My One Little Word for 2011 was…
You’ll see from the lack of entries on my pilgrimage blog that I totally failed in documenting that goal. For over half the year I also believed I had failed in achieving that goal. And then something interesting occurred: I put some thought to the happenings of the past 12 months – to the daily moments, the small celebrations, the big epiphanies – and I realized that 2011 had not been a year of failure after all. In fact, even today there are visual reminders of success. I almost missed it because it didn’t look anything like I expected it would look.
When I chose the word HEALTHY in January, I hoped that twelve months would bring a significant weight loss, a habit of fresh foods, a joy of home cooking, and a pattern of regular sleep. I expected to feel more energy, less sickly all the time. I expected to need an entirely new wardrobe. None of those things occurred. Hence, my assumption that 2011 was a failure in the area of goals. I also wanted to embrace creativity in a larger way, to focus on personal art projects that brought a renewed health to my mind and my spirit. Again, I determined that this goal ended in failure because much of my year was spent in front of a laptop with the television droning in the background. Sometimes 24/7. Definitely not healthy. No matter what I may have been “watching.” With those things in mind, I declared 2011 a resolution FAIL. And vowed to make 2012 “the year.” But then I came to a realization…
It all began with a pair of jeans. Jeans that, last year, did not fit comfortably during the first hour of wear because they were simply too snug in the waist when freshly laundered. This year, when the weather finally turned almost cool, I pulled on those jeans and found room to spare. At first I believed they must had been worn and placed back in the closet unwashed. I rarely do that, but perhaps this one time? I wore the jeans all day and found them to be far too loose for my taste. Baggy in weird places. Still I didn’t think much of it… until I wore a different pair a week or so later. And those were just as loose on first wear. Freshly laundered but looser than ever. Suddenly I realized! I had kept off enough weight to make my clothes fit loosely! And my thoughts turned to the summer and another moment of success.
While visiting my parents in July I stepped onto the scale after a shower one day and saw that I weighed 30 pounds less than the last time I’d weighed, sometime during the past 6 months. Thirty pounds! And I’d not been on the Healthy wagon for four months by this time! But in those four months of neglect and passivity toward my yearly goal I had still managed to keep 30 pounds at bay. That was clearly a success! I held onto that Win throughout the remainder of the year, but until I encountered the results in my clothing I still did not treat it as a completion of my resolution. After all, I still wasn’t sleeping properly and I still didn’t see much difference in the mirror. I also wasn’t eating properly. No, not at all. The old habits were ever-present, with fast food my most frequent menu. Yet, in the midst of all those bad habits, I’d remained thirty pounds lighter than before. Thinking back on this while analyzing my looser jeans, I could not deny that I had made some headway on this goal of HEALTHY.
Nearing the holidays I mentioned all of this to my mother. I still couldn’t believe my clothes were telling a different story than my mind, but she agreed that I had made some progress this year. She hadn’t noticed the clothes – I’m a plus-size girl with a tendency for ill-fitting clothing, so that did not surprise – but she pointed out that I seemed to be healthier than I’d been in a very long time. There seemed to be fewer stomach issues (which I’d had for over a decade), and I’d been more joyful this year than other times. And despite my irregular sleeping patterns, I had, in fact, been able to go to sleep and sleep more restfully than the past few years. At least, she noted, I was able to get to sleep when I went to bed rather than lying awake for hours before drifting off. That itself counted for a lot on this road to Healthy. I had to agree.
In the end, I’m not where I imagined I’d be by December 31, 2011, but I’m further along than ever. And that encourages me and motivates me to continue on this path. While I have chosen a new word for 2012, I will continue to hold onto HEALTHY, as well. That period at the end of the word up there? That will remain in the front of my mind. I want Healthy to be a lifestyle. I want it to be a pattern and a habit of my days. I want the fast food to become a treat, and I want my kitchen to be a place of joy. As far as it will, of course, for a girl who truly despises the act of meal preparation. Simply put, I want to be HEALTHY… period. And this year was a decent start.
Watch for a new post this week about my chosen word for 2012. It’s my favorite word yet!
One Little Word is a yearly challenge issued by Ali Edwards. I also (kind of) participated in the One Word community at Grit and Glory this year. Perhaps you’ll consider joining me in the new year!