2012: Year in Review

I always make a list of goals for the upcoming year every New Year's Eve. 

2012 is the first year I actually put forth effort to meet them.

On December 31, 2011, I made the following list of twenty-five resolutions and goals. This is how I did.

1. Lose weight.
I started at 232 on January 1, 2012. My last weigh-in for 2012 was 196. I'm so incredibly thankful to God for giving me the physical strength, endurance, and motivation to get this far. This is the year I got my body under my control.

2. Write seven more chapters (at least) of novel.
I did this. I wrote nine chapters. Then my computer crashed before I had a chance to put it all on my USB drive. So the effort there turned out to be kind of pointless. But technically, I did do this.

3. Do at least three things on bucket list.
I did seven things!

4. Finish the New Testament.
Did it! And in doing so, I have now read the Bible all the way through from Genesis to Revelation.

5. Do something fun each month.
Yep! From weekend shopping trips to Birmingham and Atlanta to meeting friends for dinner in town, I got out and did things I enjoyed.

6. Read more books.
I finished 21 books in 2012. 

7. Practice guitar at least once a week.
I did this at least twice a week.

8. Cut back on soda.
I don't remember the last soda I had!

9. Go to a concert.
I SAW COLDPLAY! (On my Bucket List, too!)

10. Go on a road trip.
In May, Jessica and I went to Asheville, North Carolina, where we visited the Biltmore Estate and Carl Sandburg's home. 

In July, we went to the beach for Jessica's 21st birthday.

11. Make time for daily tea time.
Now I can't go without the stuff!

12. Organize everything.
Er...I did this in January, but things are kind of a mess now.

13. Get a passport.
I kept putting this off, and I never got around to it. :/

14. Buy a car.
I did! Yay!

15. Makeover wardrobe.
I had to do this, because nothing fit anymore.

16. Go on a date.
...Yes. I did. 

17. Wear makeup/fix hair/actually try to look nice.
Yes! You can tell it by my pictures! I was looking rough in 2011. I just didn't care about my appearance. 

18. Save $75 of each check.
I did this until I got the job at Signature, when I was making $8/hr and couldn't afford to save that much.

19. Finish a 5K.
Okay. I did 2 5Ks.

20. Write or call an elderly relative or friend each month.
I did!

21. Find and get involved in a church.
I sort of did this. I'm still in the "getting involved" process.

22. (Get kissed.)
*sigh* Nope. But considering my options, that's probably a good thing.

23. Make another video or movie. 
Why, yes!

24. Go out socially each week.
Yep! I forced myself to leave the comforts of my home and went out in public. With other humans.

25. Keep up food/exercise journal.
I did this too! 

2012 was an amazing year. A new beginning. The year I did what I've been wanting to do for years. 

And now, as I go into 2013, I can have a new New Year's resolution. 

Christmas Is Over

You there, reading this, silently creeping my blog: I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I hope you spent time with family and friends and took nothing for granted. There's been a lot of tragedy this year, and so many people had a holiday filled with sadness.

If you, too, are a fatty aspiring to be a hottie, I also hope that you made it through Christmas without packing on too many pounds. The most wonderful time of the year is sort of the opposite for those of us trying to lose weight. My mom made giant batches of about eight different kinds of candy, and on top of that, five different people brought us homemade pies and cookies and fudge. And I can't leave out the turkey and dressing feast we had on Christmas day.

I suck at self-control. If there's junk food around me, I'll eat it. Always. That's why I don't bring it in the house. Why I ask my parents to keep their cheese puffs and Peanut M&Ms hidden away in some top secret location unknown to me. But what are you supposed to do when people you care about spend their precious time making you tasty, once-a-year sweet treats? You can't say no! And it's almost ruder to eat one, then refuse more.

Well, I couldn't figure that one out. So I basically ate anything homemade that anyone offered me. And I gained some weight. I've been feeling pretty craptastic about that all week. I feel bloated and gross and disgusted with my lack of discipline.

But today, I uploaded the pictures we took Christmas morning, and I was in for an uplifting surprise.

They. Were. Great.

If you don't know my history, you might see that picture and say, "Um, what's so great about that mug?"

Well. When you've had the kind of pictures I've had at family get-together after family get-together, year after year, these photos are quite impressive.

Here are two side-by-side comparisons using pictures from last Christmas to prove my point:

Wait for it..........

Neither of these pictures have been edited at all. I honestly had to check to be sure, because I look stretched in the before photo. Seriously. It's starting to freak me out.

I needed this today.

If you're feeling some holiday regret and you're considering embarking on some wild and crazy weight loss journey in 2013, I pray you'll find some hope from my story of an incredibly lazy fat girl who decided to get up and make changes in her life for real.