Well, I can't believe it but I started this blog over a year ago now. I have been reading through my blog posts over the last few days and it's kind of amazing how much has changed. I guess you don't really notice it when the changes are small or happen over an extended period of time, but 2012 was a very good year for me. I created my twitter account around the same time as this blog and am beyond amazed at the people I have come to know and the sense of family and community I feel.
I originally created both the twitter account and this blog to hold myself accountable for my actions and to seek out inspiration. Although I started my weight loss journey back in 2009, I initially lost a lot of weight and then maintained it for several years. This blog was my attempt to jump-start that weight loss again, to put myself in motion. If that had been my only goal for 2012 I could have already called the year a success. I lost an additional 25 pounds this year (although admittedly 5 of those pounds did creep back on in the last few months), and am wearing a smaller size than when the year began.
I also literally put myself in motion by completing my first full year as a runner. This in itself is a huge accomplishment for a non-committal, easily-bored person like myself. I began the year as a timid treadmill-user, afraid of the road and counting the painful minutes until my run was over. Then one day in March, I ventured outside and truly fell in love with running. I wrote about it in one of my favorite blog posts, here. Shortly after that magical run, I joined my local Galloway run/walk group. I forced myself to be a person who stays in and goes to bed early on Friday nights and wakes up at 5:30am to meet my running group on Saturday mornings. I met some of the most motivating people in that group and am so blessed that I can now call some of them friends outside of running.
Over the course of the year, I ran my first 5k race, my first 8k, my first mud/obstacle run, and nearly 8 months to the day after that first outdoor run, I completed my first half-marathon. I ran 9 races total between April and December. I have run over 600 miles in this, my first year. I learned how to make and keep commitments to myself and to other people. I spent a lot of money on races and gear, although my initial choice to run was because it was "free" (oh silly, naive Bang).
Most importantly I found an outlet for all of the stress and pressures put on me by my job, my family and myself. It used to be that if I had a bad day I would drive from one fast-food restaurant to another and eat until I literally felt sick. I would take whatever void there was in my heart and fill it with food. Now, I run. It is my time to be alone with myself, my thoughts. When I run, no one can touch me; I'm invincible and free. My moods and temper are more even and I'm generally a nicer, more optimistic person than before (ok, this is debatable).
In addition to running I found a love of dance through my local Zumba classes. After putting it off for months, I timidly (and most-definitely awkwardly) attended my first class. I didn't know the moves but I didn't let it bother me. I was trying and that was enough. The more I went, the less self-conscious I became. I went from one of the women hiding in the back row to what my instructor calls a "front row diva". I became more confident in my body and myself.
In August I was honored to be featured as a Friday FITspiration story on rUnladylike.com. That was really the first time I opened up and was honest about my journey outside of my own blog (which I liked to pretend no one was actually reading). I met some amazing and inspiring people through that opportunity and I'm thankful to Jesica for thinking my story was one worth sharing. It still surprises me when people tell me I inspire them but it means the world to know that I do.
You have all inspired me so much throughout this year that I can't even begin to tell you. Without the amazing community of runners and fitness folks on Twitter, I don't know that I would have accomplished all that I have in 2012. You have been my support system, my cheerleaders and my friends. You guys inspire me every day and I love you for it. Thank you for being a part of my journey, I can't wait to see where 2013 takes us.