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Why I Give Myself an "A" for 2010: A Celebratory Blog

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A is for AWARE. As in self-aware. While this hasn't all happened this year, I've developed skills for self-awareness, took responsibility for my emotions and actions, and got to know myself a lot more. I'm aware of who I am, of what I need, and of what's in my control to get it.

A is for ACCOUNTABLE. Every day I've held myself accountable for my food and exercise choices. I've reported them, tracked them, faced them, whatever needed doing. I even did this on holidays. I am accountable to ME every day, no days off!

A is for APPETITE. As in a healthy one! This year I learned how to manage and understand my appetite and distinguish true physical hunger from emotional hunger. I feed my body the food it requires to perform at its best, and I listen to the cues that come from my appetite to help guide that.

A is for ADDICTED. I also faced my identity as an addict, particularly to food, and sought help for coping with that addiction in ways that aren't self-destructive.

A is for ACTIVE. This year has been my most active year by far! I'd set a goal to walk or jog 500 miles for the year (I hit that in late May, early June). I will end the year just shy of about 1200 miles traveled. Not only that, I hit my "long shot" goal of accumulating 25,000 fitness minutes for 2010. I also went from walking to jogging to running, learned yoga, learned how to swim, joined a gym, became a biker, and hiked. Whew!

A is for ADJUSTMENTS. As in spinal adjustments! This was the year that I faced my fear of the chiropractor and started receiving regular adjustments so that my body could perform its absolute best. I've also gotten the added bonus of a great relationship with my chiropractor who has guided me to good emotional, spiritual, and physical health. I've had back pain most of my life--what a gift to be living pain-free!

A is for ANGER. I've finally faced and been open about my anger (here, in fact!), and I've begun to develop whole new skill sets for dealing with it. Better still, I've come to see that I'm so very much not alone in how angry I get. Breaking the isolation and silence around this issue for me has helped me to own my feelings and imagine coping with them in healthier ways. AND it's helped me to listen more sensitively to the anger I have and recognize it as a tool that tells me when something about the way I operate in the world needs changing.

A is for AQUATICS. I became a swimmer this year! I'd always wanted to swim but never learned how. When I first began taking lessons I believed I should hope for nothing more than improved form. Through swimming, I've found a whole new corner of my identity, a place where I meet with bodily, physical success and grace. Who knew??? Swimming has become a tool for being in touch with my body, for tuning out the "white noise" around me, and for learning focus and attention as a means of relaxation. What a gift!

A is for AVAILABILITY. This year I've worked more on understanding the fine balance between being available for myself and being available for others. I've learned that it's okay to say no, okay to keep some things private, and okay to share with people in an open and genuine way.

A is for ASANAS. As in yoga poses. I've dreamed my whole life of being a yogi. In April of this year, despite the fact that I was still carrying around a lot of excess weight, I walked into my first yoga class and began a practice. Yoga has helped me to visualize and respect the parameters and limitations of my body, to celebrate and honor the shape of the body I'm in (at all stages), and to bring confidence and grace to every movement, big or small. It has given me peace and comfort in the skin I'm in, strength, and a way to infuse my physical being with spirituality.

A is for ADAPTABILITY. This year I've learned to go with the flow, to take care of my body when it's injured or requires rest, and not to confuse temporary setbacks with catastrophe and disaster. When a knee injury kept me sidelined from running for over a month, I learned new activities that changed my workouts and my perspective. It was also through injury that I turned to swimming for the first time. When my food plan and daily routine felt humdrum, I adapted my plan and did what I needed to do to renew my spark (including when that simply meant faking it until I made it!).

A is for ATTITUDE. As in a positive one. I come from a family where being positive might just be a cardinal sin. This year I took steps to turn that around by looking on the bright side, staying positive when things got tough (not without help, of course), and choosing to think of and speak to myself in affirming ways.

A is for ARRIVED. At my goal weight, that is! This was the year I met and passed my goal weight by losing over 120 pounds, less than I weighed when I got married ten years ago, and less than I weighed through most of college. A year and a half ago, I never could have been convinced that was possible!

A is for ACHIEVEMENTS. I had so many great achievements this year, and I've been lucky enough to get to chronicle most of them on this website. I've participated in five races, improved my 5k time from 42+ minutes to 30 minutes, met and passed all of my fitness goals, met almost all of my goals for 2010, and have had the best and healthiest year of my life. Some days it's hard to take in how grateful I am for all of that.

A is for ACCEPTANCE. This might just be the biggest, the one nearest and dearest to my heart this year. I've accepted myself as the imperfect person I am (it took that to inspire any real change), accepted others as the imperfect people they are, accepted the things I have, don't have, could have, will never have, and worked to find my peace on all of these fronts. Daily acceptance has been hard work, but by far has had the biggest payoffs.

A is for what's AHEAD. I'm excited about what's ahead and anxious to start the new year. I have high hopes that 2011 will be the best one yet!
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