12 Things That Have Changed in the Last Year

Today is the last day of Christmas! You know what that means? It’s officially my blogiversary! Yay! I hope you guys have liked these last 12 days of posting. (PS-if you haven’t entered yesterday’s GIVEAWAY there’s still time!) I certainly have had a ton of fun writing them. And forcing myself to be creative in the kitchen-it’s been way too long since I spent any time there!

I want to use this last day to reflect on the past year. I feel like so much has changed, but I think it’s all for the better. If you’re curious, here’s my first post. It’s not as embarrassing as I was expecting. My next few those? Yeesh. (Why would I name a post 1,2,3, Testing?) Also, can we take a minute to talk about how my writing voice has changed? For some reason last spring quarter I was so sarcastic. Not that I’m not now, but I feel like every word was dripping with it. Interesting….Also-check out this food picture from one of my first posts…work of art right there folks.


So without further ado-12 things that have changed in the past year.

1. I quit rowing. To put it quit frankly, I was drowning. Fall quarter, it was such an awesome experience. To this day I miss the girls on my team. Winter quarter we moved in with varsity, and I just didn’t love it anymore. Plus, the time commitment increased-it was about 5 hours a day. I had a tougher class schedule, and was rapidly falling behind. Plus, after being one of the fastest over the fall, I just wasn’t improving and couldn’t keep up. This all took a huge toll on me-but that’s not (directly) why I quit. I was determined to finish the year with my commitment, or at least the quarter. My body had other plans though and I got a really bad case of mono (which actually changed my life a lot for many different reasons). Long story short-2 ER visits, crazy high fevers for WEEKS (101 on Advil and Tylenol), inability to get out of bed for 2-3 weeks, and ALL of Friends. Like, all 10 seasons. It was really awful and I had to go home-fun fact, while I had mono, I also caught the stomach flu, strep throat, and a week later, a cold and cough that developed into an ear and sinus infection. I think it’s fair to say that’s by far the sickest I’ve been in my life. At that point, it would be nearly impossible to gain my strength back in time for racing season, plus I took it all as a sign that what I was trying to do was just not sustainable for me. When I got back to school, I had such an amazing time because I actually had time for a social life, not to mention time to study (I know a lot of collegiate athletes do fine, but it just wasn’t working for me for a sport that I didn’t absolutely love.)


2. I ran 2 half marathons! I have entirely the blog world to thank for this. Before discovering this amazing community, the only people I knew who ran half marathons were my spin teachers, and it seemed absolutely insane. After seeing so many bloggers do it, it didn’t seem so unattainable, and here I am now, a half marathoner! Heck, I even ran 16 miles once! One year ago me would have thought that was impossible.


3. I realized that I’m semi-allergic to nuts. Or at least have a sensitivity to them and they cause my face to break out like crazy (or the newest thing-now they’re causing itchy rashes.) The irony is I ate peanut butter (only like a tablespoon) for the first time in many months the other day and now my skin is rebelling…ANYWAYS-this is kind of a big deal because if you read my blog way back when this was started, the amount of peanut butter I was eating was insane.


4. I got spin certified! This was something I’ve been really wanting to do for a while, but if it wasn’t for the blog world, I wouldn’t have had the courage to actually do it! This would have been so much of a better point if I actually had a job teaching already, but I can’t even THINK about that until after finals.


5. My outlook on life has changed. Blogging has made me so much more thankful for everything in my life, and I appreciate the little things so much more. I’ve always loved the holidays, but I never celebrated fall in the same way (or ate so much pumpkin…) Last year around the holidays I felt really homesick, but not at all this year. Maybe it’s because I’m older and have more friends, but I think it’s also because through my blog I can still celebrate.


6. Β My weight. This is definitely not something I discuss a lot here on the blog, but it’s definitely a change. I avoided the dreaded Freshman 15 in the fall through rowing and being too busy to eat any free goodies, but the stress of winter quarter and stress eating, then dropping a lot of weight while I was sick and gorging to put it back on plus some-and going a little crazy in spring quarter (I’m not talking alcohol calories, I’m talking giant yogurt bowl calories and late night snacks with friends calories), I wasn’t in the best place with my eating habits or body going into the summer. I’ve figured so much out since then, and am slowly getting back to where I want to be, but it’s definitely a process. I still haven’t totally figured out college eating-especially with all the free food and stress dead week offers-but I’m definitely in a better place and know I’ll get there eventually.


7. My training (aka my workouts) have changed drastically as well. When I was rowing, that was pretty much all I was doing. We did team weights and some running/spinning, but it wasn’t the same as hitting the weight room hard on my own, or going to my favorite spin classes-unless I wanted to wake up at 5am and add a spin class to my 2 hour erg workout (which I did once..never again). Β In general, I have to be training for something. I used to always be training for softball, then for rowing. Now-I guess it’s for running. I trained for 2 halfs (yay!), started Crossfit, and am now attempting to gain some speed for 5ks. I’m actually really, really enjoying 5k training. Running fast (ish) is fun! Plus it makes my feet much, much happier. I definitely still crave the long runs though! The thing about 5ks…I think I actually have the potential to be decently fast. I think if my training and my NUTRITION (heh heh) was on point, I would actually be able to go out there and race pretty competitively (i’m talking local 5ks, not collegiate championships). And it helps I’m still in an age group with relatively few runners…But I just don’t see myself ever being remotely fast in long distances like halfs.


