I know most folks reflect on the past year in January, but I always get wistful and maudlin around my birthday. I tend to take stock and make changes this time of year because its easier for me. Let’s see how we were doing last year at this time.

First off, I was in Disney World last year at this time, so I can’t say this birthday is better per se. However, I don’t miss the blistering heat or the insane amount of walking we did, so I’m going to say this birthday is just as good only different.

The key difference is Raymond, who is doing so well. He did great at Disney, but he is really growing and talking a lot now. We had so many behavior issues last summer. I’m not saying things are perfect, but they are better. I mean, he ate a spoonful of oatmeal this morning! If you have a picky eater, you know how tough new foods can be. We got the oatmeal in with about a half hour of cajoling and a “touch it/smell it/taste it/try it” approach. I can’t say he loved it, but we’ll see tomorrow if his reinforcer, his favorite video game, will work.

I’ve also lost 16 pounds in the last two months, so I’m more fit this birthday. Raymond and I have been walking/jogging/bike riding daily, so I have a lot more energy. It seems to help him as well, as his evacuation is more regular and his mood seems better on days we exercise. My goal is to be down to 200 lbs by next July 2nd, so that gives me 12 months to lose 94 pounds. I’m confident I can do it as that’s less than 2 pounds a week.

I’m also fermenting my own kefir, which is helping Raymond and I with our digestion and probably our mood. I’ve noticed that I have additional energy and my appetite is lower since I started working in the coconut kefir.  Raymond’s moods seem a little less varied and unpredictable as well. He is settling down some, which is nice.

I’m using a couple tools to help me on my weight loss journey, which some folks might want to try. I’m tracking my food and calories with Slimkicker, which is a cool community with an easy to use iPhone app. You can get badges, do challenges, score points, etc. It puts a game interface on taking care of yourself, which is helpful if your a game nut like me. I track my exercise with RunKeeper, another online community with an iPhone app. Runkeeper lets me set a coach for my workouts with intervals, choose a type of exercise, track with GPS and stream my own playlists while running/cycling. Both are free, so they don’t cost anything, although RunKeeper does have a paid version without ads.

Anyway, life is good. I hope to continue the trend for the next 12 months. I’ll check back then. I hope everyone reading has a great day!