2020. It started off with me being in a “winter blues” kind of depression. I had just started a new job back in December and I was missing my old normal, my old coworkers, my old commute, and quite honestly pretty much everything. I had made a change that didn’t quite feel comfortable just yet. The holidays were hard enough last year, and the start of 2020 didn’t have anything good going for it either.
After I finished training at the new job, I was able to start making a few friends with my new team. That lasted all of a month or so before the entire world got knocked on our asses and locked up due to the pandemic. Oh COVID-19, how you’ve shaped so much this year. SO MUCH.
In mid March, I was sent home to work remotely for about 6 months. During this time I saw less than 10 people. I used video calls, Snapchat, and Zoom meetings to see people’s faces. Just like the rest of the world, I was locked in my home. Thankfully I at least had my music, my husband, our 2 cats and WIFI. (Thank goodness for the internet, am I right?) This did a lot of damage to my already not so great mental state, that’s for sure.
Fast forward to the 1st of May when my birthday rolled around, by this point I was just angry. I missed my family and friends. I missed going bowling and to the movies with my husband. I was ready to get out of that house. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was then that I decided, since I have to be home all the time, and there was no chance of us moving anytime soon, I might as well finally make the house that we had been living in for over 8 years feel like a home and start decorating and organizing. I spent all my free time either running outdoors to get some sort of endorphine release or in the house organizing ALL the things.
Most of June was spent sitting on my ass due to some major knee injuries… And they said running is good for you. HA! After another month of not being able to move, I decided I needed to get to the river. I needed that cold river water, time with my family, some strong drinks and fireworks, but mostly to get out of that damn house. I was going insane. So the weekend of July 4th, the husband and I packed up for a long weekend and headed down south.
If you know me at all, you know that I’ve always hated living in north Texas. I’ve never really felt at home there, even as a child, I remember always telling my parents that I wanted to live down south. Each time we would go on vacation, the moment we would get to central Texas, I would stare out the window and just dream of living somewhere in that area. I have always fascinated by Austin or Kingsville and nobody could understand why. I’ve just always had this pull to be somewhere in central or south Texas.
As I was sitting in the river with my husband that hot July 4th weekend, I couldn’t shake the feeling coming over me of “WE NEED TO LIVE DOWN HERE” out of my soul. The pull was so strong at that moment. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. After 10 years of mentioning to my husband that I would pack up without hesitation and move down to central Texas in a heartbeat, I said it again. On the ride home, we talked about moving and how he would need to find a job in the area.
I’ll spare you all the details of how it happened, but by the end of July, it was pretty much set in stone that we would finally be moving to central Texas and the dream was finally coming true! Hubman found an amazing company to work for and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more happy.
There are tons of exciting things happening – but this post is long enough for now. I can’t wait to share more exciting things about our new adventure. I’ll be posting lots of updates here so be sure to check back often for all kinds of fun things happening in our lives.
Until next time, stay wild you beautiful soul, and remember NEVER to give up on your dreams!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers. Before I head off to spend some time with my family, I wanted to take a few minutes to just reflect on a few the things I’m thankful for this year.
I’m thankful for another year with my best friend, Jenilee.
Many of you know that she’s been fighting hard to live with 2 nasty brain tumors. Every message, every phone call, and every visit I get is truly something to be thankful for. She’s been my closest friend for half of my life and I’m so glad she’s around to keep listening to my crazy life stories. I’m also very thankful for her husband, Kenn. He has been the best soul anyone could hope for in a situation like this. 2 beautiful souls that I love dearly and I can’t imagine life without. Jen isn’t just a friend, she’s my sister. She’s family.
Here we are after moving into our first apartment together back in 2005!
What a journey this has been.
I’m thankful for my Grandmom.
Grandmom Grace will be 89 years old next month. I call her each morning on my way to work and we talk about all kinds of things. Some of my favorite topics are remembering my memories as a child and listening to her memories growing up in a very different world. I enjoy hearing about how her card games go or who was wearing what to church on Sunday morning. She also gives me the traffic report on the regular. I know there will come a day where I’ll have to drive to work without talking to her, but for now, I’m so thankful that we can talk about anything we want to.
I’m thankful for my husband.
This year he was able to lose over 100 pounds. He’s focusing on losing weight and getting healthier. We’ve been working on our communication and I feel like our relationship has grown so much. I’m so proud of him. I just asked him what he’s thankful for this year and his response was, “A job. Even though it’s boring, it’s a job.”
I thankful for my friends and family, without their amazing generosity and kind actions and words, my life would be much less fulfilling than it is. There are some people who just go out of their way to make me feel loved and to them, I’m forever grateful. I love these sweet souls so much. Each day spent with them is a great day.
I’m thankful for my job and the amazing people I work with.
I’m thankful for music. Everything about music makes me happy.
