It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since Billy and Sarah and I started working together to transform my health and fitness! As the year progressed, and I faced the joys and challenges of being a single parent to a small boy from ages 6 months to 18 months, it was wonderful to have the support and encouragement to focus on my own health, growth and stress relief. I came to really love the work we did together, and as I move forward with continuing to transform my life, I’m so very grateful for the opportunity that DIAKADI and MV Nutrition have given me.

I read an article recently that suggests habits might be likelier to stick if they’re based on a change in your identity rather than a change in your behavior (i.e. “I’m a marathon runner” vs. “I’m going to run a marathon”) and I think there’s something to that.

Here are some of the ways my identity changed this year:

  • I am a person who exercises regularly. I work out at least two or three times a week at the gym, go to a yoga class, and walk at least two miles most days (often with a toddler on my back). Is it sometimes still a mental hurdle to get myself to the gym? Yes, absolutely. Do I fight through it anyway? Yes, absolutely. But I’m “committing to fit” a second year at DIAKADI into my schedule and budget, because it’s now part of who I am and what I need to do to stay healthy.

  • I am a person who is injury-free, and who can run and jump and lift my son in the air. One of my biggest fears about the Commit to Fit program was that I’d injure myself along the way, twisting an ankle or pulling a muscle, and then I’d not only be sidelined from exercise, but also really challenged in my day-to-day parenting. I was careful and lucky, and did not injure myself this year. I also healed a long-standing and painful bout of plantar fasciitis, and improved my core strength to help prevent future injury.

  • I am a person who wears regular-sized clothes (rather than plus-sized). This is a huge win for me, and I’m not willing to go back to that old identity. I like being able to shop in a greater variety of stores and wear clothes that actually appeal to my sense of style rather than simply settle for something that fits. Over the course of this year, my most exciting loss was the number of inches (34 ⅜, or nearly THREE FEET) from various parts of my body as I reduced both body fat (down 7.5%) and weight (down 36.5 lbs).

  • I am a person who drinks alcohol only on special occasions. Before I was pregnant, I drank alcohol most nights - either a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, or a few cocktails out with friends. But after being pregnant, then breastfeeding my son, then being on the Commit to Fit program, I got out of the habit, and now I have a drink only on rare occasions. I find that I’m not only saving calories from alcohol, but making better food choices when I’m not already a little tipsy.

  • I am also a person who has “special occasion” foods. Any food that I find challenging to limit quantities (nuts, bread, cheese) just doesn’t come into the house anymore. Because I don’t eat out regularly (a bonus of being a single parent to a young child!), I give myself permission to enjoy these sorts of foods when I do go out, and I find that very satisfying.

Mostly, I am a person who is really proud of what I’ve accomplished, despite some tiny doubts that I “should have” done more/better/different things this year. I’m looking forward to checking in over the next year and seeing what happens next. Thanks to all of you who have followed along with my adventures!