One year ago, I had this crazy idea to start a blog. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do with it, or what I expected to come out of it. But I knew I wanted to write as a means of both motivation and therapy for my soul.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten all about you! I’m back!
I took a small step back from the blog to try to build up my social media presence both on Facebook and Instagram. With that now pretty established, I decided maybe it was time to step back into my blogging world and catch my blog followers up with what’s been going on in my life.
When we last met, I had just embarked on a one-week meal prepping adventure with my brothers. And that’s exactly what it was. ONE. WEEK. I hated it more than I loved it. I very quickly became annoyed with the same meals, even with the variety we’d prepared. I just wanted to eat unhealthily SO BAD. I never did get around to drafting up part two of that blog, but I’d call that week of meals a success. We all were able to lose a few pounds and not having to worry about where our food was coming from for a while, so that was definitely a plus. I’ll be honest with you, one of my brothers even froze some of the leftovers and is still eating them all these months later! But even with all that, I didn’t quite enjoy myself as much as I’d hoped I would have.
After that, I was mostly just trying to eat better and exercise. And for about a month, it went pretty smoothly. I noticed myself feeling and looking better, but then, around March, I started to gain weight and I was feeling pretty crappy. I was eating a lot more, gaining weight very quickly, and the worst part of all was the awful stomach cramps and literally gut-wrenching pain I was in every time I attempted to eat. I blew it off at first, thinking it was nothing. But as it got progressively worse, I began to worry. My tipping point was being unable to drink even water, as it caused the worst burning in my body. Still trying to overcome it, I carried on about my business. Ultimately, that didn’t work out in my favor. Quite the opposite, really.
On March 9, I woke up early and took a trip to Mexico with my brother. All seemed fine, it was just another hot day in the RGV for us. After standing outside in some long lines coming back across the border, I was pretty parched. Remember how I said eating and drinking had become and issue? Well this day was no different. After I was able to force myself to eat and drink something, I immediately felt sick. But it was a different sick. I assumed I was dehydrated and just needed to relax and drink more electrolytes. But as I sat in my brother’s truck heading home, everything started to cloud my head. I was in and out of consciousness basically. I was nauseated. I was weak. And had the worst headache. Finally, my brother decided I needed a doctor and he stopped at an emergency clinic on the way home. After taking my vitals, medical history, labs, etc. I waited. They did all sorts of tests: blood, urine, and even an ultrasound. After determining I was severely dehydrated, it was also determined that I was suffering from a chronic gastritis flare up. Now, prior to this, I hadn’t formally been diagnosed with gastritis, but it was suspected as I’d had one prior instance where I was paralyzed with pain after a run in with a large amount of red dye. I had my diagnosis, a meal plan, a prescription and an order for a 3 day liquid diet.
THREE. DAY. LIQUID. DIET. I wanted to die! Okay, no, not really. But it did feel like the longest three days. I dropped 10 pounds of what I suspect was mostly all the muscle I’d worked so hard to gain. I was a little bit weak, but I was feeling better. I was, however, terrified to come back onto solid foods. It took me nearly 2 weeks to fully get back to eating normally. And then, I took a pretty hard hit trying to get back into the gym. My body just wouldn’t cooperate. On top of all that, after following up with my PCP, I learned I was also (STILL) battling an H. Pylori infection, that has apparently been plaguing my body since early January. I just couldn’t catch a break.
I was very discouraged and felt like I was losing a grip on all the progress I had seen. I didn’t want to continue, I just wanted to give up…
But I didn’t.
Nearly five months after that awful experience, I’ve been recovering pretty well. I finally got rid of the infection and, while I am still experiencing the gastritis, it has certainly gotten better over these last few months. I’m slowly getting back into writing and have even taken on some new workouts and shifted my goals into new perspective.
And so, that brings us to where we are now. May 2019. One year after I started this whole thing. One year after I decided I needed to be accountable for my own actions. And wow! I honestly can’t believe how far this blog has taken me.
I say it a lot, but I have found a lot of new friends through this whole journey. Re-purposing my Instagram into a photo blog & subsequently creating a Facebook page has allowed me to connect with others who are on similar paths as my own. It’s also brought me somewhat of a mini-fan base. I’m constantly being asked for advice, for suggestions, and sometimes, I’m just being told how much I’ve inspired others to start their own fitness journeys.
