Life · Monthly Health Check In · Seasonal

2016, That’s a Wrap!

Today we celebrate and ring in the New Year. Today is also a time of reflect on the year that has passed and what it has brought us. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad. My 2016 was filled with both. I laughed a lot and cried a lot. I tried new things and had new experiences. Today, I want to share some highlights from my year.

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This year I got to spend a large amount of time with family. I am so grateful for that. I got the opportunity to travel to visit my “sister-in-law” in Massachusetts and my aunt in New Hampshire. Along with many other fun visits with other members of my family, I’m so grateful for all the time this year I got to spend bonding with the people that mean so much to me.

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This year, in March, Geoffrey had the final surgery on his left ankle, trying to fix complications from previous surgeries due to the original diagnosis of Osteochondritis dissecans. After a long overnight stay in the hospital, post op, we returned home where he needed constant care, requiring me to stay with him for eight weeks through his recovery.

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Also, this year, Geoffrey’s family adopted a new dog named Beau! I went with them to pick him up and he was mats and dirt, but we could already tell that he was a sweetheart. On the long ride home from the pick up spot, he nuzzled both Geoffrey and I and actually crawled up into Geoffrey’s lap! We got him home and immediately brushed him to get out as many knots as we could and the amount of hair that came off could have made a whole other dog. After that he was ready to come inside and was instantly at home. We are so happy to welcome this big furry ball of love into the family and so happy that Mr. and Mrs.L have finally found the dog for them!

 

We added another member to the family this year. My Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan welcomed baby Tobias Connor Goodenough on September 5th at 10:54pm, at 6.77lb, 49cm. He is a beautiful baby boy and is getting so big so fast! I’m so excited to have baby cousins in the family and to get to be a big cousin. I so grateful to have Toby and his sisters in my life.

 

As I mentioned before, this year I got the amazing opportunity to do some traveling! I wrote about it previously here and here. It was a wonderful trip and the first time I’ve gotton to travel with my boyfriend, Geoffrey. We had so much fun!

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This year also held a lot of personal opportunities for me. In September, I started this blog to chronicle my weight loss and the ups and downs of that and my battle with mental health. I also became vegan this year around August. In late November, I became a Beachbody Coach. Beachbody has helped me lose 30 plus pounds and becoming a coach grants me the opportunity to help others achieve their own health goals and dreams. I am so excited to get out there and help others!

 

I also started a new hobby this year. Hiking the Pennypack Trail! I love being outside and getting some alone time to think on the trails. I get to take beautiful pictures and see amazing things all while getting in some great exercise!

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2016 wasn’t all wonderful, however. This year we lost a dear family friend, Sharon Lyew. This February, she succumbed to complications of diabetes and heart disease. Sharon was someone who was always a part of my life. She taught me to love crafting at a young age when she would come over and teach me how to make jewelry and other things. She babysat me when I was a baby and we have so many funny stories to tell of her. We think of her often and hold her close in our hearts.

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Sharon and I.

 

So much has come together to make up 2016. So much joy, sadness and triumph. 2016 was a jam packed year. I worked hard, accomplished much, and grew as a person. I hope 2017 holds just as much opportunity for growth and change as 2016, just as much joy, and if it brings sadness, that I may learn from it.

 

What are your favorite memories from 2016? What are your hopes for 2017?

 

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Depression · health · Life · Mental Health · Monthly Health Check In · Vegan · Weightloss

November, That’s A Wrap!

I know I’m late posting this but the past few weeks have been hectic for me. The last several months have been difficult for me, you can read more about that here and here. This month, unfortunately, was just as difficult. I’m getting pretty tired of writing about how hard of a time I have been having lately but I feel like it is important to be honest. Battling depression and weight issues is not a straight path, as I’ve been learning, it has many ups and downs.

This month I was lucky enough to go on an amazing eleven day vacation with my boyfriend to visit his sister and then my aunt, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I managed to lose 9 pounds, even though I was on vacation! You can read more about my vacation here and here!

However, once I got home I plateaued, and didn’t lose any weight the rest of the month.

It’s not all about weight, however. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I definitely didn’t live my best life for most of November. I have been having such a difficult time with other aspects of my health that I never anticipated when I started this blog. When I started writing this blog I felt on top of the world, it is amazing how quickly you can fall back to the bottom.

