2018 Year Review

Here we are at the end of another year and 2018 seems to have flown past.  Time for my 2018 year review.  It’s always good to take some time to reflect and this is something that we are encouraged to do on a regular basis.  

On the whole I am extremely happy with the way things went in 2018.  Early in the year I made the decision to reduce weigh-ins to once a month and rely more on healthy habits rather than the scales.  Throughout the year I’ve been able to continue my healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight with only slight fluctuations throughout the year, successfully reaching my 8th year at goal anniversary in August.

Photo of CC
8 Year Goal Anniversary

This year I celebrated a milestone birthday and fulfilled a lifetime dream of holidaying in Hawaii USA, as well as Rome, Italy.  The experiences I had on those trips would not have been possible without my lifestyle transformation.  Hiking to the top of Hawaii’s Diamond Head volcano crater and Rome’s Colosseum was truly overwhelming when I considered that prior to my weightloss I was unable to climb a flight of stairs.

Photos CC in Hawaii and Italy
At the top of Diamond Head, Hawaii and the Colosseum, Rome

These experiences empowered me in ways I never imagined.  Even though I’ve achieved success in my weightloss journey and gained a lot of self confidence, I have still underestimated my abilities in many aspects of life.  Fulfilling your dreams can inspire and motive you to accomplish greater things.  I have since seized the opportunity to further my professional career and look forward to making a positive impact in my new job in the new year.  

There are things which continue to be a challenge for me.  At the beginning of the year, I set myself a task of increasing my sleep levels, I am still to achieve this goal.  I’ll be carrying this goal forward and utilising the new tools incorporated in the WW program to focus on mindfulness, meditation and wellbeing to assist me.

I’m also conscious that I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to.  I hope to use my experiences and ideas to inspire and help others.  Therefore time management will play a key part in my plans to continue blog posts and recipes.  After all if something is truly important to us, we’ll make time for it.  

So all in all, in review,  2018 has been an amazingly memorable year.  I look forward to 2019 to try new things and build wellness that works for me.  Whatever you plan for the new year, be sure to live well and love life!

Soli Deo Gloria

The road to success – so close and yet so far

I was back on my way and this time I was determined to make it the road to success!  I had achieved 30 pounds weight loss in the 12 months since returning to Weight Watchers after having a baby, which left me with 30 pounds left to lose.  There had been the occasional small gain here and there, but for the most part I was cruising along nicely and I felt good.

What could possibly stand in my way?  Because I had already experienced a similar level of weight loss before having my baby break, I had some preconceived notion that it would be plain sailing because I knew what I was doing. And yes, while I had learnt the basics – how to plan, healthy food choices, portion control and being active.  I had no idea about the way my body would react to the transformation it was going through.

I had been morbidly obese for years and it seemed like on the whole my body was very comfortable with that.  My mind and spirit on the other hand would no longer settle for that and knew that I could be a better version of myself, indeed, my best self.  It felt like I was in a battle with my body to get rid of the excess fat.  As my weight reduced, my body seemed to resist more and more.  Another 4 months passed and the gains began to become more frequent, it may have only been half a pound gains but it was just not what I wanted to see on the scales.  Then I hit another dreaded plateau, 4 whole weeks of staying the same!  What’s a girl gotta do!

Yes, there were tears and thoughts of throwing in the towel.  I’d come so far, I was 80 pounds lighter, my health had improved, I’d dropped dress sizes, all great reasons to celebrate so surely it didn’t matter if I just stopped now.  It was at this point that I became most grateful for my Weight Watchers leader and meeting group.  Having the support and encouragement of people who have experienced the same struggles and truly understand was and still is invaluable to me.  They rallied around, allowed me to let my frustrations and emotions out, picked me up and helped me plan what I would do in the next week to get me moving again in the right direction. (To read more about dealing with plateaus click here.)

Photo of CC
80 pounds weight loss – getting closer to goal

They didn’t let me quit and in reality it wasn’t what I wanted to do either.  Many people are able to achieve weight loss success independently or through online programmes but personally for me, the meeting group played a major part in me getting to my goal and maintaining it.  I’m happy to say the following week I registered a 2 pounds loss at the scales, which meant I had less than 1 stone to go.

I’d often heard people say that the last few pounds are the hardest to lose.  Now I know from experience that they are not wrong.  Success doesn’t come easy.  It’s also said that ‘anything worth having is worth fighting for’, once I hit the home straight, it would be a fight to the finish.

Soli Deo Gloria

New Year, New Me? (First Anniversary)

So here I was, I’d reached my first anniversary of deciding to change my life and joined Weight Watchers.  Looking back on my first year, I’d lost a whooping 52lbs, several body inches and improved my activity levels.  I’d face the challenges of dealing with temptations, special occasions, plateaus, etc and muddled my way through and got backed on track.  I still had a long road ahead of me but I felt good about my progress and was hopeful.

Photo of CC after losing 52lbs
One year into my journey – 52lbs lost!

The new year is always a good time to revitalise and boast weightloss efforts.  The focus in the media shifts from Christmas indulgence to fitness and health. There is always a range of new grocery products launched to promote getting healthy.  New cookbooks, workout DVDs, equipment and gym wear all add to the ‘New Year, New Me’ feeling.  I particularly enjoy watching some of the many TV shows that explore diets and how to lose weight.  It can be fascinating to see some of the far fetched ideas and extremes that have been used to lose weight.  One of the main benefits of being a Weight Watchers member is the extensive research behind the plan and guidance given.  I know I can trust it.   These TV shows always tend to come back to the same conclusion, that in order to have sustainable weightloss and lead a healthy lifestyle, you have to eat less and move more.

While I try not to be too influenced by these TV shows because I know that a quick fix diet won’t work for me, I have been able to pick up some helpful tips on the shows that feature healthy cooking segments.  For example, after seeing how easy it is to make a healthy homemade tomato based pasta sauce, I haven’t bought a jar of ready made pasta sauce since.

After my first anniversary I went through that year with modest losses, 0.5 – 1.5lbs off, then slight gains.  It was pretty slow going through the spring and summer.  These times did get me down a bit but I persevered by reminding myself of how well I had already done.  When I reached the autumn, there was an unexpected but happy event.  I discovered that I was expecting my second child so Weight Watchers and weightloss would have to be put on hold.  I was about to gain one of my greatest reasons for wanting to be healthy. I needed to be able to keep up with the energy and vitality of a young child!