The Year of Bravery

2013 was amazing.  Here are some of the highlights:

-Moved out of the city and into suburbia with my husband

-Ran 2 5ks

Got Married!

-Traveled to Arizona and checked another National Park off my list – Saguaro, and also visited Antigua, Shenandoah National Park, North Carolina, and a local campground with friends.

-Had a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund publishing my memoir, Ebb from the Shoreline

Hit the 5 year mark since losing Kevin

It’s been surreal to think of all that has happened since this time last year.  This coming year I’m thinking about all the things I  know are coming, like the final edits on my memoir sometime next week which will mean the book could be printed yet this Spring!  What will follow that will be lots of book related things like a launch party, book readings, and marketing myself in a different way.  I’m thinking of the wonderful travels ahead on our first cruise, Camp Widow East and *maybe* Camp Widow Canada, a family trip to Chincoteague, checking off another National Park (Acadia I hope) and some wonderful scamping!  It’s looking like 2014 will be jam packed with more wonderful adventures and finishing some loooong overdue projects (THE MEMOIR!).

But something big is lurking.  Now that I’ve faced off with the memoir and am finally bringing it to the public eye, I want to face something else big in my life.  My health, my weight.

I’m only 1.5 pounds lower than my highest recorded weight.  That saddens me.  I’ve lost a decent amount of weight in my life two times previously and both times I was single.  It’s just easier focusing on you when there’s only you to focus on!  But I’m married now, and we both need to work on our health, but we can’t do it for each other.  It has to be for our own individual well being.

I have dreamed of taking long tough hikes for years, maybe even backpacking, but the furthest I’ve ever hiked is about 7 miles 4 years ago when I lost 30 pounds.  I know it’s possible, but it means work and commitment on my part.  Before, what I wasn’t willing to face was why I kept losing weight but then gaining it back.  Food is my coping mechanism, along with shopping.

This has been my pattern for a long time, but it has gotten worse since Kevin died.  I feel I need to treat myself with material goods and delicious food, all the time.  Whenever I feel down, I eat.  When I celebrate, I eat.  Every celebration or event in my life revolves around food.  UGH!

I want to tackle why I eat, and along with that, eat healthy and get outside workouts in 2 times a week through hiking, walking and biking – the three physical activities that I actually enjoy.  I realize this may mean therapy.  I will do that if I have to, but I want to see what I can tackle on my own.  After nearly a year of EMDR therapy, I have the tools to work through some of these mental challenges on my own and I hope I can tackle these tough questions.

I have reached out to three friends whose health lifestyles I admire to support me, to encourage me, to check in.  One person is not enough.  I need 3 🙂  I’m hoping they can help me face some of these big questions and can push me to get moving when I can find every reason not to.  I have also reached out to a team of women who are facing big spiritual questions, and we’ve agreed to begin meeting once a month to ask the big questions of life and to support one another in those questions.  I know this will only help me unleash what I have been unwilling to face.

So this is the year of bravery.  Facing demons – that means the grief, anger, happiness, people pleasing, anxiety and joy that drives me to eat.  This means pushing my body towards the challenges I have dreamed off – 10+ mile hikes across rough terrain and long bike rides on trails.  This is my health goal for 2014.

The Appalachian Trail is one of my biggest physical health dreams...

The Appalachian Trail is one of my biggest physical health dreams…section hiking!

While there is so much going on this year, I know that my life is most valuable.  While my number one goal for the year was finishing the book and launching everything by the Spring, I’m shifting my priorities to worry about my mental, spiritual and physical health so that I’m able to tackle the other goals like writing and traveling – my hope is that in doing this, the other things will naturally fall into place.  I want to take the pressure off the deadlines and prioritize my self worth.

Here’s what I need from you:

-Ideas for rewards systems other than food/shopping – how do you reward yourself for accomplishments?

-Support – leave comments, send emails, check in with me, write me a letter, invite me on a hike or bike ride- let me know you support me!


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Comments 3

  1. I can identify so much with this post and with your challenges regarding food. I will be here supporting you and cheering you on, and fighting alongside you as well. May 2014 be the best year yet! <3

  2. Thank you so much Erin, I greatly appreciate it1

  3. Exciting stuff, Brenda! Not sure if this recommendation helps, but a good reward for hitting goals might be a massage, facial, mani/pedi, etc. I know it is kind of still something you have to buy, but it is also an experience rather than a thing! (For that matter, you can do some of those in your own home…possibly with hubby’s help!) Maybe you and hubby could offer rewards to one another like breakfast in bed, massages, etc.?

    I’m also obsessed with Half Price Books…a good place to get a reasonably priced reward that is also a good intellectual stimulation! I’m sure you can find great travel books, nature photography coffee table books, etc. for not much cash.

    Good luck with everything! Keep up the good work!

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