Resolutions of 2012 (and what I learned from 2011)

Move forward or get stuck in the past

Choose, but choose wisely.

It is always something I enjoy doing – making my resolutions.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Resolutions are goals.  People who are like, “I don’t make resolutions ’cause it’s stupid” are likely to be the people with no aim or direction.  They probably float through life, accidental like, waiting for things to happen, rather than making them happen on their own.  I take issue with those people.  Now, conversely, if you’re the person who is constantly setting goals and re-evaluating them, then the prior statement doesn’t apply to you.

I’m not a fan of the cop-out resolutions.  Without defining, clearly, what your commitment is to, it’s easy to let them slip away.  If you go with the ones that are often broken (weight-loss, less debt, more family time, etc), you’ll find that you will have lost sight of them by March.  Because life happens and it’s easy to get off track.  Not that those goals aren’t worthy and/or easy.  They are *very* important and often difficult to achieve.  But, I guess I’m a bigger fan of goals that go deeper than that.

When I made my 2011 goals, my life was in a decidedly different place.  I stuck with many of my resolutions, but not all.  I’m okay with that.

I learned a lot from 2011.  I learned that things can change slowly, but you often realize the gravity of those changes all at once.  I learned that emotions that are bottled up for too long will find a way out.  I learned that my strength is a sleeping giant, but it will prevail.  I learned that, without direction, I am lost.  I learned that no one will speak better for me than I can.

So for 2012, here are some of the big ones:

  • I need to keep an outlet for my emotions.  A person or activity or both.  I need a place to vent, and I need an activity to safely process my emotions.  Currently, I have those.  I need to remember to use them and not feel weak when I do.
  • I will continue to focus on my physical health.  Not to lose weight, per se.  But to keep my body healthy by keeping my mind engaged.  I lost about 20 lbs in 2012.  And I did it through active participation from my mind.  I will keep that focus.
  • I will speak up when I have a concern.  But when I do, I will be insightful and kind.  It does no good to be hurtful.  I generally don’t do that, when I do say something.  But I find that the first step is speaking up.  I will speak up more often.
  • I will read more.  I read a lot during 2011, but I want to read even more in 2012.  It helps my subconscious process things while I escape.  Plus, it makes me a better writer.  Can’t argue with that.
  • I will be featured by WordPress at least once as a featured writer.  So, you hear that, WordPress peeps?  Pay attention to me, please!  I have stuff worth saying (most of the time).
  • I will be off meds by the end of the year.  So long as I am ready, at least.  I don’t want to take myself off them before I’m ready, but I will take the steps to try to be ready to do that.  Meds weren’t ever a long-term solution.  And although I am much more comfortable with my choice, now (thanks to my very dear friend who helped me through the decision), I don’t want it to be a forever thing.
  • BFF #1 and I will go blazing at least four times this year.  I value that time, so much.  And it gives us both an opportunity to express ourselves creatively.  That’s a good thing.  Plus, I got some kick-ass photographs this year.  I want that to happen again.

I have some others, but these were the biggies.  I have one more, though.  It’s one of the most important, I think:

  • I will take care of myself.  My mind, my body, my soul.  I will reward myself with things that make me happy without guilt and shame.  I will enjoy myself, and being in my own skin.
    I am a worthy person.  I know this, deep down in the cockles of my heart.  But I will practice it, in 2012.

What are your goals?  Do you make them?  If not, why?  And if so, what are some of them?

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and exciting New Years celebration.  Don’t drink and drive, and move forward into a new year with love and determination to be the best person you can be.

I’ll end 2011 with a quote from my favorite movie, of all time: Forrest Gump.

“Don’t you just love New Years? It’s like you get to start over.  …..Everyone deserves a second chance.”

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Getting over the “crazy”

I was crazy once.  I lovingly refer to a time, several years back, when I was “crazy.”  Crazy = bulimic.  Not happy times for me.

How did I arrive at such a place?  Through a series of stupid ass choices, that’s how.

It all started when I weighed in at my Weight Watchers meeting in ’04 (I think).  I was on a plateau of weight loss.  Any one who has experienced such a thing knows how frustrating it can be.  You keep doing everything right and the number goes down, then up, then down, then up.  Or worse – stays the same.  Ugh.  It sucks.

