Still…Pretty Good Year

(song: Pretty Good Year/artist: Tori Amos)

Happy New Year everyone! December came and went with nary a peep from Formerly Fat Mom. Sorry readers. I got the flu on December 9, which of course I did not treat until it became a full-blown bronchial infection. I was pretty much in a coma for seven days, then the added holiday hoopla. Blogging in December was simply not meant to be.

But it's January 2013 and I am officially back! Fully recovered and looking forward to the year ahead. But first, let's review some of the highlights of 2012 shall we?

In my 2011 year-end post, I made a few declarations. One was that "2012 will also mark the beginning of my journey to a career in fitness".  Much like a politician, I delivered only a fraction of that promise. While I intended for said journey to be more focused on helping others get fit, I became sort of a free-lance fitness model instead.  I had three paid appearances with Leandro and some fellow bootylicious ladies on the home-shopping channel QVC. All with live on-air interviews!
Check out my bum bum America!

I was a background model in an online cardio kickboxing workout produced by CafeMom, starring my fellow fit mom Chana Balk, and I appeared in three fitness video blogs produced by Leandro Fitness (Leandro's private business site). 

Click here to see video clips of my year in fitness modeling: 

So, I didn't become a personal trainer or a nutritionist, but I got paid to exercise and stay fit! Nice work if you can get it...

I also said I'd devote 2012 to the pursuit of eradicating my saddle bags. Yeah, I still have them. But, they aren't worse. And while I would love to have no jiggle on my thighs at all, I am extraordinarily happy with the body I have today. In that same year-end post I spoke of the struggle to find balance. And that - finding balance - was what 2012 was all about for me.  Enjoying my new slim body, but also enjoying my life. When you spend three intense months in a test group designed to change your physical appearance, your mental state gets lost in the shuffle. You can't undo 30 years of negative body image with 90 days of exercise.  In June of 2012, I celebrated one year of being a single-digit size. I wrote in my anniversary post, "One year later, the image in my head still doesn't match what I see in the mirror. While on an intellectual level I know that I'm not fat, emotionally I am still a "fat girl" -- with all the baggage that entails." After I wrote that post, I began to concentrate on believing I'm worthy of lifelong success. Not cowering under the crushing weight of guilt if I skipped a workout or ate dessert  or had a few bites of my son's giant pretzel at a baseball game. I changed my body, then I changed my mind. The body part was much easier!

Though the mental part of this transformation is still a work-in-progress, I've come a long way since my June anniversary. I no longer think of myself as a fat girl in a thin girl's body. I'm not afraid that one meal will be my downfall. Hell, Saturday I had a big ole greasy shrimp quesadilla -- ate the whole damn thing. Did I go to bed feeling like a bloated pig? Absolutely. Did I internally tell myself that I suck? NO! I don't suck! I'm not a loser! I'm not worthless! It's just one fucking meal, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I enjoyed myself! The next day I spent one hour of my morning working out. Just like I would have if I had eaten a kale salad instead of a quesadilla. One meal cannot break me because I won't let that happen. Allowing myself to enjoy a cheat meal here and there, makes it far less likely that I'll go on an all-out binge for two days if I'm feeling deprived. (That's happened several times over the past year-and-a-half, and it's not pretty...)

I'm not saying that I don't still struggle emotionally. If it gets too easy, I'm doing something wrong. I am saying that I've gotten much better at forgiving myself, and that - unlike 2011 Alison - I totally believe in my capacity for success and my ability to continue this lifestyle forever. That is my greatest accomplishment of 2012.

Bring it on 2013! What do you have in store for me?