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Friday, January 24, 2014

365 Days of Changes, Lessons Learned and Much More

January 24th 2013, unbeknownst to me, would completely change my life in ways I couldn't even begin to imagine.  This was me a year ago today - 

I can't believe it's been a year since I drove to Mason after work for my first meeting with Renee'.  I was so nervous and had no idea what I was walking into.  Little did I know my life would never be the same.  And that is the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in others, it seems like it just happened yesterday.  I'm not really sure what I am aiming for this entry to be.  Probably a reflection of an amazing, crazy, fun, unbelievable, adventurous and more adjectives than I can use to describe this past year.  I don't think I can come up with 365 changes, lessons learned, funny thoughts, etc so I'm going to just see how many I can come up with that describe the last year of my life.  Some of these are inside jokes but I still think you'll find them funny!

1.  Trust your heart.  It won't lead you in the wrong direction.
2.  Meeting new people doesn't have to be scary
3.  Sometimes the best things in life are unknown experiences
4.  A garlic clove should really be labeled at the store.  But, for those who may not know, it's a small white thing that is usually near the tomatoes...
5.  Plain Greek Yogurt smells funny.
6.  Having just one person who takes the time to believe in you can make a world of difference unknown to most until you experience it.
7.  There should really be maps available at the grocery store for clueless people (like me)
8.  It's fun to eat every few hours.  Especially for someone who loves food :)
9.  Exercising is a great way to relieve stress.
10. Change is hard.  But it's not impossible.
11. If you're not happy, change what doesn't make you happy.
12. Someone should really start writing recipes in English
13. I like being an Indian :)
14. Fish smells funny.
15. My 5 year old nephew is one of the most honest, and fun, people in the world. And having him notice all the positive changes I've made in my life has made this year even better (if that's possible!).
16. A pepper goes in the refrigerator 
17. I still have no idea what MSG is
18. I used to shop way too much (I used it as therapy)
19. It's about a 3 minute drive to Goodwill from my house (I've gone there enough this year)
20. Finding your inner strength translates to strength in many ways
21. It's fun to go shopping again
22. It's okay to indulge at times
23. When you only eat cookies, cake, brownies, etc a few times a year, they are freaking delicious and you'll savor every bite!
24. Cauliflower comes in a package like a head of lettuce 
25. Beans are a lot smaller than I thought they were 
26. My mom loves me more than I ever realized
27. Being on the beach is still my most favorite place in the entire world - it's just more fun when I don't mind being in a swimsuit :)
28. It's possible to travel and not pig out on fast food
29. When you eat healthy, there's far less coupons to cut out of the paper.
30. It takes, on average, 364 licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop (and no, I didn't count that myself).
31. It's possible to go out to eat and still make good decisions on food
32. York peppermint patties are made with dark chocolate (yes, it took me a few months to realize that...)
33. A year later and I still can't cook.
34. But I can do enough in the kitchen to survive.
35. No matter how much healthier I get, I am still really good at avoiding things I don't want to do. I gotta work on that one...
36. Dark chocolate really does satisfy my sweet tooth
37. Spinach doesn't taste bad
38. But I still haven't tried to cook it
39. When cookies stare at you, you can ignore them or move them to a different room to make them stop ;)
40. Healthy desserts are actually good!
41. New friends can become your best friends if you let them.
42. Yes, I'm even stupid enough to mess up green tea....but I've figured it out
43. Speaking of green tea...it makes me have to go the bathroom.  A lot. In case you were wondering.
44. Cottage cheese is gross. At least to me.
45. Putting lemon in water is actually good
46. There's a thing called a mini chopper that makes cutting veggies much easier.
47. Losing 6 lbs in one week is crazy!
48. Losing 20 lbs in 6 weeks proves that change can happen quicker than I ever thought possible.
49. Having a friend who gets excited for you when little things happen makes it so much fun to celebrate everything.
50. Apparently, I'm supposed to stretch after I workout.
51. And there's this band thing and something called a foam roller that really help with that... 
52. Google is my best friend.
53. Being sick isn't a reason to give up.  Just a reason to listen to your body and take a short break
54. Antibiotics are still my best friend
55. Removing negative people from your life is almost as important as figuring out who you are, inside and out.
56. It's fun to have people you've never met approach you at the gym and ask how much weight you've lost.
57. I never thought I would want to be the center of attention.  Now it's fun when people talk about me.
58. Self-confidence is the greatest gift in the world.
59. Almonds are considered a lean protein
60. Sweet potatoes are a vegetable...
61. I hate push-ups
62. I hate burpees even more
63. But I keep doing them because every day I get a little stronger... I think!
64. When I'm hungry I should eat.  Just not a donut. Or a brownie. Or cake. Or a cookie.  Or a lot of things!
65. Donuts look like oversized ears
66. Pizza looks like an old man's face with zits
