WOW what a year it's been! I seriously can't believe that 2012 is hours away from being over and we are zooming right on in to 2013! I have SO many things to be thankful for during this blogging year, so I am going to just go down the list a little...
At the start of 2012, I looked and felt amazing weighing in at a whopping 138lbs down from 155lbs the year or so before. The blog was only about 5 months old and I really enjoyed blogging all about my struggles with my developed soy allergy aka my Soy Belly, lactose intolerance, weight loss, my fitness journey and most of all I loved inspiring other people. I started a facebook page and twitter account and developed friendships with people from all over the world who shared the love of health and fitness with me. Writing that seriously put a tear in my eye and sent chills down my body because these people are all so amazing, they live their life to motivate and inspire others and are all so thoughtful and caring. I never thought I would hear myself say I found friends off the internet :)
Then as I sought out other ways to get my story out and to help motivate even more people, I found an amazing group called FitFluential. I saw all the positive and inspiring posts on twitter and right away I knew I wanted to be apart of the FitFluential family! On January 31st, I applied to be a FitFluential Ambassador and shared with them my story of weight loss, weights, and food allergies. It felt like a lifetime before I received a response, but on February 26th, I received a return email announcing my ambassadorship! I was beyond thrilled and since then, the fun hasn't stopped! This last year, I was so honored to attend the Fitness Magazine blogging event and met our fearless leader Kelly Olexa, I also met the amazing Bob Harper at his book release party for The Skinny Rules, and recently went to the Reebok hub to test out their first Fitness Running Club. I've met some AMAZING blogger who some of them have turned into lovely friendships, and I've gotten the chance to try out some great health and wellness products along the way! It has truly been a wonderful experience and I look forward to more excitement in 2013!
Although so much positive happened this year, it hasn't been all roses and daisies. After the beginning of the year, I started a new shiny job as an Assistant Front Office Manager at a gorgeous boutique hotel in Lower Manhattan, and what I thought would be a positive work experience quickly went downhill and left me with feelings of depression and hatred for the hotel industry. When I moved to NYC 4 years ago I had dreams of working in a management role in boutique hotels around the city because I loved helping people and wanted to create the ultimate vacation experience for travelers. But as I climbed the management ladder, I realized that my job focused on dealing with more of the negative rather than positive experiences. Because of this stress I would eat poorly at times and weight started to creep back on.
During those months I was also having more stomach issues than normal, I was constipated for the first time in my life and would have really bad abdominal bloating which after several trips to my primary doctor, I was sent to a Gastrointestinalogist. He was a kind man who really listened to my issues and wanted to get to the root of my issue. He believed I had IBS and after failed attempts to relieve my symptoms, he performed a colonoscopy on me at the age of 28. At the time he was hesitant to do the procedure because I was so young, but it was really the only option at that point. After the colonoscopy my Doctor informed me that my colon had lost its form and was flat, he said it looked like the colon of a 50 year old and that could be the result of my constipation, he also informed me that he had to remove two polyps on the right and left side of my colon. After the results came back, we found out that one of the polyps was made up of precancerous cells. This was frightening news especially because doctors are encouraged to wait until patients are in their 40s to start performing these check-ups. Luckily for me, we did find it in its early stage and it was removed and tested for Lynch Syndrome which came back negative. But now I have to go back for a colonoscopy check-up every 3 years for the rest of my life to insure that I don't have any more cancerous cell growths. That was a very scary time for me and I feel so absolutely blessed to have found that when we did.
Despite this cloud of negativity that hovered over me, I tried my best to keep positive in other aspects of my life and kept up with my fitness and my blog the best that I could. In my free time I always listened to health podcasts and read articles on healthy living to keep me sane. As I started to get more and more interested in nutrition and wellness, I realized that my true passion was still to help people, but in a more positive light. I knew I wanted to go to school for nutrition and found an amazing program online at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, but in my current job position I was working 10+ hours a day and couldn't envision how I could work and go to school at the same time. After putting much thought into how I could make school happen, I made a plan and after about 5 months I was able to quit my job and leave the hotel industry behind. I enrolled in school on September 6th not really even knowing how I would afford to pay for it and started school on October 29th. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I am happier, I regained my positive outlook on life, I am no longer constipated from stress, and I am now taking steps closer to my dream job of being able to work from home and help others to live a healthy life! In 5 months I will be able to start my health coaching practice and take clients and I will graduate on October 1, 2013.
These days I am taking steps to lose the weight and keep the weight off that I gained while I was in my depression. I wrote several posts about falling off and getting back on the weight loss wagon, it wasn't the most fun ride but that's life sometimes. But I am pleased to say I have successfully been back to my clean diet and regular workout program for over a month and I feel confident that I will continue down this path especially as I get deeper into my studies on health and wellness.
In October I read an article that the Greatist blog was looking for ambassadors. They were looking for people who made healthy choices every day and who enjoyed inspiring others to do the same. That had my name written all over it, so I applied with my story and I was accepted to be an #imagreatist Ambassador on November 6th! This ambassadorship was very special to me because I have been following the Greatist website for a while now and always enjoyed how their content was so easy to read and full of great information! Cheers Greatist!
So as I wrap up this year and this mega long post, I want to say a BIG personal thank you to my sister Amy, my boyfriend Chris, my best Sarah and my friend and roommate Jordan who have stood behind me and cheered me on this year. Thanks to my god and my family for loving me unconditionally. Thanks to my friends for being amazing people. Thanks to my readers who take the time out to read my posts, try my recipes and encourage me. Thanks to my fit family on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest who inspire, encourage and motivate me on a daily basis. Thanks to FitFluential for an exciting year, new friends and experiences. Thanks to Greatist for our new relationship and for motivating content everyday. Thanks to Integrative Nutrition for giving me the tools and knowledge to start a new career. Thanks 2012 for a wonderful and blessed year!
Now for 2013 plans...I am not a resolutioner, but I do like to set goals. I will work on a post this week about my goals for 2013. I am, however, going to start a 21 day sugar detox program starting on January 2nd! I will have a detailed post on that tomorrow because I think this post is long enough as it is :)
How did 2012 treat you? What are your plans for the New Year?
xoxo - Amber