2012 has been such an amazing year for me. I am accomplished so much, made so many new friends, traveled to great places, have excelled in my career, and feel like I’m in the best place I’ve been in my adult life.
After the intense difficulties of 2009, 2010, and 2011, it has been such a blessing to have a good year. In the past three years, I dealt with 18 months of unemployment. I had a major injury to my back and hip that caused me to have limited mobility for 6 months. I had long-term bouts on steroids for flare-ups of my COPD and countless bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis, which led to 70 pounds of weight gain that felt out of my control. My sleep apnea was severe, and I was constantly fatigued. My mental health struggled. I did not feel like myself. I was doing my best, but it didn’t feel like it was ever enough.
Although I’m only 10 months out from surgery, I began preparing myself for surgery in late 2010. I started compiling medical records, met with my doctors to discuss my clearance for major surgery, and I did research on the different types of weight loss surgery available to me. After Cigna denied my surgery in Spring 2011 (pending an additional 6 months of physician-supervised weight loss), I had lost a lot of hope. I felt like I was stuck in my lot.
But in late January, my appeal for surgery was approved. I have had more success with my weight loss going the surgical route than I did in 20 years of attempts in every way imaginable. It has not been easy, but it’s been worth it.
120 pounds in 10 months. I still can’t believe it.
Our family is spending the Thanksgiving holiday in California with Taylor’s family. A lot of my friends back home were doing turkey trots or going to the gym to prepare for the massive gorgefests at Thanksgiving dinner. I told Taylor I wanted to go out on a lengthy walk to burn some calories before dinner. He told me about a route that he really likes through San Dimas Canyon, and told me it was just over 3 miles. Last year, I would have told him that he was crazy to suggest it. This year, I embraced the challenge and had a great time being active with my husband. The weather was gorgeous, with clear sunny skies.
I grew up in Oregon, and being active in the outdoors feels like second nature for me. While my body wasn’t able to handle it, I really missed it. I’m so happy to be able to do things outside and not feel like I’m going to pass out. I’ve started biking again. This winter, I’m planning on giving both skiing and snowboarding a try. I’m even thinking of trying my hand at group sports again.
I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for the courage I felt to make a bold and risky decision for my health, and for the courage to share my journey on my blog. I am grateful for the support that I’ve received from friends and family, and all of the new people I’ve become acquainted with through this blog and my online support groups. I am grateful for the reduction in my health comorbidities. I am grateful for my family, and the ability my newly regained health has allowed me to be the mother and wife that I’ve always tried to be. My heart is so full.