We are almost at the end of 2016 and I thought it was a good time to do a little personal update reflecting back on my year. I’ve been blogging for just about 6 years now in one form or another and this little ole blog has followed me through some interesting phases of life. I started this blog as a junior in college as a creative outlet. I would post DIY projects, outfit photos, the occasional recipe, and random personal updates about my life as a college student. I continued to blog throughout getting engaged, planning a wedding, and settling into my first home and decorating for the different seasons. Most of my other DIY projects focused on my main love of jewelry making with a few style posts still thrown in. In 2014 I started blogging for the first time about starting a new weight loss journey. Little did I know in that first month update that I would continue to lose weight over two years and eventually lose 100 pounds and become well known on social media for my weight loss transformation. I’ve blogged off and on over these past six years as time has allowed, slightly less so I feel in the last two years after getting into health and fitness and trying to find more of a balance for working out and getting to spend time on my other hobbies (i.e. jewelry making) that I often blogged about. Even though my life has changed drastically since I first started My Girlish Whims I still love sharing different projects and recipes and blurbs of my life on here, so I’m looking forward to a new year and even better year of blogging for My Girlish Whims.
I’ve been blogging since the beginning of 2011 but 2016 may very well be one of the craziest of those years. In regards to weight loss: 2016 was the year that I hit my 100 pound weight loss goal…on my two year fitness anniversary no less!
In 2016 I switched diet plans to the “If It Fits Your Macros” plan and was able to lose the last five pounds I had been struggling with for so long to make it to that coveted 100 pound loss mark. Losing 100 pounds is seriously one of the most amazing accomplishments I have ever been able to do. I struggled with my weight for so long and then dieted for a full TWO YEARS..so finally reaching my goal weight and switching to maintenance mode this year was so fun! Hitting this 100 pound mark also led to some crazy opportunities for me… I was actually featured on the cover of PEOPLE magazine in July of this year for their 100 pound weight loss edition! They contacted me directly after finding my transformation photos on Instagram, asked me to submit some photos and answer some questions…then told me they wanted to feature me and took me out to THE HAMPTONS for a week in June for a full photo shoot on the beach! It was seriously one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I will never forget it. Having stylists dress me, professional make-up artists dot on me, professional photographers call me a “model” all day…hah! I felt like a million bucks and so spoiled that weekend.
Being on the cover of People also led to me being featured on Good Morning America that same week! The studio sent a private car to pick me up from my work in PA which drove me all the way to NYC. I got to stay overnight in a hotel and get up super early for my two minutes of fame on national television :) I went back to the PEOPLE studios after that and did interviews with multiple other news outlets and was featured on multiple shows that day. Such a surreal experience!!! I never thought that just getting healthy would open so many doors for me!
Because of my weight loss and press from this year my social media accounts blew up just a little bit! I hit over 100,000 followers on my Instagram account this year and honestly have fallen in love with the weight loss community online. Seeing other people’s success stories on Instagram was SUCH a motivation for me when I first started losing weigh in 2014, so I feel so honored that it has come full circle and I have such an audience now watching me for continued inspiration and support.
I’m planning on writing a post next month when I hit my one year of maintaining my weight loss goal…so check back for a little more details in the weight loss category then.
2016 was a major year for me in relationship changes, as I am now actually officially divorced. This is a very personal matter (obviously) and I don’t feel the need to get into all the details on this blog, but it is worth mentioning. I got married at 21 years old to the first and only person I ever dated. Were there happy times? Absolutely. Do I think I should have gotten married so young before I had any dating experience and before I really knew who I was as a person? Looking back on it now, absolutely not to that either! As far as divorces can go mine went pretty smoothly and we have both actually already moved on. My ex has a girlfriend and I am dating someone as well. I can truly say that I am happier now than I have ever been in my life so even though I never expected to be 26 years old and already divorced, I’m glad we figured out early on that things were not right.
I also feel very lucky and blessed to be dating someone currently who makes me feel like the most special girl in the world. He makes me laugh 24/7, tells me I look beautiful when I’m wearing sweats and have no make-up on, has the biggest heart in the world, supports me in everything that I do, and has no problem taking me out to see a chick-flick and getting a pedicure with me beforehand or going on gym dates where he spots my like 75 pound bench press before proceeding to bench press about five hundred pounds himself. Hah! He came into my life when I was least expecting it but now going just one day without seeing him seems like torture sometimes.
I’ve been through so many changes this past year and at times I was an emotional wreck and I felt like my life would never settle back down again, but looking back on things I am SO GRATEFUL for all the changes I had to go through to make it to where I am now. I feel more loved and appreciated than I ever have before and it feels good to finally just feel…happy.
