As I sang in church this past Sunday, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. One of those moments when you feel you are going to burst with emotion – and mine was of contentment and joy.  It didn’t really have anything to do with the church service itself, though.

You see, I remembered another Sunday morning, a year or so ago, where I was sitting in that same seat, singing probably the same song, and feeling a whole lot different. I remember feeling miserable. Physically and emotionally.  It wasn’t anything specific that was making me feel that way. It was everything and nothing all at the same time.

Everything was a chore. Everything bothered me. Everything was difficult. 

I would wake up in the morning and couldn’t wait to go back to bed at night. At least when I was sleeping I was in another world where I didn’t feel so bad and life wasn’t so difficult.

Now, granted, there was a lot going on in my life last year – a lot of challenges besides my weight and health issues.  But the weight and health issues certainly didn’t do much to help me cope with the challenges in a positive way. In fact, they probably made it worse.

It was around this time last year when I made the decision to start exploring my options for gastric bypass surgery.  I had finally reached the point where I had had enough of feeling bad and wanted to at least find out what my options were.  I wasn’t entirely sure I would do anything but I wanted to know what choices I had.

So, flash back to this Sunday. A year later.

It was just incredible to me, as I stood there singing with joy and gusto, how much things have changed in a year.

I was sad for the girl of a year ago. Sad that she was in such a bad place and so unhappy.

The girl of today is so filled with joy and life that it is hard sometimes to even remember those feelings.

People told me before my surgery that my life would change in so many ways that I couldn’t imagine. They were right.  It is hard to describe and, like being a parent for the first time, unless you’ve walked that path, I’m not sure you’ll ever really know…

But I’m so grateful to that girl of a year ago. Who had the courage to explore her options and step out and DO SOMETHING about making herself feel better. 

It’s so easy for us to get stuck in the path we’re in – to keep doing the same thing day after day, even if we know it’s not what we really want. 

It’s hard to step out of the routine and do something different.

But that is when the changes happen.

When you have the courage and the determination to want something different and do something different. That’s when the magic happens.

People ask me all the time if I’m proud of my weight loss accomplishments. Yes, I am.

But not as proud as I am of the girl who started the process.  I’m really proud of her.

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