I was watching the latest biggest finale (I love that show, I very much relate to the contestants) and the winner gave this great speech about how he had overcome all the bad things in his life by having small successes and somehow tying them together. That had taught him how to be a winner again. That struck a core. Big steps are hard for me with MD, but what if I can take baby steps and link them together?
Year 2012, 12 months, 12 challenges, 30 days each... I haven't planned the whole year out, one month at a time. each small step interlacing my real world self and MD persona closer together.
Each month I'm starting a discussion "January 2012" an so on, each day I'm going to try to make  a small journal entry. At the end of the month I'm going to make a blog summary (hopefully with some pics) of the month. By journaling the ups and downs.  By trying to measure my efforts I really hope that I can stay motivated and see this through. 
If there is anyone else who wants to join in, you are more than welcome! Your goals and monthly challenge can differ from mine. 
So January. The first order of business is for me to chuck out my ADSL, tv and put my computer under lock and bolt. These are all major culprits in my MD taking a turn for the supernatural and ostentatiousness that will kill my new years resolution. Btw via cellphone  I can't access my blog or most of the other stuff on this site. 
January is media detox and back to basics month. In MD I'm a very fit (runs marathons, has abs) and very organized person. In real life, the only exercise I get is running to the subway in the morning, because I never can find my stuff so I'm always running late...
This month I will:1 get 8hours of sleep2 work out, at least 3 times per week3 eat a balanced diet (no more potato chips for dinner)4 clean and organize my home5 only DD about actual me 

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I just finished The King's Speech a little while ago - it is one of my favorite movies.  3rd time seeing it and no crushes in it - just good stuff.  Sasi, was it well-received in England?

Jan 14.
The day started early with oatmeal and one egg. It was a beautiful day with clear skies, so my morning drive was lovely. Instead of going to the grocery store I started at the fruit market. I love food and cooking, so it felt very Jamie Oliver. Badminton was fun, it turned into a doubles match. Before I really craved chocolate, so I thought of my options and decided that buying a 100g nuts and raisins chocolate bar and sharing it with my friends after the match, would be the most fun and health efficient way to go. Lunch was sushi, dinner serrano ham pizza with honey melon smoothie. The Gladiators totally rocked!  

Last night I had a great talk with my mom, I gave her the details of “2012” and we discussed my MD. She gave some really good pointers. The most important being: “So in these two weeks how many days off have you had? This is a marathon, and you are treating it like a sprint. Think of what Bob (Harper) says- Slow and steady wins the race”

With my work hours and high paced days, I need down time. New game plan for Sunday: sleep in, brunch with family, two episodes of Grey’s anatomy, late train home, some light cooking for the week, maybe a fluffy DD starring the real me and well...

Sasi- My BMI is 22, I’m a U.S. size 4, I have never been on a diet and have never counted calories, it’s true that my clothes fit a bit better when my BMI is closer to 20. I think that it will sort itself out, with me working out and eating better. I’m not working out and eating better to lose weight, that is just an added bonus. The real objective is feeling better, having more energy, getting healthier and a real love for good food! I have no plans of dropping beyond a size 4. If I were a guy, I would go for the protein power and grueling gym workouts to get really ripped. Thank god, I’m a girl :)  I think it’s sexy and feminine with some curves. I went to a spa after Christmas with a friend. They had this huge mirror in the locker room, we changed into our bikinis and then I had I choice. I could either pinch my belly fat and scrutinize my thighs. Or I could focus on the on the good stuff, I did that! “It’s December and my tan is still ok... and look at my boobs in this bikini top, high five!”. What I’m trying to say is, cut yourself some slack, You have a great career, husband+2 kids, a BMI that is 20 and in the middle of all the stress you had a 1hour gym work out this week! THAT IS GREAT! 

Thanks eveyone yet again for your endless support. 
I got real inspiration from the concept that this is a marathon not a sprint concept. I also realise that after years of dieting I am having to get my head around heathy ongoing maintenance. A much better concept. What I remembered was that my main reason for starting my big diet 18 months ago was about being healthier. That means in all ways. Mind and body. I feel like a switch has been flicked back in my head and I'm back on track. My goals this next few weeks are to eat healthy foods for my heart/ brain etc rather than calorie counting. Also to encourage myself for every time I fit in some exercise rather than mentally berate myself if it doesn't happen. I have also had some thoughts about reaffirming what my core values are and looking at ways to enhance those. 
Big :)

Lightman said:

Jan 14.
The day started early with oatmeal and one egg. It was a beautiful day with clear skies, so my morning drive was lovely. Instead of going to the grocery store I started at the fruit market. I love food and cooking, so it felt very Jamie Oliver. Badminton was fun, it turned into a doubles match. Before I really craved chocolate, so I thought of my options and decided that buying a 100g nuts and raisins chocolate bar and sharing it with my friends after the match, would be the most fun and health efficient way to go. Lunch was sushi, dinner serrano ham pizza with honey melon smoothie. The Gladiators totally rocked!  

