Still Living! 2017 Year in Review

Eleven days ago I went to the hospital for a gallbladder removal procedure. I arrived for 7 am. I arrived early so the doors weren’t even unlocked yet on the second floor where I would have my operation. Not being able to eat anything much for over a month had taken a toll on me. My brain was foggy, I had lost some weight, and my emotions were unstable. I needed a last minute emergency theta-healing session the evening before just to calm me down enough so I could go with any amount of confidence. It helped immensely.

The surgery went just about as well as any surgery can and I was sent home to recover by lunchtime. I can’t remember anything about the leaving and very little about the first day spent mostly sleeping in my old bed at my parent’s home. The morning after, I got right up and went out to sit up at the table and eat oatmeal, fruit and tea. I felt very sore but otherwise okay. I stayed up most of the day on the couch watching television with my dad. I ate some of my mom’s homemade raisin brown bread with a tiny bit of peanut butter.

The third morning I laid in bed waiting to go pee but when I opened my eyes the room was spinning so rapidly I couldn’t focus on anything. I yelled for my parents and they came running. Together they helped drag me to the toilet where I peed and puked into a bucket all at the same time. Somehow they got me back to the bed where I precariously weaved on the edge still puking into a bucket before finally settling back into my pillow. I started taking my anti-nausea medication then and slept most of the day. Perhaps I was still under the influence of the heavy drugs when I had enjoyed a great first day after surgery. Perhaps I had sat up and done too much that first day. That third day was to be the worse part of my recovery … unless something can still go wrong … but I think I am well on to total recovery now.

Mostly I have just been hanging around, eating everything in sight, testing to see if anything gives me grief now. So far, things have been great. I made a couple of outings from my parents place. One to visit my BFF up the road for our annual gift exchange, snacks and a movie. Another visit to my sister’s place next door to see what the kids got for Christmas and to watch some dance videos of my nieces. And the third trip which was a huge shopping excursion all around town for groceries and to see if I could manage the stairs at my apartment. I can! My apartment is once again my home! We even went out to a restaurant for a big feed of nachos, veggie stir fry and rice. I ordered the extra large guacamole and ate a ton of it and didn’t even flinch.

I am like a kid in the candy store when I am walking through the grocery aisles picking up things that I haven’t been able to look at ever! My cupboards are like one big science experiment of fatty vegan food. It seems like the stores have started stocking a bunch of new products during the time when I wasn’t able to eat anything. And dammit I am going to try them all! I can say that it is definitely more expensive to be junk food vegan than it is to be whole food plant based, based on my sales receipts. Of course, this is just a phase, an overindulgence period after such a long time of basically starving to death and eating the same bland stuff day in and day out. A couple more days and I will be back to work, back to the usual routine, and back to my quest for a healthy BMI, which means these treats will become just that — treats! The occasional occurrence, not the norm! And I am super excited about that. Super excited to roll up my sleeves and get back to work, back to the routine, back to the norm, and back to making a healthy lifestyle my top priority. I am filled with excitement for the new year! So many plans! So many dreams! So many goals!

Every year around this time I like to look back over the year at hand and just take stock. 2017 was pretty challenging on the health front. I lost over 60 pounds. I am not sure of the real number because of all the starvation in the last couple of months, but it was a solid 63 pound loss before starvation began. I was ill an awful lot in 2017 on account of my gallbladder. And then I lost that big angry devil on December 20th. That’s a pretty drastic change for the year. This was the first time in my life that I ever went to hospital let alone stayed. My first operation. My first time being put to sleep. My first CAT scan and ECG. 2017 was the year I went Vegan and it stuck, I have made the connection, it has all clicked together and I know now that I will always be Vegan. This was the year my eldest godchild and niece graduated high school and has made us all so proud of her by her first term grades at university. This year was the first time I went camping in a tent since I was in my 20’s when we attended our first Hullabaloo Festival. This year my boyfriend and I travelled a lot more throughout the province to different places and discovered that this is something we really enjoy doing together, that we want to do more. This year I attended the annual Coughlan Family Reunion, which I hadn’t done in almost a decade. 2017 was filled with big changes for me. I left my job of 15 years and started doing other things, with other people. And it’s been wonderful! I also broadcast my very first podcast episode before I was taken ill (look for WAY more of these in 2018).

I am entering 2018 in a completely different state of being than what I entered 2017 a year ago. Which is bizarre but wonderful … oh so freaking wonderful! It gives me the confidence that you can really do or change anything in a year, in even much less than a year. Yes, some things like weight loss take time and are best done slowly but steadily, but other things are really just as simple as changing your mind. Change your mind, change your life. Simple.

If you know me then you will know that every year about this time I do Jim Rohn’s goal setting exercise. We always did it at Mighty Miramichi where I worked, but in recent years I have done it on my own regardless of whether we did it at work or not. Today I peeked back at what I set as my top five intentions going into 2017 and I was pretty pleased with what I found. They were:

  1. Get my nose/ breathing issue resolved

  2. Be at a healthy BMI

  3. Live an active lifestyle

  4. Be living a plant based whole food lifestyle

  5. Work for myself/ start a business

Why was I so pleased? Well, I couldn’t even remember what the nose/ breathing issue was anymore, I needed to be reminded. It fixed itself as I lost weight. I did not get to a healthy BMI but I did lose over 60 pounds and I am a whole lot closer to a healthy BMI. I don’t think that goal was even achievable in 2017 unless I had some kind of drastic gastro surgery. As for the active lifestyle, I maybe didn’t do as well at that as I would have liked but I did wear my Fitbit and I did win some Fitbit challenges. And I had moments of brilliance with Fitbit records being broken and set. I also think that goal would be easier to achieve moving forward now that I am not going to be sick all the time. But none of that even matters because I killed number 4! And that is a freaking big goal! I went vegan on January 30, 2017 and I will never look back! I got this one! And as for number 5, well … I made some drastic changes in the employment front and while I am technically nowhere near working for myself I have gained a whole lot of freedom to start doing some of the things that I have wanted to do for a very long time, so while the goal wasn’t achieved, I think the real desire behind the goal was achieved, so dammit I am taking the win and pronouncing 2017 a fantastic success!

I’ve been working on my 2018 Jim Rohn goals exercise and feeling pretty excited about it too. Maybe I am just high on avocado and peanut butter but I am really feeling like I can do anything, like everything I want is within my reach. And that is a great feeling to have!

I hope you enjoy a very happy and healthy New Year filled with love! See you in 2018!

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