2013 I’m glad to see you go!
It’s not that it’s been a bad year; I am just looking forward to what 2014 may have in store. I am excited for life! Although I may not have achieved my one and only goal of finding a job (I am my own worst enemy), I have had many small, yet significant accomplishments.
For the first time in a long time I am in control of my physical and mental health. As of December 26th, 2012 I began exercising 3 times a week. Sometimes walking, sometimes running, yoga or biking. It didn’t matter the activity, I just needed to be off the sofa. For the most part I have stuck to it and have run/walked a total of 234 miles!!! By mid-summer I was feeling confident enough to run my first 5K. Unfortunately, I had a small set back due to a training injury but was quick to bounce back and able to walk the course (along with the other girl who cut her toe). I had so much fun “walking” the race I plan to take on a few more races this spring.
Along with all the exercise, I have become much better at eating healthy. A few years ago I had a serious back injury and gained a “few” extra pounds due to inactivity and my love for potato chips (just writing the word “chips” makes me salivate)! Since then, I’ve thought about joining several different ‘diet’ programs but they didn’t really appeal to me. Finally in February, I found a food diary App and away I went. I have also found support from my family; my mom, sister and aunt are all working hard at taking control of their health and we began a support group via email. We call it “Weigh-In Friday”, where we discuss everything – good, bad or ugly. I am very thankful for their love and support.
As most of you know some days are better than others. When I feel like crap, I eat like crap and it becomes an endless, viscous cycle. I am proud to say I have lost almost 25 pounds since I began this journey. I am not quite ready to publicly display a full-body bathing suit pic to the world yet, so here’s a cute bathing suit headshot. (Don’t judge me!)
Over the years I have struggled with depression and anxiety. It is amazing how eating properly and exercising regularly has stabilized my mental health (along with some great therapy!), and helped me gain a bit of positive momentum. When things are going well, life feels amazing; however, the smallest of speed bumps can feel like being hit by a freight train. During those times keeping a routine of exercise and diet helped me bounce back more quickly.
For me 2013 really has been about finding my footing in an ever-changing world. Accepting life’s challenges has allowed me to be more welcoming of Toronto and with that, I’ve been successful at making new friends and experiencing more of what this city has to offer. For example, I finally figured out the secret to purchasing Toronto International Film Festival Tickets (very difficult), and saw 5 fantastic films this year! I am thankful for the family and friends that came to visit, and this time around I was actually able to string together a number of great restaurants and other activities (cycling on Toronto Island) while everyone was here.
Everyone struggles. The challenge is learning how to put the hardship behind you and press on. 2013 has taught me a great deal about myself and my relationships with others, and that positive momentum has a way of making it feel like all the pieces are coming together.
I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday and a wonderful start to 2014!