Last night I had a great talk with my mom, I gave her the details of “2012” and we discussed my MD. She gave some really good pointers. The most important being: “So in these two weeks how many days off have you had? This is a marathon, and you are treating it like a sprint. Think of what Bob (Harper) says- Slow and steady wins the race”

With my work hours and high paced days, I need down time. New game plan for Sunday: sleep in, brunch with family, two episodes of Grey’s anatomy, late train home, some light cooking for the week, maybe a fluffy DD starring the real me and well...

Sasi- My BMI is 22, I’m a U.S. size 4, I have never been on a diet and have never counted calories, it’s true that my clothes fit a bit better when my BMI is closer to 20. I think that it will sort itself out, with me working out and eating better. I’m not working out and eating better to lose weight, that is just an added bonus. The real objective is feeling better, having more energy, getting healthier and a real love for good food! I have no plans of dropping beyond a size 4. If I were a guy, I would go for the protein power and grueling gym workouts to get really ripped. Thank god, I’m a girl :)  I think it’s sexy and feminine with some curves. I went to a spa after Christmas with a friend. They had this huge mirror in the locker room, we changed into our bikinis and then I had I choice. I could either pinch my belly fat and scrutinize my thighs. Or I could focus on the on the good stuff, I did that! “It’s December and my tan is still ok... and look at my boobs in this bikini top, high five!”. What I’m trying to say is, cut yourself some slack, You have a great career, husband+2 kids, a BMI that is 20 and in the middle of all the stress you had a 1hour gym work out this week! THAT IS GREAT! 

Jan 15. Best. Day. Ever! Today was the first in 14 days that I slept past 7am. I got up at 8:30, had breakfast. Honey/cinnamon oatmeal and my mom's tomato omelet. Then I spent 2 great hours in bed watching Grey's anatomy, 1,5 h reading the sunday paper and had fluff DD throughout the day. At home I gave my kitchen and bathroom a quick scrub, got some groceries and made a very easy chicken stew for the week. I am feeling very Zen at the moment! 
I can't believe that it's already Jan 15! Wow :) Having two weeks warrior boot camp style was very helpful in getting started. Now it's about planning the "marathon". We all know how much I love planning and routine... So here is my week layout for the year: 
Mon-Thurs: long work days, light 30min workouts, focus on sleep, food and kicking ass at work! Fri- I usually get everything I need to get done Mon-Thurs, so I can work shorter days on Fridays and sometimes work from home. So this will be my errands and serious workout  day. Sat- Being social and serious work out day. This is my treat day (that chocolate/nuts/raisins bar was amazing!), I get a sweet or salty treat of my choice. Sun- Day off! Sleeping in, media marathon: How I met your mother, Lost girl, Grey's and the sunday paper, general slacking and light fluff DD. A bit of relaxing easy cooking and no feeling guilty! 
Sasi- It's great to have you back!  Middle of January, perfect timing for that switch ;) 

Hello all it sounds like everyone is doing very well! And Sasi that sounds great. I have to remember to not just "diet" but try to make overall healthy choices and lose it gradually.

Lightman you are true, slow and steady does win the race. It sounds like you are really making small changes in your life to eventually have much bigger results.

This weekend I had my DD time but it is becoming much less. I had another talk with my fiance about it and I believe he understands it more and realizes it not something to take completely lightly but at the same time something I will have to work on. I have also been off of anti-depressants for several weeks. Its been a struggle, especially when I hit some low points, and he says he can tell but is proud of me trying to overcome it. My mother is proud too and has been having a hard time lately as well. With my brother gone to college and I will be getting married soon and leaving (permanently) I think she is having to go through a transition. We walked Saturday and the exercise felt great!

I am excited about volunteering and will be contacting the United Way here soon. I hope I can be apart of the Literacy program, but will go where they need me.

Everyone here is very proud of you and inspired by you too, Elizabeth.

I feel I am able to stay off anti-depressants with exercise and meditation. I still have bouts of depression but know they will pass. I don't  get mired down by it the way I once did.

