"THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP"
The moment in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life takes place. It's in showing up, it's in the discovery, it's in the attempt as a beginner that life begins to transform.
I struggled with obesity, two strokes, a hysterectomy, divorce, hemorrhaging ulcers, malnourishment, a gastric bypass reversal and food addiction which resulted in me gaining an excessive amount of weight back after maintaining my gastric bypass results for 11 years.
I'll share it all! How I got the results, gained more energy, busted through the emotional funk, found a hidden passion and how I choose to live my life intentionally helping others find the same happiness!
Here's the deal. I'm not perfect. I’m growing and learning and what I've been through in my life should not be kept secret. I know that it can truly be used to bless others. I'm excited to share stories, personal experiences, inspiration, encouragement, food recipes, life hacks, fitness, products I love and use and what makes me tick.
While I've learned that I cannot "fix" everyone's problems, I do feel I can use my voice and knowledge to empower you to dive deeper into who you truly are, and see your worth. I want someone to say...
"Because I knew her, I found myself. She encouraged me to dream. She lifted me up. She inspired me to follow my heart and live intentionally."
I grew up in Lakeside, California (a small town in rural San Diego County). I was raised mostly by a single Mom after my parents divorced when I was 15 years old. My childhood revolved around horses and showing livestock at the 4-H and FFA junior fairs until I graduated high school.
Stroke or Tumor?
In 2001 I was in Louisville, Kentucky at The All American Quarter Horse Congress working a booth and started to notice I was struggling to focus my eyesight on large things like banners across the arena. My company CFO drove me to the eye doctor for an exam where the doctor did a few tests and it wasn't long before we had a possible diagnosis. I was in fact missing pockets of eyesight. I remember him sitting me down and asking if I had family in the area nearby. Of course I didn't. They were all in California. I just had my coworkers. The doctor went on to tell me he suspected one of two things. His words were,
"You've either had a stroke or you have a tumor on your optic nerve. We have an ambulance waiting outside to take you to the hospital. This is an emergency."
I spent two weeks in the hospital there, and it turns out that it was a stroke. I had a blot clot in my brain and I was losing my eyesight quickly. As the day went on, I also had noticeable short-term memory loss. After a lot of testing and a team of professionals, it was determined that my birth control pill likely caused the blood clot. However, I was also morbidly obese, weighing in at 280 pounds at the age of 24. My Mom flew in to escort me home to California and I was sent home to continue to a full recovery.
New Single Mom & Gastric Bypass Denial
I got pregnant and became a single Mom at the age of 25. In 2003 I had reached my highest weight of 300 pounds. I didn't want to live this way anymore, I decided to book a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to discuss weight loss surgery options. He was a world famous doctor to a well known celebrity who he had done gastric bypass for at the time. Within minutes of him reviewing my file, he denied me, and told me to go home and lose the pregnancy weight. I was devastated!
Gastric Bypass Approved
I was failing as a single Mom to a one year old little boy, as a daughter, friend and at life to be honest. I had exhausted every option the next few months, switched primary doctors and insurance and decided to get a second opinion from another highly recommended surgeon. With my history showing a stroke, sleep apnea and my BMI over 30 putting me in the obese category, he agreed I was a great candidate for roux-en-y gastric bypass.
Then & Now (18 Years)
People see me now and can’t believe that I ever struggled. Those who didn’t know me and just see me for who I am don’t know that there was a time in my life where I struggled with obesity, two strokes, a hysterectomy, divorce, hemorrhaging ulcers, malnourishment and gastric bypass reversal which resulted in me gaining an excessive amount of weight back after maintaining my gastric bypass results for 11 years.
My life was in desperate need of a change after gaining so much weight back. Sometimes you have moments in life that you look back on and you can say to yourself,
"This was a pivotal moment that changed my life."