365 days have passed since I rather rashly declared to the world that I would do some form of exercise or activity every day for the next year, and the time has come to reflect on everything that has happened during that process…

I took this a while ago…it seemed appropriate πŸ˜€

ok…not everything…I am not going through the whole year day by day…that would be pure craziness…

It’d also take me another year…and I have new and exciting things to do in the coming year!

No don’t ask me what…I don’t know yet…

Ok, I do know some things but I will come to those later (in my what next? post)

Firstly my year…

I had one aim:
To get fit enough to dance in a mask
To become sufficiently fit and healthy that I could dance as many dances as necessary without having to have breaks and without looking like I was only just keeping up!

I had one method by which I was going to do this:
I pledged to do at least 30 mins of exercise / activity every single day for the next 365 days. I decided to blog about it to keep myself accountable, and so that I would have a record of the year at the end!

Did I achieve what I set out to do…

In short yes I did, I exercised every day as stated, and I definitely became fit enough to dance in a maskΒ .

Where weight loss wasn’t my primary focus, I was hoping for it as a side effect, after all it was pretty apparent that I wasn’t going to achieve my goal without becoming lighter…

To that end I have lost a grand total of:
2 stone 9.3 lbs
(equivalent to: 37.3 lbs or 19.9 kg)

I have to say that this was not achieved through exercise alone, about 2 weeks into my challenge, it became obvious to me that I wasn’t going to see the positive change I wanted without sorting out my eating habits! I needed to do this to really see a healthier fitter me!

So a faced the fact that I was still comfort eating like crazy, and that I had a huge sugar dependency, and I cut it all out! It sounds easy put like that, but it wasn’t easy at first…however, the longer I ate healthy for, the less I wanted to eat badly.

no dietThe most important thing about this overhaul was the fact that I was not on a diet, and I am not on a diet now. I track what I eat and keep an eye on the calories and macros, but only in a vague way to make sure I am paying attention. I deny myself nothing (within reason) I just make sure that I am making conscious eating choices. I make healthy choices 80 (ish)% of the time, and if I want a chocolate or a biscuit, I just have to make sure I know why I want it.

Gone are the days of eating because I am sad or cross or in the car.

Most ofΒ the time I cook real food from scratch and avoid processed sugar. simple as that! More or less… there is a lot of stuff about artificial sweeteners and insulin spikes and such too but I will tell you all about that another day, if you want to know…

So…in a year of exercise and eating healthily, I have lost weight and got fitter…to be honest these are the expected results and I would have been cross if I hadn’t!

What I wasn’t bargaining for was the unexpected outcomes and things I have learned this year:

You're all Brilliant!
You’re all Brilliant!

1) I wasn’t expecting anyone to follow my blog…let alone people who would provide me with such amazing advice and support that I now consider them to be friends albeit ones who are separated from me by oceans (at most) and half the country (at least) I honestly think that these people have made my year considerably easier!! Thank you!!Β (Nancy!! Helen!! Fi!!)
Not to mention of course all the support I have had from the people who know me in real life too πŸ˜€ (Mark, Rachel, Dan….EVERYONE!!)

2) I wasn’t expecting to become a qualified level 2 gym instructor and half way to becoming a personal trainer! I have become so invested in this lifestyle that I want to make it a permanent part of me and help others do the same πŸ™‚

3) I have learned that I can face my fears and try new things (and old newly scary things) and the world doesn’t explode!
I have gone climbing despite being terrified after breaking my leg
IΒ have gone to gymnastics for the first time in 25 years
I have tried Zumba (although I wish I hadn’t)
I have tried Sh’bam (despite not being able to take the name seriously)
I have found a kickboxing class after not having one for 4 years
I have done 4816 (or so) squats in one month
I have learned to hula hoop

this list goes on!!

4) I have learned to run but decided I will never be a runner. I have run on and off for a year, I have improved beyond everything that I thought I ever would, but I have discovered (decided) along way that I have not got the physiology to be a long distance runner. I have not got the right endurance type muscle fibres. I can (and have) improve, but long distance running is never going to be my thing. I am happy with that too. I am happy with the running I do and I find it helpful. But in general, I am built for picking up heavy things!