I should stop and reflect, though. Let’s just reflect on some highlights over the past year! And what better way to do that then with pictures!
When I started in May, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted out of this. But I knew I was enjoying being open & candid with strangers and friends alike!
June was a little more comfortable. I started to get into the habit of working out, but I’ll be honest, it was tiring! I was suffering through an illness that I didn’t know at the time, but it made working out a bit tougher. But alas, I persisted!
In July, I ended up in the ER because I couldn’t breathe and literally thought I was suffering with heart problems! Turns out, I’ve got asthma! A minor setback, yes. But it’s something I’ve learned to live with, and losing weight has definitely helped to deter its presence in my life!
**sidenote, you can read more about the asthma story in a previous post here
In August, I went out for the first time in a long time! It was the first time I’d hung out with friends outside of my close-knit circle of friends. And I seriously enjoyed it. It was stepping out of my comfort zone, and it helped me deal with all my emotions head-on!
At the end of August, I traveled to Mexico City with my brother and climbed the third tallest pyramid in the world. It is the first time I am lost for words at scenery. It is the first time I feel invincible.
In September, I celebrated a birthday! I turned 25 & I refocused on getting myself healthy and happy. I was probably wishing for more patience with myself, because only God knows how frustrated I was with myself.
October was interesting! I actually looked forward to Halloween & even wore a more daring look to work! It was amazing to see reactions to this newfound confident personality, and it was awesome finding some fun in a holiday I didn’t used to enjoy before.
It was also in this month that I decided to start incorporating more fresh air and outdoors in my exercises. Found out that the local outdoor trails were perfect for clearing my head.
In November, I watched my boyfriend compete in his first powerlifting competition since high school. He did incredible. It reignited a fire from under me. It made me want to try harder in my own fitness and health journey.
December, all the holiday celebrating, and of course, all the food! But mostly, the holidays brought their seasonal depression for me. I started putting on weight, but I got through it with the love of my family and friends.
I rang in the New Year with my family and friends and knew I needed to refocus myself and get down to business in my fitness and health! I was diagnosed with a severe stomach infection but still tried my best to triumph through it.
February, new friends. A concert. Illnesses continue, but I am still hanging on by a thread! I also quit drinking for a brief period during this month. (Obviously after this photo was taken!)
In March, my best friend and I reunited after not seeing each other for nearly 4 years. I cried a lot. I also ended up in the hospital a week later. It is a stressful month, but once again, a wake up call for me to heal myself.
April was a month of healing and training! I finished my first 5K in almost 2 years. It is amazing! It immediately triggers my impulses and makes me sign up for three more 5K runs!
Which brings us to May. I’ve done yet another 5K and also completed a 5K obstacle course called Jailbreak SPI. It was an event on the beach. It was exhilarating and I can’t wait to do it again next year! So far, I’m signed up for 2 more 5K events this month, and I can’t wait to see what else the year has in store!
A long year it’s been, to say the least, but one full of lessons, heartbreaks and overcoming.
It’s truly a humbling experience. I always knew I wanted to help others, but I never knew how. I knew I couldn’t be a doctor or a teacher. But as a blogger, I’ve learned that when others can relate to your experiences, it allows others to put their own selves in perspective and try to help themselves. I love that I am able to help others in my own way. I can appreciate the praise while not letting it go to my head. I am so, SO proud of how far I’ve come, but I know that there is always room for improvement and I still have so much further to go before I reach my goals.
This blog, while originally intended for some stress relief and a venting space, became so much more than that. I am so grateful and humbled by all that love that I’ve received over the year and I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next for A JENuine Journey.
I’m currently working on getting myself on track to shed some more weight and build up my endurance, so stay tuned for that!
And until next time, I thank you for your support and appreciation! Feel free to donate to the cause and share my pages with your family and friends!
Here’s something a little new! I also accept monetary gifts/donations to help me pay registration fees for 5Ks and other events! I’m always welcome to promoting products or services on my blog, Facebook, and Instagram, at my own discretion of course. But feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can work something out!