Why I Think Marriage is Easy.

Before I met Eddie, I thought that relationships were supposed to be hard.  I thought that love wasn’t supposed to be easy, it was something you had to work for, and that in the end it would be worth it.  I’m here to tell you that’s not true.  Love shouldn’t be hard.  Love–true love–is easy.  Sometime LIFE is hard, but your relationship, and your love, is what is supposed to make the tough parts of life tolerable… not be the thing that you’re trying to tolerate.

When I met Eddie, I was skeptical that it could be this easy.  I tried to sabotage things.  I was used to a toxic past relationship where we fought, hateful, verbally abusive fights, but then we made up and just forgot all about the horrible things we had said to each other.  That relationship wasn’t love.  That was wanting the person to be someone he wasn’t, and being willing to forgive all the horrible things I went through, just because I wanted that fantasy.  Thankfully our engagement broke off and weeks later, Eddie strolled into my life.

He taught me what a real gentleman is like.  He taught me what it was like to be treated with respect, to be wanted rather than tolerated, and to complement each other and be a team instead of one person being “the boss.”  (Let’s face it, I like to be the boss… he still lets me think I am sometimes)

There has never EVER been a single fleeting moment where I wondered if it was worth it with Eddie.  It is always worth it.  There’s never been an ounce of doubt, of wondering “is this really who I want to be with?”  NEVER.  There is no one on this earth who knows me better, who knows what I’m thinking, who knows how I’m feeling, as well as he does.

Why do we work so well together?  I think there are a few things that we are really really good at, and having those things as a foundation has made our marriage into the strong one it is today.

  1.  Tell the truth.  When I first met Eddie, I told him I would rather hear the ugly truth over a colorful lie any day.  That even if I didn’t like the truth, I would want to hear it, because finding out I was lied to would make me less likely to trust in the future.  We have stood by this guide for our relationship since day one.  We don’t keep secrets from each other.  When you aren’t truthful with the one person who is supposed to be one half of your team, what is even the point?
  2. Compromise.  One person doesn’t have to be right.  Agree to disagree if needed.  Eddie and I have fundamental differences about our opinions on certain topics.  But we agree to disagree and still support the other person and their right to believe what they want to believe.
  3. Listen to each other.  Have an open mind.  Talk about things if they are bothering you.  Say what you mean, and mean what you say.  If something is wrong, don’t say that they aren’t.  Say what’s wrong and then do what you can to fix it as a team.  If you aren’t communicating (which means talking AND listening!) then that is going to make things difficult.
  4. Be a team. Have each other’s back, but also know that because you communicate and are honest, that you will tell each other when the other is out of line. Don’t just blindly follow your partner simply just because they are your partner.
  5. Forgive. Everyone makes mistakes. Apologize and mean it, don’t just apologize because it’s what you’re supposed to do. And also understand that the apology won’t necessarily make it all better on its own. Let your actions speak louder than your words. 

Do I think I have all the answers about marriage?  Certainly not. But I do know what a successful, healthy relationship looks like, and these are some of the things that we do that makes marriage be one of the easiest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  When we travelled to Mexico in December for a friend’s wedding, we met her grandparents who had been married over 50 years. He may not have realized he was dispensing words of wisdom to us, but what he said stuck with us so much that we still look back on that advice fondly: 

Your relationship, that you can control. The other shit, who gives a shit?

 

Sister.

I have four biological half sisters and 3 biological half brothers.  But I was raised as an only child by my paternal grandparents, who ultimately adopted me when I was in 2nd grade.  I grew up only seeing some siblings a few times a year (usually holidays or birthdays), and some not at all, because they had been adopted out of the family.  It was just the norm for my life.  Being a sister wasn’t an identity I really knew much about.  I would talk about having siblings, but I didn’t grow up with that traditional relationship among siblings.

All I knew about being a sister was what I saw from my childhood best friend who lived four houses down the street.  She had a sister and mostly they didn’t get along (we were kids, that’s just how it is… now I’m sure they are great friends!)  So considering I didn’t have to deal with a crabby little brother or sister, or share my things, or do any other sibling things like that, I figured I had it pretty great!