A good friend of mine suggested that I start “burning at both ends” which is athlete speak for working out twice a day.  One intense workout in the morning; a lighter one in the afternoon.  Three days a week.  Plus two other intense workouts on the other days.  I cannot stress enough how wearing this is.  But, it did the trick.  And I was losing again.

Enter the family dynamic.  All that working out makes me a bitch.  Pair that with disordered eating (eating less and less as I get closer to weigh in at the end of the week), and my husband was ready to murder me.  He requested (in so many words) that I quit doing that.  And so I did.  Stuck with five workouts a week.

But, now I wasn’t losing any more.  So what is a girl to do?  I made the choice.  I remember the day I made the choice.  Drop 100 calories from my already meager diet.  100 led to 200.  200 led to more.  Before you know it, I was eating only 600 calories a day.  Or less.

Enter the other bad choices.  Laxatives.  Water Pills.  And finally, the ultimate insult to my body – purging.  Oh yes… I had really gone down that spiral of disaster.  My body was on a rollercoaster.  Little food, not enough hydration, purging…

It took a toll on me that I cannot describe.  I developed habits that, outside of the bulimia, I knew were bad.  I started avoiding eating in front of people; I started avoiding any function where there was pressure to eat, at all..  I started negative self-talk that was unlike *anything* I have ever heard in my life.  I said the worst things to myself.  I started distancing myself from people.  I became a person that I am not.

A friend of mine, who’s known me for 18 years, said (to describe me), “This isn’t the girl I have always known.  I wish you knew her when she was herself.”  He didn’t know how I had been torturing myself for months and months. And even he saw that something was wrong.

Now, the benefit?  I was a size 4.  I weighed less than I had ever in my adolescent and adult life.  But I was hollow.

It took me years to get right with myself.  I gained a lot of weight back (I wear a size 12 now… but there isn’t anything wrong with that).  I think it was a process I had to go through to get back to even.  I figured out that I really do like myself.  I am pretty awesome (I told you before – I teeter on the line between conceit and confidence).  But there are things that I have had a hard time undoing.

I still don’t eat in front of people.  At least, not a lot.  I still struggle with being very full.  I haven’t purged in a long time.  But, to be honest, I have slipped a few times since I went through recovery.  I have a hard time with “dieting.”  I can and will restrict my calorie intake if I am not vigilant against it.  I have to make healthy choices and be more forgiving to try and overcome that instinct.

So… here we are.  Up to now.  Why am I writing this?  Who knows.  I felt “crazy” for about 35 seconds today until my BFF brought me off the ledge.  Gave me perspective (which is why I love her so much).  What happened?  I cancelled a meeting today that I would have gone to last month (before the diet).  I was feeling nervous about eating in front of people (which wasn’t a big deal before the diet).  I made the choice to go, until an opportunity came up that gave me an out.  And I cancelled.  And I felt guilty, like I had given in to the “crazy”.

But, I didn’t.  And I am not.  I had half a cupcake today (I weigh in tomorrow).  I am eating chinese food for lunch (which is another no-no with all that sodium).

I’m still working on it.  I feel like, had I known that choice I made in ’04 would have taken me this long to reverse, I would have made a different choice.  But (since it is January and I am still being thankful), I am glad that I have the insight to see myself struggle and the strength to win.  I am thankful for people who love me, and teach me to forgive myself.  I am happy to feel good in my skin, again.  I am grateful to feel like “me.”

Today – I am thankful that I am mostly over the “crazy.”

****Side note:

Someone may stumble across this post.  Someone looking for help.  Someone wondering about where they stand.  Are they struggling with an eating disorder?  What does that mean?  Can I get better?  Right now, I’ll speak to you.  Here is website that gives you some overall information: Bulimia nervosa info from the Mayo Clinic.

And yes.  You can get better.  With help.  With patience.  With forgiveness.  But you have to make the choice to do it.  It all starts with a phone call.   And if I can be helpful to you, leave me a comment.  You can beat it.  But you have to start today.  Make the call. Do it today.