I try everyday to make the best decisions that I can but because of the adversity I have been facing, it has been very difficult. I’m not giving up though. I’m determined to get back on my feet and get my health under control, in all aspects.

I have so many goals I want to reach. I’m working towards so much. I just need to get a hold on my depression again before I can step forward.

There are some positive things to report this month!

On November 23rd I officially became a Beachbody coach! You might be wondering what that is. A Beachbody coach is someone who helps people reach their own health and fitness goals. I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am so passionate about my own health, I can’t wait to share that passion with others. The thought of making a positive impact on other people’s lives fills me with so much joy!

I also had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family in Mechanicsburg, PA! My cousin Elizabeth cooked a beautiful dinner and provided lots of yummy vegan options for me! I really appreciated the thought that went into making sure I had something to eat as well.

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How was your November? What do you have planned for December?

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Depression · Grief · Life · Mental Health · Vegan · Weightloss

My Story

   My story is a long one, it spans over eight years of my still young life. It deals with loss,  disappointment, and ultimately triumph. So bear with me as I sift through the mess that has been my life for nearly a decade.

   It started out when I was 15 with headaches, but not your everyday typical headaches. I went to my local doctor and was put through every scan, procedure, and medication in the book. Nothing worked. I was poked and prodded until the doctor finally shrugged and said “I don’t know what else to do”. I walked out of that office and never went back.

  I started my 16th year with a new doctor, and new symptoms. The headaches that once plagued me had transformed into searing debilitating pain coursing through me. On my first visit with my new doctor I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, amongst other symptoms. I almost always was in pain and unable to gather my strength to make it to school most days. The people in my life didn’t understand, and neither did I. As the stressors in my life gradually got worse so did my symptoms.

  As my symptoms worsened into the next year, it affected my attendance so bad that my High School forced me to drop out. I had to attend online school. I rarely got out of bed, everyday activities were almost impossible. I had hit rock bottom.

   One day while watching TV I heard about a new vegan cookbook coming out. I bought it immediately and started a strict vegan diet. I lost 60 pounds in a short amount of time. My pain was alleviated and I felt amazing. I finally had something to be proud of. I returned to high school for my senior year and over the course lost an additional 30 pounds. Everything seemed perfect. I went to prom, graduated, and was heading off to college.

    All of my dreams were coming true.

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I graduate at 145 pounds.

       Unfortunately things didn’t stay that way for long. Shortly after graduating High School I decided to stop my vegan diet. My symptoms slowly became apparent again. I started college, but after one semester I had to take a break. I began to feel unmotivated and my pain came back. In 2013 when I was 20, everything got worse when I lost two family members, who I loved dearly, within a few months of each other. I started gaining weight rapidly.

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The summer of 2015, at my heaviest, 261 pounds.

 In 2015  I was tired of feeling sick all of the time, so I decided to get help. I finally found a doctor  who I was comfortable with and she recommended that I should see a psychiatrist. I was later diagnosed with Bipolar Depression. The most painful part of the process was learning I never had Fibromyalgia. For eight years I mistook the physical pains and symptoms I experienced as Fibromyalgia, I was convinced that I would live with that diagnosis for the rest of my life. But I know now that depression can cause physical side effects. Now I had to learn how  to treat this new diagnosis that I had no experience with.

   In 2016, after a year of trial and error, I finally found the right treatment that worked for me. I am able to be my true self. I am back to being vegan again. Before, I was stuck in bed, but now, I hike every morning and I’m as active as I’ve ever been. I just started and I’m down 26 pounds. I couldn’t be happier.

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Now, at 249 pounds.

    This is not a road I have walked alone, though many days and weeks and months have felt that way. I have been isolated from emotions and the physical comfort of youth, stripped of these things by depression on a long road full of twists and turns. But, always remember this: It has been so worth it to get to where I am now.

    Some days it feels like I have lost so much… people in my life, opportunities I was too incapacitated to take advantage of, a typical high school and college experience… It’s made me a minority in my age group, but I am not willing to play victim. Now it’s my time to play catch up. I’ve spent the last 8 years healing myself, now it is time to move forward and get on a new path. A road with less rocky twists and turns, but more adventure, experience and enjoyment. I am thrilled to be starting my journey to me and I hope you’ll take it with me!

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