In 1999, one of my younger siblings moved to Illinois to live with our father.  I saw more of her then, but not full-time at first.  Sadly, our dad passed away, and my parents (bio grandparents, remember?) begged my sister’s mom to let her finish the school year in Illinois.  So she moved in with us.  I did not like it.  I was 16 and had an 8/9 year old suddenly thrown into my life.  We were all grieving.  My mom wasn’t able to mother as well as she always had been able to because of her grief, so I ended up taking a surrogate mom role to Hope.  I got her up in the mornings for school, made sure her outfits weren’t too outrageously unmatched, took her to school, picked her up from school, helped her practice piano, helped her with her homework, and made sure she was in bed at a reasonable time.  This was not what I thought being a sister would be like!  It was hard.  The circumstances were hard.  For everyone.

After the school year, Hope went back home to her mom in Louisiana, and I went back to being an only child.  Through the next decade or so she would come stay a few weeks during the summer, but they were really just short visits, and not enough time to form much of a sister bond.  As she got older though, an eight year age difference became less of a stark difference and I think we both actually started enjoying each other as people, not just annoying each other as siblings.

The same has rung true for my other much younger siblings… as we have all aged, and as they have become adults, I’ve found more of a connection with them.  I never really felt “sister-ly” though.  I felt like I didn’t know how to be a sister.

Several years ago, after a traumatic experience where my Poppy (adoptive dad!) nearly died and I witnessed him receiving CPR, I began to see a therapist.  Right around this same time, three of my siblings who had been adopted out of the family (and into the same family) reached out to me and other family members.  I was over the moon!  I had waited probably 20 years for this to happen.  I hoped it would and it did!  But after finally getting to meet one another again (like for the first time!) I realized I felt like I was lacking somehow.  I felt like I didn’t know how to be a sister.  Wasn’t I supposed to feel this incredible bond and have these built in best friends?  I had all these expectations.  I talked about this with my therapist, probably too many times than she would have preferred to hear me talk about it, and I came to the conclusion, with her help, that it was OK that I didn’t know how to be a sister, that there are a lot of different types of relationships, and how things are now isn’t necessarily how they will always be.

Four years ago, my youngest sister, at a very young age, was expecting her first child.  Again, I didn’t know how to “be a sister” in this circumstance.  I felt like I was lacking, like I missed the day of class that was supposed to teach me all the wisdom that I was supposed to pass on, or show me how to be a good example and leave an impression on my siblings.  When my beautiful, perfect baby nephew was born (and I was there to witness it!), I felt something slowly inside me changing though.

It wasn’t overnight, but over time, I felt something awaken in me.  This attachment that I’d never felt before.  Of course I love all my siblings (even the one I’ve still yet to meet again since he was adopted years ago), but I guess what was lacking was this instinct, this powerful bond that I think I had always wanted from siblings, but never knew how to make happen.  And in the last few years, I think I’ve been slowly working on that within myself.  I won’t say that I have these amazing BFF relationships with all of my siblings–some of them I still see very rarely, but we try to communicate and keep in touch on a semi-regular basis.  And the ones who I have started to become closer with, well that is something pretty awesome.

I’ve gotten the chance to see different milestones in their lives, and be included in them just like a sister would be!  The birth of children, moving out of the house and supporting themselves, going to college, and I’m sure one day it will be them getting married.  It’s neat to see as they have become adults, some of the traits about myself that I see in them.  In Robin, I see independence; in Hannah I see determination; in Hope I see perseverance.  In my other siblings I see some of my personality traits too–sense of humor, willingness to help others, creativity, etc.  It’s very rewarding.

A couple months ago, one of my sister’s family members reached out to me asking if I could help her straighten her life out.  She was living in an environment where there were a lot of addicts, herself included, and that was going to make it very difficult for her to be healthy and successful, and he feared for her life.  Initially I thought “Why is he asking me to help?  What can I offer?”  And eventually the light bulb went off.  He is asking me because I am a sister.  I am a good sister.  I am the glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel for my sister.  So Eddie and I took the leap and invited her to come live with us in order for her to get clean and learn how to a successful, productive, happy person.  She’s been here two months now, and thanks in part to that, I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this sister thing.

 

 

Five years

A little over five years ago my mom died.  When I think about how long five years seems, that seems like a long time.  That’s longer than one (typically) spends in high school, or in college… and that stretch of time seemed like an ETERNITY.  But the five years since my mom left… that seems like it zoomed by.

