What I did to re-invent my life…

25Oct09

I look back and realize there were other sacred times in my life that slipped by me.  Oh, I probably did some new thing, called a friend, bought some new clothes, started using a Water Pic, but these were turning points in my life.  They deserved more.  I’m not going to let that happen this time.  KB 1/20/08

This is what I wrote in my journal the week before I had weight loss surgery and lost over 100 pounds.  And frankly, looking back, I’m amazed to realize that I changed practically everything about my life since.

Some changes “took” more powerfully than others.  Some are still works in progress.  But overall, I am much happier, much healthier, and much better positioned for the future I envision for myself.

Here’s what I did (short version, I’ll share more as we move forward together into this year):

  • Re-built my health and fitness

I committed to eating fabulous food that I love.  I also committed to following the guidelines for successful post-op eating.  To do both took many, many hours of research on nutrition, trying new recipes, and sharing eating strategies with others.  My secret:  I gave myself permission to throw or give away or even spit out whatever wasn’t as delicious as it was healthy.  So I felt free to experiment.  I “kissed a lot of frogs” food-wise, but I learned to love some great food I had never eaten before.

I’ve maintained my weight at between 112 and 120 lbs (I’m 5’4″) by focusing on eating 80 grams of protein a day.  Typically, that includes my beloved high protein hot chocolate, peanut butter, cottage cheese, tuna, nuts, beans, eggs, some chicken, and a little red meat.  I fill up the rest of my new smaller tummy with fruit and complex carbs.  Most of what I eat is organic.

Because I’d like to gain back a few pounds – the irony of which is not lost on me! – and I walk a lot in my job, I don’t do additional aerobics, but I do weight training at least twice a week.

  • Re-charged my family life

I don’t live near immediate or extended family unfortunately.  The Internet has helped of course, but now I visit each of my four children at least once every six months.  Amazingly, the money to do so shows up.  And we actually had our first annual extended family vacation this summer – brother, sister, nieces, nephews, good Cajun food – after talking about it for years.  So special and soul-nourishing!  We’re already planning next year’s trip.

  • Re-created my network

I re-connected by email with school friends I had lost touch with over the years.  This has meant the world to me.  And, as a new author, I’ve made new friends around our common love of writing.

  • Re-directed my finances

I didn’t do a lot of new work on my finances over the last year, but I diligently followed through on a plan I had already established.  Slow and steady has paid off.   Literally.  This is a big area for re-invention over the next year as I plan to move fulltime into a writing career.

  • Re-discovered my creativity

Given that I completed and published a book, started on the sequel, and have three other books in progress (not to mention my obsession with beading and haiku), I would say my creativity got a real workout in the last year!

  • Re-examined my inner life

This is an aspect of my life on which I want to focus this year.  I did try meditation, but never could get the hang of it.  Is it supposed to make you tense?  But since I’m planning to participate in the November 10.000 word novel challenge by working on my memoirs of growing up in Southern Louisiana, I’ll be doing a lot of re-examination this year!

  • Re-focused my heart

After sitting out for a decade, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and began online dating.  It has been fun, but not necessarily fruitful.  I do love the way it forced me to focus on who I am and what I want in a life partner.  I have no doubt that he will surface at the appropriate time.

  • Re-freshed my look

Dramatic changes here and OMG so much fun after a decade of being overweight!  I scoured the magazines and websites to gather ideas for the colors and styles for my hair and skin color and figure.  I used a very small budget to follow  Tim Gunn’s guide for a basic wardrobe.  Because I didn’t have to worry so much about hiding flaws, I was able to focus on my best colors.  I also made sure everything went with everything else.  (My secret here has been inexpensive funky belts that perk up those basics.  Wish I had learned to do belts earlier.  They would have worked even when I was overweight.)

I quit coloring my hair (tough to do, see re-focused my heart above) to find it’s a silver that hairdressers even love, who knew?  The reactions of my co-workers have been the most gratifying part of this change…

  • Re-purposed my nest

I love San Antonio and my job is here, so my location was not something I wanted to change at this time.  I put a lot of effort into decorating my apartment when I moved a couple of years earlier, so didn’t do much decorating.   Most of the changes were in the kitchen actually.  I added an ice cream machine to make delicious high protein ice cream, a Magic Bullet for my high protein shakes, and a George Foreman grill.  I also purchased smaller glass containers with plastic lids to avoid freezing and heating plastic in the microwave and to accommodate freezing meals in the smaller portions I now eat.

  • Re-work your work

I didn’t get a new job, but I definitely re-invented my approach to my work.  My intention was to gain more influence in my role.  With a renewed focus, reading, and by asking for and taking advantage of mentoring and coaching, I was able to get more of my ideas accepted.  Maybe it was more my attitude that changed!  But whatever, I’m happier and more productive.  I’m also making huge strides in establishing myself as a published author in preparation for my retirement career.

So I’m proud of my accomplishments and hope they inspire you to go for the BIGGER YES.  But today I’m starting all over again because I have a whole lot more re-inventing to do.  I’m glad that you are doing it with me.  I’ve done most of the preparatory exercises.  By tonite I’ll have my new LIFE LAYOUT.  I look forward to sharing it with you throughout this next week.

I hope you are doing the same – I’ve deliberately stayed silent over the last week to give you time to do so.  If you are struggling or would like to share with us, please click on “Leave a comment” in red below or contact me directly at kat@katquest.com.

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