog of a couple of days ago included a look back and what I faced and what I accomplished in the past year. I think it's so important to keep an eye on where we started and what we've just accomplished as well as looking forward to what we still want to accomplish and where we want to be heading.

I'm so glad to *know* you, and really hope someday to meet you in person and run with you!! Report
You've had an astounding journey...inspiring...thanks. Report
"To think a formerly overweight woman from Texas, who could not bend over to tie her shoes 5 years earlier, was now talking about her own journey to healthy living." This means so much to me because I know you know what the struggle is and how hard it can be. Congratulations! You are a true role model. Report
Wow Nancy what a great year you had! I love to set goals but have trouble attaining them, but you've inspired me to keep at it! Report
Nice article. Report
Woo hoo Nancy!! I'm on day 2 and counting of no Cherry Coke zero... Report
i enjoyed this post very much! Report
Amazing year! Congrats. Thanks for inspiring the rest of us. May 2010 be at least as good to you. Report
Although my original goal had to do with losing weight, I too have felt the benefits of goal-achievement in all areas of my's pretty amazing, isn't it? It's the whole teach-a-man-to-fish adage...and thanks to sparkpeople, I really do feel like I have those tools for every avenue! Report
Congrats! Thanks for sharing! It is very inspiring for me! Report
Wow! What a year! Giving up Diet Coke, presenting your journey, and your first marathon. Inspiring! Thanks for sharing your year! Report
Congratulations on your success! Best wishes as you keep moving forward in 2010! Report
Congrats and keep up the great job Report
Congrats on a great 2009. Wishing you an even better 2010!! Report
Nancy you are such an inspiration! Thanks for all the help and encouragement you give. You always put a smile on my face!! You deserve all the happiness that have!! Report
I sort of gave up a 25 (+) year habit of Diet Coke. I kept increasing my water starting in January, then started drinking more and more green tea. I occasionally had a Diet Dr. Pepper at one of my part-time jobs, about twice a month. Then in June, a family member commented that they were shocked that I didn't have any diet coke and that was when I realized that I had not bought any DC in several months and no longer scoured the newspaper looking for the best sell prices for 12 packs. I don't miss it. :-) Report
Nancy, you continue to inspire me!

I was a diet coke addict in my early 20's. I had empty cans all over the place! (I was also a slob, LOL) One day, I just decided I didn't like pop. Still don't. That has been such a gift, not liking carbonation. Now, the only pop I drink is teh very rare medicinal (diet) 7-up, only when I need it to settle a tummy. I hope one day I'll just decide I don't like cake or cookies or pasta or cheese (but I'll never give up my bacon! LOL).

2010 is the Year of COMPLETION!
May your goals be met & your dreams come true.
2009 was a year in which I joined the YMCA and started doing water aerobics and have lost 28 lbs.

As for running, I can't and havn't been able to since I shattered my ankle some 43 yrs. ago, but I still get in my exerise.

Great article. It shows how goal-setting can and should be something we do all year long, not just at the beginning of a New Year.

If you can get through an entire year without drinking diet coke, I can get through an entire year without eating candy or chips. Thanks for inspiring me. Report
i just love spark site, and followed it very close and lost 15lbs this year, and that is hard for an 80 year old lady to do, as we age you know, happy new year everyone , and good luck ,see you later edith Report
Thanks! Report
Great article. I need to reflect on last year on my accomplishments and then move forward. I think all goals are a spider web. I want to look at not just my exercise and nutrition but other goals and aspects in my life. Thanks for the good article. Report
Thank you for the wisdom in reflecting on the past to shape the future. Report
Thanks for your clear and interesting blog that makes me so grateful to be a part of Spark People. As I read your accomplishments I was mindful of what I too had accomplished while recognizing that I also had a lot to be grateful for. Thanks for putting it all in perspective. Report
Congrats on a great year! Reading about your marathon experiences this year motivated to train for my first 1/2 marathon in May. It's something I've always wanted to do , but was afraid because I have only run sporadically , & have ran 1 5k. I've lost weight this year, & logging my food has been an eye opener. & has helped tremendously. I look forward to a good 2010 too! Thank for inspiring us! Report
You are too awesome for words Ms Nancy ! Thanks for sharing your goals and plans for the future.
I for one reflect often on how far Ive come from barely able to move and breathe (I was literally dying and on a handful of pills) to working out nearly everyday and taking only a vitamin/mineral supplements and probiotics
Thanks to friends like you and others here at Spark People, I am healthy and happy and always looking forward to challenging myself in some way, almost weekly. Wow what a journey ! 2010 ? I say, bring it on ! Report
You certainly had a great year in 2009!! Report
Nothing to write about this year I've only been a spark member for 2 months. Next year though, I'll be back. Report
Great article. Its such a reminder of the importance of writing down our goals so that when we look back we can see just how far we've really come.

Have a blessed 2010 everyone! Report
Good job on giving up diet coke! I was addicted to it for a long time (started with Fresca to Tab to DC). It was very hard and painful to get off.

As to your last question about reflection I feel pretty mixed about that one. Since Sept of this year I have been working hard to improve and have been successful. However, the rest of the year before that was not good at all. Full of very high stress. taking poor care of myself and overeating. So although I am on the right track now, the last trip to the doctor was the one that revealed the damage I've done.

Sincere thanks for the inspiration. I hope to run a 10k this year. :) Report
Thank you for sharing this wonderful news, Nancy...I wish you the best of continued success through 2010 and always... Report
Great article Nancy - Best, Lysa Report
Congratulations Nancy!! I loved your inspirational blog. Wishing you continued success in 2010!!! Anything is Possible!!!

WooHoo!!!! Report
Great article Nancy...

Yes, I have had time to reflect and on the weight loss front I have a catalog of monthly pictures to remind me..thanks to a SparkPage I read when I first started that gave me the idea...I don't remember who it was..but thank you anyway !!

2009 has catapulted me into so many new challenges and goals for 2010...starting with my first Half Marathon in February....

I am truly enjoying this journey.....

Wonderful post Nancy! You are an inspiration! Best wishes for a wonderful 2010! Report
Congratulations! It's so good to hear "regular people" can do this too! Report
Great article! I didn't really have any goals for 2009 other than to lose weight which is the same goal I've had year after year. 2009 was different for some reason though. I lost 45 pounds, got more fit, and completed a half-marathon. Then I gained 10 pounds back over the holiday season and I have been really feeling down. Your article made me think about what I did accomplish. Instead of being so negative I am going to think about some positive goals for this year. Report
Very nice article. Goals are important throught out the year to keep us motivated. My goal is to power walk 500 miles in the coming year. Report
very inspirational - and an awesome perspective on how meeting various goals in life can lead to unexpected opportunities

thanks for sharing:) Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.