Deadlifts-15) related to that…I have learned to pick up heavy things! I have a current maximum deadlift of 80kg (176 lbs) and this makes me very happy! I had to run the gauntlet of funny looks at first when I was the short overweight girl in the freeweights area…but I don’t get these any more πŸ˜€

6) I think the biggest unexpected change has been in my outlook. I have turned form a person who was very unhappy with myself, into someone who can now smile in photographs. I have turned into someone who is (mostly) un-self -consciousness and not ashamed of the way they look. I see the progress now instead of the flaws (most of the time).
Before this year, I was not unhappy with a lot of aspects of my life, but I was not happy with myself, I could see my self-destruction but for some reason not stop it!
I have found myself this year, the me I lost somewhere under a pile of sugar and comfort eating.
I have turned back into the person my Mum would be proud of!

my feet didnt even reach the ground!
“if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” Roald Dahl

I don’t normally so quotes…they can get a little cheesy…but that one seemed particularly appropriate πŸ˜€ and Roald Dahl is cool!

I’ll leave you with all that for now! There may be more if I remember other things I have learned…



33 thoughts on “Reflections…

  1. Love this so much! And it brought me right back to my year end summary post back in January. So many emotions – but mostly just so very happy for you and your new happy place. Your mum would be so proud of you, Sam.

    Reblogging this post because more eyes deserve to see/read it! xoxo


  2. Reblogged this on my year[s] of sweat! and commented:
    My friend Sam is regularly referenced on my blog. She even guest-posted once. She has just completed her 365-day-challenge this past weekend, while I cheered her on from across the Atlantic. Here are her end-of-challenge wrap up thoughts. Please click over to have a read, won’t you? This woman deserves a giant WOOT WOOT! xoxo nancy


  3. I came this way via Nancy. Congratulations!! I love hearing stories about people who’ve made healthy lifestyle changes. It’s not easy, and it’s a day-to-day process. I love that you abide by the 80/20 rule. That’s my approach to eating, too. I strive for 80% healthy and 20% eh… Some days I approach 90/10 and others 70/30. It’s all about moderation. Life is too short otherwise.


    1. Hi, thank you for coming over!
      It is impossible and self defeating to try to be perfect and eat well 100% of the time! You only end up miserable when you can’t achieve it πŸ™‚ for me it is all about making conscious choices πŸ˜€


      1. I will definitely keep blogging πŸ™‚ and I have a couple if ideas about the first bit of the next 365 at any rate πŸ™‚ i have to keep blogging to keep posting gratuitous Thor/dr who/ Buffy gifs!


  4. I love this so much too!! Congratulations on an amazing achievement and all the wonderful ‘side-effects’ that have occurred as a result.
    I believe that success breeds more success and it is clear that you are now on a roll πŸ™‚
    Sending you a high-five from across the pond!


  5. Congratulations xx i just cought up on reading the last 20 or so days, your awsome. But who is the amazing smiling person wearing your hat sitting in the big wooden chair?


  6. Sam, you are completely awesome! This post actually made me shed a little tear or two. Your journey is one to be proud of, physical and emotional. Well done for being brave enough to face your food issues and congratulations (again!) on completing your 365 days! xx


    1. πŸ˜€ thank you!
      awwww!! I didn’t expect it to have that sort of effect!
      It was strange, It wasn’t until I had faced them that I really realised how many food issues I actually had πŸ™‚

      thanks for reblogging me…this is very exciting it has never happened before and now twice in 2 days πŸ˜€


  7. Reblogged this on 26 to 12 – another weight loss blog and commented:
    Sam here is completely amazing, she is an inspiration. Her 365 journey is at an end, but her life has completely changed as a result. Take a look round her blog if you haven’t seen it already, she has tried some pretty varied stuff!


  8. Congrats on reaching and exceeding your goals that is amazing and you should be proud! You made an amazing change and did it the right way. You really are an inspiration to those around you. And thank you for putting the part about no diet! People get hung up on that being the only way to succeed and you are proof that healthy choices are really what makes the difference! Well done!!! πŸ™‚


    1. thank you πŸ˜€

      the no diet thing is really important! I have had some funny looks from people this year when I have eaten a cake or some such, and had comments like about if I am cheating or going to be back on the regime on monday…
      I always point out I am not on a diet and that the emphasis on mostly healthy choices is what counts! and It is about sustainable change πŸ˜€
      mostly healthy choices allows you to sometimes have cake…otherwise all my baking tins will be obsolete!!


      1. Exactly! and how sad would life be if you always had to deprive yourself of delicious tasty treats?! I would not want to live in a world like that. It all about moderation! No cake?! Those people are nuts πŸ™‚


  9. Nancy sent me here and I am glad she did!! You deserve an infinite number of WOOT WOOTs!!! What an unbelievable accomplishment for you. The thing that struck me the most besides your hard work, perseverance and dedication was your discovery that you like yourself! Excelente! πŸ™‚


    1. πŸ˜€ thank you so much for stopping by πŸ˜€ and thank you for the woots πŸ˜€ that discover is probably my favourite too…and my most surprising one πŸ˜€


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