As 2016 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the year, the experiences I have had, and the ways in which I have grown.
For as long as I can remember, my number one goal/resolution/desire/priority has been to lose weight. Every year, I would make resolutions around losing weight, and every year, I would fail. Apparently I'm not alone in this – only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions and weight loss goals are cited more than anything else.
This year, I took a different approach when setting goals for the year. I didn't focus on weight loss and instead challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to run a 5k, learn to hip hop dance, and go to the banya with friends. I also decided to give up alcohol for the entire year as an experiment to see how it's absence would effect my mental health and productivity.
In hindsight, these resolutions were ways for me to take care of and honor my body – an unfamiliar concept when weight loss was the end-goal. I am grateful to have stopped chasing perfection or a number on the scale, but I want my BMI to be in the healthy range, and I really expected that it would get there in 2016. It didn't, and that's disappointing, but I am very proud of all that I actually did do this year.
For the first time ever, I achieved all of my resolutions.
After a lifetime of hating my body, I have finally started to feel comfortable in my own skin. It happened almost unexpectedly, quietly, and without fanfare. At some point acceptance turned into love, and now I find awe in my body, it's resilience and it's strength. What matters to me now is really taking care of myself – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Cultivating not just self-love, but self-compassion and allowing myself to let go of the idea that I must always be who I have always been.
2016 has also been filled with new adventures and new friends.
A year ago, I was watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat preparing to spend 7 days cycling through Cambodia with some of my closest friends. I would have never biked 10 miles voluntarily, so covering 186 miles on two wheels is a true testament to our my love for them and our camaraderie.
I lost 100 pounds!
When I returned from Cambodia, I hit a pretty big milestone of losing 100 pounds.
I met so many new friends through social media!
One of the most incredible things about social media is it's ability to brings people together in real life. I have met hundreds of people this year as a result of my blog and Instagram, many of who I now consider close friends. I am constantly inspired by the communities we create for ourselves, both online and locally. As an introvert, I used to be painfully shy and enjoy spending time alone. Learning to connect with others has been a huge catalyst for my personal growth. This year I led, organized, and hosted events that I would have been too uncomfortable to even attend. That is surely a result of surrounding myself with kind and supportive people and I am so grateful for every person who I have met this year.
I taught a Binge Eating Workshop & 12-week Course!
I created my first course on overcoming binge and emotional eating through habit change. I spent the better part of a year creating this course and putting it out into the world imperfectly was a huge step for me. This work is obviously very personal, which makes it exceptionally challenging, but I am dedicated to helping those who share my struggle with obesity, binge eating, emotional eating, and body issues. I have continued to refine the course based on feedback from my students and I am looking forward to opening it up again in 2017.
I hiked 100 miles around Mont Blanc!
In September, I set out on the trip which felt like the culmination of my transformation. I've written about how I slowly worked my way up from walking a block to 10k steps per day, and then pushed myself to start hiking. This 100-mile multi-day hike through the French Alps was one of the best experiences of my life. My full review is long overdue, but make no mistake, this was a highlight of 2016.
My 2016 Fitbit Stats:
- 3,606,549 steps
- 10856 floors
- 1,650.06 miles