I guess 2021 was a bit of a strange year for many of us… Maybe not to the same extent as 2020, but yet another challenging year! I can’t believe it was the year England went into a third national lockdown as it seems so far away now. I couldn’t even go to a restaurant on my birthday, back in January. And a few months later my favourite member of the Royal Family passed away… RIP Prince Philip, it’s never gonna be the same without you (I’m sure the Queen would agree).
If you add to it the fact that our travel perimeter this year was no more than a few kilometres… It couldn’t possibly have been a good year for us. We only had to book a cat-sitter 2 evenings in total for the entire year! And both times we went to a hotel relatively close by, just to disconnect from home. I can’t tell you how much I miss travelling (and writing about it).
But despite all that, I still feel 2021 has been a blast and I can’t think of any better reason to write a new post on the blog after such a long absence – If nothing else, it shows I’ve been busy! So many amazing things happened this year that I feel it’s important to take the time to reflect today.
1. Lockdown allowed me to up my cooking skills and change my bad habits for good
We all found a different way to keep busy during lockdown. This unexpected extra time was spent in the kitchen for me. January is usually an ideal month to commit to new resolutions (that I usually don’t keep) but this time I took it to the next level: I decided to follow Veganuary, with the aim to adopt a fully vegan diet.
Needless to say this is not an easy switch! From an omni/carnivore diet (I used to eat a lot of meat and dislike vegetables) to a plant-based diet, the challenge was pretty big. Why would I do that to myself? I hear you ask. Well, I did attempt to explain the reasons behind such a life-changing decision in some previous posts:
- Veganuary: A Great Way to Start the Year
- Surprising Things I Discovered After Going Vegan for a Month
- Is Your Food Colourful Enough? How to Improve Your Health With Nutrition
- Global Warming & Climate Change: Is the Future Vegan?
Today, not only I’m still vegan and I can proudly say I adapted quite well, I’m also convinced it was the best decision I’ve ever made. For the environment and for the animals obviously, but most importantly for my health: no more stomachaches! I even cooked a vegan Christmas meal for the first time a few days ago and it was great to know I wasn’t going to feel bloated afterwards.
Finally, the weight loss goal that I set myself in August 2020 was reached in March 2021… While most people were using lockdown as an excuse to put on weight, I did it the other way around. You can read all about how I lost 25 kg in less than 8 months without hitting the gym, if that topic interests you. Spoiler alert: it’s all about nutrition.
2. I left the “old me” behind to become the best version of myself
It’s great to reach your objectives, but then what happens? When it comes to weight loss, it’s super easy to go back to square one in no time. So you can guess where I’m getting at: weight management is by far the most difficult step. When you lose a big portion of yourself (the unwanted part), you need to embrace the new version of you. So this is what I’ve done:
- I went through my entire wardrobe and removed all the clothes that became way too big (so rewarding!) – Donated them to clothes banks: win-win
- I also let go of my long hair for a short haircut – Gave 30cm to Little Princess Trust charity: another win-win
I was ready for the next chapter of my life, feeling lighter… physically and mentally.
3. It was always about moving forward, not looking back (or only to be proud)
Talking about new beginnings, lockdown encouraged us to move to a new place with more rooms so we could work from home comfortably, with our own office each. It looked like it was becoming the “new normal” and frankly, I’m not gonna complain for not having to take the tube twice a day like before…
I started a new job right after moving in to our new pad, it was a stressful time as I quit my previous job end of 2019 to go travelling… What feels like an eternity ago! I feel for new mums coming back to work after a long maternity leave (although my come back was probably easier, as at least I don’t have to raise a child at the same time).
In a way, it was great that I could smoothly get used to my new active life without any commute (thank you lockdown) but on the other hand, it was a bit odd not to meet any colleagues in real life… Until 2 months after I joined. I see work differently now and even though it can get quite busy, I have a much better work-life balance and a better definition of my priorities.
4. Patience is a virtue, things happen when they’re meant to
If 2020 has been frustrating because we couldn’t get married, our big day finally happened in 2021… And it was perfect in every way. I feel like this story would benefit a full post as I have a lot to say to future brides and grooms, but for now I’m just gonna stick to the main points:
- We got the date we wanted (11th November, Armistice day)
- We kept the guest list to a minimum (10 guests only, all immediate family) and it was way more intimate that way
- The timing ended up being spot on, even though I worried a lot that my family wouldn’t be able to come from France (it would have been more difficult a week later…)
- It feels great to get married with a lean figure – Even if it meant resizing my rings 4 sizes down (not exactly cheap) and find myself a new dress (an online job did the trick)
- The happy and natural pictures taken by family speak volumes, we didn’t hire a professional photographer
This was also the occasion to be reunited with my parents and my sister for the first time in 2 years. Everyone was in good health too, among the things you don’t take for granted anymore. I’m very thankful for allowing all that to happen, 2021.
5. A new year is a new opportunity to carry over the good things and let go of the rest
Back in January, I kept an avocado seed and attempted to grow some roots from it before planting it in soil. I named him Rodrigo because the avocado was from Brazil. Sorry for the bad picture above but it’s winter and the natural light is pretty bad. But you can see that not only he’s still alive, but he grew well, now standing tall and proud! He was doing way better in summer, he seems to be struggling a bit this winter but I’m sure he’ll make it through.
This is a just a metaphor. I thought he was not gonna last more than a few months but he’s still here, ready for 2022. I did some decluterring in the house yesterday, because I didn’t want to start a new year with a bunch of useless stuff. I’m doing the same with my life, keeping the good bits and getting rid of the junk. It turns out there are so many ways to feel as light as a feather at the end…
Of course we unfortunately have to carry over this stupid virus which doesn’t seem to be willing to go just yet. But well, we got double jabbed and boosted this year, which is quite impressive in that short amount of time. Hands down to science which I feel didn’t receive the recognition it deserves just yet. Anyway, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
No new resolutions planned for 2022 on my end, only to try and be the best I can be! I wish the same to you, and if you have some dreams, don’t forget to turn them into goals. All the best for this new year that I’m sure will be another great one, as we received so many valuable lessons from the past 2 years. Happy New Year all!
Big Girl x