In 2014

2014 is going to be an awesome year. I can feel it already.  No longer will I have obstacles to hold me back; I’ve got all the freedom in the world to do what I want this year! WOOT WOOT!!!

I have several ideas for this year:

1. Make up my mind for my degree in GIS at USC.

I have been on the fence about whether or not to pursue a full master’s degree or stick with the professional degree I’m currently on course for with my school work.  The degree only encompasses me taking a few extra classes, defending a thesis through these classes, and taking the GRE.  I’m torn because I don’t really believe that having a degree over the professional certificate will make much of a difference in the environmental field I want to go into…but who knows.  Degrees seem to be mattering more and more these days.  I’m just so stubborn and don’t want to take the GRE.

Two maps from my final project last semester!

Two maps from my final project last semester!

2. Join my brothers in running one race a month.

My brothers want to run one 5k/10k a month and I’ve decided to join them! I don’t know that I’ll do those two race lengths specifically but I plan on doing at least one race a month! My first one is actually in about a week and a half and it’s a four mile trail race! I’ve been trying to train for it and as it’s going ok, I know I can do better. I think I’ll do at least one half marathon this year…and I say I think because the last one was so….not so great.  I was under a high amount of stress at the time, which potentially twisted my colon and caused some serious pain and issues for the race.  If I time the next half right, I’m hoping it will go much better! And I can get in more training since I flaked on a few of the long runs due to school!


Look at my friend photobombing my finish line photo!

3. Bird at least once a week.

I’m sure you all understand my love for birds…it’s obvious.  But I don’t do it enough. I whine and complain about not being able to do it more, but it’s my own fault because I get tired and lazy.  Being a member of the local Audubon Chapter and a member of the Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology, I have no excuse not be to get my butt out there and learn all I can about birds.  I also think it’s going to help my stress levels with school and work.  As awesome as work it, being cooped up inside 4 walls all day can really affect my mood. I am having a blast, don’t get me wrong, but not being able to be in nature as much as I used to kind of hurts my little nature heart! So at the end of the week I plan on posting about all the birds I saw throughout the week or a bird list on a trip I went on..and hopefully some pictures since I got my own Canon Rebel for Christmas this year!!


4. Keep listening to my body, trusting it, respecting it and helping it get even stronger.

Recovery doesn’t just stop when you realize that your ED is basically gone.  It keeps going because you have one and only one body and you still have to take care of it 24/7.  Since my mentality has finally changed and nothing is off limits these days (well, other than the whole vegan thing) I feel so much better. No longer does the guilt exist to create any tension with food, but instead exists the freedom to eat anything I want because my body wants it.  When I eat what I want, what my body craves or needs, I feel a million times better and you can see it.  Now if only my sleep patterns would follow along the same tracks….yikes. Gotta work on the sleep too!


And along with all of the comes building more muscles.  When I cross train during training for a race, there is so much less fatigue and aches and pains in my legs, and my hip/piriformis especially, so I plan on do at least two days of some sort of cross training a week.  Right now I’m trying to get in at least two Insanity workouts but have ideas for some other workout plans with friends in the near future!

So that’s what I’ve got on tap for 2014!!! What kind of ideas do you have for your brand new year?!??!! There are so many possibilities!!!!

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10 Responses to In 2014

  1. madeline says:

    what a wonderful post! these are such good goals. I love that you’re going to do more birding. it’s so fulfilling to pay attention to what you truly love…and then make time to do those things! for me, I love working with my hands — paper mache, making clay pottery, drawing… so I’m planning to do more of that this year. also to volunteer at the animal shelter and to make a point of spending more time with my nieces and nephews. Happy 2014, Melissa!

  2. itzyskitchen says:

    Great goals! Love the idea of one race a month- and how fun to do it with family!!

  3. Kim says:

    This is good stuff, Melissa! I’m sure you are going to do all of this!

    I just might take up bird watching, myself!

  4. One race a month! Thats great! And you’d better bird at least once a week. I can’t wait to see how you fair with that new rebel. Hope you’re doing great Melissa, though it looks like you certainly are. Happy New Year, and all the best to you!

  5. Beth says:

    I love #4!!!! Very inspirational. It’s been a long journey and I hope to be where you are in your recovery….one day, I pray! How did you recover, Melissa?? It’s so hard.

  6. Nice goals, have a great 2014!

  7. sarah says:

    I agree with you about the whole degree thing. I don’t think advanced degrees matter that much in the environmental sciences, and I also think the GRE blows! I took it and then didn’t even need it for a degree in Australia.

    I really support the idea of building more muscles! I know you aren’t into weight lifting really, but for me lifting weights has completely transformed my perception of my body – far more than running has, but it does indeed come with the bonus of making me a stronger runner, too!! (I would highly recommend incorporating single-leg work into your routine, even without weights. It can really help heal and keep a lot of those nagging runners aches and pains at bay!)

  8. These are such great goals, Melissa!! Love the idea of doing a race a month with your brothers – that is so fun. Your positive attitude is “positively” contagious. I really can’t wait until our paths cross in 2014. Miss you!

  9. biz319 says:

    Can I just tell you that I just LOVE how positive this post is – I am so proud of how far you’ve come Mel!! Love your race idea – I haven’t committed to any races this year – my last one was in 2008 – that’s a long time ago!! :D

  10. Micaa says:

    Those all sound like really solid goals for the year–a good mix of concrete and long-term things to work towards. As for the degree vs. certificate, can you check out what alumni of both programs are doing and what their thoughts on one vs. the other are? I wouldn’t do an MA just because you think you might need it, especially if the certificate demonstrates the same knowledge base. In some cases, I’ve heard that an advanced degree can hurt you because employers aren’t willing to pay extra for the degree when they can get someone with “just” a certificate (Dumb, but, yeah, dumb.).

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