Happy Birthday to ME!

Today, I turn 28, and it has been one full year since I turned 27, when I wrote the post I am about to repost. I am going to set this up as an open letter to my thoughts of last year, as it seems to be a way to respond to my goals, my current situation, and my past!

A dramatic title, mostly just to get people to read this post. I’m now 27, or will be at some point today (I forget what time of day I was born, but I think it was around 8am…or pm, either way).

I still don’t remember.

Today will be a jam packed day. I work until 8:00pm for the most part, then I will be lining up shortly after 9:00pm for The Dark Knight Rises for the midnight showing. It’s kind of a fun and interesting way to celebrate the birthday this year. My birthday always falls during UB, so I normally do not get a day off, but with being hall manager, at least I can go out and do something fun later in the night.

Tonight, I will be gearing up to watch the film Sharknado with a bunch of friends, so movies are a valuable part of my birthday experience. I also get to have the day to myself again because I am not at UB this year, which has been a source of contention for me. There are both good and negative things about the transition. I love my new job, but when I go back to volunteer it feels different (yet very comfortable and familiar at the same time). Part of the transition of turning older is that change is happening (no I am not talking about Menopause), and that those changes are a natural part of moving forward through life.

I spoke in my last post about how symbolic the day is for me. I am a lot healthier than I was when I turned 26, and I feel a lot better about a lot of things. A friend of mine keeps jabbing at me and saying happy 30th birthday (which is now only 3 short years away), which makes me feel like I could suffocate. Sorry to those older than I reading this now. I think when we are younger, birthdays are “just another day” ,but as I get older, it symbolizes a movement in life and being in your 30’s feels and means something different, despite being a completely fabricated and cultural mindset. So, that is why it feels like an impending doom, the advancement closer to having to know what you are doing with your life, closer to needing a career, a family, all these different things, but as noted “it’s not”.

As I am not 28 (dammmmn). I am feeling that closed-in feeling. Especially the last month, as I prepared for this moment. Although today, I don’t feel quite as burdened by it. I know it must sound silly to some people. I am still young, but those aspects of “having your shit together” is still a constant thought for everyone throughout their lives. I’ve been feeling “super single” lately. It seems like all my friends are in relationships, some are having kids, most are getting married. I enjoy being single, but I think when something is so omnipresent it gets your mind gears working in a different way.

Life is way to fluid to be dictated by some american dream of knowing how your life will turn out. Just one year ago I was on my way to cardiac disease, diabetes and 300 pounds. It only takes a moment or a day to change your whole life. The concept of age is completely superficial and the life milestones associated with them are even more superficial. I am loving life right now. I’m still in graduate school, loving it, I love having friends, despite the fact some are getting married and having kids. Life isn’t about measuring ourselves in relation to others, even if that is natural to do. It’s about being happy. For example, in the last year, I know I would not have focused on my health nearly as much as I did if I were in a relationship. I’ve seen so many people get into relationships, get comfortable, and then other aspects of their lives go wayward. It’s understandable, I get it, but I am glad that I focused on me and that I am where I am today and that I have goals for the next year of my life. Maybe something will interrupt that, but at this point, I feel like I have created a strong path for myself and will achieve those things.

True story. Now that I have completed most of my weight loss goals, I have a full time job after graduating; I feel like there is some relief on myself to go out there and explore the world a little. I know that sounds the opposite (you are supposed to that in college) of sensible, but I feel like I have gone on a lot of adventures the last few months with hiking, moving, climbing, running, and just getting out there more.

Last night, I made some goals for my 2-year “Healthiversary” – as I noted in my post yesterday, it was kind of a mentally stressful day, so I thought recalibrating my goals and looking at some longer term goals might help. I usually advocate, short-term, obtainable goals, but being where I am, and where I was yesterday, seeing how far i’ve come in 6 months to a year was helpful, so I thought i’d do the same looking outwards.

