2018 in Review – Accomplishments, Highlights & Setbacks
2018 has been a really interesting year. As with all aspects of life it was full of ups and downs, and this post will highlight a few of each and what they’ve meant for my journey.
Running has been the outstanding accomplishment for me this year. As I’ve written about previously, I was told that I’d never be able to run again due to an injury I sustained when I was a teenager. I subsequently spent the last 20 years not running or jogging.
In the back of my mind I always wanted to run. You know the old saying, the more you tell someone not to do something the more they want to. Well this rang loudly for me. I’d always been envious of runners, it always looked like a great way to exercise, and although I hated it in my youth, as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to appreciate it.
I started toying with running in 2017, 20 to 50 meters at a time. Nothing major but enough to get my body used to it. In December of 2017 friends of ours started doing Parkrun regularly and invited us along and in February of 2018 I got enough courage to attempt my first 5km Parkrun.
I started with a run / walk combination for the first few runs and eventually progressed to running a whole 5kms without walking. This was huge for me and felt like I had been liberated from the shackles of not being able to run.
I then entered my first paid fun run with my wife with the HBF Run for a Reason, followed by the City to Surf.
I was also lucky enough to be featured on the City to Surf’s website.
Rounding out the year I managed to push my running under the 7min/km mark which was huge. On Christmas eve I managed to complete a 3km run with 6:58min/km. This was an excellent Xmas gift to myself.
You can follow my running journey on Strava.
Opening My Business
2018 also saw me lay a firm foundation to open up a business to help people start their own journey for change. Be it weight, mental health or just self improvement, everyone should have the opportunity to be the best version of themselves. This is basically my business in a nutshell.
I started off doing talks about my weight gain and weight loss story and how it’s closely linked to mental health. The talks gained traction and I founded Beneath the Surface Motivation & Coaching. The business has 3 key services; talks & workshops, consultation & life coaching.
This has helped my mental health and ticks a professional goal of doing something where I can help people which leads onto the next accomplishment.
You can find out more about my business here: Beneath the Surface Motivation & Coaching.
My mental health has improved over this year and I have distanced myself from the anxiety attacks I had in the earlier part of the year. Anxiety still is, and will always be, an issue but loosening it’s grip has been a great accomplishment.
Additionally continually confronting issues from my past through my talks has also helped. Talking about my mental health helps normalise my problems and helps me by not feeling that I’m so different to everyone else due to the issues I have faced.
Some other highlights from this year:
- Visiting where I used to stay when I was homeless for the first time in 20 Years
- Running at 12km/h on the treadmill
- First Mental Health & Obesity Talk
- Completing HBF Run for a Reason
- Completing Perth’s City to Surf
- Adopting a Greyhound
Along with the highs came the lows of 2018. The great thing about lows though is without them we’d never know when we’d experience the highs. Additionally its how we overcome the the setbacks that shows how far we have come.
Leaving My Job
In early 2018 I was forced to leave my job due to my mental health. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly and it took me a few months to come to terms with the decision I had to make. Unfortunately the job started to trigger my anxiety and PTSD and it was dragging me to a very dark place. Although this was a massive setback it enabled me to start my own business which in hindsight it was a blessing in disguise.
My fertility is something I’ve written about before. I short my fertility was impacted by my super obesity. Earlier this year I went through testing (Part 1, 2, 3). Although the tests showed a very slight improvement it’s no where near where we had hoped.
However, there’s still an improvement and it’s still very possible for us to conceive. Hopefully we will have good news on that front in 2019!
In early October I was struck down with a virus that left me with Bells Palsy / Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. The worst part of it was fearing I had a stroke before the diagnosis.
It’s still something I’m suffering with but it’s slowly getting better. It will take around 6 months to fully recover. The best part about it happening now is that I’m in a healthy mental state that I can deal with it with very little mental adversity.
Weight Loss Plateau
I lost around 15kgs this year which is a lot less than the previous year. I still lost but it was not close to where I imagined I’d be by the end of 2018. One of my major flaws is I set extremely high expectations for myself and I at at least wanted to match the 60kgs I had lost last year.
After speaking to my Dr numerous times throughout the year we’ve determined it’s just my body readjusting. This has allowed me to focus more on my fitness rather than weight loss. Numbers aren’t everything and as long as I’m still pushing forward that’s fine by me.
Bring on 2019!
Normally as the year ends I dread the upcoming year. It used to leave me feeling depressed knowing that the cycle will continue and the same things will happen. This year I don’t feel like that and I’m pretty excited by what the next year will bring.
I already have my goals for next year set and I’ll post them within the coming days. Until then, stay safe and happy new year!