I typically will try to celebrate my mom’s birthday by doing something she loved to do–go to Red Lobster.  This year though, it wasn’t in the budget.  My day was still sprinkled with memories of her though.  I started the morning by picking Lilies of the Valley from my front yard.  I’ve never been able to do that before, I always had to go to my old house (where my in-laws live now) to pick them.  A few weeks ago though, Eddie dug some up and transplanted them to our yard!  The fact that I could go right out front and pick my mom’s favorite flowers was super sweet.

Later in the day, I ran into a cousin at the store… I haven’t seen this cousin in years… heck maybe even a decade.  I come from a suuuuuuper large family–my mom had 16 siblings, so there are literally hundreds of cousins.  We stopped and chit-chatted and caught up a little.  That’s something my mom would have loved, because family was really important to her.  She loved all her nieces and nephews and would have been tickled to hear that I ran into one after so long.

After work I stopped by Dairy Queen and got a Dilly Bar.  I figured since I couldn’t have Red Lobster, I would celebrate with ice cream that we used to get.  We used to go through the drive-thru on a hot summer day and get a dilly bar to share.  She would always let me bite off the little swirl on the front first!  So that’s just what I did!

When I got home, I helped Eddie do some work in the yard.  While I was working, a bird pooped on me!  He says it’s good luck apparently.  At any rate, my mom loved birds, and I watch them every day at our bird feeders (especially the cardinal couple that comes).  I see the boy cardinal far more often.  It seems like the female one is always just out of sight… she will make an appearance then hide in the trees.  The other day while sitting outside, I actually said “She doesn’t come around very often, then when she does, it’s so hard to see her.”  Since then I’ve been thinking about that in relation to my mom, and other people I’ve lost.  And I’ve made an effort to see them.  Like in all the little things I did yesterday to remember my sweet mom.  They are still there, you just have to look for them.

Financial Lessons Learned

Growing up, I don’t remember having to struggle for money.  My parents made sure that everything I needed was taken care of, and oftentimes also everything I wanted.  My friends would joke with me as a teenager that I was spoiled, that anything I wanted I got.  The thing was though, I didn’t ask for outlandish things.  I didn’t take advantage of it.  So while I did get a lot of opportunities because of my parents’ finances, I didn’t go overboard and I was pretty frugal.  This idea has carried over into my adult life as well.  Even when we’ve been in the best financial situation, I have never been one to splurge on myself, whether that is for something small or large.  Buying for myself makes me uncomfortable, and even when people buy things for me I have a hard time accepting it, thinking of other places that money should be going instead.

My parents taught me at a young age the value of money, the importance of saving and giving, and the feeling of being able to spend my hard-earned money on something I’d saved up for.  I had a paper route for an entire year, earning about $100/month, in order to save up for our very first family computer.  When I finally got that gigantic box from Dell, all those hours of folding and carrying newspapers were worth it.

So my parents gave me a great financial foundation, but as young adults often do, sometimes we do our own things and screw it up.  When college happened, my parents didn’t want me to work the first couple of years so I could focus on studying.  Except instead of studying I partied a lot.  Which cost money.  I ended up getting a couple credit cards, which I never carried a high balance on, but I got in a bad habit of just using my “magic money card” to pay for things that I wanted, then I would pay it off when I got my financial aid leftovers and repeat the cycle.

After college, I got my first full-time job and quickly paid down a few thousand dollars debt that I had leftover from spending carelessly in school.  And then I met my ex.  That year and a half was a huge mistake in and of itself, but it also left me with about $20,000 in credit card debt and a $25,000 car note that I foolishly was jointly responsible for.  Well, solely responsible for, really, because he wasn’t going to pay a dime..  My amazing parents helped me out of the bind with the car, refinancing it and eventually paying it off for me.  They didn’t have to, but I’m so thankful for them that they were able to because of the good shape of their own finances.

Eventually I met Eddie, and we started our marriage with a combined probably $50,000 in debt, counting student loans.  We didn’t have a plan, other than just making the minimum payments to just slide by each month.  We surprisingly were able to get a mortgage, which added about $80,000 on top of that debt, so we started marriage out in the hole financially.  Through a series of unfortunate events with Eddie and a work injury, we ended up being able to pay off all that debt in less than 2 years.  Without that settlement, we would have continued to be in over our heads, but thanks to the blessing of his settlement, we were able to be debt and mortgage free, with the exception of our student loans.  Mine were being paid for by my generous parents, who had always planned to finance my education, but his were something we paid on monthly.  We swore we would never rack up those credit card debts again!  We would live within our means and save for larger expenses.

