Friday, December 31, 2010

Another good year

2010 is almost over. Unbelievable.

And of course there is the usual reflection on the year past and looking forward to the year ahead. I find myself in a very different place this year, where I look back at 2010 and think that all in all, it's been an awesome year if for no other reason what the year means for the years ahead.

It's been a bit more challenging year than I might have thought. It has been challenging financially as doing the whole home business thing has not taken off like I thought it would. I'm thankful to have found work with a great employer, but that too is challenging because while it's a steady income I also know there's so much more out there.

And yet I find myself so much more optimistic about what lies ahead because of the past year. I'm back in school, albeit for probably a long time, and actually able to keep up. Balancing the time between classes, job and family is more of a challenge than I expected but it's gone well.

And of course, there's an amazing sense of energy I feel from just... feeling better. As of this morning I'm at 304.9 pounds. I haven't been this light in 5 years, and I'm incredibly close to being the lightest I've been in more than 17 years. Honestly the earliest I remember weighing myself would be about 1993 after making a career change, I remember being over 300 then. I know I gained a lot of my weight through the 80's, and probably went over 300 pounds... maybe around 1992 or so? So about the time I hit 298 I'll be the lightest I've been in over 18 years... that's a pretty amazing feeling.

In some ways I feel this sadness just for maybe what was lost in that time. I mean, I don't know that I'd say anything specifically was lost... how do I put this? I think it's just this looking back over those years and how I viewed myself maybe. Maybe it's the years of lost energy. I look at a lot of those years as being very discouraged. That all wasn't just around my weight, there were many other factors involved, but I also would be wrong to say that weight didn't maybe enhance how I felt about other factors.

At my last checkup a couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to be on the patient panel at any of the presentation/seminars coming up. Evidently they're pretty pleased with my progress at the doctor's office. I'd lost 60 pounds since my very first visit in April. I do feel good about the fact I'd lost 20 of those pounds by the time I had surgery, and I'm really glad I did that because it helps me feel like there's more than just the surgery involved here, you know? But I do find myself being very ready to be an advocate because the truth is the surgery has played a major role in this success, both before and after.

I think in the end it's a number of things. First of all there was a great deal of encouragement in figuring out that my journey has not been that abnormal after all. Maybe getting to where I was at may not be in the norm, but the fact is once you get to this point there's almost no going back (and staying there) on your own. As I started to look at a future where this weight could be kept off, that energized me in the months leading up to the surgery. And in the end I think it's become exactly what was explained at the seminar way back then: The surgery is not a magic pill. I look with some amount of pride at all the miles I've walked since then and all the extra activity I've engaged in since then, knowing that that's had a major role in where I am now. And I know it will have a major role in where I will be by this time next year. I've quoted this in the past I think: This surgery has leveled the playing field. It's made it where diet and exercise have a chance now to make a difference. My energy and enthusiasm for doing the things I need to do to get back to a healthier me have increased tremendously. My attitude is so much better than it's been in a long, long time.

So yes, I find myself saying that if anyone is in a position where such a surgery is a consideration, consider it! Do what it takes to get healthy again. It's so worth it.

I guess that means that I'd be glad to be on the panel.

Getting back to the whole new year thing... maybe the best illustration for how I look ahead comes with the snow we had yesterday and this morning. I was actually looking forward to going out and shovelling because of the exercise it allows... I don't know that I ever could have said that. And I'm seeing another shift in myself as well. I've mentioned before that I have chosen to walk over riding the bus because of that exercise. It's becoming more than that now... it's more than just doing so because it will help me lose weight. I find myself enjoying the activity just... for the activity.

So there's a new enthusiasm, a new energy going into this year that I've never had. I feel healthier physcially, mentally, and spiritually than I've felt in a long, long time. And that has me pretty excited about what the new year has to offer. It's been an awesome year, but... nothing like the year to come!

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