As promised, I too will dedicate a post to looking back on 2016. It really has been quite a year. I will be dividing this post into different sections, just to bring a bit of structure into this post. I will not be writing about my goals for 2017 in this post, as I plan to dedicate a separate blog post to this.
This is going to be quite a lenghty post as a lot has happened this year, so I suggest you get yourself a cup of tea, coffee or whatever other drink that helps you to relax, and sit yourself down in a comfortable chair ;).
In May this year I decided that it was high time that I jumped back on the weight-loss bandwagon. I had stopped watching what I was eating in December 2015 and had as a result gained about 3,5-4 of the kilo’s of what I had managed to loose in 2015. In 2015 I had started with a weight of 80 kilo’s (176 lbs) and had managed to bring it down to around 71 kg (156.5 lbs), thus loosing about 9 kilo’s (+/= 20 lbs). When I began my weight-loss journey again in 2016, I weighed about 74,4 kilo’s (164 lbs).
As those who have been following this blog for a while will know, I managed to loose the weight I had gained and more. Even though I did want to get to 68 kilo’s (+/- 150 lbs) I never actually thought this was a realistic goal… But I am proud to say that even during the crazy Christmas season I have managed to remain below that weight. For the past two months I have been hovering around the 67 kilo’s (+/- 148 lbs), which I am extremely satisfied with. I would like to get down to 66, but honestly as long as I stay around 67 I am quite happy.
As I have lost over 7 kilo’s (15,5 lbs), this also meant I went down 2 whole clothing sizes. By now I have donated, given away, sold or thrown away all of my old clothes as they were too big. And have begun to built an entirely new wardrobe. So there really is no turning back!
In June I started what I decided to call Project confidence. I was and still am quite an insecure person and realized that just loosing weight was not going to help me to gain confidence. Though it has definitely helped a lot!
One of my goals with this project was to gain back my “forever smile”. And I have definitely been smiling more. I am still working on worrying less about what people think of me, or rather, what I think people think of me, but I did not really expect to change that aspect of myself in just a few months. So yes, very much work in progress.
I did get to a point, however, where I felt comfortable to try something I had been wanting to do for years. In September I joined a dance school that I had never been to and began taking tap dancing classes. Now this was probably one of the best decisions that I have made all year. I immediately noticed at the end of the first lesson that I felt a bit more like my old self again. Until I was about 15 years old I used to go to musical class where we would have dancing lessons every week, and I absolutely loved it. I had the exact same feeling after tap dancing. For one hour I was able to forget my problems with fatigue and was just able to focus on dancing. Now mind you, I am not particularly good at tap dancing, but I really enjoy it a lot! I always look forward to it and it is a great way to exercise!
Over the past months I really notice that I have began to smile more and to feel a lot better in my own skin. And as I have said before: weight-loss does help with this. Thanks to the amount of weight I have lost, I now own a coat that I feel absolutely fantastic in! If ever there was a coat that gave confidence, this is definitely it. Several people have told me that this really is a Mar coat… and I could not agree with them more. I am almost inclined to buy a second one, I case this one wears out haha.
As my trusty readers will know I have been struggling with fatigue issues for a couple of years now. This year, I was finally admitted to the hospital so that they could run some tests. It turns out that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, for which I am currently being treated by a sleep psychologist. Since I have been going to this psychologist, I have noticed a definite improvement in my energy levels.
I am currently adhering to a strict sleep schedule, have stopped working on my dissertation for at least one day a week (which is usually on Saturdays) and have been focusing less on how tired I feel. As a result, I have been able to survive a completely crazy December that was absolutely crammed to the brim with deadlines. I would not have been able to do this half a year ago, so I am really grateful. I do, however, notice that perhaps I asked a bit too much of myself and that I do have to take a step back now. So yes, I do need to find a better balance… And remember that I am not wonder woman. However, sometimes life just gets crazy and all you can do is to go with the flow. Here’s to hoping I won’t have a repetition of December any time soon though!
This year has been absolutely amazing when it comes to work. I was able to obtain my Prince 2 Project Management foundation and practitioner certificates, got promoted to a Senior position, was able to manage a number of IT related projects with success AND got a permanent contract! I mean just wow… After a year with this many highs, next year is going to be such a let down haha!
PhD and research
My research as certainly kept me busy this year. In July I was asked to contribute three articles to a Companion to Victorian literature and have just sent them to the editor. I have also written a book review which is to be published in the Wilkie Collins Journal. Next to this I have been working steadily on my doctoral thesis, which is due to be finished September 2017… The thought of which gives me a near panic attack as there is so much left to do! But I will write more on this in my next blog on my goals for September 2017. So stay tuned.
And you my dear? How was your 2016? Regardless of what it was like, I wish you a marvelous, healthy and lovely 2017.