My hips, outer thighs, calves and feet, are all flipping me the bird this morning. I rolled over in bed and went, oh dear god what have I done to my body? Then I remembered, oh yeah I walked/ran almost 15 miles in two days.

It’s December 24th, mine and Jason’s wedding anniversary. We’ve been married 8 years today. Sure doesn’t seem like that long ago. I so distinctly remember waking up that morning, being so excited that I couldn’t sleep, like a little kid going to Disneyland, in many ways because of how we choose to celebrate the Holiday and our Anniversary together I get to continue to feel that way every year.

Just a few hours from now, per our traditions, Jason and I will open presents. This year marks the first Christmas for me that a few things won’t be under my Christmas Tree wrapped in pretty paper that makes it alright that they carry with them the stigma of obesity.

  1. There won’t be any plus sized clothing for me under the tree.
  2. There won’t be candy in my stocking or presents that’s not sugar free and low calorie.
  3. There won’t be gift certificates because nobody knew what to buy me or what size I wear.
  4. No ugly clothes that had to be settled on because of a limit in size availability.

I’m proud of these things, of the woman I’ve become. I’m proud that on this day last year I weighed 285lbs and this year the scale proves I’m 100lbs lighter.

I look back to that morning 8 years ago and I smile thinking of my Mother in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the wedding cake she baked and decorated for us. I think of my Father, standing there in his suit and tie smiling at me as he knew he was about to give me away to the first man I’d ever so much as dated that he approved of and would be proud to call his son. I think of Tom, my second Father, carrying in the wine and champagne, of my step daughter Simon standing there in that beautiful purple dress that we found for her. I think of her and my Mother and I in my bedroom stuffing me into a corset that went underneath the wedding dress my Mom & Dad had bought me. I was such a beautiful day, such a beautiful ceremony, and shy of a few people I wish I had invited, everyone that was most important to me was there. I felt blessed that day… to have those people in my life.

I feel the same way this morning. Sitting here sipping my Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee, contemplating when I want to wake Jason up and start the day, looking at all the presents under my Christmas Tree, and thinking of the people in my life that matter the most to me and how much my Family has grown since then…

It wasn’t just a couple years later that Colin & Tora would come into our lives and I’d find one of my BFF’s forever. Some people believe that you can only have one best friend, I don’t I have three. Tora was my first though, our connection was strong and instant and I love her like she was my sister. There are three places in this world that I always know no matter what life hands me, I always have a home and a roof over my head if I need it. My Moms, Tom’s and Colin and Tora’s … there are few people in life that you just know will always be there for you like that.

Next Ashli would come into my world. Who would have thought when we met five years ago online that that little twenty-something brat would become one of my best friends in the whole word. From her pink hair to her insane giggle the girl is weird … and I love her to death. Having her here this year was one of the best holiday presents I could have asked for, and the lengths that she is willing to go to for me never cease to amaze me.

Then there is Heather, I couldn’t live without her anymore, she has been such a significant part of my life the past few years, an emotional pillar for me, if there has been one person standing on the sidelines with pom poms cheering for me and encouraging me and inspiring me, it’s been Heather. It’s is literally, impossible, for me to love a woman as much as I love her. This last year has been a rough road when me, there’ve been times I’ve laughed hysterically, times I’ve cried hysterically, and times I’ve sat in shocked silence and just needed someone to sit there with me until it passed. I’ve always told Jason that he’s my Everything, when those times come that words fail to communicate how grateful you are or how much you love someone, sometimes something as simple as “You’re my Everything.” At least begins to sum it up. Heather is my anything, my chameleon, constantly adjusting to whatever I need, or think I need at the time and trying to give it to me, she’s amazing, and my world is a better place with her in it.

And then Suzie came along. Little did I know when I called an ad for a Personal Trainer that I would meet this woman that inspired me so much. When I first met Suzie this time last year I’d lost 100lbs walking and working out on an elliptical, never in my wildest dreams  had I even begun to really learn what exercise was or how much focus I would find in it, how much of an outlet it would become for me. I never imagined my Christmas list would be full of things like soft weighted exercise balls and kettle bells and running shoes. Never did I imagine that I’d be attempting a half a Marathon or starting a new career as a Trainer myself. You are amazing Suzie, in one short year, you’ve taught me things I wish people in my life had been able to teach me twenty years ago. You inspire me, you push me, and you feed my dreams. I don’t think you even know how truly special you are to me or how much I cherish you.

And there is Cathy, my weight loss surgery coordinator, I’m sure this woman has no idea how much of a support pillar she has been for me this past two years. I doubt she has any idea how truly important to me she is. But every time the road has gotten hard, anytime a bump has come that threw me off and I didn’t know quite how to tackle, she’s been there as a sounding board. She’s opened doors for me, whether she realizes it or not, her asking me for my story as one of their success stories for their website, inviting me as a guest speaker, were both moments when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could help change other people’s lives. She is amazing, and I’m blessed to have her as a part of my inner circle.

When I got married 8 years ago my Aunt CherRel wasn’t a very active part of my life. I had distanced myself from my Family a lot trying to run away from people that hurt me I shut out people that didn’t. She came back into my life when my Father had his stroke in January and I called and asked her and my Uncle Tim for help, and without hesitation, they answered. Having her back in my life this last year, having her there to hold my hand and hug me and help me get through what California had in store for me, reminded just how important this woman was to me. I don’t ever want to lose touch with her again, and god help anyone that has a negative word to say about this woman. For most of my childhood I sought a relationship with the Aunt that was my biological Mother, during my teenage years I looked to her even though she let me down time and time again for no reason other than the fact that I knew she had given birth to me and I thought there was supposed to be a connection there for that. It took me years to realize I didn’t need that from her and that if there was ever someone in my life that was a second Mother to me the way Tom is a second Father to me, it was CherRel.

Last but not least, my Mother. I’m sure everyone is kinda going huh? What the hell? But really, I don’t think my Mother was as much a part of my life 8 years ago as she is today. 8 years ago, if I’m being honest, my Mom had the sort of relationship with me where she got obligatory calls on holidays and birthdays and special occasions, though she may have tried as much as she could, I wouldn’t allow her to have the relationship with me that she wanted. If I’m being completely honest it wasn’t until my Father passed away that I even began to open that door for her. In the last six months I’ve realized that I can have a good relationship with her, it takes a little work and effort, we have a lot of history, but for the first time in my entire adult life I actually consider my Mother a friend again.

I find it interesting that all of the big additions and re-additions to my life in the last eight years have mostly been women, the grown up in me looks at that and says, wow, perhaps I’ve finally gotten past the horribleness that were my Grandmother and my Bio-Mom, perhaps I’ve finally put that all behind me and gotten to a point where I don’t just hate and distrust women in general.  Maybe I’ve gotten to a point where I stop taking that out on every female in the world… well probably not, but I don’t take it out on any of these ones!

Merry Christmas to the Amazing women in my life.

There’s a few good men in it too 🙂 But you guys get far too much credit usually!