Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reflecting on 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014

Happy new year everyone! So another year has passed, and inevitably the arrival of the new calendar year has prompted us to reflect and look back on how 2013 went for us. January the first of 2014 is really just another day of our lives, but it's always interesting to look at the year gone by, isn't it?
When I think about 2013, I have to say it was probably the best year of my life, but that makes it seem like I have a lot of incredible and spectacular memories and achievements to rattle off in this blog post. In actual fact I didn't go on any mind-blowing travels or perform amazing feats or even witness any, and my 2013 may seem ordinary or even boring to some. But for me the miracle of 2013 was all internal and personal, and it was the year of personal growth and emotional fulfilment. 2013 was the year I turned my mentality around, and it was the year I made my positivity defeat my negativity.
(pic source: Ingredients Inc)
In 2013 I let go of my weight loss obsession and started to focus on being fit and healthy! Besides the veggies, I put back meat and carbs on the plate and it was all about adding nutrition rather than subtracting calories. I discarded the scales which I used to step on every day and night, and I stopped looking at calorie counts of everything on the web. I started making my own lunch and dinner everyday which was always a nutritious mix of healthy and clean food. I stopped focusing on making bones visible and started to make muscles visible. I stopped trying to achieve weakness from starvation and focused on being energetic, active and strong.

In 2012 I was trying to improve myself in a similar manner, but I think in 2013 I really blossomed in successfully getting my mind and body immersed into a healthy lifestyle. It was a gradual process, and I'm very happy to have turned around my relationship with food and with my body, into one of love and moderation, rather than hatred, disgust and extremity. At the end of 2013 I joined the gym and the machines there have made it so much easier to help with my goals of upper body strength, which I have always struggled with!

Although I'm really pleased with my progress in healthy eating and active exercise in 2013, I'm even more proud of my ability to finally, finally achieve balance.

I found a sweet spot between being healthy and maintaining a good body, and enjoying naughty food and life in general. Previously I was always swinging between the two- restricting myself of the good stuff and being unhappy, or indulging in treats and feeling guilty. End result- unhappiness no matter what I did! My mental wellbeing improved dramatically when I found the balance. I didn't dread going out because I allowed myself to enjoy a good meal. I didn't break down when I ate a whole bag of chips in one sitting (which yes I did with this bag of salt and vinegar crisps! Salt and vinegar is my favourite flavour!) It's counteractive to utterly deprive yourself of the things you love. In 2013 I finally started to love my body.

2013 was also the year I left uni behind and embarked on my journey into the corporate world. I can't believe how much this simple transition changed my whole wellbeing! I spent my whole childhood, teenage and young adult years within high pressure and competitive environments always studying and it's sad to say I didn't do much else. Even as a kid I spent all my time outside of school hours, at multiple tutoring sessions and studying at home. My parents were always busy to spend time with the family so I grew up very lonely and feeling pointless. In uni being against a bunch of law students also made me really feel like the dumb one sometimes lol.

Starting work actually did wonders for my self-confidence! I made pretty good progress within less than a year when I started in February, as I started being the new kid with absolute jack-all to do. But I was able to prove myself and eventually took upon heavy responsiblities and roles very important for the team. Throughout school and uni there were many times where I saw myself as stupid and as a failure. But being a good student is only one facet of intelligence. My progression at work has definitely opened my eyes up to the other ways I can be smart, and skills I didn't even think I had. In 2013 I felt like I was a successful person, rather than a failed one.

(a picture from when I uploaded my first YouTube video)

In 2013 I started a YouTube channel! For some people that may not be a big deal, but for me it took a lot of confidence to start taking videos of my awkward self and posting them on a place which we know is full of trolls and negative people lol! I was able to hit 1000 subscribers in about half a year, which I'm pretty happy about. But more importantly than that: I forced myself to be confident, comfortable infront of a camera, and thick-skinned when it came to dislikes or not-nice comments. I am still very much attached to my shell, but I'm hoping this year I can continue to emerge from it and be more open to the world.

Apart from starting a YouTube, in 2013 I also continued to grow my blog and social media platforms, especially with Instagram. I tried to continue interacting with people on all these things which can actually be very time-consuming haha! I also worked with some wonderful sponsors, public relations agencies, and the like, which was all very fun and exciting.

With all these things combined, the most significant thing I can say about 2013 is that it was the year I felt thankful to be alive. And that is actually a lot more than I can say about previous years. I have done some dumb things and had a lot of dark thoughts in the past, but this year I have really grown in embracing positivity and loving life. In February next month, I will be turning 24 and for the first time in a while, I don't actually dread getting a year older!

In 2013 I really felt blessed to have come into this world, and I felt grateful to wake up every day. In 2013 I felt more confident rather than not, and the happy thoughts outweighed the bad. And this is why as boring and as mundane as my whole year may seem to some, it was actually the best year of my life. I look forward to 2014 which I know will be another great year. I hope that all of you guys have also had an amazing year, and that 2014 continues to be full of happiness, love and overall positivity. Happy new year again! :)


  1. Such a lovely wrap-up of your year :) Sounds like you have achieved so much personally :)

    Hope you have a happy 2014 :)

    Away From The Blue

  2. Sounds like it's definitely been a year to be proud of!
    Do keep blogging in 2014 and hope it'll be an even better year! (:

    Yuen @ The Craziest Paradigm - a 'lil bit of rust & stardust

  3. You definitely seem to have had a fantastic 2013! Hopefully 2014 will be even better! :D


  4. Happy New Year girl! I'm also trying to explore the world of being fit and healthy :)
    I love the gym & cooking.
    I'm so pleased to hear you are happy with work.
    While staying as beautiful as ever Izzy!

    xxx Stacy

  5. Happy new year Izzy! Glad to hear that 2013 was good for you :)
    Btw you look really cute in the picture of you with the crisps!

