Friday, January 4, 2013

My New Year's Update

A Happy, Healthy "ME" in Acadia National Park
June, 2012

Sometimes I begin a post by simply sitting and staring at the screen.  Do you ever do that?  It isn't that I have nothing to say, it's that I don't know where to begin!  I suppose a resounding HAPPY NEW YEAR is in order.  We rang out 2012 staring at the ocean from our current "home" in Flagler Beach, Florida.   This was after an equally quiet Christmas Day and a two day journey to arrive here on Saturday, the 28th.  

But those details will come in a separate post....I want this one to be about a healthy, happy 2013 and how I plan to make that happen.  I've loved reading all your 2012 year-end recaps and your New Year's goals.   They encourage me and each of you inspires me to strive higher.  That's why I write and that's why I continue Gains and Losses.  I'm looking forward to another year of maintaining, writing, learning FROM you, providing encouragement TO you and hopefully, meeting some more of you face to face.  

I haven't posted New Year's thoughts/goals because, quite frankly, I was so happy with last year's, no matter how much I meditated on it, I couldn't come up with anything as meaningful.  After expressing that through a comment on my friend, Cammy's, post, she helped me by saying, "don't try!"  If something has worked, why change it?  Either expand on it or simply leave it alone. And that is exactly what I'm going to do. 

Here is an excerpt from my 2012 New Years post.................

From me, you were probably expecting January is for Joy and that would be o.k. - it would fit.  But I didn't like it!  You might also have been expecting a post about New Year's Resolutions, but if you've read Gains and Losses for any length of time, you'd know that although I'm a huge fan of goal-setting, I'd never in a million years, do it on a day when everyone else is or when it's "expected."  

But the one thing I can't ignore is how often the word "surprise" has popped up in my vocabulary and life since yesterday morning.  You know that my day always begins with a period of Bible reading and devotion.  A book which means the world to me with its ever appropriate words and application is Bread For The Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith written by Henri Nouwen.  The daily meditations are short, but powerful and applicable to ANY life no matter what your belief system.  Every year, I try to convince myself to utilize something new as a companion to my morning Bible reading, but every year, I revert back to this.  And EVERY day, there is something new.  

So imagine my SURPRISE, when early yesterday morning, I open my book to January 1 and read these words: 

"Each day holds a surprise.  But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us.  Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity."

Read it friends!  Read it again and again.  Because within those words lies the only "resolution" I need to make.  By fully embracing every word of that mantra and living it to the very core, I truly believe that all other "issues" will slowly "resolve" themselves.  

In 2012, I will:

Look for a SURPRISE in every day.
EXPECT steady results from a healthy eating plan and efforts to have a normal relationship with food.
RECEIVE love, friendship, gifts and kindness without question from those who choose to give it to me.
Embrace JOY with every thread of my being.
CELEBRATE my own successes as jubilantly as I celebrate those of others.
SHARE my life, my time, my money and my possessions in creative ways that are new and extravagant.
Expecting a "surprise" each day and teaching myself to be open minded enough to receive it, has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.  I had to often be reminded that not every surprise was going to be a good surprise!  Believe me, there were days I didn't WANT the surprise I got, but it came anyway and I learned to accept those surprises because more often than not, they made the terrific surprises that much more special!  During the times I strayed away from an intense focus on these six words, let's just say something was missing.  

I am excited about 2013 and looking forward to a year filled with surprises, expectations, receiving, embracing joy, celebrating and most of all, sharing.   I intend to take each of these "goals" to a higher level.   Would love for you to join me!!

Simply because I am able to share statistics of which I am very proud, here are my numbers from 2012:

I am beginning 2013 eleven pounds lighter than I was on January 1, 2012.
I am currently maintaining a 50 pound weight loss from my highest weight in 2006.
In 2012, I hiked 381.8 miles.  This surpassed my goal of 350 miles by 31.8 miles.
I recorded my steps every day as shown by my pedometer.  The total number of steps I walked in 2012 was 4,539,238.  My weekly average was 12,470 steps (Total steps Sunday-Saturday divided by 7).  There were only three weeks in 2012 that I failed to average at least 10,000 steps for the week.

