2017 was a year of many changes.  I would say that in all, these changes were all for the better even if they set me back, they provided growth through the setback and a learning experience.  I’m not a person that does new year’s resolutions, nor am I the person to put the label of “bad year” on a whole year just because of circumstances.  Every year has its ups and downs no matter what for all of us; it’s all in how we perceive it and take it, however.  

January 15th was the day that I decided I had had enough of being unhealthy in my eating habits and how I treated my body.  Since then, I have lost and kept off around 65lbs.  Here’s to hoping those lbs never show up again.  I gave up soda, I gave up the body image hate and looking at only a number on the scale.  The number on the scale lies.  It tells you that you are obese or that you’re overweight, but it can’t see the muscles or the hard work that you put into running and getting fit.  

This is the year I started to see eating differently.  There was a switch from living to eat to eating to live.  I see the value in treats, but I also see the value in limiting fake sugars and sugar in general.  There is no elimination of anything though.  

April I ran my first 5k in 5 years…I did well, and I decided that I really liked running and needed a goal signing up for my first half marathon in October.  Throughout the summer I did cardio and strength training and I was in the best shape of my life.  Running 10 miles in one day was a normal thing and waking up at 5:30 was no big deal in the summer.  

I completed my 3rd year as a school counselor, and I can honestly say that I still love my job as much at the first day I started it.  There is no other place I would rather spend my 8:30am to 4pm each day than doing what I do.  Who would have thought those years ago at Pitt would turn into this.  I also started my 4th year as a school counselor with tenure under my belt and my Level II certification in PA.  It’s amazing how time flies.  

In July, I traveled to California for the first time to visit family and explore LA.  I loved it!  I can’t wait to go back and to visit them again.  I was blessed to see Disneyland, and to see numerous sites that were breathtaking.  I fought with American Airlines and won and got my luggage and reimbursement through numerous phone calls and emails and much persistence. 

In August I ran into this man that went to St. Francis church who ignored me at the fair and later messaged me to apologize for doing do.  Little did I know that a month later I would be calling him my boyfriend and almost 4 months later here I am loving him more and more each day.  Throughout most of my adult life I also thought that I was some kind of creeper magnet when it came to men, but James was much different than that (and thank goodness!). 

In October I completed my goal race, the Hershey Half Marathon in a time that I was happy with.  Shortly after however I was in lots of pain.  That first week was roughhh.  Since then I have made leaps and bounds as far as progress towards pain goes, but I’m not where I want to be.  I learned A LOT when this occurred.  I cried, I cursed out my back, I got angry, but one thing I never did was give up.  I have done what I could while respecting the fact that I need to heal.  I still continued to lift and did my cardio in other ways than running, but I’m still not where I want to be which is why on Wednesday I’m going for an MRI to see what we can do to get me toward pain free and running again. 

I ended 2017 on a good note, celebrating Christmas with the people that I love and the family that I cherish.  I look forward to 2018 for many things.  I can’t wait to see what it holds for my fitness goals, relationships, and family.  I can’t wait to revel in successes and continue to heal and learn from being forced to slow down.  It’s really not in the times that we are always up and always on point; it’s about the times that we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and keep going even if we are frustrated as hell.  There have been many great people this year that haven’t let me give up even if I felt like it sometimes because that is not my spirit.  Giving up on what I have worked so hard for is not an option. 

In 2018 I look forward to more half marathons with my next goal being Pittsburgh in May.  I look forward to a Spartan race (or 2 or 3).  I look forward to growing in my loving relationship.  I look forward to appreciating what I have as far as health and wealth go.  I look forward to spending time with my family and friends.  I look forward to touching lives of the young people that I work with.  Most importantly, I look forward to staying as positive as I can. 

I hope that you all have a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year with lots of successes and memories made!