Project Me 2014

“I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. Puffy face with wrinkles that weren’t there this time last year. A sad, resignation behind my eyes that belies the smiles I paste on my face for public consumption.

My lower back, hips, and hamstrings hurt nearly every day now – when I lie too long on one side, when I get in and out of Minnie (my Mini Cooper), when I sit too long at work (which I do nearly every day). A not-too-gentle reminder that I need to move my body more while it also making exercise painful; the irony is not lost on me.

And my blood sugar. How painful it was – after overcoming years of fear and pride to ask for a prescription for insulin – to discover that it didn’t make a damned bit of difference. It’s only a matter of time before the complications start, or perhaps just a stroke or heart attack.”

I wrote the above on January 1, 2013 when I decided to launch Project Me. As I read that entry now, I’m struck by the sadness of my words but also my determination and commitment to do things differently with the new year. I don’t know that I’d call it hope because I don’t remember having that feeling as I wrote – it was simply a desperate desire for something more, and something better.

When I think about what I accomplished last year, the word I’d use to describe it all is commitment. I committed myself to improving my health and my life for 365 days, not knowing if it was possible or not, and then put one foot in front of the other to make it happen. Every morning when I woke up last year I committed myself anew to doing what was necessary in order to achieve my goals. And I still do that now, as a lighter, leaner, and oh-so-much-happier person. Every single morning.

So, what will I do this year for Project Me? I still have some weight left to lose before I achieve a healthy Body Mass Index. Most of that weight needs to be released from my abdomen and I need to shrink my waist quite a bit in order to have a healthy waist circumference. For my competitive spirit, I want to complete several athletic events in 2014 as well. And then there’s the happiness component of it all, too. I’ve put a lot of thought into what I’d like to achieve in the next 350 days and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Achieve a healthy Body Mass Index by weighing 140 or fewer pounds,
  • A waist circumference measurement of 30 inches or less,
  • Body fat between 23 and 33%,
  • Complete a 10K event in 75 minutes or less,
  • Park both cars in our garage at the same time*
Patience by AuthenticAng11 via Flickr
Patience by AuthenticAng11 via Flickr

If last year was focused on commitment then this year seems to me to be all about patience. I have always been the kind of reader who can’t stand the suspense and flips to the end to see what happens. Life doesn’t work that way, though, so I need to just settle back, keep doing what’s working while adding in a few new habits to enhance my health and happiness, and enjoy the incredible life I’m blessed to be living.

What are your goals for 2014? Do you have a word that you’re focused on for the year?

(*I'll post a picture later this week of the current situation in our garage but for now I'll just say this: it isn't pretty in there.)

    Great goals to build upon all your success in 2013. I didn’t realize it but patience seems to be my word this time around as well. I’m patient with my health journey even though it meanders at time.


      Kay Lynn,

      My lack of patience with the process has been a huge part of my past weight loss/healthy living frustrations – I don’t want to put the time in, I just want immediate gratification, and it doesn’t work that way. (Not many things in life that are worthwhile and lasting do, really.)


  • Hi Denise – this is the first time I’ve read your blog. Love it! I need to think about implementing your project management idea in my life. I’ve lost 100 pounds from my heaviest, probably about 50 since I left work, but I’m really struggling to lose the last 28 pounds. I have Diabetes too, post menopausal and thyroid issues, so I feel like the deck is stacked against me. I am NOT using that as an excuse though, I’m determined to continue on this journey, it just makes the journey harder. So be it. I will simply deal with it, but maybe it would be easier to deal with it if I actually had a plan with some defined goals! Thanks for the inspiration. You go girl!


      Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Congratulations on your fabulous success with building a healthier life! I know what you mean about struggling with the last 28 pounds – I’ve been seemingly in the 160s forever and ever now. My conclusion is that it’s just harder to get that really entrenched fat to release itself from my abdomen and internal organs than it was when there was lots of it floating around. I really do find that the goals and checking in helps me, though, even when I don’t hit the target right in the middle. If I can help with brainstorming or feedback, let me know.

      Great “talking” to you!

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