Last year’s Santa Run 5k

8. I started Crossfit! It really is so much fun. I’ve always loved weight lifting so this is right up my alley. I really miss the people at my home box…only a week until I’m back there!

1460991_607294419306736_1407940927_n9. I just feel like mentally I’m in a much better place than I was last year. I’m not a freshman desperately trying to make friends, and although I’ve had a pretty heavy workout this quarter, I feel like I have my life together pretty well-something that when I was rowing was definitely not the case. Now I’m the person getting homework done days before it’s due (this does not apply to all my classes though…)


10. My fitness level has changed. Although only this weekend’s 5k will tell the tale…I was in really good shape last fall while rowing, I did actually lose quite a bit of strength though because I wasn’t lifting hardly at all. Mono completely killed any fitness I had ever gained-after not being able to even sit up in bed for weeks, EVERYTHING made my abs sore. I never really regained any of my running shape until I started training for my half though-since then plus Crossfit, my endurance has skyrocketed! I PRed my second half by 3 minutes, despite the course being much hillier. I think I would actually be in decent rowing shape as well-since I can’t mentally force myself to do another 6k test, I did a 3k test, and was right where I wanted to be without totally killing myself.


11. I have so many blog friends now! Though I haven’t met hardly any in real life, they really do mean a lot to me, and every single comment really does brighten my day and bring a smile to my face. I also feel so lucky to not have gotten any of those negative commenters. I really do love each and every one of you! I seriously do get so much joy out of blogging. I love interacting with all of you and I love following along on your lives!



12. I am so much more confident than I was a year ago. I’m another year mature, sure. I drive myself around places and live as an independent adult. But I also feel like spewing my thoughts to a bunch of strangers on a daily basis has also helped this. Reading inspirational stories from so many beautiful and strong women has helped this. I’m confident in who I am as a person-sure my body isn’t 100% where I want it to be, but that doesn’t bother me-I know I’m getting stronger and will get there eventually, and for the most part I don’t stress about it. I think about how far I have come in the last year. I’m so much stronger than I was a year ago, physically and mentally. The experiences of the last year have shaped who I am today, and I couldn’t be happier, whether they were good or bad (like Mono-it stunk but made me stronger in the long run). And I couldn’t be more grateful to have you guys by my side. Here’s to next year!


One Year Ago



16 comments on “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

    1. Aurora

      Thank you! I’m lucky to have you as a friend as well πŸ™‚

  1. Ashley @MilesonOats

    I loved this post! I am so happy I found your blog a few months ago, I am in my senior year at ASU and haven’t found many college aged bloggers with similar interests, so I really love yours lol. I am struggling with the whole weight thing too. I stay consistent, then gain, then get stressed from school/work and drop, then gain, blah blah. Finding balance is hard and tough, but we can do it!

    I actually tried the rowing machine at the gym the other day and thought of you. I have NO idea how you did that for 5+ hours a day. I was dying after 10 minutes and went to ropes haha πŸ˜‰


    1. Aurora

      Haha I have no clue how I did it either! I’m glad I found your blog as well! It’s so nice to see other college bloggers because it is so relatable-I think a lot of barriers to healthy living are specific to college! But we’ll get there!

  2. Leigha

    This post made me super happy while reading it πŸ™‚ my blogiversary is next month, omg! It’s gonna be crazy to write that post – SO much has changed in a year! You are truly beautiful <3

    ps I actually lol'ed at the pic of you and the mini pumpkin!

    1. Aurora

      Thank you! Yay for blogiversaries! It is crazy how fast the year went-yet still how much has changed! Here’s to many more!

  3. smilemilegirl

    Oh, I love this!! (: Happy blogiversary!! (: This is such a wonderful idea to see what happens over the course of only a year. Wow, you have some amazing changes, you should be very proud of how far you have come. I really enjoyed this post. (:

    1. Aurora

      Thank you!

  4. Shawn @ Fruity 'N' Nutty

    Wow, congrats Aurora! You’ve certainly been through a lot and accomplished so much over the past year. Congrats again on the spin certification and you look super bad ass in the cross fit pic!

    ps The online healthy living community pushed me to do my first and upcoming second half marathon, too. πŸ™‚

    1. Aurora

      It’s amazing what our bodies can do when we push them! Good luck on #2!

  5. Marina @ PBlover and Runner

    Oh, the girl, I read you only a few weeks and It is a pity to me that I didn’t begin earlier πŸ™ You are fine and surprising and you study in college – therefore our problems are similar. I arrived on the first course and I have many problems with my melancholy for the house / new people/attempts to combine healthy food and fitness with the curriculum… And I am glad to see examples when someone manages it πŸ˜‰ Thanks, you inspire me πŸ™‚

    1. Aurora

      I’m so happy! It’s definitely hard to stay healthy in college-especially when you first get there! It will get easier, and you will figure it out though!

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