I am so glad to hear of your progress. I wish you continued success and hope you keep us updated.

Elizabeth said:

Hello all it sounds like everyone is doing very well! And Sasi that sounds great. I have to remember to not just "diet" but try to make overall healthy choices and lose it gradually.

Lightman you are true, slow and steady does win the race. It sounds like you are really making small changes in your life to eventually have much bigger results.

This weekend I had my DD time but it is becoming much less. I had another talk with my fiance about it and I believe he understands it more and realizes it not something to take completely lightly but at the same time something I will have to work on. I have also been off of anti-depressants for several weeks. Its been a struggle, especially when I hit some low points, and he says he can tell but is proud of me trying to overcome it. My mother is proud too and has been having a hard time lately as well. With my brother gone to college and I will be getting married soon and leaving (permanently) I think she is having to go through a transition. We walked Saturday and the exercise felt great!

I am excited about volunteering and will be contacting the United Way here soon. I hope I can be apart of the Literacy program, but will go where they need me.

Jan 16. Ugh! Work today was hell, I messed up big, and had the pleasure of fessing up to my boss, and apologizing to other extremely pissed off people... Got home very late, gave myself a small pep talk "everybody makes mistakes, trust me you've learned from this, you've done everything in your power to fix it, at the end of the day the damages were salvageable and your boss was pleased with how you handled it. No ruminating. No beating yourself up!". On other good notes, food wise the day has been great, and thanks to 3h happy DD I'm much more happy and relaxed.  
Was very happy to read your post. Great job Elizabeth :) 

My (nearly blind) mother who lives alone in Florida told me last night that her declawed cat was missing.  I get my tremendous love of animals from my mother, who wouldn't leave her house (well-shuttered) during 2 hurricanes some years ago.  Anyway, we were both frantic & I was making plans to go down there.  (Traveling is what I do the worst of all - major panicsville.)  Thank God, she came back home during night & Mum called me at dawn to tell me.  I realized how grateful I am for my particular DD "friends."  With the help of a glass of wine, a xanax, & my old favorite I got through.  But again, I am so grateful for them!  

it's so good to hear so many positive stories.

Elizabeth it sounds as though you are making real progress

Lightman-well done on turning a difficult situation into a learning experience and staying calm and focused

Roxanne-I'm so please your mum's cat is safe and sound (and that you don't have to travel)

I'm enjoying this change of attitude to overall,gentler total health maintenance rather than panicked frenzy if I slip up.A steady day yesterday.I had a potentially stressful morning with one of my kids but kept all zen.Doing some real soul searching about who is the "real me" and who/what I want and need in my life and what is just old baggage or even not good for me.

DD also steady and enjoyable.I put the tv on last night to watch a film I had recorded and the channel as I turned the set on was on the Golden globe ceremony.I caught about 30seconds of it before i switched my film on.I actually found it so fake and sycophantic even in those few seconds.George Clooney talking to Brad Pitt(of course in front of the entire audience) about what a wonderful person he is.There really is so much more of value for me to be doing with my relaxation time.

Jan 17. Last night I slept like a baby :) and work today was ok! I hadn't been to my gym since Friday and all my work out stuff was scattered, plus I had a stomach ache when I got home... But I had a mantra in my head  all day "you are going to the gym today, no excuses!". It helped, 30min of cardio followed by excellent eating, tidying up and a 1h phone conversation with my friend Linnea discussing strategies for 2012!  Rox great to hear about your mom's cat, I love cats too! Sasi, I think we are on very similar journeys... February is going to be very interesting :) good job on being a zen super mom! 

A good day for me too yesterday.Forced myself to go to the gym after work-35mins cardio then some mat work.It made me feel really energetic for the rest of the evening which was great.Eating nice and healthy.I remade a variation on Rogan Josh curry that i had for the last WMN dinner party.Enough left over for tonight so no stressing over what to make today.DD actually diminishing at the moment as I am less tired so more energy to engage with the real world.

What's Febs plan??

Jan 18. Good day! Got off work a bit early so I did 40min of cardio, food wise a good day! Im thinking of working out daily (not on my slacker Sundays though) just because the effect it has on my mood and brain. The feel good energy boost is amazing!  I haven't completely figured out february yet... Obviously maintaining the basics from January is high on the list, self esteem and internal values are also a priority. I'm planning a weekend visit from my friend I spent new years with on the last weekend in January... That would be a big push for me to start feb with a jolt, I'm also bouncing ideas off Elizabeth about what my values and goals should be long term... 

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