anniversaries

Saying Goodbye to a Difficult Year

I wish I could say that 2011 was a fantastic year.  There were a lot of really good things that happened in 2011, which I will recap here. But honestly I have to say I am looking forward 2012 and hoping that it is a much better year for me, my friends and family that have struggled this year.

Winter

This past winter was a hard one for me. I was coming back from a running injury and that posed a lot of challenges for me in my road to staying fit. Not being able to run much depressed me. In order to maintain my fitness level I decided to switch to a new goal: cycling. In January I started biking on the trainer in the house.  I was able to find alternative activities while I couldn’t really run. I still swam, I was lifting weights at the gym on a regular basis, and we went snowshoeing a lot! I was glad that we were able to snowshoe and hike so much during the winter.

Not only did I find ways to stay active in the dark, long winter, I tried to distract myself from the disappointment of my injury as well.  I saw sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, I did exercises and yoga, stretching and Eastern Medicine. In the end, what worked was a $3 piece of rubber the doctor had me put in one shoe. Apparently one leg was shorter than the other and causing my IT Band issues.

I celebrated my 1 year blog anniversary. And I ended winter on a positive note: Michael and I went on vacation to sunny Arizona. I loved our vacation there! So much hiking! I swam outside! And the best part: I was able to run outside with no injuries. I was cured!

Spring

Spring arrived and I was happy to be running again. I took it slow and never really pushed myself too much when it came to running. I was just glad I was back at it. I was more focused on weight lifting, honestly. I grew to love it and I saw amazing changes in my body. I checked out Crossfit for the first time, and loved every painful minute of it!

I challenged myself a lot this last Spring. I did a much needed Sugar Detox, I tried the Slow Carb Diet (which didn’t work for me), and the biggest challenge: BIKING TO WORK. In order to train on the bike for the Portland Century I started commuting to work, weather permitting. I was tentative at first, and didn’t bike far. I was averaging about 15 miles round trip (driving half way there and then parking and biking to work).

Spring finished with us building raised beds in our yard and planting our first vegetable garden. It was fruitful and amazing to eat food straight from the ground. It was one of my favorite accomplishments of 2011.

Summer

June arrived, but the rain was still falling in Oregon. I was still able to bike to work a fair amount–but not as much as I would have liked. I got my very first pair of clip-in shoes and had to learn how to ride a bike all over again. I practiced biking all summer long, even biking to the gym, in preparation for the Portland Century:  Part 1Part 2The EndRecovery.

I went on a search for the best burger in Portland. My garden was thriving. I swam 2 miles for the first time, I was hiking a lot. It was a good, active summer.

I also celebrated my three year anniversarywith Michael. He surprised me with a surprise road trip, complete with clues! Mystery Road Trip: Part One, Mystery Road Trip: Part Two, Mystery Road Trip: Part Three. It was a wonderful time and the highlight of my summer.

One of the biggest challenges of the summer was going scale-free. It was hard at the beginning but in the end it was the best thing I could have done. It helped me get over my obsession with “that number” on the scale.

Summer ended with sadness, unfortunately. A coworker who had been battling cancer for less than a year passed away. The same day, another coworker’s young daughter was killed by a car. The whole experience made me question what was important in my life.

Fall

Fall was fast-paced and busy. It really did pass by in a flash and I felt like I missed it. Michael and I were busy traveling. My running was going great. I’d gotten my mileage up to a quicker pace and I was consistently running about 5 miles at a time. Then I started to have some issues again with my knees. I decided to try Spin class for the first time and fell in love with it! I loved the classes and being able to maintain my cycling fitness all winter was a huge bonus.

Winter

I welcomed winter with some happier thoughts. For once the winter months weren’t engulfed in rain. Portland was cold but dry in November and December. My hope is that the rest of the winter is a good one. I’m looking forward to the holidays, snowshoeing and celebrating my 32nd birthday in January.

QUESTION: How was 2011 for you? What were the highlights and not so great moments for you?

Timelines and Landmark Dates

Tina wrote a very personal, heartfelt post recently called Timelines. I was impressed with her openness and honesty about personal things in her life and the challenges she’s faced. I could relate to her personal stories about bingeing and using food to make herself feel better. And it got me thinking…where was I way back when? How far have I come? Sure, I write about the challenges I faced, how I lost the weight and how I’m keeping it off. But what about specific landmark dates? Here goes…

Where Was I 10 Years Ago?

I was 21 years old, living in Portland with my boyfriend of two years. We broke up and I moved back home to Seattle for the summer. It was a harsh, painful summer filled with eating, grieving and depression. I worked two full time jobs for four months to save money to move out on my own again. I didn’t have a single day off from working that summer. It was a good distraction. Working all the time meant I had no downtime to brood. It also meant I had no time to exercise or eat right. I ate a lot of fast food on my way to and from jobs. There was a Taco Bell and a Subway right by my evening job and that’s where I ate my dinners.


After a few months I’d saved up enough money for move-in costs and I transferred my job back to Portland. I found an apartment by myself in the quaint Multnomah Village area and I lived my life. I worked full time, I started eating my feelings. It took a few years to gain the weight. I was living my life alone, making new friends in Portland and got a new job. Life was pretty good, despite the depression and eating.


The weight crept up steadily, almost unnoticed.

Where Was I 5 years Ago?

I was 26 and weighed over 250 pounds. Earlier that year I’d had a revelation about my life and where I was headed. I’d just gotten home from a vacation in Chicago, surprised at the photos I saw of myself.

2006 - 250 Pounds

I had another wake up call and realized it was time. It was time to make a change and that’s when I started to lose weight. I started swimming and then I tackled the hardest part: the food. Counting my calories was natural and easy for me. It became a habit in my life immediately. Sure I had some challenges but it worked. I was on my way. It is hard to believe it was only 5 years ago…

Where I was I 1 year Ago?

I was running the Hood To Coast Relay race and celebrating my 2nd anniversary with  Michael.



I was happy and in a healthy relationship with an evolved, understanding man. I was also celebrating the 2nd anniversary of maintaining my 100 pound weight loss! I had been maintaining my weight loss for so long it was second nature. I still counted my calories and I grew to love fitness. I loved biking and hiking and still swam.

Not much different from where I am now, I think.

Where Am I Today? 

I’m finally in a place where I am at peace with my body, my weight (for the most part) and don’t feel that urge to “try and lose those last few pounds.” If I do, I do. If not, who cares? I’m enjoying my life as it is: working out, getting my fitness in through recreational activities, and eating good food.

On August 21, 2011 I biked 72 miles in the Portland Century. It was a challenge I set for myself, unsure if I could do it. But I did.

Where Will I Be Tomorrow?

I want to continue maintaining my weight loss. I’m thinking about going back to school. I’m writing a book–maybe it will be published someday. Since I was a pre-teen I’ve been writing stories and dreaming about being a published author. I hope that dream comes true.


I have dreams of other challenges:

  1. Biking a full Century–the full 100 miles, baby!
  2. My hope is that in 2012 I swim across the Columbia River!
  3. I want to run again.
  4. I want to do a triathlon.

Having goals to work towards keeps me alive and happy.

QUESTION: What are your timelines and landmark dates?