But most importantly, I’m thankful for having the chance to gain my health back. I realize that a year ago, I was well on my way to an early grave. I was being selfish by killing myself with food. I was hiding myself from people I care about and I had become a complete hermit who hated to leave my house. I was so close to death, that many days, that’s all I thought about. It’s crazy what a year of change can do for one’s health, body, and mind.
I’m thankful for so much. This list would be so long if I kept going, but I have to go get ready to spend the day with a small part of my huge family. I’m most excited about Grandmom’s punkin pie! *drool*
Stay tuned for another FAQ – I’m going to answer your questions about weight loss surgery. You guys have been sending me lots of questions! Keep em coming!!
Many of you have been asking questions about my journey. My goal is to answer as many of them as I can.
Have you been able to stop taking any medications?
I have officially gone from taking 17 medications daily plus ibuprofen multiple times a day to now taking 3 medications daily and the occasional OTC pain relief tablet as needed. That’s 14 prescriptions that I don’t have to fill every month, 14 fewer bottles of chemicals that I have to shuffle through each day and ingest into my body, 14 fewer things I have to spend my money on to survive, and 14 fewer bottles of crap to pack when I travel. FREEDOM!!
How much weight have you lost so far?
In 9 months, I have lost 100+ pounds. It’s happening so fast that it’s very hard for me to believe. I struggle daily with body dysmorphia. Just the other day as I was laying out my laundry, I was confused as to why my sister’s pants were left at my house. Oh… Wait, these are mine. Weird. I’m so used to bigger clothing that I didn’t even realize that the much smaller size pants in the laundry were actually my own. When I glance in the mirror, I still see a 300-pound person. When I look at side-by-side photos, I still see the same fat face and very fluffy, disgusting body. The compliments that people so generously give make me feel extremely uncomfortable because I just don’t feel like I’ve changed at all in the way that I look. This is something I’m still working on.
Do you feel any different?
YES! I feel so much better! I’m not tired all the time. I come home and don’t mind doing chores, where as before I would sit on the couch until it was time for bed. I’m enjoying moving my body again. I can tell my confidence is returning and overall my mood has improved. I’m no longer ashamed of who I am anymore. This has been a complete mental and physical change and the change was most definitely for the better.
Is there anything you can’t eat?
No. There are a few things that don’t sit well and make me feel a little nauseated. Rice and pasta are for sure on that list. Bread like items that are very dry sit heavy in my stomach and make me feel not so great either. One thing for sure that has changed is the way my body reacts to certain foods. Sweets and fatty or greasy foods cause lots of excess gas. I don’t eat salads much because I feel pretty full of air and water. Neither of those are proteins so I try to steer clear of anything with a lot of watery leafy greens.
Has your health improved?
It’s still early in my journey, however, the answer to this question is most definitely YES! I got my lab results in from my 3-month & 6-month post-op appointments. Everything looked great, even my iron which has been low since I was 11 years old is practically perfect. I don’t dread going to the doctor anymore. Before I knew I was facing a death sentence. I hated hearing what the doctor had to say. That’s not the case any longer. The best part is this – I’M NO LONGER PREDIABETIC!!
Do you regret having the surgery?
No way! Not even for a second. Given the chance to do it all over, I’d do it again in an instant. My only regret is that I didn’t do this years ago when I first wanted to. I look back and see all the I missed due to my health and my weight issues. I really wish I would have done this long ago.
Do you consider all the pain and restrictions worth it?
There is no real “pain.” The first 24 hours after surgery was by far the worst of this entire process. Since that, if I am in pain, it’s not due to my surgery at all. It’s because I’m doing something that I shouldn’t be doing. There aren’t really any restrictions at this point other than the sheer amount of food I can eat at once. Just like I stated before, it’s actually very freeing. Before when I went to dinner with friends, I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to eat. I didn’t care about being with them, I cared about the food on the table. I cared about who was going to eat the last piece of bread. I cared about rather or not the waiter was going to refill my drink fast enough. I cared about when they would ask if I wanted dessert and what I was going to have. Now when I go out, I look at the menu and decide what I want. From that point on it’s about the company I’m with. It’s no longer about the meal that’s in front of my face. I love being present in the moment now.
Is it reversible if one day you want to have more freedom?
The surgery I chose to have is not reversible. They cut 80% of my stomach away and took it out. Imagine cutting a wig, that ish ain’t gonna grow back. Now, if I don’t keep up the smaller portions and keep my body moving, I can stretch my sleeve out a bit. I really hope that never happens because that’s how I ended up where I was to begin with. Giving up the freedom I had when it comes to food was the best thing I’ve done for myself so far.
Keep the questions coming. I’m happy to answer anything thrown at me. You can leave your comments down below or private message me on any of my social media platforms. Please keep in mind that these answers are MY answers. Not everyone shares the same journey so I encourage you to reach out to many people and do your own research if you are considering a surgery like this for yourself.