Happy New Year everyone!!  Positive thoughts and preparing for a great 2014!  My updates have worked, my photo gallery is working and I am feeling pretty good about the fact that I didn’t crash my site.

My blog is officially one year old.  January 2, 2013 was my first post.  I had no idea where I would go with this project when I started last January.  I certainly didn’t expect all the support.  I mean I knew my family and friends would support me but I didn’t expect to re-connect with so many old friends and to make new ones.  I decided that my first post of the year would be about my blogging journey.  I started this blog to share my weight loss story and to include a bit about epilepsy.  I never thought sharing one journey would lead to another.  I didn’t really expect so much from this blog.

When I started this project back in 2013, I seriously did not expect much interest.  I thought I would put my story out there and hopefully reach a few people who could relate.  I had no real expectations.  Before I launched my blog, I was not on any social media sites.  Well, I was on Facebook but under a made up name and was only connected with local friends.  I decided to set up a new Facebook account with my actual name and I started using twitter.  I figured out how to link my blog to various accounts and that was the start.  My sister was very excited when I started my project.  She shared my blog on her Facebook page and after she did my blog exploded.  My blog went crazy with visits and I started getting friend requests from people I hadn’t heard from in years.  I had chosen to detach myself from high school and college friends, even some family members, because of my weight.  I only stayed in contact with a few people from my past.  So my sister really is the one who launched this for me.  My husband, sister, parents and close friends encouraged me to do this.  They’ve learned things about me that totally surprised them.   They continue to support me and they encourage me every day!

One of the things that surprised me the most was having people tell me that they understood how I felt.  They actually could relate to my struggles.  Strange that I was surprised right?  My point of sharing was to be relatable but deep down I don’t think I really thought I was.   I wanted to tell people that it could be done!  I certainly didn’t expect people to tell me they knew how I felt.  Feelings?  Did I have them?  I couldn’t admit to myself that I had feelings about my weight.  People saying they knew how I felt – foreign to me.  I had a guard up for years when it came to my weight and this blog project wasn’t going to change that.  I wanted people to know weight loss was possible but I didn’t want anyone to know I had feelings about it.  I was pretty good at protecting myself, putting up a front.  I was going to tell how I did it and I wanted to put this positive spin on it.  I tried to be funny.  It didn’t take long before I realized I was sharing stories that I really didn’t mean to.  I tried to use humor but with each story I shared it was obvious that I was changing.

I’ve expressed hurt, frustration, anger, resentment and just a down right shit attitude.  None of that was planned in the beginning.  I just wanted to be positive and motivational.  That hasn’t always happened.  When I talked about T, I only wanted to talk about the positive.  How much she helped me and how I couldn’t have made it through without her.  Blogging about the past was easy but when I got to the point of blogging about the present, that got hard.  She was driving me nuts about my weight so everything she did and said drove me crazy.  I was becoming so angry, tired of hearing that I was too thin.  I finally admitted to T that I was starving.  I had portrayed my diet process as so healthy when in fact I couldn’t have done it more wrong.  T had no idea.  I felt awful about lying to her and about lying to all of you.  I still do.  Sadly there are times when I wish I hadn’t said anything at all.  I know I wasn’t fooling anyone but once I admitted I wasn’t eating, I couldn’t change that.  Making that confession changed everything in terms of my eating habits.  Being at the gym, having friends comment about my weight, it wasn’t long before Tony stepped in and told me that I was basically killing myself.  Probably not those exact words but close enough.  He tries to get me to listen, to understand the damage I have done to my system.  I absolutely believe him, though I’ll admit I don’t really take it as serious as I should.  The last few months have been a slew of negative posts all because I am pissed.  I haven’t been able to tackle my eating.  Not sure why I am surprised when I give Tony’s plans half-ass efforts.  He has reminded me that it’s more than just eating, it’s a battle that I have within myself.  Had I not been blogging, I don’t think I would have confessed to my eating issues – starving myself.  Who knows where I would be had that not all unfolded.   I’m not giving up.  I never give up, I will get to where I need to be.  I refuse to fail.

The other part of my blog has been my story with epilepsy.  February will be 11 years since my diagnosis.  This was to be a small part of my blog.  I never thought much about my condition, only how inconvenient it could be.  Prior to 2013 I knew no one with epilepsy.  I was only going to share my story periodically on my blog so that people could see that weight loss was possible even with other health conditions.   NOT for pity, believe me I don’t want it or need it.  I don’t know how it happened but somehow through twitter I have found a huge community of people who have epilepsy or have a family member with epilepsy.  Had I not started this blog I would not have started an account on twitter.  I would not have found these people.  I chat with them every single day.  We are a group of people spreading from the USA, Canada and over to the UK.  I admit I never took my condition very seriously but having these people to talk with has changed that a bit.  I want people to be aware of epilepsy.  The stigma and discrimination that many people face.  I’ve never been embarrassed to say that I have this condition but I have never felt the need to spread awareness.  That has changed.  Though I often don’t have many feelings towards my condition, I have great concern for my friends feelings!!  I know how some of them have struggled and what daily challenges they face.  I don’t want that for them.  I’d like to see a cure happen.  Blogging has brought a desire to spread awareness and I am so glad to have connected with so many wonderful people.  Saz, Angie, Tiff, Whit, Dave and Matt – I thank you for the daily chats and for inspiring me to want to be a better advocate.

I’m a mixed bag of tricks, I’ve realized that while doing this blog over the last year.  I’m a sarcastic, snarky jokester and those who know me well know this about me.  I love my family and my friends and they know it.  I also know that I often wear a poker face.  I don’t really mean too, it’s just me.  I can be nice but I don’t always show it and I care about people, I just show it in a different way.  I don’t take myself very serious and I don’t always take my weight issues or my condition as serious as I should.  I do understand weight frustrations and I have a lot of concern for my friends who suffer from epilepsy.  Blogging helps me.  I’ve had people tell me that they can see me soften.  Soften towards myself a bit too.  I’ll always be a sarcastic, snarky jackhole but hopefully I will continue to lighten up and be positive.

So thank you everyone for supporting me, I appreciate it more than I can say.  I’ve doubted myself and wondered if I should continue.  I’ve had moments when I’ve questioned whether or not my blog serves the purpose I want it to.  I’m encouraged to continue and I thank you for that.  My husband, Eric, has told me time and again to stay with it.  He is happy that I’ve found a hobby.  So thank you to my husband and daughter for always encouraging me, be it my blog, my fitness frustrations or with epilepsy.  Times up, I know!!  It’s a blog not an Oscar.  On to a new year!!!

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