January 23rd, 2013 Health-Related Goals

  • Have run over 100 miles in races from 4/20/12
  • Have run over 100 miles outside of races from 8/8/12
  • Return to Big Bear to Little Bears
  • Hiked Mt. Katahdin
  • Be Awesome at Roller Skating
  • Maintain a healthy weight of around 170
  • Have lost 5” from waist/stomach from 7/7/12 (toning and flatten belly)
  • Have gone to 13 : Zumba, Power Hour, Kettle Ball Kraze classes
  • Be noticeably stronger

Well. Here goes

  • Have run over 150 miles in races from 4/20/12
  • Have run over 300 miles outside of races from 8/8/12
  • Did not return to Big Bears Little Bears – I view this as a good thing
  • I did hike Mt. Katahdin!!
  • I am getting mighty awesome at skating!
  • My weigh in today was 170 exactly!
  • Have lost 5″ from my waist/stomach. Now to get rid of the little fat pouch
  • I did go to a lot of fitness classes, then I started going to CrossFit, which I have done over 60 times!
  • I am a lot stronger since I started weight lifting, gotten many PRs!

I think there is a good diversity of active based, health based, and physical based goals in there. A lot of people have been telling me, “you don’t have any more weight to lose”, but I think because I look so much smaller than I used to, people don’t understand that there is still progress to be made. By no means would I say that I am fat anymore, but I still have fat to lose and still am continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle.

I am excited at the prospect of the future for when I turn 28. Although I do feel a bit of that “doom” I mentioned earlier, remembering that it is artificial keeps me forward, and knowing that 27 is so much better than 26 was gives me a great hope and motivation about how 27 will be and where I will be when I turn 28. I have such an adventurous spirit. Next month I am going white water rafting again. Learning to roller skate has been a blast, and starting to learn to hula hoop. Maybe i’ll even get on a bike! With a clear and healthy mind, there are no limits. Here’s to another year of health, progress, and living life.

Oh, 29 what will you bring me when you arrive? I have 1 year, and my goals this year include: GETTING RIPPED. I have lost the weight, started gaining muscle, so this next year of my life is dedicated to staying fit and gaining more muscle. I want to run better, lift harder, and just keep going and going.

Although 2013 has been rife with struggle from injuries, flu, and various other mental and physical stressors, I know that I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. Getting off track is so easy, even after losing 110 lbs. One of my goals is to reach the 3 year mark (well, actually the LIFETIME mark), for my weight loss. That is the time period where most people regress and gain their weight back, and given the last 6 months, it is a very real and scary thought.

I am happy to be where I am at this point in my life and ready for what this next age will give me.

Now for some random photos.

I made a deal with a friend that on my birthday I would post full torso photos because having ABS by my birthday was a goal of mine. So here are some random journey photos as well as some I took today. Nevermind all the sweat, it is anything but cool in my apartment today! (flexed and unflexed). I really am not a fan of my little skin pouch. Some people online who have gone through major weight loss say it is their “battle scar”, but I intend on making mine invisible. The first 26 years of my life is a big enough reminder of how I treated my body, and it is one of the last things that I feel self-conscious about. So, here is to the next year of challenging myself and maintaining and meeting my goals!

I also want to thank everyone who has supported me over the last few years. I know I have done this a few times, but you truly never can thank those who help you enough. I feel thankful for my friends who have always said nice things (the compliments do help!) and been there even if they may have thought I was crazy, to my CrossFit friends who motivate me and those whom I have gone on adventures with, to my trainer Tony who is not only just a genuinely great guy but has the exact style of training that works for me, and to everyone online who has read my blogs, my posts, put up with my random photos. It may seem narcissistic to post all the photos, but when you go your entire life avoiding cameras, avoiding situations that require you to take off your shirt, you are the last one in the locker room, and you always felt out of place; then you finally break through all of that, it makes you want to celebrate it! So, this is me, celebrating my accomplishments, feeling proud of where I have come from and where I am going. It is time to get back on the rail and keep pushing on and become an even better version of myself 🙂