Reflections on 2013: A Year of Many Changes

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 has come to a close and as we are three days into the New Year, I have so much I'd like to reflect upon.

What a year 2013 was. It was an absolutely AMAZING year for me, both personally and professionally.  It also had some major lows.

My year in review--


1. NEW HEALTHIER, LIGHTER ME

I lost 36 pounds in 2013! THIRTY SIX. Wowzas. I did so slowly, healthfully, and in a way that will be maintained. Actually, I still would like to lose 14 more. I can fit into my wedding gown again-- for the first time since we were married 12 years ago.

I will never be "skinny", but I am healthy and I am happy.

Last winter, I gave my body a "reboot" with the Emerald Essentials 7 Day Body Transformation

It was a bit of a change, but it detoxed my body in a way, helped me shed about 7 pounds in a week, and eliminated food cravings. It got me headed on the right path!

.In this time, I also learned how terribly sensitive I am to gluten. I tested negative for Celiac's Disease, but consuming wheat and other forms of gluten must have been the source of my brain "fog", headaches, and bloating. I eliminated those and the symptoms have disappeared! In fact, the only grains I consume are oats. For fiber, I have veggies and flax seed--chia seeds, too.

I switched other sugars for coconut sugar, which is low glycemic, for when I had a recipe with sugar, but for the most part, I do not use any sugar. I will use raw honey.

I use almond flour and coconut flour instead of white or wheat flour, too.

I eat often. Lots of veggies, some fruit, cheese, eggs. I even eat bacon, ladies. 

Coconut oil is a staple.

My blood pressure is stable, my cholesterol under 150. No more hypoglycemia or anemia.

I have had green smoothies since March, too, and they keep me feeling full in the morning.

Did I mention that I exercise six days a week? Yep, that is a BIG part of it. Pilates, workout shows from Hulu, Jillian Michaels DVD, walking, even some r-u-n-n-i-n-g have been a part of this change.




Excuse the mess. I need to empty my laundry bucket and hang my clothes...can I please just put it off one more day?



NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Well, 2013 was an amazing one professionally.

Because of a situation I will discuss later in this post,  I had to say goodbye to the PR job that was taking most of my time and energy and pare down. I continue my work a few hours a week for (seed) Body Care doing the blog and some consulting. I love the owners and have loved the body care products since the first time I was introduced to them a few years ago. In case you haven't tried (seed), their products are all-natural, affordable and accessible. Locals can buy the line at Wegmans.

I had several beauty articles published in print again in 2013, which is always lovely! 

Late in the summer, I joined  Jamberry Nails pretty much on a whim since I loved the products so much. Who knew that in this short amount of time I would have a team of 13 and be promoted 4 times? I am a Senior Lead Consultant and am loving this incredible opportunity.










CHALLENGES TO MAKE ME QUESTION WHETHER I AM A GOOD MOM OR NOT





I am a good mom. Let me say that and be clear. I do the very best I can and feel that I am raising two really wonderful boys. This year has been hard, though, and I have often second guessed myself.

I don't talk about my kids often on my blog. I mention them, cover major stuff, but believe in keeping much of that aspect of my life private. I want to say this, though, if your GUT as a mom tells you one thing, do NOT allow teachers, administrators, or anyone else tell you that you're wrong.

Mother's intution has wondered about Asperger's for while. Quite a while. Yet, school has a hard time taking concerns seriously when academics are always in the 99th percentile.

We consulted with experts in the field, teachers, and a friend who is a school psychologist of 30+ years and has a keen knowledge of this subject. We didn't give up.

Finally we had someone at school willing to listen--someone who agreed with what we were thinking--and we could FINALLY get that appointment for further testing. At the age of 10, our son was diagnosed with Asperger's. Actually, to be technical, the DSM-5 no longer calls it Asperger's, so the official diagnosis is Mild High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This year was also hard and a test of our strength when Nick was bullied (on more than one occasion) at school. He actually was punched in the eye by an older boy in front of his principal. We pulled Nick out from that school and he is being homeschooled until the end of the year. Nick will then be attending a private, independent school. Things are so much better for him and for our entire family since he was removed from that environment.

I am a homeschooling mom? Never in my life would I have predicted that one, but that is what is going on now. And it is great. Nick is thriving. I am learning new things each day as well. We go on field trips, read Newbury Award winners each week, and learn all sorts of interesting things. Could I do this long-term? No. Frankly, no. And I am selfish when I say that, but it is because I do miss my freedom and flexibility. I am doing the right thing for the situation, though, and I wouldn't change things.


FRIENDSHIPS BUILT & STRENGTHENED

I am lucky. I have a great group of friends. I feel truly fortunate. And blessed. 

My friend Kyra was diagnosed with breast cancer in November. Her strength, courage, and determination have made me a better person--she has inspired me to try just a little bit harder, laugh a little bit louder, and love even bigger. Through all of this, we have become truly close friends. I can be me--100% and without a filter--with her. I really do love her. And while we met because of this evil force called cancer, I have met a new dear friend--a kindred spirit and fellow blogger named Audrey. Please do check out Audrey's blog, The Wicked Wit of the West.  

Cherish your friends--old and new. And a message from this mama -- you are NEVER too old to make new friends.






NEW HAIR TO END 2013


On a lighter note, I ended the year with a new haircut. I have been growing out my pixie since March (when I decided once and for all to be serious about my eating, ironically). It's been hanging in my face, so I decided to get a change. Thank you to the fabulous Nicole Porretta at Ulta across from Eastview Mall in Victor for her skills!






Here is to 2014 -- a healthy, happy year for all of us. I look forward to sharing it with you!  I will try to post here more often than 2013. I miss the daily posts, but with homeschooling and work, it can be difficult.


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