So…2016 is finally over!  For some it was a horrible year, for others an amazing year…which seems to be the case every year.  I can’t say either for me…it certainly was the most dynamic year I’ve had!  There were several ups, many downs…triumphs from the downs and some things that just plain ol’ sucked!

Here’s my recap for 2016! (in no particular order)

2016 Presidential Election

2016 Election Results by State

THE GOOD:  As much as we can talk about the bad, I have to admit, that this election was one of the most dynamic I have been a part of, which the first was 8 years ago with President Obama first ran.  I was glued to my TV staring at the map of Florida memorizing the counties that were still not decided waiting for them to turn red or blue.  I mean Miami-Dade took forever to decide!!!  Then you had all the panhandle counties that were taking forever, but I figured it was because of the older retired population that were slow moving to and from the polls.  Point is, this election forced me to watch…divided friends and families, tore apart a nation that I once thought was above issues like racism and bigotry.  The divide was never gone, it just was blanketed by snow…which eventually melts and shows the true green that is still underneath.  I did have some good laughs with the SNL skits and it was definitely prime material for The Daily Show and John Oliver…lol!!

THE BAD:  I touched on this above, but this election really brought out the worst in people.  I have seen relationships destroyed and friendships explode over topics such as race, gender and religion.  Those that preach tolerance, turned out to not be so accepting. Segregation became more apparent not just because of race, but financial status, religion, gender and even civil liberties became a dividing point.  It was sad to see that the United States wasn’t so unionized as once believed.

THE UGLY:  Well, I mean this whole thing was ugly.  Aside from some new terms that Oxford will have to add to their dictionary…the HAIR…..all of the hair.  Ugliest election ever.

2016 Summer Olympics

Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles – From

THE GOOD: Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, USA Women’s Gymnastics Team, Katie Ledecky, Super Mario…great games, great athletes…true respect to those that work hard to attain goals that some us only talk about.

THE BAD: Ryan Lochte, Rio de Janeiro, green pool, other members of the US Men’s Swim Team, the press on Gabby Douglas, the police in Rio…too much other crap that took away from the grit and determination of those that mattered, the reason why these games exist.

THE UGLY:  Ryan Lochte’s hair.  Yes, I have an issue.

OK, so now that I’ve covered the non-personal items…the next 8 are about me.

Turning 35

35…It’s all about me..

THE GOOD:  I don’t look 35.  I don’t feel 35.  I have the knowledge and experience of someone that is beyond 35.  Introducing fitness and good nutrition to my lifestyle has helped me feel, look and even act younger.  At 35, I can take on challenges that test my physical endurance as well as my mind.  I dreaded turning 35, until I looked back and saw how much I accomplished since May.  It’s didn’t slow me down being a year older, it just gave me more fuel to show people that it really is just a number.

THE BAD:  Alright, so even though I can take on physical challenges…your body still is 35.  My joints and muscles are 35 years old.  They have kept me mobile and upright for 35 years…that’s math and can’t be refuted.  I have a bio clock that ticks and doesn’t care if I feel 25, it’s says 35…in fact, it flashes it in neon over my head to every Indian adult out there.  I am 5 years from 40, and 15 from 50…again, that’s just math.

THE UGLY:  What are you doing with your life?  Don’t you want kids?  You won’t be able to have them soon…Do you want to be an old mom?  Do you want to be tired and worn our running after your kids?  Do you want to see your kids grow up and have kids of their own? Here’s what I have to say…I will have kids when I want…because I took the time out to take care of my body and my internal well-being, I am active mentally and physically.  My kids won’t be asking me if I am out of breath, I will be asking them why they can’t keep up.  Word to the wise, you take care of your family…stop judging me and telling me how I should take care of mine.

Getting Injured/Burn Out

My First One Mile Swim

THE GOOD:  As most of you know, I was training pretty hard earlier this year and just burned out, got injured and walked away.  Fact is, sometimes our hand needs to be forced.  The thought of doing all this on my own was terrifying…but wasn’t that why I started this fitness journey to begin with?  Having to step back, gave me chance to remind myself what my goal was back in March 2014, which was to get my butt into gear and create a regimen for myself to lose weight and get healthy and to be held accountable until I could do it on my own.  I couldn’t last a week being injured and signed up at a new gym with a pool so I could work on rehab on my leg and not lose my momentum.  I think it’s safe to say I remembered why I was doing this and accomplished what I set out to do.