Friends and Family
This year especially I truly learned how blessed I am to have a family that loves and supports me no matter what. Having to tell my mom and dad that I was getting divorced was SCARY. I’ve always had a good relationship with my parents but I was pretty worried about how they would react. As is to be expected, they questioned at first if it was what I really wanted or if it was going to be something I would regret (I would be a little worried if I just came to my parents and said I was getting divorced and they said ok that’s nice dear hah!!!) but as the news sunk in they were 100% supportive of me and my decision (and not completely surprised either…) so having their support over this past year meant the world to me. They helped give advice, helped me move into my new place, and overall were just there to love me and talk to me when needed.
Same with my siblings: my sister was there to talk to me through so many transitions and available to meet up for sister dates when I was feeling lonely and overall just loved me and didn’t judge me or my decision. Relationships may come and go, friends can change, but your family is always your family at the end of the day and I so appreciate of their love and support of this past year.
Unfortunately this past year saw a large shift in some long-term friendships for me. Some shifts were for the best due to toxic relationships (and one thing I’ve learned in the past year for sure is I have NO TIME for any jealous girl drama!!!) but some other changes were due to my divorce which was a little more difficult. As with any couple, a friend can start as your friend or his friend but eventually just becomes a “friend.” When a couple splits up though…inadvertently friends split as well and I have now grown more distant with some people that were great friends to me for many years due to my relationship change. Does it still hurt sometimes? Honestly, yes. But luckily this year I have also been blessed in gaining so many new friendships with girls who have similar interests and goals as me that I actually feel like I have more friends than ever!
New friend or old friend, the most valuable attribute of a friend is just being there when you need them the most and I was blessed to have SO MANY girlfriends there for me this past year: whether it was just when I needed someone to vent to, when I needed help settling into my new apartment, or if I just needed to put on a pair of fancy heels and meet a girlfriend for happy hour to laugh and have girl talk: this past year I had friends there for me for all of those moments.
While I had many friends and family there for me when I needed it most over this past year, I can truly say that 2016 was the year that I learned just how independent I am/can be. I’m living on my own for the first time in my LIFE! I lived at home in high school, lived in a dorm in college, and then moved right in to a house with my ex as soon as I graduated college and got married right after. I’ve gone from being a homeowner at 21…to being 26 and renting my own place. I actually got my house ready to sell COMPLETELY on my own, AND SOLD IT on my own as I used to have my real estate license. Even though I only lived in that house for three years and it was only 1200 square feet…sheesh!!! Getting a house staged to sell and moving is a LOT of work and while I did have some helping hands from friends and family when needed I pretty much did it all on my own. I’m so proud of how these listing photos turned out!!!
But now I have my own adorable little apartment and having something that is just…MINE feels nice. I don’t see myself staying here for the long term but it’s the perfect set-up for my needs right now.
Strangely enough, 2016 also became the year that I am became more financially independent and stable than ever before. I’ve always been pretty smart with money: I like to shop and splurge but I also know when I need to save and live within my means. I lived in a dual-income household ever since I graduated college/got married though so that was one of the scariest parts during the beginning of my divorce: knowing I would only have myself to rely on. And while there was always a standing invitation to move in with my parents if needed, I really wanted to just keep moving forward. There was a crazy period where I moved into a basement apartment with no running water, a feral cat and a landlord who told me to just tell his neighbors I was his “girlfriend” if they asked who I was during my transition from selling my house to finding my current apartment…but that’s a story for another time ;) And luckily my current situation is MUCH better!!! I have no debt, I work hard for my money, and don’t feel bad going out and spending it on what I want now!
While I do think I was raised to be fairly independent, there were always portions of my life that I was always fine letting someone else take care of for me. This year I learned how to overcome some of those boundaries. I traveled to multiple places on my own and navigated train stations, airports, DC and shore traffic and more. As someone who is very directionally challenged...this is a big deal :) Did I ever learn to change a flat tire or change the oil on my car? No…but I did become a member of Triple A this year and have an official “car shop” now to do my oil changes. Could I move all my furniture from my house to my apartment on my own? No, but I can budget enough to make room to hire movers to do it for me. I assembled my first piece of furniture this year and GRANTED while it was only a cube from IKEA I did it completely on my own and found it to be the most vindicating experience :)
I have no problem sharing my life with someone and can be completely honest in the fact that I do want to be married again and eventually have a family and would love nothing more than to be able to stay home and care for my babies and rely on someone else to be the “breadwinner…”but I am glad that 2016 has shown that I AM capable of being on my own.
So overall...2016 was quite a year. I went through a lot of personal changes but also made some amazing memories and had some of the most fun times of my life this past year. I've grown as a person and feel more excited for a new year than ever before. Thanks for sticking around with me, I can't wait to share more of my adventures with you this next year!