New Year, New Horizons

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Mine was stressful, but good overall, despite depression sneaking back into my life.

2016 was quite the year: A lot of my favourite celebrities and authors passed away; I transferred to a new unit at work; I started eating low carb and began to lose some weight; I did not manage to meet my reading challenge, even after lowering the goal; I lost a cousin to cancer; I found a great and supportive group on Facebook that has begun to help me get back into doing the things I used to love; and so much more.

As I look back on the year that has passed, I can’t help but hope that 2017 brings new and exciting adventures, and better luck, for my family and friends. My husband and I have a few plans that we hope to at least set in motion this year. Most importantly is getting him back to college so he can work toward a new career.

I hesitate to say the word ‘resolution’ as I’m not really resolving anything. I’m setting goals with the intention of creating good habits. My goals for 2017, which I’ll go further into detail below, are:

  • Continue eating low carb;
  • Add exercise into my daily routine;
  • Build my stamina enough to start riding my bike again;
  • Read 25 books by the end of the year (I acquired new books to assist with this!);
  • Do at least one hour of creative endeavors each day; and,
  • Declutter, reorganize, and schedule cleaning times for my house.

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My low carb way of eating is paying off. I currently sit at 278.9 pounds, which is 21.6 pounds down from my starting weight on October 23rd. As I look back at the post I put up about it, I realized how overzealous I was. I am very happy with my achievements thus far and am looking toward continuing on the path of and average of two pounds per week lost. Moving forward, I am aiming to add in at least 30 minutes of exercise, no matter the form, per day. I would like to get back into riding my bike by the end of the year. I have set a micro goal (smaller goal within the larger goal) of another 40 pounds down by my anniversary, which is May 3rd. That’s about two pounds a week, which is totally reasonable.

My book goal, I set at 25 books. I want to push myself a little bit, but not make an outrageous goal. The 75 book goal was a bit overzealous of myself, but I kind of needed that push to get back into reading again. I am working toward reading for at least an hour each day. 25 books means just over 2 books per month, which seems easy enough.

Creative endeavors to me is crafting or writing. I have always been a crafty person, and I love to work on my cross stitch patterns. I’ve been trying to teach myself to knit and crochet, which is going alright, but I don’t dedicate enough time to it at the moment.

As for decluttering, reorganizing and cleaning of my house, well, depression sucks the life out of you. It makes it so you want to clean but just don’t have the energy to do so. Currently I have several small messes around the house that are mainly just piles of things waiting to be put into their proper place, or to have a place found for them. Also, my vacuum cleaner is broken and we need to look into getting it fixed or replacing it. Hopefully we’ll be able to go to a vacuum repair shop tomorrow.

As for now, I am off to spend some time with a good book!

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Progress and Puppeh Noses

Cross Stitch Progress Update: I completed the 2nd quarter of my tiger in grass cross stitch pattern about two weeks ago. Haven’t picked it up since, though. Don’t know why, but I just haven’t been in the mood to cross stitch. It will get done eventually.

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The other day on my way home from work, I decided to look around the bookstore that I live behind. Yes, this is the best and worst possible place for me to live, I have to pass a bookstore every time I need to go somewhere. While there, I perused my usual genre shelves (horror, mystery, sci-fi) but this time, something caught my eye. Some Neil Gaiman books were picks of the month, I picked up the two on display and went searching for the rest. They were all on a shelf that was way above my head (typical, really. I’m 5’4″, so a lot of things end up too high for me to reach), but I was able to reach a couple more books. In the end, I walked out with four of his books, Stardust, Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and American Gods.

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And finally, another change in my life: I finally stopped beating around the bush on dietary changes and started a moderate low carb ‘diet’ last Sunday (Oct 23rd). Moderate means I aim for under 50 grams carbs net (net = carbs – fibre). It’s kind of embarrassing to share this, but my starting weight was 300.5 pounds. Ugh. As of this morning, I’m down to 292.3 pounds! A total of 8.2 pounds lost! My initial goal is to get under 180 pounds (the weight I was at 18), overall goal is to get to about 150 pounds. From all of my research, that is still overweight for my height (which again, is 5 foot 4 inches), but I don’t want to lose too much weight and end up under weight. I may revamp this goal as I get closer to the 150 mark, but that is still a ways off. I am aiming for 30 days on this new way of eating at the very least, though I’m hoping to keep this up forever, in a nutshell.

Being a person with anxiety, I worry about if I can keep up this weight loss. So far, I’ve found it easy to do, but it’s only been a week and tomorrow is Halloween, my favourite holiday of the year! I don’t know how I’m going to make it without sampling some candy, but I’m going to try my hardest! Day 30 is my parent’s anniversary, so it’ll be a triple celebration for me. Making it to 30 days, 38 years of marriage for my parents, and another anniversary my dad has made it to despite having terminal cancer (told 2-3 years, MAAAAYBE 5 if chemo went well, in 2010!)! If I can maintain the weight loss around at least 5 pounds per week, I will reach my goal by the middle of May. If I’m lucky, I’ll reach the under 180 pounds by Dad’s birthday and he can celebrate my first milestone with me while we celebrate his birthday!

Ugh, this got serious and sappy fast, and no, I’m not crying over here, someone’s cutting onions!

To lighten things up and for your amusement, some pictures of my dog sleeping in a cute and funny position. All pics taken with my phone, which turned out pretty well considering it’s not the greatest camera out there.