THE BAD:  It sucks to get injured.  It kills your mental momentum.  When you can’t do what you do on a daily basis because of a physical debilitation, it’s depressing.  After I got hurt and stopped training, I had to be on my own.  I went through a period of grief, depression and felt really lost.  I didn’t want to go back to what I was doing because it caused me to burn out and not care about myself…but I couldn’t just stop fitness.  Nothing makes sense and being as prideful as I was, I couldn’t ask for help.  I needed to have all the answers myself.  You can’t rush recovery, physically or mentally.

THE UGLY:  Anger…the anger that I had towards myself…the anger I had at others for getting me to this point.  Bottom line, it was my fault…the more I accepted that, the worse my anger towards myself consumed me.  It’s dark, dim place that I hope I never revisit.

Chicago Marathon 2016

This needs no explanation.

THE GOOD:  The finish line, the medal, the fact that I FINISHED!  Oh, you mean besides the obvious?  The fact that I did it on my own.  How much I learned about myself, nutrition and life in general.  I learned so many lessons I could write an entire book of fitness fables.  I had to learn them, and I had to learn them on my own…otherwise, this would have never happened.  You have to run a race for you, you have to attain a goal for yourself…nothing and no one else matters, that’s what gets you to the finish line, to the top of a mountain an into a size 4 dress.  YOU.  You are your weakness, your strength and your motivation.  Get to know you, trust me, you’ll love that person 🙂

THE BAD:  Marathon training sucked!  10 miler, 20 miler…the humidity, the heat!  This summer was just awful.  Doing it for the first time was even worse, I didn’t know how my body would react to running more than 12 miles.  My knees were swollen, my feet hurt, my toenails were messed up, my blisters would reblister…just awful.  The isolation of training and the lifestyle I lived for 7 weeks excluding friends, family and anything not pertaining to the race.  I had no balance, this year…there will be balance, life and I will have some fun training and hope I can string along some friends too! 🙂

THE UGLY:  Banana peels, Gatorade Cups and Gu.  I can’t even.

Celebrity Deaths

THE GOOD:  They can’t die again?  I mean what good is there?  Maybe the fact that I got to reminisce about songs and movies that I grew up with because I wouldn’t have thought of them otherwise…but I’m reaching.
THE BAD: Come on…those of us that grew up with George, Bowie, Prince and Phife in our cassette decks…worst year for music.  Willy Wonka, Princess Leia, Carol Brady, Mike Seaver, Daffy Duck (the voice of)…gone, like those VHS tapes we used to record them on.  Muhammad Ali, Buddy Ryan, Arnold Palmer, Craig Sager…sports entertainment moguls that changed their respective sports.  Nancy Regan, Fidel Castro…names that preceded the individual that donned them.  There are almost 20-30 more people that I haven’t even mentioned because it’s just unreal.  Every year there are celebrity deaths, but now they are people that shaped my childhood, household names on Saturday mornings, music that I danced to at my senior Prom, movies I still watch over and over again.

THE UGLY: Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, George Michael and Alan Thicke within the last 10 days of 2016…not acceptable.

Not the best year in terms of a greater point of view, but it may have been one of my personal best.  It’s been a long time that I can look back on a year and really see how much I have grown.  I have learned the art of spontaneity and got to experience some adventures I could never have planned.  I learned what it’s like to be the “cool” Aunt and remembered just how important family is to me. My niece’s visit changed her life and mine, seeing her as an adult and her seeing me as an adult…it’s weird!  I traveled this year for the first time in years to more than one place.  I’ve had a permanent tan since July and have “refreshed” it every few months…a trend I am already continuing in 2017 with a trip planned to Hawaii in a few months.  I gave up fried food when I was marathon training and since then have eaten maybe one order of fries since then…yeah, I know…AMAZING! 15844626_10154022590885124_2050839974114082870_o.jpg I start 2017 with new goals for RB which include new certifications for fitness and nutrition, a new look on what I want to accomplish this year, including a new PR marathon time..sans banana!  I’d like to do a mini-triathlon and travel more than I have in a long time.  I don’t know what I will actually get done, but I might as well aim for the stars…why?  WHY NOT? 🙂

I will start my 2017 blogs next week with new meal box reviews from Home Chef, Marley Spoon and Green Chef…I will dive into more of the convenience, nutrition and value of each box more so that the process itself.  By the end of January, you will have more info and maybe some more guidance on your food and nutrition goals for this year!


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