Every year shortly before new year’s day, I make myself some new year resolutions for the next year. It could be that I want to improve myself based on the mistakes I made that year, or do I want to learn a skill, or do I want to challenge myself, or finally trying something new?

2011 has certainly been an interesting year, and some of it was due to my new year resolutions of 2011! Did I succeed or not? Let’s see below!

1)      Lose Weight – already just before the xmas stuffing of Ed 2010, I did notice I had a belly forming and I was very self conscious everytime I sat down resulting in a popped out tummy making me cross my arms over it or pretend to hug a cushion. Then came this new year’s resolution! But nothing prepared me for it when on the day of new year’s day, I stepped on my parents’ scales and my eyes popped out. I had never been this heavy! Just over 16 stone! Usually I’m about 13 and a half stone, and my lightest had been 11 and a half (never going back there again). Okay, lots of people make a new year resolution to lose weight and fail but no, this time, it wasn’t my weight, classed as overweight according to BMI, but my health, self esteem and my ego was at risk! I needed something to challenge myself as my new year started with sadness. My beloved dog, Sherry, passed away on the day before new year’s eve and I couldn’t shake off my grief and sorrow until long afterwards. So this challenge really helped me with this. Also, I wasn’t enjoying work, I was living on my own and I was really missing my family in January. So after meeting with a Personal Trainer, Mike Kirk, who really helped me, I went to the gym literally nearly on a daily basis for some cardio and some weights. I also joined some dance classes as I wanted some ‘fun exercise’, I turned full time veggie for the first 3 months of the year, part-time veggie for the next 3 months and now on a balanced diet. I’m glad to say this has worked enormously and I dropped from a 16st3lbs to 12st. In the last month, I have put on weight to about 12st6lbs but only because of the Christmas cheer and food being spread around! But in the new year, I hope to tone up properly and also inspire and work with my new housemate to losing his prominent belly. My self esteem and ego has gone through the roof! Perhaps, I shouldn’t explain much but I did brush with modelling as a result! Unfortunately, I’m too old now to be involved with proper modelling. Netherless, I’m better than I have ever been and now I can sit down and rub my ever slim tummy!

2)      Cut out cheese massively! – my kryptonite. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cheese! I love cheddar, I love Wensleydale, I love Goat’s Cheese, I love Blue Stilton…you get the picture. But I was hopelessly addicted to them. I think the best description of my addiction has to go to my old housemate who I lived with in Leeds when he said he opened the fridge only to find a block of cheese with a massive bite mark out of it. What can I say? I saw, I ate, I conquered. But in 2010, I was polishing off whole blocks with such speed that I had the addict’s admission..I’m Ed and I eat too much cheese. So as part of New Year Resolution 1, I decided to go cold turkey and only have goat’s cheese time to time. I’m glad to say it’s worked successfully and now, I do not have any craving for any cheese and if I do have any, it always taste a lot more nicer.

3)      Go on a holiday abroad! After a few years of being in the UK, I was itching to get out and see some of the world! So I went running to Ann, my old housemate from Leeds University, and called in our mutual debt as for a few years, we kept telling each other to go on holiday together. It also was convenient that we were going to go abroad anyhow to see our favourite band, Take That, in Munich but we were only going to just fly there, see them and go back. How about a holiday around it? I’ve never been to Munich before and I would love to experience the culture and attractions of it all without the heaving crowds of Ocktoberfest. I would go there again for Ocktoberfest. So in July, Ann and I went to Munich, spent 5 whole days there and we also planned in a day to Salzburg, Austria. It was a great holiday and this flamed the dying embers of my ambition to travel.

4)      Improve my hearing – I needed my listening to improve. After researching options, I decided that a cochlear implant on my ‘dead’ ear (I couldn’t even hear with a hearing aid in that ear) would be the best course. You can find out all about my cochlear implant journey here – My Cochlear Implant Journey

5)      Be more Selfish – this may surprise you and certainly surprise people who may know me. Without tooting too much of my horn, in the last few years before 2011 started, it seemed to me that I was the one trying to stay in contact with many people and organising most events and gatherings and pushing people to organise meet-ups themselves. So in a sense I was burnt out by the end of 2010, and I decided to stop organising events, stop contacting everyone and also do the things that I wanted to do. This worked in a sense as I really got to see who my friends were. So I’m happy to say that I have a wonderful group of friends who I see regularly and talk to constantly either in person or over the phone as some of them live outside Leicester or Hull. I am disappointed that I’ve lost contact with people I hoped to have kept in contact with but I did try before 2011 to stay in contact and obviously at the end, they didn’t. But meanwhile, I can look forward to 2012 with a great bunch of friends.

So I did succeed my new year resolutions, I’m now thin, cheese-free, culture-broaden, hearing loads more and have a fantastic group of friends. Bring on 2012!

What were your New Year Resolutions for 2011 and did you succeed?