  6. Happy New Year Izzy! This was such a positive and uplifting post, I'm so glad that 2013 was a great year for you & I hope you continue to grow in 2014 too :) It wasn't the best for me, I think the fact I was ill for most of it put a huge black cloud over the year, but I'm hoping 2014 will be the year I can put all of that behind me & finally start to feel back to my best again :)

  7. MERRY CHRISTMAS 2013 & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014, may GOD always bless us :)




  8. Come on, don't "degrade" this post by saying it may look boring - it's not! At the end of the day, feeling good about yourself and achieving inner balance is a giant accomplishment, because it's very difficult. I'm really happy to hear that you were able to let go of the thinness obsession and swap it for a health-oriented approach and that you gained confidence in the workplace! Even more so that I have friends who really struggle with uni despite being great in their internships and I think it's a real pity when academic performance is seen as an absolute determinant of success. I hope you'll continue to blossom in 2014 and I'm looking forward to reading more from you. <3

  9. Hey babe, looks like an amazing 2013! You achieved such great things this year and I'm so inspired by you. I'm glad you found the balance and positivity in life. Life is beautiful and let's all be thankful for it! I can't wait to see all the great things here in 2014! Happy New Year!
    Fang Ting

  10. Aw, I am so happy to read that you learned to love yourself this past year! That really can make such a huge difference. You are beautiful inside and out! <3
    Anyway, hope 2014 only gets better for you :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  11. Happy New Year Izzy!
    I'm glad that 2013 was a great year for you and look forward to your blogposts/vids! =)

  12. Wow! This is such a great post,glad you are more confortable with your self. Have a great 2014.

  13. Happy New Year doll, am pleased to read of your progress and so happy you are more at ease with yourself, as you should be, you're gorgeous!! Xxx

  14. Happy new year Izzy. It's so wonderful to read about your successful year in 2013. I also appreciate your honesty because every topic you wrote about I either have in the past or am currently struggling with. The whole part about your work and the constant studying while growing up could have been written by me- every word. Work changed my life. I never thought I'd be capable of my job and it's the first time ever I have not felt like a complete failure. I've also been around smart people for a lot of my life and felt so inferior. I'm so happy you found your positivity in this area. I admire you for changing your beliefs about body image and weight. It's great you're focusing on being healthy. I still find this hard so I know what a big achievement that is. Same with your positive thoughts outweighing those previously dark ones. Still struggling a lot here. Congratulations. I hope 2014 is just as fulfilling for you.

  15. i'm very proud of your shifting mindset and straining to get out of your comfort zone. this was a very transparent and open reflection and i enjoyed getting to know you better through it. you don't get your abs just from cutting calories, that's for sure! happy new year izzy!

  16. Happy New Year Izzy! This post was truly inspiring and encouraging. I pray for an amazing year ahead for you with lots of success and smiles! <3


  17. What a great post! I think personal growth is so much more important and fulfilling than anything else. I am so glad to hear about all of your personal progress and growing, especially with your body! You are so beautiful and look amazingly fit and healthy. There are so many women out there who would love to have your body, your sense of fashion, and self confidence. I hope you continue having an amazing 2014. You truly deserve it!!! : )


  18. why are you soo pretty ♥
    you look amazing as always
    keep inspiring us in 2014

  19. Wow! This post was so well written! I never knew this about you and it's actually nice to hear because I have always thought of you as this beautiful person (I admired your body so much in a non creepy way) , but I never knew of your struggle with food and weight. I'll tell you that I actually relate to you a lot and I am really happy for your achievements and growths this year.. especially at your job! I hope to achieve the same thing in 2014 with my thoughts and education/work and I wish you the best as well.

  20. Oh darling, I am so happy to hear about all of your successes and accomplishments in 2013. I went through similar body issues with starving myself/constantly worrying about my body, and I really found that this year I hit the gym harder than ever before and started taking dance classes, and put on muscle and loved my body for being lean and strong, instead of weak! I'm proud of you for having similar accomplishments :)

    Xo, Hannah

  21. Wow 2013 sounds like an epic year for you. I love the journey you embarked on re your body and focusing on loving it fully and treating it well by balancing healthy food with not so. I hope 2014 is filled with even more bigger and better things and completely outshine the previous!


  22. I love this post! I am in the middle of posting my own relfections type post (had to go to work...sigh) and basically the year you have just gone through in terms of personal growth and emotional fulfilment is exactly what I want to achieve this year!! I found myself single for the first time in nearly 6 years and the last 4 months havent been easy, but it has made me realise that I need to work on myself and love myself and be happy being single before I can move on, I also struggle with turning negatives into positives and negative thoughts occur more naturally to me than positive and I am sick of it!! So I have much to conquer but knowing that others have conquered similar feats leaves me feeling positive and hopeful. I hope 2014 is even better for you than 2013 xx

  23. This ia great. I feel like I went through a very similar stage of my life recently as well and we're the same age lol. Good job on work and everything else. :) stay positive!


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