I can’t believe it’s already New Years Eve! What a crazy year. I had the wedding of my dreams AND I was diagnosed with cancer … so was this the best year of my life, or the worst? The answer: the best, of course!! In 2011, I made so many amazing new relationships and rekindled important ones; I lost almost 30 pounds and challenged myself physically and mentally; I discovered my passion for event and wedding design; I went through many transformations, all for the better; I committed myself to the most amazing man in life, my husband; I showed the world that I can get through anything!

So that was my year. Now what about surviving my first month of cancer? Well, I am a survivor, and I make sure tell my tumor that every day! I did have a little scare 2 days ago – my abdominal pain came back and I had a tiny bit of blood, but it was gone in 24 hours and my doctor said I was fine. Alex and I had a very busy Christmas weekend, and my tumor was telling me that it did not like that. Well you know what, tumor?!? SUCK IT! 🙂 But seriously, I did overexert myself and my body was exhausted. This was a gentle reminder that I need to take it   e a s y.

Now with 2012 approaching in about 5 hours, I am ready to discuss New Years resolutions. Woo hoo! Normally I would dismiss resolutions so I wouldn’t have anything to fail at, but this year is a little different. I am sick and I am motivated, so things have to change! Here goes ….

Lose another 30 pounds. Weight loss for me used to only be about aesthetics. I wanted to be thin and pretty, like millions of other young women in America. After having the dealth-scare of cancer, I made the decision to love how I am no matter what. Now, weight loss is about getting my body to the best it can be and keeping myself heart healthy. Looking great it just a perk! I am what I eat, and it is physically apparent that I have not been putting good food in my body. **blush**

Embrace the vegan lifestyle. In the beginning of my journey I read a lot of articles on cancer survivors who advocate a diet free of animal products. This means no eggs, dairy, meat or fish. What?!? That is crazy talk!! I told myself, “Well, it’s not coming from doctors so clearly this maybe just a fad or something”. Now I am reading ‘Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor’ by Kris Carr, which I LOVE, and Kris also really stresses the importance of consuming less animal products (the hormones, fat, cholesterol, sodium, processing, and the list goes on) as a significant part of recovery and healing the body. I connect with this author a lot, and she brought a lot of good points. So I have decided to embrace this lifestyle and vow to start putting more natural things into my body and slowing down with the animal products. Millions of people live healthy lives on a vegan and macrobiotic diet, and there are even athletes who swear by this way of life. Now it’s linked to helping beat cancer, and I am willing to try anything!

Tweaking what I eat. Just because you limit or give up animal products doesn’t mean you are on the path to perfect health. There is plenty of CRAP out there that is animal-free but sooo not good for you. The number one offender … sugar. Sugar is the devil. Cancer hates sugar. Sugar has even been linked to causing cancer – scary! You will find recipes for vegan desserts that involve a crap ton of sugar to help the taste. Yikes! Veganism is not a get-out-of-unhealthy-jail-free card. Not only I am going to watch my sugar intake, I am going to restrict what my trainer and Kris Carr also says to stay away from: white starches. White sugar, white bread, white pasta and potatoes. These foods are known to just clutter the body, turn into fat and sugar, and make you feel like crap. Now it’s all about whole grains! Another thing that Kris swears by, and I am excited to try, is juicing. She suggests juicing mostly vegetables and there are tons of yummy, vitalizing recipes. I’m going to look into it more, but I still have gift cards from our wedding and I think we’re adopting a juicer!

Working out. While I am going through treatments and recovery, the doctor says aim for 20 to 30 minute workouts 3 to 4 times per week. Even if I feel up for doing more, I have learned that overexertion comes after the fact, and being exhausted is not good for recovery. After recovery I really want to incorporate physical activity into my daily routine. I want to switch it up with cardio, circuit training, yoga, barre conditioning and swimming!

Keeping a daily gratitude journal. This is something I learned from ‘Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor’. Kris suggests keeping a journal dedicated only listing things you are grateful for. 🙂

Daily affirmations. This is something my trainer started me on, and it’s something that has also come up in the book as well. Affirmations are statements, in this case positive statements, about yourself. Example: “I am a beautiful, intelligent woman. I am healthy and slim. I trust my body. I am refreshed and ready to take on the day. Nothing can bring me down.” The theory is to repeat affirmations in the mirror (having them written down and posted is also highly recommended) and you will become what you say. Tested and proven! Affirmations work, and they are recommend for weight-loss, career goals, spirituality, and cancer survivors.

Get involved with charity. Obviously I want to pay forward all of the amazing love and support that has ben bestowed upon me. I really want to get involved with Children’s Cancer Association and help organize events and fundraisers (what I do best! lol).

Launch something big. Ok, ok, it will start small. But I hope it will turn into something big! Like I said, I discovered my passion this year and I hope to materialize my dream and take it to a whole new level. More to come!

 Keep inspiring people. I only hope that writing about my journey will inspire people to live their life to the fullest! Of course, stay tuned for more!

So so-long 2011, helloooo 2012! I can’t imagine going through a year that is more dramatic than this one, but I have a feeling that I might find out. Live your life the way YOU want to, and make your dreams a reality! I love you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!