2017 is the first full year of taking my body back. I’d given my body to food addiction for many years, and it had gotten much worse in the past couple of years. I’ve never been able to actually talk about the highest weight on the scale, because of the shame I felt for allowing myself to get to that weight. I read 298 pounds on the scale at a doctor’s office. I knew in that moment, I needed to make changes. I couldn’t let myself get to 300 pounds. I’m sure I did though, because I dealt with the disappointment of my weight, in the same ways I’d dealt with everything that wasn’t perfect – I ate. I always use 298 as my starting weight, but I would guess I was actually closer to 315 before starting to pull it together.
I was already on my journey when 2017 began, but I was still in the beginning stages. I’m still grateful that I was able to look at my weight as far as looking toward the next ten pounds. The whole number was simply too large and unattainable. I had to do everything in pieces. There were small changes to my diet, which eventually turned into big changes. I’m the first to admit, that I can’t say I’ve ever had a total handle on this. I’ve had great days and some where I shit the bed (most noticeably over the holidays). I am glad my journey has unfolded as it has, though. I’m human and continue to make very human mistakes. The key is to not be so hard on oneself (if you know me, this probably made you laugh), and learn to accept the poor choices you make. Just know that was your choice, and if you don’t make a lot of bad choices – at least enjoy the fuck out of it when you decide to indulge.
The biggest change this year came with my physical activity. I really started all of this with walking. I worked hard to get to 10,000 steps a day, and let me tell you…with all of that extra weight –that can be painful. My love for hiking continued, and I can now call it my biggest passion. I remember the first time I hiked this particular trail with a friend, I was dead when we were done. She then said, “Do you want to do another?” I was shocked to learn the trail we had done was under a mile. Fast forward to now, and I’m able to do 8 miles on more challenging trails. I’m still not very fast, but I am getting faster. I pushed past the fear and started a water aerobics class. It killed me. I would come home and just stand under the shower. Next, I faced my fears and began a boot camp. Again, I would come home and let the water just try and work out all of the aches and pains. There were so many tears with this boot camp…during class and for many sessions in a row- after. Thank God, I pushed through all of it. Thank God for some of you, who helped me through it – and this blog for holding me accountable and not allowing me to quit. It’s only been a few months of this class, and my body is healing in ways, I never thought possible – nor did my surgeon, doctor, or physical therapist. I write about this, so those of you who worry you can’t do something – know things are possible you didn’t even know could be. I think of myself of pretty fucking lazy…but there’s a passion that comes with improving. I’m so excited to think about what I’ll be able to do a year from now. I’m happy to know that I’m now part of one what one friend refers to the boot camp participants as, her "tribe.” I’m choked up writing this, because…I’m eternally grateful for going outside of my box and gaining what I have.
This blog brought me back to when "White Five" was declared, cancer free nearly a year ago. The elation in reading it, matched the pure joy of that initial moment. This was my favorite moment of the year.
2017 allowed me to travel to visit with family and friends. I'm fortunate that the destinations have all been stunning (I mean…Alaska holds my heart), but those vacations were among my most beloved because of the people I was able to see. I'm also so grateful for my mom being out here for a couple of weeks. It was wonderful.
In a year, where I feel I was closed off in so many ways, I was blessed enough to find close friendships in the most unexpected places. I was happily reminded of the ways these ladies stepped up - even as I pushed away.
I really didn't end the year on a great note, as far as my diet. In the middle of November, I was down around a total 120 pounds. By the first days of the New Year, I had gained 8 pounds back. Thankfully, I've now lost 4 1/2 of those 8, since pulling my shit together again. Getting back on track, hasn’t been as easy as I anticipated. I'm still going through some sugar withdrawals of sorts, and I haven't been very successful in cutting back on the wine. I'm trying…and I'm writing this without the aid of a glass of red. I'm working on getting those pieces all back in place.
I've drawn a lot of inspiration from a friend who lost her husband last December. I can't even begin to imagine all she has gone through and that daily pain, but she chose to put her energies into being fit and healthy. Watching her transformation has been truly remarkable. I know she does Beach Body, although I really don't know much about it. She uses it for nutrition and workouts. If you are interested in it, I'm sure I can put you in touch with her. She would be one hell of a mentor.
I'm excited to have hit the ground running this past week or more. Each day, I'm reminded of how good it feels to be healthy. Eating poorly over the holidays left me feeling sluggish and shitty every single day. I was running the other night, and I just kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to be able to do it. Mind you, I only run 200 meters, walk 200 meters, and so on, but to be able to run at all…kind of blows my mind. A friend got me a little sculpture of a pig flying after learning I'd been able to run. She didn't think I'd ever be able to do it, and to her, it was a symbol of doing what was believed to be the impossible. I keep it on my nightstand and look at it every night before bed - to remind myself how far I've come.
I go into 2018 still picking up a few of the pieces of this last year, but I am happy to finally be in a place that I can pick them up. It's very difficult for someone who is their own worst enemy to treat oneself with compassion and love, and to realize they are worthy…worthy of being loved, worthy of the good things that come their way, and worthy of being treated well. Thank God, I'm finally getting through to myself (or should I say my therapist is getting through to me). Ha. The good part about all of this, is I'm able to leave some of the pieces of myself behind, that really never served me well. I get to be the person I want to be. You get to be who you want to be. How awesome is that? My hope for you, in this year, is you are your best self. The self who knows no limitations.
Brian started working out again after some years off, in those last months of the year. He loves it, and his commitment is truly awesome. He has even told me he will get on board with the nutrition part of it with me. I'm looking forward to us doing this all together.
I'm totally stoked for this year. I think it might be my favorite one, yet. I'm pumped for even better health and to see how far my body will take me. Let's see how far you can go, as well.
I will leave you with a song that was part of one of my very favorite moments/days of this past year. Amy and I were coming back from our zip lining experience, and Take it Easy came on the radio. Amy is a fantastic singer. I, well…could make eardrums bleed. Even so, Amy and I always sing together, and she acts as if I'm the John Oats to her Darryl Hall (I see you rolling your eyes A-Bra). As we sang this, I reflected on what a perfect day it had been, how I had let go of the stress and self-judgment I carry and thought…boy just start taking it all fucking easy. I will give it my best effort. I promise you. Enjoy.
Cheers to 2018 (my bottle of water in hand),