Here we are. The last day of 2011. This is a time of reflection and a time of hope. Reflection on the year that is going to leave us in a few short hours and time to hope for a better year next year.
In January, I fell on the ice and found out I have a bulging disc in my spine. It was heartbreaking news because I knew the moment I fell that my workouts would never be the same. I was already coping with steel rods in my spine and now this. I was on pain meds and muscle relaxers for quite a few weeks. I was out of the gym more than I was in it. I struggled with intense pain, numbness and a handful of other issues. Looking back, I pushed myself too hard and for too long. I should have given myself adequate time to heal from the very start instead of take a week or two off, go back to the gym, end up hurt, take another couple weeks off, go back, end up hurt... you get what I'm saying.
In mid-February, I was finally starting to feel a little better from the fall when I started having intense pain in the left side of my jaw. I wasn't sure what was going on, but by the like the 2nd week of pain - I was ready to take myself right into the dentist. I don't have dental insurance and I was trying REALLY hard to avoid going in. I spent an entire afternoon in the chair trying to figure out where the problem was - they took x-ray after x-ray and couldn't find anything wrong. Until they took the final set of films. The wisdom tooth on the bottom was separating. Basically, just under the gym the top was coming apart from the roots. They told me that it needed to be extracted and it needed to be done RIGHT NOW. They pulled it. I followed their instructions to the letter. I ended up with a dry socket. For weeks, I spent time in the dentist's office. I missed work. I could barely eat and barely function it was bothering me so much.
By April, I was starting to feel a little better. The extraction site was finally feeling somewhat better and my back, while not 100%, was better. I started back at the gym, but in my typical not very patient manner - I pushed myself too hard and ended up hurt again. It was definitely a huge struggle with my back this entire year.
In August, I was at work and wasn't feeling well. I didn't want to go home, so I was attempting to simply make it through my shift. I could feel an asthma attack coming on and barely made it into the back room before it hit me. I couldn't get my inhaler to work and that set me into a downward spiral panic (if you are asthmatic, you'll understand how it feels to be in the throws of an attack and you realize your inhaler isn't working.. PANIC sets in - which makes the attack that much worse!). By the end of the day, I was being taken out of work in an ambulance. My blood oxygen level when I arrived in the rig was around 47%. I was terrified as I've NEVER had two attacks on top of one another. I spent quite a few hours in the hospital. They gave me a steroid and sent me home. The steroid helped with the asthma, but it had a negative effect on my poor lungs. After a week and not feeling better, I went back to the hospital. Found out I had a inflammation in my lungs - likely started with the attacks and made worse with the steroid. They put me on high doses of Ibuprofen to help with the inflammation, but those made me quite sick.
In mid-September, I decided that I really needed to get my body back on track. It was a very tough year for me physically and I needed to get the issues under control. I decided to basically take 2-3 months off from the gym. I felt like I needed to focus on getting not only my back but my lungs well before I could move forward with this journey.
I told myself that I would give myself until January 1 to get back on track. Once the 1st hit, it was time to re-focus and set new goals.
As I sit here today, I can tell you that I feel like I did the right thing taking this time off. My back is feeling so much better (yes, there is still pain, but I expect pain. It is the life altering, excruciating pain that I needed to get under control) and my lungs are 100% healed.
Through all of the issues I've faced this year, I'm proud to say that I have maintained at or below my original goal weight of 150lbs. I've had weeks or even months where I was closer to 150lbs (I find I get closer to 150lbs when I don't work out) and I've had weeks or even a month where I was closer to 140lbs. There were a few weigh ins where I was up quite high, but I've learned that my body doesn't react well to pain medication - it makes me retain water. I take that into account when I look back over the time.
I'm very proud of myself. I'm proud of the fact that I can be faced with some pretty serious health issues and I can still maintain my weight. I'm proud of myself for realizing that sometimes? Sometimes our bodies NEED a break and we will benefit in the end by giving into what they need. I'm proud of how far I've come. I feel like even if I don't lose another single pound - I know that I can maintain at this weight. It is easy and comfortable for me to maintain here. I'm very pleased with that.
In the midst of all these illness/injuries, I learned that my blood work is excellent and my EKG is "textbook perfect". From someone who has a strong family history of health issues (mostly heart ones) this is awesome, excellent, great news! I know that I've done the right thing for me and my body by losing the weight.
I have goals set for 2012. Things I would like to accomplish. But, I am also realistic. I know that losing 10lbs off my already slimmed down frame will be difficult. I know that I may get to a point where I don't want to fight my body simply in the hopes of dropping 10lbs. I am okay with this and have already commented to friends and family that if I find myself frustrated, anger, or disappointed because I can not drop these 10lbs, I will be content and happy at my current weight. I know that I can maintain at this weight. I know that it is easy and comfortable for me. I also have stated that if I am able to drop these 10lbs and I find myself looking gaunt or sickly or that I've lost my beloved curves, I will gain the weight back too. I want to look thin, but curvy. I don't want to look like a teenage boy.
I would like my measurements to be: 36/28/36. I would like to run a 10 minute mile. I would like to do 100 push ups. I would like to deadlift, squat and bench press my body weight.
I would like to drop another 10lbs, but the goals above are more important to me than being 135(Ish) pounds.
Most of all? I want to be happy with me. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. I want to stop seeing the "fat girl" looking back at me.