Looking back over 2016, I see many good things and a few great things. I am looking forward to what 2017 will bring.
- Maintained my weight within a four-pound range.
- This is a victory but something I want to change for the New Year. I want to end 2017 at least 10 pounds less than I began the year.
- Before Weight Watchers it would not be uncommon to have gained 20+ or more during the year. The year my dad passed away, I gained 31 pounds I was devastated but did not do anything about it. I added more than 50 pounds to that 31 pounds over the next 6 years before I changed my lifestyle.
- Found out more about my inner strength.
- When you are under pressure, that is when you really discover a lot about yourself. When I was in the hospital back in the summer, I found out that I could take a lot more than I thought possible without letting it ruin my attitude.
- Also found out that when you are in the hospital it is good to have your mom there no matter what your age!
- Changed supervisors again this year but was blessed to get another great supervisor after another great one who went on to bigger and better things. (I suspect this one will do the same soon too, she is great too!)
- Began writing my book.
- I found time to begin giving my book some shape, I wrote both and outline and an abstract.
- In 2017 I will make more progress toward a finished product!
- Learned more about the big picture vs the current discouragement at hand.
- Suffered a major disappointment in my career but found ways to work around it learn from it. When you are disappointed in things in the present, it is a good learning experience to look at the bigger picture and put things in perspective.
- When disappointed with people’s actions, I need to focus on my actions and step back from the moment before reacting. A delayed thoughtful response is better than no response or a rash response.
- Saw people’s actions that were sad and hard to witness.
- This year I saw many people who I thought were intelligent thoughtful people became divisive, uncaring and mean-spirited toward others.
- The sadness of seeing in the year so many people’s lives taken by others who were evil and filled with hate.
- Discovered happiness and satisfaction in my job again.
- After suffering a setback in my career path, the changes that followed allowed me to find joy in my position again. I felt my creativity was once again welcomed and appreciated and I wanted to help and assist again just because I could.
- Learned some new computer software programs.
- Taught myself a couple of new software products which will enable me to do some new projects in better ways such as: Dreamweaver 2016, Illustrator 2016, and PowerPoint 2016.
- It was great that I was able to learn some new tricks and features of programs that I already knew that made it easier to do some things.
- Found great bargains in clothing.
- I came to accept my love of shopping, and the high gotten from the “hunt.”
- The best feelings come from when I find something I know someone else will like and can get it for them.
- Because of the many great bargains, I had to get creative about using my spaces in more efficient ways and reconfiguring my budget.
- Stepped and forced out of my comfort zone on several occasions.
- After nine years I decided to move to another studio for lessons in the New Year.
- Joined an online dating site. I had not done any online dating in at least ten years. What an experience that has been so far! I could write a book about it already. I learned that I have changed a lot since I did the online dating but most men have not changed at all.
- Did I mention learning new computer software? Very uncomfortable at first but after some practice things have gotten easier and easier.
- Found that life goes on inside a hospital.
- I had my first hospital stay in 50 years which also meant I had my first ever CT, MRI and hospital based procedures of the ERCP and Gallbladder Surgery
- I learned that NPO isn’t any fun and your smart phone is a great distraction during these times!
- I learned that an IV stand isn’t a good dance partner nor a good bathroom companion.
- Found the 7-day hospital stay was not as traumatic as I thought it would be with a “rude” beginning in the emergency room.
- Kept my phone charged and in touch with work and others via my smart phone and that made the time pass faster and they have movies on demand on the television too.
- My mom stayed with me for 5 of the 7 days, she is amazing!
- Tampa General Hospital, the nurses and doctors are all awesome!
- Thought I was a bit uncomfortable at times the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital was not as horrible as I remember ERs being in the past when I was there with friends.
- I learned there are people you can depend on when things are not going well who were great surprises!
- Found out that I can handle general anesthesia and come out joking and feeling find. I was nervous about having General Anesthesia but luckily the two times I had it in three days, I responded well.
Overall, it was a good year and a year of adjustments, but I am looking forward to the New Year with new goals and challenges!
As 2015 comes to a close, I want to send out a huge “Thank You” to all of you who have been reading and following my blog this last year and the Happiest of New Years to each and every one of you!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on what opportunities I have been able to experience and what I have accomplished in 2015. This year gave me some once in a lifetime experiences and some memories that I dearly cherish.
2015: A Year in Review
- In mid April, I submitted my Weight Loss Story to People Magazine and to Joy Bauer’s Joy Fit Club.
- I heard from a producer (Kate) of the Today’s Show’s Joy Fit Club and interviewed me on the phone and I sent in photographs for them to consider in their meeting. They would be making a decision the end of April.
- In April, I began learning how to cross-stitch and began working on a couple of quilts.