But over time, we slowly started using our credit cards again.  It was foolish. We didn’t go out and spend on extravagant things, but we also didn’t delay our gratification either.  Meaning, if we needed or wanted something, instead of waiting and saving up for it over time, we swiped the card and figured we’d make payments on it and get by.  Eventually we were headed back on the road towards the same bad debt place we had so thankfully gotten out of a few years earlier.  And then my parents both passed away in a period of about 3 years.  With their passing came the task of tying up their loose financial ends (thankfully there were not many, as I said before, I had always known my parents to be very responsible with money) and there was some money left over from life insurance and the sale of our family home to be sure I could give a small nest egg to my sisters, as well as pay down the debt that Eddie and I had begun to build again.  Along with that, we are giving people, so we also were able to help family and close friends out with some of their needs.  At the time we didn’t think much of it, but we probably should have made sure we had an emergency fund or done some investing with the remaining money so we wouldn’t be broke again soon.

I mentioned the sale of the family home… it was during this sale that I found out some interesting truth about my parents and their wise approach to finances.  While cleaning out my family’s home, I found paperwork from the mid-eighties, when I was just a baby, paperwork that indicated my family had filed for bankruptcy.  My financially responsible parents were at one point bankrupt??!!!  It was very eye-opening and gave me a new perspective on their financial responsibility later in life.  They had to learn their financial lessons the hard way, and their good financial situation was not just dumb luck, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of climbing out of the hole of debt to get where they got.  Eddie and I don’t want to have to go to the brink, to lose everything before we make changes.  We are going to make changes now.

Thanks to a generous friend, we were gifted the fee to participate in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU).  For those unfamiliar, Dave is pretty much the top dog in financial advising.  His story is similar to my parents’ story, but on a much grander scale.  He has taken the path of wealthy to bankrupt, back to wealth again.  He’s created financial programs to help others do the same, as long as you follow his plan.  FPU is a 9-week course with baby steps broken down to help others save, get rid of their debt, and be able to build wealth and give.  We are approaching our 9th class this weekend and it’s amazing the progress we have made!

That doesn’t mean we are magically out of debt and have this massive emergency fund saved, by any means.  But the class has opened up a dialogue for Eddie and I to work together on our finances–not just paying the bills, but planning for the future as well.  We’ve been able to formulate a plan for saving, paying off our debts, and eventually tweaking our retirement plans so that down the road we don’t have to worry about what we will do when we are old and gray together.  Without the class, we definitely wouldn’t have had these conversations right now.  We are going on our second month of living solely within our means–meaning NO CREDIT CARDS!  We cut them all up the second or third week of the program.  People look at us like we’re crazy… what if there is an emergency?  Well, that’s what the emergency fund is for.  And also, it certainly makes you evaluate what constitutes an emergency.  In this day and age we look at things as necessities when really they aren’t.  It’s amazing what you can do without or what you can make work if you’re not relying on your credit card to take care of the bill.  When unexpected things have come up that we’ve wanted to do or didn’t have the money for, we’ve gotten creative.  We’ve sold stuff, taken on side work, and negotiated some funds from other categories of our budget.  Yes, WE HAVE A BUDGET!  This has probably been the most helpful part of these last couple of months.  We actually sit down and tell our money where to go instead of wondering where it went at the end of the month.  It will still be a few years before we are 100% debt free, but knowing that the end is in sight, instead of just some mystery time that maybe we would get to down the road, is awesome!

Thank you to the couple that generously extended the offer of FPU to us–you have given us tools that we wouldn’t have otherwise.  And one day when we are in a more secure financial situation, we will be sure to extend the same to someone else so they can experience the relief of being in control instead of out of control with their finances!

Public Service Announcement: Drawing a Line in the Sand

I was raised with a wonderful set of parents who taught me to become the person I am today. They taught me to turn the other cheek, be kind to everyone, and to live by the golden rule. These are great principles to instill in your children, however it doesn’t really teach you how to deal with people that are assholes and people that will never give a shit about you, no matter how nice you are or how much you go out of your way for them. 

