Smile. Then Look Forward To Doing It All Again.

Yesterday was my birthday. Another year passed, and one year closer to being classed as a “vet” when I enter triathlons! Birthdays always feel like a good opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and look forward to the year that is coming.

Now, as we know, I’m not having the best of times at the moment thanks to the joys of PMDD, but I did drive to work thinking about all the cool stuff I’d done in the past year and how grateful I was to those who supported me in #makingithappen.

Then I got an email advertising this blog post from, a blog that I follow. Talk about serendipity when I read these words:

Look forward but don’t be afraid to look back

It’s great to focus on the present and pushing forward but often we forget to look back at our achievements, how far we have come and all the progress we have made from the start of our journey. If you’re not deadlifting your goal weight yet, you soon will, but remember when you couldn’t lift half that weight? Remember when a tin of baked beans was enough for a workout. If you haven’t reached your target bodyweight yet, no drama, you’re getting there, remember when the outfit you’re wearing now had not seen the light of day for 5 years because it was too small.

“We are always striving for more and that’s no bad thing, just don’t forget how far you have come. It’s a journey and it’s the smaller steps over time that makes for big and long lasting, positive change. So give yourself a high five, yell “I am awesome” and then write down 5 big achievements based on how far you have come. It can be weights you have lifted, going from no exercise to loving the gym, it can be fat loss related and of course it can be based on self confidence and how much happier you are now. Look back at all the time and effort you’ve put in over the years to get you where you are today. Smile, then look forward to doing it all again.”

I took this as a prompt to record the birthday reflections I’d been having and here’s my 5 big achievements:

  1. Became a triathlete. Still blows my mind a bit. I committed to 1 triathlon and completed 5.
  2. Lost a few dress sizes (24 to 14) and dropped a bit of weight (30kg). Can now frequently be seen rocking skinny jeans and feeling good about it.
  3. Conquered linked complete burpees. Includes my first, second, third and fourth 100 burpee challenges – done
  4. Got the hang of a paleo/primal/clean eating regime pretty quickly. I love that this year no one bought me a birthday cake because OBVIOUSLY I don’t eat cake!
  5. Learned front crawl. This is something I have wanted to do forever, and it’s something I did all on my own. It was hours and hours of practice that did it and I’m really proud of my dedication to doing it.

This birthday wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, but it was a great reason to look back and see just how far I’ve come. Next year will be better, and I can’t wait to right my 5 big achievements for the next year.

And, despite all the horrors that are PMDD and Zoladex and menopause and work stresses and everything else, I still had a moment in the day when I was able to smile, then look forward to doing it all again. 


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