Physically betterYou probably haven't seen me but I am a big girl. I'm 5-foot, 8-inches tall and a lot of pounds overweight. That's pretty much how all of us Murphy women are; we're towering women with large frames.
I have been overweight all my life and I came to a point back in 2011 when I hit my biggest size. The largest sizes in the clothing stores were getting tight on me. I would get pains in my back if I bent down the wrong way. When I played volleyball I didn't feel comfortable moving around. When I was naked I didn't even want to see myself.
I didn't want to live that way anymore because I wasn't comfortable. I decided to change and get healthier in 2012 and in 2013 is when I really noticed the changes.
I started out small and that's how I've been going all year. I hear it's good to go slow and steady instead of jumping on a crazy diet with powder shakes, deprivation and resulting disappointment. I've lost about 45 pounds just by eating healthier and exercising almost every day. From where I was — almost bursting out of the largest sizes in my closet — I have lost about three dress sizes. I'm more comfortable and I have more energy to do physical things. I have also built up a lot of muscle and it feels like I don't "jiggle" around anymore. I love to feel the muscles in my legs and shoulders and I'm pretty confident I could carry a small person to safety if I had to.
Forty-five pounds is not that much when you look at those who have lost 100 pounds or 80 pounds. I don't look entirely different, but I do look thinner in my face and upper body. I had to sew in most of my clothes and throw some out because they're too big on me. Heck, the pants I'm wearing now are a little baggy.
I feel good. My cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are good. I've changed my diet to include more fresh vegetables and vegetarian meals. I eventually want to become a vegetarian some day. In 2013 I haven't been eating that much meat. A lot of the time I go vegetarian in addition to two meatless days out of the week. In 2014 I want to try to eliminate meat.
SobrietyI've been sober for more than a year! I don't plan on going out for New Years because: A. I don't have any friends and I live here by myself. B. It's a big drunken holiday and I don't drink and I don't want to be killed by a drunken driver (I have also never ever been intoxicated or out of the house for New Years celebrations. It's weird how that worked out even through the years when I was up to drinking.)
Being sober was hard at first because I'm this 20-something-year-old with loads of energy and freedom. Eventually I settled into the idea and the restriction I set for myself and accepted it fully. I don't like alcohol now and am turned off by the idea of going into a bar where it smells like drunk people. 'Drunk people smell' is an awful smell to me, even before I stopped drinking.
In my mind alcohol is a waste of money and a bunch of empty calories that I don't need. The drink has caused so many problems for so many people that I know, it's not even funny. I've seen it ruin lives and kill folks back at home on the reservation. If you haven't read a past blog post of mine about sobriety, I said that I am not going to be a stereotypical drunk Indian because I may be the only Indian that a non-Indian is ever going to see in their lifetime and I sure as hell don't want to be a drunk one. I also said it's hard to be Native and American.
*clink* Here's to another year of being sober!
Lessons in loveI went through some emotionally rough times in 2013. Plans didn't work out, things didn't go my way and the worst things that could've happen, actually happened (my own Murphy's Law). I don't need to delve into them because it'll make me sad all over again.
Living in Las Cruces alone only made the emotional turmoil worse. Although I've lived here for over four years, I haven't been able to make good friends who I could rely on in times like these. This only pushed me closer to my family and they showed me what it's all about. I can talk to my mom, dad, sister and boyfriend about anything. They talked me through the bad times and the good times. When I was feeling blue or happy, I shared it with them and they made me feel so much better. It's even better when we see each other in person.
I believe I have grown closer to my boyfriend in 2013 too. He may be a good-timing man but I'm a good-hearted woman and that just works well together. I couldn't ask for anything else. We had adventures that showed the worst and best parts of each other and that made this whole thing we have that much more special.
WorkI believe I have gotten better at my job as a features writer. I have more confidence and have definitely taken on more responsibility and even got a well-deserved raise. I'm taking more of my own photos and making my own multimedia pieces to go along with the articles I write. I'm very proud of the pieces where I'm the writer, photographer and videographer. I see that as a gold star in my book because that means I know how to tell stories in more than one medium. Most reporters here don't do that. Heck, most journalists in the field don't do that.
I'm glad 2013 is over — in terms of the emotional ups and downs — because it only made me stronger.
Next year looks promising and I can't wait to start planning things and fulfilling my New Years resolutions:
1. Stay sober
2. Eat about half as much meat as you did in 2013
3. Lose more weight and get healthier
4. Save about $2,000+ for something special
5. Take a well-deserved vacation
6. Do even better work at work (maybe buy yourself that ridiculously expensive camera you're been looking at)