67. I'm not flexible enough for yoga...
68. There's two different row machines at the gym... the cardio one and the weighted one...
69. Egg whites aren't as difficult to find as garlic cloves
70. Walking 13.1 miles is a lot easier when you have 38 less pounds to carry with you.
71. Honey is a good sweetener
72. Edamame is a real food...just not that easy to find....
73. Shots with baileys, strawberries and whipped cream are really good - and not that bad for you - well, except for the alcohol thing
74. You'll never change anything about your life without taking chances
75. I still don't like uncomfortable situations.  And I don't think I ever will...
76. Losing weight can make your feet smaller
77. A physioball hamstring roll-in requires coordination.
78. My back doesn't hurt as much now that I've lost all this weight.
79. When people say I inspire them, it feels weird but is so fun at the same time
80. If you buy fresh fish, it goes in the fridge, not the freezer
81. Sushi is not on my list of things I enjoy eating
82. Happiness is a choice
83. You only live once...but if you do it right...once is enough.
84. Avocados can be dangerous to cut - but they are yummy!
85. The majority of my grocery shopping now takes place in the organic and fruit/veggie section
86. I can't remember the last time I ordered a pizza....
87. There's a lot of body parts that have hard to pronounce names
88. Running isn't as hard as I thought it would be
89. Peanut butter on top of a piece of dark chocolate really does taste like a reese cup
90. Walking backwards on a treadmill requires coordination I do not possess.
91. Losing 50 pounds in 5 months is an accomplishment I never thought I would see in my lifetime
92. I can't do a push-up with my feet up on a physioball - that requires strength - but I tried!
93. I absolutely love to laugh at myself!
94. I am still in complete shock that I am a certified personal trainer
95. Weighing in the 100's for the first time in at least 7 years is priceless
96. Skinny jeans are fun to wear
97. Surround yourself with the right people and you'll be amazed at how things just start to fall into place.
98. There's lots of yummy ways to make smoothies
99. Being active is fun
100. It's possible to accomplish goals you never imagined you would set for yourself.
101. I am now addicted to Candy Crush Saga
102. I've never had a cronut - and I think Renee' would probably kill me if I tried one right now...
103. Powdered Peanut butter is an awesome invention.  Especially for smoothies
104. Chasing after my nieces and nephew is so much easier at 184 pounds.
105. Holiday candy overload takes on a whole new meaning when you don't buy it every week and it crowds the aisles at the grocery store.
106. I am convinced I would need a map to find my way around Whole Foods
107. And probably a personal tour guide...
108. Losing 75 pounds is a crazy amount of weight to lose - but I've done it - plus some :)
109. My ipad is awesome
110. Autocorrect has a funny interpretation of some of the messages I try to send.
111. Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest.  It's about who came into your life, said 'I'm here for you' and proved it :)  - Right??
112. I look funny walking backwards on a treadmill.
113. Strawberries and pb on crackers fulfills my pb&j craving
114. There's nothing better than a nap
115. I don't want a tattoo
116. There has to be a dictionary out there for idiots like me in the kitchen
117. Crushing almonds requires a hammer - or a lot of muscle
118. Hell officially froze over when my sister said she is starting to copy off my food.
119. And when she asked me where to find hummus in the store....
120. Just because it's national ice cream day, I don't get to go to Graeters...
121.Going down slides and swinging is even funner at 33 than it was at 7.
122. National lasagna day doesn't mean I get to eat lasagna...
123. It takes me a long time to eat a salad but I think I could win the world record with how fast I can eat chocolate...
124. Playing with a slinky is completely addicting.
125.There are lollipops out there that are healthy!  But I think I would have to go to that Whole Foods place and get that tour guide to find them...
126. Mints help me not be hungry
127. I'm still not sure what quinoa is or how to cook it.
128. Sending a picture of deep fried oreos (and many other things) to Renee' is fun and her reactions usually make me laugh the rest of the night. Don't worry, I don't usually eat what's in the pictures :) 
129. Oh Yeah Bars are delicious and taste like candy bars!
130. 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts. (I just thought that was funny)
131. Manja means hungry in Italian.  I think.
132. There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long.  Can you name all ten?
133. Subway is my best friend during soccer season.
134. I wore a tutu in public - and had a blast!
135. And, last but not least -

Positivity can change your life

I'm living proof of that!  There are so many more things that I've learned this year but this is what I could come up with over the last few days.  I think the most important one is one that I've listed a few times before - change is possible.  You just have to believe in yourself and start.  

January 24th, 2014

I'm happier and healthier than I have ever been.  I love life and that is something I never thought I would say.  Like Renee' said yesterday, I'm a completely different person, inside and out.  In the best ways.

Renee' - Thank you for helping me find the person I am today - I couldn't have done it without you.  And our friendship is one of the greatest gifts I'll ever receive :)