I don’t normally put much emphasis on the start of a new year.  I’ve never quite understood why people drink themselves into oblivion and then hoot and holler, kiss a stranger, or say “thank goodness” at the stroke of midnight.  I don’t get it.

I have to admit, I was happy to see 2010 leave.  I figure 2011 HAD to be better.

And, in many ways, it has been better.

In terms of exercise, weight loss (who am I fooling, weight maintenance), and healthy eating:  It has been plain awful.  I have reasons (excuses).   There have been a lot of setbacks in my recovery from my car accident.  I didn’t expect to still be feeling the effects.  I didn’t expect for my body to not feel the same even after all this time.  I really thought that, if I just worked hard and put more effort into it, started over a million times and refused to quit… well I thought all that would lead to me being back where I wanted to be:  Running.  Getting faster.  Going farther.  Meeting challenges head-on.

Instead, folks, I had to give up on running for the time being.  I gave it up officially a couple months ago.  I gave it up unofficially a bit before that – and then kept trying to do it anyway.  My back can’t take it.  I can run for about 5-7 minutes before I get that telltale ache in the right side of my back.  If I push through, I pay for it later.  If I don’t push through, well, I don’t seem to improve that way either.

I have to admit, the loss of running has devastated me.  I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to exercise without running.  For a girl who only started running in the last 2 years, I sure am lost without it.  It isn’t as easy to exercise.  It isn’t as convenient.  It doesn’t give me the same sense of satisfaction.

And so, naturally, I’ve sat on my ass for most of 2011.  Now granted, the first few months I was recovering.  But the rest of the year?  Yeah, I exercised a bit.  Not as much as I had before… and it slowly dwindled down to nothing…. or next to nothing.

In 2011, I gained 10 lbs.  I hate it.  I hate the way my clothes feel.  I hate the way it makes me feel about my body.  I hate the way it gives me a defeatist attitude.

In 2011, I pretty much slid as far backwards into my old eating habits as I possibly could.  I buy junk food.  I stare into my cupboards and opt for the easy and quick option rather than the healthy option.  I eat crap.

In 2011, I hit a wall.

And so, on the eve of the beginning of 2012, I return to my blog to say to anyone willing to read: “Hey.  I’m out here.  I’m struggling.  However, I can find my way again.  I can do this.  And if you want, you can read all about it.  And if you really want, you can walk with me on my journey.”

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012.  Be safe.

Suddenly, I understand the urge to ring in 2012 with noise and celebration (if not drunken abandon and the kissing of strangers).