And what a trip it was!

While every year has its ups and downs, I can genuinely look back on this past year of my life and smile!   38 was a GOOD year for me and my feelings of excitement and optimism going into my 39th year of life have more than pleasantly surprised me.  For someone who has been operating with a higher than normal level of anxiety for years now, I have this new found sense of calm that is both a little foreign and very refreshing at the same time!  Not to be cliche, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.  Like I can take a deep breath for the first time in a very long time.  Like I am no longer just surviving, I am starting to thrive!

Is this was “normal” people feel like?  I don’t know if there is such a thing as normal these days, but I wonder if this is what not living under the veil of anxiety and imminent panic everyday feels like?  Coming out the other side of being mentally and physically unhealthy for many years now, I don’t even think I truly realized how weighed down I had been feeling and for just how long.  A year into getting healthy and I kinda feel like my teenage self again!  Remember being a teenager?  Being filled with a cocky sense of invincibility that you could do or be anything you wanted.  That feeling of having the world at your fingertips….yep that is the feeling that is coming over me as I think about all the things I want to accomplish this year!

Being optimistic going into a new year is in itself a new sensation for me!  I wouldn’t say that I am pessimistic by nature, more of a realist if I had to label myself, but this is the first year that I am really excited to see what the next twelve months are going to hold.  I feel like I am back in control of my life and there really is no limit to what I can do now and what direction I can take it.  I wanted to talk about these new feelings because this is yet another great example of how getting myself physically back in shape has done wonders for so much more than just my waist line!

In sitting down to write this post it dawned on me that it has been many, many weeks if not months (long enough that I can’t even remember when the last time was exactly) since I had a panic attack!    That is pretty amazing considering last year at this time I was having several a week!!  This journey never ceases to amaze me guys!  The past couple months I was so focused on the physical progress I was making that I hadn’t been paying much attention to how much better mentally I was doing.  Coming into the new year as well as celebrating my birthday yesterday has naturally led me to reflect back on the past year as well as look forward to the new one and you know what?  Looking in both directions fills me with excitement…a kid in a candy store kinda excitement!  I am both proud of what I have accomplished and excited to see how much more I can achieve.

You guys, getting in shape, starting on a health and wellness journey, deciding to eat better, and/or even just starting to prioritize yourself a little more is so worth it.  I physically lost some weight over the past year but I think even more remarkable is what I have gained.  I gained my confidence back.  I am proud of myself for the first time in a long time.  I am more optimistic than I have been in years.  I found my breath.  I feel like I am in control of my life for the first time in a long, long time.  Things are not just happening to me anymore, I am making them happen the way I want them to and this is all because I made one decision a year ago to get my butt back into shape.  I had no idea then what that decision would mean, or just how significant it would become, but I am so thankful that I got tired enough of myself and my own excuses to commit to making it happen.

It started out for me with just a simple desire to lose a few pounds.  That was all I made up my mind to do a year ago.  It has since transformed into an entirely new lifestyle that I am so, so in love with.  I have taken back control of both my body and mind.  I can’t think of one aspect of my life that has not been improved by being on this journey. I wake up every day now looking forward to continuing on this path and making more and more progress.  I have been amazed at how my body has responded thus far and possibly even more astonished at how much my mental health has improved.

So in the spirit of the new year, and new beginnings and the blank book we have in front of us,  lets write the best chapters yet!  Make one decision today that you will look back on this time next year and be abundantly thankful to yourself for making.  Start small, swap out that soda you drink at lunch for a glass of water, incorporate a 30 minute walk into your daily routine a few times a week, go get that physical you have been putting off to get a baseline idea of your overall health.  Just pick one thing and build on it over the course of this year.  Take a few baby steps today that your future self with thank you for.  You are worth it!!!

Happy New Year to all of you!  Lets make it a great one!!  Some pics below from how I spent my day yesterday. Spoiler alert: I ate a lot!! 

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By Beth from Life, Take 2

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