I started blogging two weeks before my weight loss surgery in May, 2011. Although I was working for my bariatric surgeon at the time, he didn’t tell me I should, or I had to, I just thought I could offer a unique perspective as someone who’d worked in the weight loss surgery field for 10 years.

In 170 posts I wrote about exercise, food, vitamins, cross-addiction, how to manage the holidays, lab work, lifestyle, coffee, shame, human nature, serving sizes, hiking, self-compassion, baking, the phantom of fat, medical conditions, obesity discrimination, running, food as a drug, support, setting boundaries, clothes shopping, inspiration, food fear, all the changes going on inside, cooking, relationships, dumping syndrome, apps, motivation, eating, managing hardships, endorphins, sleep, alcohol, self-image, tracking food, getting over it, whole foods, plateaus, courage, recipes, plastic surgery, time management, exercise boredom, family and friends, and the many conversations I had with my weight loss surgery friends.

Then I stopped blogging in early 2014. I was tired and in a time of transition. I’d just come out of probably THE most challenging year of my life.

2013

You know what, I started typing how 2013 began, and I quickly hit delete. Although I’m pretty comfortable sharing most of what happens in my life, I cannot speak for everyone in my family. If I share something personal, I get their permission first, and I don’t yet have permission to write about a particular family member’s harrowing experiences in January, 2013. It affected all of us, greatly. So let’s move on.

We learned early in the year about my husband and his girlfriend expecting a baby in the spring.

In March, after over a month of tests and consultations, my child was diagnosed with a rare medical condition. Beyond working with the medical community to figure out what was going on, I was finding my way through the ins and outs of 504 plans and public education red tape.

Then I had plastic surgery. The call came in early April, “We can do this at the end of the month, otherwise it’ll probably be November.” I accepted the surgery date. I had a tummy tuck on April 30. I came home with three drains, and let’s just say that weight loss surgery was a piece of cake compared to this. Two weeks after surgery, my last drain was taken out and I had one more week of “plenty of rest.”

That night my mom had a massive stroke. After two days in the hospital we took her home on hospice. She died on May 21. After the funeral, summer was filled with all the legal and practical aspects following a parent’s death.

By late summer, due to the extreme financial situation of the divorce, it was time to leave our family home of 18 years and move into my mom’s home. In one month, my kids and I sorted through 18 years of our family’s life. We threw away, gave away, cleaned up, and cleared out. It was an almost unthinkable task to accomplish in one month, but we did it. The process was cathartic. It helped with healing.

We settled into my mom’s home as much as one can in a house that’s about to go up for sale. We had a few calm months at my mom’s until December 26 when we were handed the, “I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. Good news… a relative wants to buy the home. Bad news…you need to be out of here by the end of the year.”

Sweetheart, I think that’s enough. That’s why I was tired and in a period of transition in early 2014. Remember, that’s why I told you the long story about 2013 because I was explaining why I stopped blogging in 2014. WAIT! I just caught that! With all that was going on in 2013, I still wrote 77 blog posts! The process was cathartic. It helped with healing.

I started blogging again about a year after I stopped. But in early 2015 my blog posts expanded to LIFE as well as weight loss surgery. And that’s what they’re about today.

It’s my hope, as I share life’s lessons, stories, self-coaching tools and more, that I’m able to illustrate for you how it can be done. How a life, once thought to be painful and not worth much, a life that cried out to be numbed and silenced, a life that I felt at times was not worth living, can be transformed into this life.

In my life now, I am magnificent. That’s right. I’m in place where it’s not enough to say my life is magnificent, still deflecting my part in that, but to say I am magnificent. I have realized the most important relationships of my life, with God and myself. I practice what I preach. YEP. I absolutely walk the talk. When I say I’m the healthiest, happiest and most at peace I’ve ever been in my life, it’s no joke. It’s no marketing gimmick. It’s truth.

And sweetheart, I want that for you too.

Love, light and grace to you.