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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Two Years .... and Counting

Two years ago today I took one of the most difficult steps I've ever taken in my life.

Honestly, I can't believe it's been two years since the day that I started a journey to change my life.  I feel like it has completely flown by.  But, there have been several difficult times within these two years of amazing achievements, accomplishments, goals met and just great things in general.  Know what?  I think that is what makes marking this 2 year anniversary that much sweeter.  To know that I can (and have) achieved so much and, for the most part, found new and healthier ways to deal with every day life speaks volumes about the transformation I've gone through.

I'm not done.  I'll never be done.  Life is an ever changing journey.  I learn things every day about myself and others.  As each day passes, I see more and more things I am capable of.  Two years ago, I never, in a million years, would have been thinking that way.  In fact, two years ago, I would have just been thinking, okay, just gotta get through another day.  Then I can go home, lay on my couch, eat whatever makes me feel better and pretend the outside world doesn't exist.  I couldn't see what a sad way that was to be "living" life.

Enter the person I now know as my good friend, Renee'.  I met her through my big brother.  She is one of, if not the most, genuine people I have ever met.  And, she is an expert in fitness and nutrition.  After talking to my brother about me (to this day I have no idea what transpired in that conversation), she agreed to meet with me to see if I wanted her help in figuring out my weight issues.  As scary as it was for me (because it involved the unknown), I contacted her via email and we arranged a time to meet.  That meeting took place two years ago today.  Trust me when I say, when I walked in there, I was at probably one of the lowest points I had ever been.  I was tired of being sad.  Sick of crying ALL THE TIME.  Done with isolating myself from the world.  But, I had no confidence in myself.  And no idea where to start.  I think that was very evident to Renee' the first time she met me.  Did I mention she's really good at reading people?  Yeah, I didn't realize how well she could read me right away.  Just sitting and talking to her, I immediately felt a sense of hope in a way I hadn't experienced in years.  I didn't really know what to do with that feeling.  She made me think about positive things about myself and actually talk about what I could think of.  Not an easy task for me.  I'm not good at talking about myself or finding anything good about who I am.  As we spoke, I became more and more comfortable, which is a rare occurrence for me in that short of a time frame.

That day was just the first step in an incredibly long, sometimes difficult and often rewarding process that I am still working my way through every day.  I still struggle at times.  But, so many weights (literally and figuratively) have been lifted off my shoulders in so many ways.  I'm happier than I ever thought I could be.  And I know that feeling is just going to continue to get bigger and better as the days, weeks and months go on.

So, with that, I thought I would add to the list that I started last year about things I've learned in the last year.  Some will probably be funny.  And random.  But, that's part of my charm.  Or, so I've been told.

1. I still can't cook.  I mean, why do recipes have to be so confusing?  But, I try.  Which generally resutls in a lot of laughing.  Especially at myself :)
2. Items people use to cook with often have weird names that make it hard to decipher where exactly they would be located in the grocery store.  Especially for someone like me.
3. Titles of recipes should really be written in English instead of this made up language recipe writers currently use...
4. Salmon (and most fish) smells weird.  And tastes funny.  At least to me.
5. Pinterest has great workouts.
6. Free workout classes are like gold.  Love that they are included in my Y membership!
7. Bears are mean - especially because the way they crawl is an usually cruel exercise in my opinion.
8. Living a healthy life isn't about a number on the scale.  It's about how I feel about myself and the people around me.
9.  I still love pizza.  It's just yummy.  Except now I eat one or two pieces instead of 6.  And, yes, I used to eat at least 6 pieces of pizza in a single sitting.  Sad, I know.
10. Running is a great workout.  And quicker than walking.  But, hills suck. 
11. Sharing achievements is so fun.  I haven't always had many of those in my life so the ones I accomplish now are just that much more special to me.
12.  Friends are the greatest gifts in the world.
13. I love riding bikes.  But bicycle crunches are a cruel creation.
14. My feet still get cold.  If only I weren't too lazy to get up & get a pair of socks.
15.  Pay attention to the details when ordering food on Amazon.  Otherwise you will end up with 4 family size bags of organic, gluten free candy.... at least I got a good deal!
16.  I still haven't figured out what to do with a garlic clove....
17. I enjoy working out in a way I never thought I would. 
18. Having a job and co-workers you truly enjoy being around is a gift that can't be put into words.
19. Naps are one of the greatest inventions.  EVER. :)
20. Life is a journey.  And the only way to experience that journey is to figure out what makes you happy.  It may take awhile.  I'm still figuring it out.  But, the process is so incredibly rewarding as you go through it.  I never knew what true happiness felt like until the last 2 years.  I'm finally okay with myself.  It's been a long time coming.  I'm so unbelievably thankful.  I can't even put my thankfulness into words.

Maintaining weight loss is something I've never been able to do.  And, although I have my ups and downs (on the scale and in other aspects of life) and am currently trying to find some balance with everything, making it through an entire year without reverting to my old ways is one of the greatest achievements in my lifetime.  It's hard for me to completely process that I've actually been able to maintain the weight loss.  But, I can say, I am prouder of myself than I ever thought I could or would be.

Renee' - I know you say this is all me and won't take credit for all the help, encouragement, advice, etc.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.  You gave me my life back.  Just by being an amazing friend. By pushing and encouraging me to do things I never thought were mentally, emotionally or physically possible.  And describing food to me.  And helping me figure out what various pans and dishes look like.  I still smile and laugh when I think about the first time we talked about food and you realized how incredibly clueless I was.  And I dripped green tea all over the recipes you'd written for me.... I could still read them... And I still have them :)  Who knew you are such a talented artist?? ;)  I wouldn't be the person I am today without you. Of course, I still get lost at the grocery store.  But, I think that's going to happen for a long time. 

Thank you.  In more ways than I could ever say or put into words.