Long Year


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Its been a long year. A year where I dealt with a lot of personal challenges, hard choices, and extreme stress. This past year has been one of the hardest years I have had since I discovered my ex-husband’s affair.

I think it all started when I fell behind at work after I came down with the flu. Once I was behind on my assignments it had a domino affect that took a good 6 months to crawl out of.  The only way out was to put in 50-60 hour work weeks, alienate myself from friends, and take a break from the dating scene.

I eventually was able to catch back up, but in the process I not only gained 20 {more} pounds, but I became heavily depressed. I soon found myself drinking heavily to deal with the stress and to relax enough at the end of the night so I could sleep.  I felt a pretty bad downward spiral coming on and wanted out of it. That was when the suicidal thoughts started.  I wanted to blog out my frustrations and feelings, but was really too embarrassed to do so since I worked so hard in making this blog a positive journey. This was when I started to ramble on my personal Facebook page, and the ramblings were not pretty.  I was criticized for not taking control of my life, I was analyzed by those who said I was sick, and those that stayed mum alienated me. I began to hate myself and everyone around me.

I knew I was only going to get worse, so I located a new therapist to help me get back on track with my depression.  I made it through a few sessions before I found it was hard to find the extra time in my work schedule to make my appointments. It was then that my boss told me to make personal sacrifices or risk losing my job. So I stopped going to my therapist.

I really do forget the exact moment when I broke free from that cycle, but I think it was in the early fall after I had a nervous break down in front of my boss.  He was praising me on improving my project goals and told me that if I kept up the trend I would be on track to having a clean slate (i.e, not getting fired). In his mind I was doing great things. In my mind I was so exhausted and I wanted it all to end since I could not find the energy for it all anymore. I broke down and wept hard.  He told me to take a vacation, which I think I was overdue after working 50-60 hour weeks for 9-10 months straight. During my mini-vacation I unplugged from work, organized my home, spent time with family, and forced myself to relax… and think about how to get out of the cycle.

I started with small changes at first, drink less, eat better, get more exercise, took a painting class or two.  Then I soon found myself re-vamping my dating profile.  I really started to feel better, not entirely my old self, but better. I worked out a balance where I didn’t feel as stressed, I wasn’t drinking as much, and I watched what I ate a tad more closely. I ended up losing about 10-pounds in about a month and a half, which also boosted my mood.  I admit I sort of maintained a status quo for a month or so until one day I got tired my weight and feeling so energy-less that I joined a gym. I just threw on some yoga pants and sneakers, then walked right into a gym that was located about 5 minutes from my house.

Of course when you join a gym the staff is excited for you and very encouraging, that is until you hear the quote for the personal training sessions. The trainer that gave me a quick workout intro hinted that I would not be as successful in hitting my goals if I did it alone, which infuriated me. Not only was it insulting, but I knew I was strong enough alone, albeit maybe at a slower pace, but I was strong.  I have spent the last few years doing everything alone, and I mean everything, who said I can’t lose weight and healthy on my own too.  So that was when I started to hit the gym three times a week even if it meant I had to work late or weekends, I was going to work out (so help me god), and I did.  I just strayed time from time with my diet when I got stressed out at work.

Its been about 2 months since I joined the gym. I admit there was about a week-week and a half that I could not get to the gym between getting a cold, work, and the holiday bustle, but once that all passed I was right back at it.  When I started the gym I had gained back about 3-4 pounds of the previous 10 that I lost. Two months later I got those 3-4 pounds off plus another 5-pounds, for an overall loss of 15-pounds. I feel more energetic, my clothes fit better, and I can see the difference in my face already. I have another 5-pounds until I am back to my pre-2013 depression weight, but there is still another 30-pounds until I get to the weight where my ex-husband left me.  After that I have another 50-pounds to get to the weight where I was before I met my ex-husband.  Overall I would like to shed all the dead weight I gained when I had “dead weight” people in my life; my ex-husband, the jerks I dated, the so called “friends” I surrounded myself with.  I am going to make 2014 the year where I remove everyone and everything that contributed to my depression.

One thing I have noticed about working out is that at the end of my workout I am in a good mood. I admit all the years where I worked out I have NEVER felt good afterwards. I had always heard that working out was a good mood booster, but I never believed it until now.  Even though I was seeing slow results with my new routine, I could feel less moody and depressed.  I also noticed that when I did feel depressed, it felt less severe than usual. I was actually beside myself on this effect. I think this was one reason why I kept pushing myself to get to the gym even if I didn’t have much time or energy.  I wanted to feel good, I wanted to keep feeling good.

In the effort to keep losing weight and also push to keep getting to the gym,  I joined a DietBet again.   I think those who have followed me before remember that back in early 2012 I joined a DietBet challenge where I lost 4% of my body weight in 28 days (just search the DietBet tag).  It was tough, but it worked.  Well, I figured now is a good time to use DietBet to keep my momentum going. I lost about 13-pounds in those last 28-days, so maybe I can do it again, if not more. I mean last time I lost the weight on a strict diet, maybe I can do better now that I am working out.  We will see.

Overall, I am glad 2013 is gone. Sad that I wasted much of it depressed and in such a dark place, but maybe 2014 will be kinder to me…

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