- I took a cruise in late April to Cozumel and Grand Cayman and found out I was invited to be on the Today Show/Joy Fit Club in May when I was in Grand Cayman and I was told I had to wear my 1984 Halloween costume!
- In May I was blessed to reach a weight I wanted to reach when I was 23 years old but only came within 8 pounds of reaching it. Which happened to be half my body weight when I began trying to become healthier.
- In May, I appeared on local NBC affiliate News Channel 8 pre and post Today Show appearance. The Pre Today Show interview with Melanie Michael, she did an awesome job! I only had 45 minutes notice that she was coming and I happened to have a bunch of bananas under my desk that day! lol
- On the evening I arrived in NYC, I met up with Weight Watchers from CT while I was in NYC whom I had met in a Facebook Weight Watchers Group. This was so much fun to walk about NYC and talk face to face as we enjoyed the sights of the city. (Amy, Donna and Jo-Anne) We walked through Central Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza.
- On May 17th, I was blessed to appear on NBC’s Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and Joy Bauer wearing my Halloween costume from 1984! Talk about fun! The cast, crew and producers were awesome, especially Kate!
- The Post Today Show (right after the show literally) interview was done from the Orange room with WFLA’s Rod Carter. He happened to be in town covering the Tampa Bay Lightning who were playing in the playoffs with the New York Rangers. So cool! GO BOLTS!!!
- Met and talked with Dean Cain (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) in the Orange Room at the Today Show. BONUS: He knows about the USF Bulls!
- I saw Ricky Schroder that day too but I was in hair and makeup and didn’t get an opportunity to meet him but my mom did.
- After the Today Show, I was hungry and my mom and I had New York Pizza at the Concourse!
- Tried to get in to see Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show taping but that day the show was being done for an all military audience. Saw many of them around the Concourse in their uniforms and in the NBC Experience Store.
- Walked to Macy’s on 34th Street after having pizza. So much fun seeing “the” Macy’s where the Thanksgiving Day Parade happens every year! I grew up watching the parade so this was a “must do” for me while in NYC! Also taking the wooden escalator was fun too! That is a HUGE store!
- The next day we walked to Weight Watchers International and toured the headquarters in New York City. It was foggy that morning but could see the top of the Empire State Building from the rooftop of Weight Watchers! Thanks Jenny! Also noticed that Mattel has offices in the same building.
- In early July, I celebrated one year at my goal weight and Lifetime.
- In Mid July, I recorded a series of video interviews about my weight loss journey to be used to train professional counselors when working with clients for weight loss and to be used in counseling classes at Penn State.
- In July, I underwent a surgical biopsy and was diagnosed with breast cancer and declared breast cancer free. I became a Breast Cancer Survivor.
- My Weight Loss Story appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Saturday, September 5th. Thanks Mia!
- In September/October, I redesigned and relaunched my Weights and Balances website with a new design and more information with my own dedicated email.
- In early October I designed business cards to hand out at meetings, etc.
- Spoke to both Graduate and Undergraduate Exercise Science students about my weight loss journey with a focus on Behavioral Theories in October and November 2015.
- Throughout the year I wa invited to speak at Weight Watcher Meetings in Tampa Bay about my weight loss journey.
- Participated in the FIT Program for the 5th time and gained some more strength in my arms and upper body. Had the most awesome trainers too! Thanks Rachel and Michael (more about them later in a separate blog entry on the FIT Program)
- My mom and I took a 9-night cruise in November to Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Turk. We had a wonderful time and I completed 4 quilt blocks (cross stitch) on the cruise for a project which I just completed today!)
- While I was on the November cruise I spoke with a lady who said she had heard about me and watched me on the Today Show, that was a very fun experience.
- n December, I began the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints Program in December. It hasn’t been a seamless transition but I am working on it! The phone application and computer etools still do not contain all my information.
- My blog entries about my first week’s experience with the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Program had over one-thousand views!
- This year I kept my blog going and began to organize my articles and blog entries for a book.
2016: What’s Next?
There were many exciting adventures in 2015 and I am not sure how 2016 can top many of those adventures but it will be interesting to see. In 2016, I want to keep encouraging and helping others in their journeys to greater health. Another big accomplishment I am looking forward to is to celebrate 2 years at or below my Weight Watchers Goal weight! One challenge I will be facing next year is the loss of my current supervisor at work. She has accepted a position as Dean and will be moving away by summer. More change. While I am thrilled for her new position, I am sad for me as she has been wonderful to work with in the last two years. Like the saying says “the only thing in life that is constant is change.” 2016 will bring me a new supervisor and more changes on the work front. I will be praying that I will be able to meet the new challenges ahead of me.
2015 was an amazing year and 2016 will be spectacular!