What do I hope to achieve in 2013?
I will lose the remaining five pounds of the eight I gained during the two weeks in December that I was sick.  Still scratching my head over that one as eating was the LAST thing I wanted to do.  It also is being stubborn about coming back off, but thankfully I maintained throughout the holidays and didn't add any additional pounds.
Once those pounds have disappeared, I will maintain at goal weight assuring that January of 2014 will find me exactly at the same place.

I will continue to live virtually white flour/white sugar free and follow the principles of the 17 Day Diet which has worked so beautifully for me.  

Walking and hiking goals will remain the same - why trying fixing or changing something that works so well and continues to challenge me?  

And there will be more.........................

I cannot thank you enough for your continue support and encouragement.  I look forward to the comments I know will come and I still get all excited when a new follower pops up.  I have not given up on my goal of finding a blog to follow written by someone in every state and am looking for new ways to make that happen!
One more thing..........I will be in Florida during the month of January and will be posting more often with both travel journal updates as well as health/fitness posts.  So if you don't read via a reader or get posts automatically via email, please check back often!  In case you missed it, check out this post from yesterday.

Keep writing, my friends!  Let's make it a happy and healthy 2013 filled with surprises!


  1. Hi Sharon! I love surprises as well. My mother told me to always wake up in the morning thinking, "What fun thing could happen today?" and then expect something to happen.

    I am also 50 less pounds than my worst weight in 2006. Jinx!

    :-) Marion

  2. I love that photo of you; your smile says it all:) Here is to a fabulous 2013 for us all.

  3. Great post...and I am with you on surprises and feel like Marion does. Pretty much every day I have a slight sense of happy anticipation because you never know what might happen! Here's to an amazing 2013!

  4. Wow, you snuck up on me there with two posts!

    I had a little booklet for Advent with devotions written by Henri Nouwen, and it was the most wonderful thing. I will have to find my 'Bread for the Journey' that I got on your advice and put it into use again. He has such a wonderful way of thinking and a wonderful way with words.

  5. I'm reading a wonderful devotional book named "Jesus Calling" and I love it. It is a great way to start the day.

    The eight pound sick gain is strange, but I do the same thing. I can lay on the couch sick as can be and not eat a bite and gain weight. I know you'll get it right back off and maintain from here on. I'm glad for you that you have reached that place on your journey.

  6. You look MARVELOUS, my Dear!!!! So proud of you... Someone recently was complimenting me on my weight loss --and I wrote back saying that I was really proud of myself. That is a true statement. Only someone else who has achieved a goal like this can understand how I feel... I know that you understand.

    I also am pleased to announce that I made it through Nov/Dec without gaining... That is HUGE for me--who can gain weight by looking at something. AND--I did it by eating a little of some of the fattening things I love during Christmas --such as Eggnog... Gads---that stuff is nothing but calories!!!!! ha...

    My weight on 11/23: 140.6; on 12/21: 141.6; and on 1/4: 140.4..... I did it!!!!! Yeah! My doctor wants me to stay below 145 --and I have been doing that since I started maintenance in August... This is much harder for me though that being on a strict diet...

    My only goal in 2013 is to continue working on this maintenance and hope that in Jan. 2014---I can say that I am still at this weight....

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Nice photo! Congrats on your 2012 accomplishments. Here's to a great 2013! P.S. I'll put your calendar in the mail tomorrow. It will be waiting for you when you return from Florida. :)

  8. Beautiful photo of you Sharon! I feel your excitement and enthusiasm for the New Year and hope it's contagious! Attitude is a huge part of our success in all areas of our life. We find what we are looking for - so why not look for the surprises and find in joy in them? Having that as a daily goal sets us up for success and fills us with anticipation for what is ahead. I so need to use this in my daily life right now. Thank you for sharing this again. It sparked something in me!

    Blessings and Happy New Year.

  9. So how do you think it's going to feel having back-to-back awesome years? Pretty spiffy, I think. :)

    Happy New Year, my friend!

  10. Well HELLO there, pretty lady! What a great way to begin a post :)
    You are obviously doing something that works for you, Sharon. And you thrived last year by staying focused, despite a few ups and downs. I so admire that. Looking forward to a wonderful, happy, pain-free year for you, my friend.