2017 Wrap Up

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I cannot believe it is December 14th already.  Where did the 2017 year go?  I feel like I say every single year that the year went by quickly but this year has felt a little like an anomaly for me.  It went by super quick.  It was a jam packed year… From tax season, to a two-week international trip, to a hurricane evacuation, to a two-year old birthday party, to two CPA exams, to half-marathon training… my head hurts just thinking about how busy it has been!

It was around this time last year, December 2016 that I finally woke up and realized how miserable I felt.  I acknowledged that I needed help for my anxiety, sought the help and decided to make a change in my life.  I needed to find happiness, joy, peace, patience, you name it.  I had so much to be thankful for yet I wasn’t grateful and I was wallowing in my own world of self-pity.  I was spiraling down into a black hole of depression and enough was enough.  At Christmas, I got on anti-anxiety medication and it completely changed my response to life.  No longer was I living with that balled up knot in my chest, I felt like I was able to take a deeper breath, take things one at a time as they came and I finally was able to get on the floor with my daughter and play without feeling like the whole world would come crashing down if I wasn’t holding it up.  I’m not even sure I could put into words how that  truly feels… that weight coming off your chest and shoulders.

I was at a pivotal point in my life… do I continue to wallow or do I move forward?  There were so many things about myself that I didn’t necessarily hate but I didn’t like.  I spent the 2017 year being very intentional about how I viewed myself, others, my work, my life and everything that went into it.  The picture at the beginning is a snapshot of my 2017 year.  I read each of those books in that picture, (plus more from my Kindle), I went through 3 pairs of running shoes, (1 pair I had to throw away they were so bad), I took 2 CPA exams to further my career (still waiting on the results 😦 ), I bought multiple planners including my yearly planner, my meal prep planner, and my workout planner.  I went on a two-week international trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco – UNFORGETTABLE!  I was intentional about spending time with family and surrounding myself with those that make me a better person including family and friends.  I exercised on average 4 times a week the entire year.  There were weeks I did 2 days of exercise and there were weeks I did 6 days of exercise.  I completed my first Whole30 in July with my husband.  He lost 12 lbs. and I lost 7 lbs.  I have lost a total of 30 lbs. since last year in December.  Here is my side-by-side photo from after my run the other day.

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Yep – That’s a 30 lb. difference!  I actually have a thigh gap… oh yes!  The left picture was taken in September of 2016, when I was at my highest weight I had ever been at in my life.  I was pushing 160 lbs., 36% body fat and had an overweight BMI.  My husband laughs at that picture because he claims it’s just a bad angle… That might be true but good grief it grosses me out!  The picture on the right, 130lbs. 25% body fat and a healthy BMI.  I went from a size 10 jeans to a size 4.  I had to throw out so much of my clothes that don’t fit me anymore because I’m actually skinnier now!

I did something this year that I NEVER thought I’d ever be able to do… I signed up for my first half-marathon!  I am running the Publix Half Marathon on February 11th!  I’m so nervous but I’m so excited.  I went on my longest run of my entire life the other day… 7 miles!  I did this after my husband went on his 7 miles first!  I had to keep the competition going… 🙂 (yeah… I ran a little faster haha!!)

I’ve been “running” for years… I use it in quotes because it was mostly jogging with a lot of walking and only for about a mile or a mile and a half if it was a good day!  I went through a period in my life where I didn’t run for a while and lost any stamina I had for it.  Then I got pregnant with my daughter and I stopped all together for over a year and a half.  When I moved to Florida, I decided to pick it back up again but still couldn’t do more than a mile or two without just feeling winded and like I was going to throw up.  I thought for the longest time that I had exercise induced asthma since I struggled so bad to breathe during a run.  I tried so many different techniques to learn how to breathe better but it didn’t seem to work.  I gave up for a little bit and that’s when I started really putting on the weight.  I wasn’t on any sort of diet and made whatever crappy food was easiest each night since we had a baby and my time (and patience) was limited.  I hit my rock bottom.  I was fat, miserable in the Florida heat, depressed, full of anxiety and just plain unhappy.  *que the sad music and world’s smallest violin…*

Pity party: table for 1!  I prayed and prayed about this and then woke up one day to realize that I was the reason that I was miserable.  No one else had caused this, only I had.  So I put on my big girl pants and had an honest discussion with myself about how I needed to not only be on medication for now, but I had to get serious about my weight.  I hated how my body looked… so why couldn’t I fix it?  I felt so insecure about my stomach and legs… so why couldn’t I fix it?  I felt so bad about who I was as a person and the thoughts that went through my head… so why couldn’t I fix it?  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and it was going to take a lot of hard work but I know deep down how hard working of a person I am and I knew I could do it.  I was smart and everyone believed in me, I just had to start believing in myself as well.

I started exercising 4-5 times a week in January all the way through April.  It SUCKED!  I’m not going to sugar coat it… it sucked.  It was 4-5 days each week feeling sore, miserable and like I couldn’t keep it up.  I powered through and knew that it was going to be months before I saw any sort of results and that’s exactly what happened.  It took months for me to see even a little change.  I lost about 10 lbs. over those 3 months and went from running 1.5-2 miles to running about 3-4.  My breathing got better… my legs got stronger.  I also knew that I had to make a change to my diet.  I couldn’t eat the pounds of French fries, potatoes, sugary items, etc. that I absolutely loved anymore.  I knew it… just didn’t really want to believe it.  I chose to make one small change to my diet every day to start and it kicked me into having so much more energy.  My husband and I did a Whole30 in July, which is what started my website here.  We made it through and came out on the other side feeling incredible!  Since then, we have been mostly Paleo in our eating.  We make most of our meals based on either Paleo or Whole30 compliance and we have maintained our energy!  We got rid of the added sugars in our diet… we both don’t eat dairy… I am nearly 100% gluten-free… I have cut out legumes.  I cannot begin to describe to you how much energy you will have if you learn to fuel your body correctly!  Food was created pure… we, as humans, changed it, modified it, etc.

I have made changes intentionally during 2017.  What are my goals for 2018?  Well, running my half-marathon, or two if I feel like it!  I want to continue my journey of self-discovery through reading more books, continue in my life of faith in God but showing love and grace to all those I meet, raise my daughter and enjoy every moment with her, be intentional about continuing to date my husband and be a better wife, continue to push myself and my husband to be healthy in our diets and exercise, maybe grow our family a little more :), pass all 4 of my CPA exams and become licensed, spend more time with my family, take each day as it comes.  Sounds pretty good to me!

Over the next few weeks, our house is going to become a revolving door with one set of family coming in then going out as another enters and I have to tell you… I wouldn’t want it any other way!  Dan and I have been very intentional about allowing Hannah to have as much time with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. as possible.  Family is everything to us and more than anything in the world, we want Hannah to know how much she is loved and adored by God, Jesus, Mama, Dada, her grandparents, her church family, her relatives, her teachers, everyone.

Picture on the left was in December 2016 and the picture on the right is from December 2017.  Hasn’t she grown???  Where did my little baby go??

What a journey it has been… Intentionality. That’s what it takes… if you want to change something in your life or about yourself, be intentional. Be intentional about what you put in your body, be intentional about who you surround yourself with, be intentional about what you say, what you think, how you treat others. Live your life with purpose and with intention.

See you in 2018!

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