Friday, 6 January 2017

2016 - My Year of Change

I decided to write this post to reflect on 2016 while looking forward to 2017 full of hope and excitement.

Last year was an incredibly big year for me in many ways. I started 2016 full of fear and worry for my future, as I had made some radical life changes at the end of 2015.

I plucked up the courage to take back control of my life, and I ended a very destructive and unhappy relationship, which had really left me as a shell of myself. Scared and unsure I simply held my breath and made some scary decisions, trying with all my might not to look back.

I threw myself head first into 2016 with the constant mantra of - 'this is MY year' and boy did I intend to make the most of it.

I traveled to so many wonderful places and that was kick-started with a trip to Finland. I stayed with my sister and quickly got to know why she considered this amazing place her home away from home. The next trip was to Holland with Arran, and as it was our first holiday away together, it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Following Holland was a real personal achievement for me, and ticked off a major bucket list contender. I traveled thousands of miles all by myself, to meet one of my very best friends for a reunion of a life time in Thailand. I will never ever forget this incredible experience and I still get goosebumps thinking about how awesome every single day was. Arran and I also ventured to the South of France to spend some time with his family which again was wonderful and very relaxing. Finally, we ended the year in the most amazing luxury time-share in the gorgeous Loch Lomond which was just another level of cool!

I also made some other very important life changes which started from the inside out. In 2015 I was told I have Coeliacs disease, which totally changed my relationship with food. I had spent years of my life, from a very small age with chronic stomach issues which really took hold of my confidence and my ability to enjoy myself whenever it involved food. Finally I was forced to address all the issues I had, and I swear I will never look back! Yes - I have given up my beloved pan au chocolat, but I have now discovered I can travel without stopping at EVERY service station. I don't have chronic upset stomach anxiety that always lead to terrible upset stomach issues - and I now really take the time to consider what I put in my body and I am so much happier and healthier for it.

Changing the way I eat, changed my body in so many positive ways, and I finally accepted that I was over weight and needed to make some serious changes. Finding that inner strength actually lead me to seek out something I never ever dreamed I would do...I found myself a personal trainer. John has pushed me to my physical breaking point, encouraging me all the way, and has actually unleashed my love of exercise. Seeing small changes in my body has given me such a drive to push myself harder and fight through the physical pain, because there really is no better feeling when you know you have made progress! I now look in the mirror and don't shy away, I am proud of my ever-changing body, and I am so grateful to have someone like John guiding me through this journey of change. He has really helped me to love myself and is a constant source of inspiration, with his dedication to every client and his thriving business. Not only is he my PT, he is a real friend and I am so lucky to have met him.

2016 was also a year of courage and bravery for me - overcoming my anxiety of what people think of me and constantly second guessing myself. This is something I have battled with my whole life and I decided enough was enough! After so much support from loved ones, I finally plucked up the courage to start this blog and I am so happy I did. This is now my place to document each and every achievement and all the wonderful experiences I have had. When I look back through all the posts, it fills me with so much joy. I also started a YouTube channel thelotusgurl which filled me with dread and terrified me to my core. However, with each video I post, I grow with confidence. I am am loving creating the content, and the editing process, and then clicking the publish button when it's gives me such a buzz! So if you are one of those people who have watched, liked or subscribed, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

This year would not have been half as wonderful if it weren't for my other half. After convincing myself I would never find happiness or love again - out of the blue appeared this cheeky chappy who captivated me in every way. I really do believe the best relationships blossom from friendship, and I can happily say, this guy is my best friend and partner in crime. Through all the many ups and downs I have had this year, he has been by my side no matter what, always supporting and encouraging me. I feel more like myself than I have in years, and that is because he has drawn out that fun, silly, full of life version of myself, that had been in hiding for quite some time. If this year has taught me anything, it is to take chances and to let yourself love again... I have and I certainly won't be looking back!

Finally I want to mention my friends and family - they have been through hell and back with me over the last 2 years especially, and through everything they have stood by my side. I count myself the luckiest girl, to be blessed with such incredible people in my life, who love me and appreciate me...for me, and nothing more.

I know this post hasn't been filled with beautiful photos of another great adventure, but I just wanted to put down on paper how grateful I am to be living this life I have been given. To all of you who have supported me in any way with this blog, thank you SO much! I cannot wait to share even more wonderful adventures with you this year, and I hope you will stick with me for all that is to come.

'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover'. –Mark Twain

Sending love and happiness from Scotland,

Cat Xx


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