I have been trying to come up with a theme for my end of the year blog wrap up. Don't laugh, I know I haven't blogged very much, but I have put myself out there a bit. I decided to do a Top 10 list of things related to my low carb lifestyle this year.
10. Low Carb Ladybug Facebook group was created. I kept finding myself spending more time on Facebook than I had been in my regular low carb forums. I also noticed many of my friends were doing the same. Many of these women I felt very close to and have done so much to encourage me through my weight loss over the past five years and I did not want to lose touch. I also wanted a closed group so we could discuss our ups and downs and not have to broadcast to everyone on our friends list. So I created the group as a place where we could stay connected. It has been such a blessing to me and I hope to the other group members.
9. I started out the year being pretty proud of myself. Although I had re-gained some of the weight I had initially lost I was down to my lowest weight in years. I had lost over 160 pounds and was determined to keep my momentum going. I was doing lots of research and looking to clean up my diet and up the healthy fats.
8. In April I attended the Balanced Bites Workshop in Frisco, Texas. Until that day I had never met another low carber in person. I was so excited to meet my online friend, Becky, who would be attending the Low Carb Cruise a few weeks later. I "knew" Becky from my low carb beginnings and had reconnected via Facebook. It was so great to meet another Low Carber face-to-face as well as learn how real foods can help not only fuel, but heal your body.
7. In May I attended the 5th Annual Low Carb Cruise. What can I say other than AMAZING! It was truly a wonderful experience to be in the company of others who follow a low carb lifestyle. I plan on attending again in 2013 and hope than anyone who is interested in learning more about low carbing, making new friends or just hanging out on a cruise ship with fun people...sign up now!
6. While attending the Low Carb Cruise I was asked to share my success story. This is something that I had never done before, especially in front of 200 people. I happily agreed, but terrified when the time came to talk. It was one of the hardest and best things I have ever done. It felt so good to share and get it out. People who know me know I had lost a lot of weight, but not how much or how I had done it. I really didn't want people to know how big I used to be, it was not anyone's business but my own. After sharing my story and receiving positive feedback from my low carb friends and experts, I felt like I had to start sharing with others.
5. The company I work for was doing a biggest loser challenge and I had been talking to a few ladies at work about low carb. I started an at-work low carb support group in which we met twice a month. One meeting we tried out recipes and shared how we were doing and the second meeting we discussed a topic. There are five of us who attended regularly. I am very proud of the success my co-worker Ladybugs and their families have had.
4. While trying to get organized for my at work support group, I decided to gather a listing of links to help them get started. While brain-storming, I decided why do all this work for just our little group so I decided to start the Low Carb Ladybug Newsletter. With the help of my low carb cruise friends we made it happen. It turned out to be a bigger project than I expected, but a great experience. I plan to continue releasing the newsletter quarterly in 2013.
3. In September I turned 46 and made it to ONEDERLAND! This was the first time since high school I had been less than 200 pounds. I plan to stay, I love it here!
2. Anyone who shops in the plus size specialty stores or plus size section of the department stores know and understand how depressing it can be. The clothing selection isn't great, the clothes are more expensive and it can be embarrassing as well. My mother has always been smaller and shops in the regular departments. A few weeks ago I was able to shop with her, in the normal sizes! I am officially out of the plus sizes and it feels amazing. My husband isn't the happiest about me buying so many clothes over this past year but my body has been changing and I got to have something to wear, right?
1. The number one thing that has happened to me in 2012 is the new friends I have made over this past year. Thank you to all my low carb friends that I have met online and in person. I truly appreciate all that you have done to support me and my low carb lifestyle. There are many who have helped me when I have had bad days and am struggling as well as helped me celebrate my successes. There are a few very special friends who I depend on daily (I won't name names to protect the innocent, but you know who you are) and I am truly blessed to have you all in my life. I hope that I am able to be as good a friend in return.
This past year has been a growing experience for me. I believe my biggest challenge has been talking to others about my weight loss journey and feeling proud in doing so. Sometimes I find it ironic that I am trying to help others when I still feel like I have so far to go. I also struggle with feeling comfortable in my body and with body image. There are times when I look in the mirror and see my old self. I hold up clothes and think there is no way this will fit and then they are too big. The mind-body connection will take time.
I know I didn't gain all my weight overnight and Lord knows I haven't lost it that way. In fact it seems like this past year I have had to fight for my body to release every pound. I know I am worth fighting for and I will reach my goals. I know this is a journey, not a race, and I have a much longer life now that I am healthy. My goal for 2013 is to continue to clean up my diet and cut out processed foods. I also want to work on toning and strengthening my body. I love walking and enjoy Zumba for cardio, but know that resistance training is very beneficial at this point in my life. Honestly, I do not know what my overall "Goal Weight" is. I guess I will know when I get there and feel comfortable. I would like to set a goal to lose 30 pounds in 2013, one day at a time I know I will get there.
Thank you, again, to all my Low Carb Ladybugs and friends! I hope that 2013 blesses you all with good health and happiness!