Unfortunately that opens you up to getting your feelings hurt and trampled on, a lot. It teaches other people that they can use you or be disrespectful to you, or tell you lies with no consequences or repercussions. People will treat you how you allow them to treat you. And while living by the golden rule is great in theory, sometimes you gotta throw that shit out the window and draw a line in the sand. 

But that’s the funny thing, when you decide to stand up for yourself, or create boundaries after not doing it for so long. People don’t like that. People get pissed. And people want to turn it around on you and act like you are the one with the problem. They like to try to say hurtful things to get a rise out of you, or try to belittle you or your family. But let’s be honest, that says a lot more about their issues and their attitude than it does about your own. 

So here’s the deal, I’m laying it out how it is and how it’s gonna be. And if people don’t like it, like I said, it says more about themselves than it says about me and my family.  

1. I have never and will never think that I am “better than” anyone else in this whole wide world. Do I make wiser choices than some people?  Am I nicer than some people? Am I more honest than some people? Do I handle shitty situations better than some people?  Sure. And there are people out there that do those things more than I do too. Being who I am and having positive traits when others lack them does not make me better than anyone else. But I also will not apologize for being a good person either. 

2. If you have repeatedly lied to my family, then you can’t be trusted. When someone says one thing and does another, time and time again, it shows they are unreliable and undependable. Trust is not a given, it is something to be earned, whether you are friend, family, or otherwise. 

3. My husband has long-term, chronic pain. He has had 13 surgeries and likely more before the end of the year. This does not make him weak, it does not make him a “pussy”. This is simply his life, OUR life, and we are trying to make the best of it. He is also bipolar and lives with anxiety and panic attacks. Again, this does not make him a weak person. It means that he has to take medicine for something his brain doesn’t produce naturally-just like a diabetic would take insulin because their body doesn’t produce it. I will not allow anyone on this earth to try to use his physical or mental health against him. He does not owe this explanation to a sole, but I will share to set the record straight-he is probably one of the more stable people I know because he is regularly monitored by his doctor and adjustments are made as needed. This doesn’t mean life is all unicorns pooping rainbows-when shitty things happen, it makes him feel shitty, just like anyone else!  Additionally, do not EVER ask my husband to share his medication. Not only is it illegal, but you are essentially stealing from a person who NEEDS that medication. If anyone in our lives needs pain meds or anxiety meds, they can do what he does-go to a damn doctor and deal with your own problems!

4. Because of Eddie’s physical health, we have been a 1-income family for our entire marriage. We do not have a lot of money. We have never cleared $30K as a household of 2. We have to budget like crazy if we don’t want to go into a great deal of debt. When we have had times in our lives where some money crossed our paths, we were generous and shared with others. Whether that was as a gift, or a loan, we shared because we are giving people. But unfortunately, not being more selfish with our money has not been great for us. We live paycheck to paycheck. We save for things we want or trips we plan. We aren’t extravagant people. But a lesson has been learned that we need to be more selfish. From now on, we are taking care of ourselves and ourselves only. That doesn’t mean we won’t be giving people, but we will be sure to prioritize what needs we give to and make sure it’s a wise decision that doesn’t leave us in a bad financial situation ever again. 

5. Why would I publicly make this service announcement rather than confront people face to face?  Because history has shown that words get twisted, lies are told, and our sharing of frustrations is perceived as being wrong in some way. Instead of being listened to, we are talked over, interrupted, and belittled. I will not continue to allow myself and my husband to be disrespected and our frustrations swept under the rug because it makes other people uncomfortable to face the truth. 

The line has been drawn. If it’s not respected, then we don’t need to be in each others’ lives, plain and simple. 

Just like that.

After my Poppy died last year, I struggled so badly with eating the things I was supposed to eat.  I coped with my loss in an unhealthy way and comforted myself with comfort foods.  When I tell people the story of my weight gain after bariatric surgery, I always say the same thing, “It felt like overnight I had gained 30 pounds and 3 sizes.”  I realize that sounds absurd, that it wouldn’t literally happen overnight.  But that’s what it felt like.  It felt like one day my size 14 clothing fit, and within a matter of days I was needing 20s again to be comfortable.  There was no transition, it was just BAM and the weight was back on.

I’ve thought about it since then, about if it was REALLY such a quick transformation like I thought, or if my mind just told me it was.  Then I went to Denver for the weekend for a conference.  Four days.  I didn’t eat horribly, but I gave myself permission to have a few drinks, some snacks I’d avoided for awhile, and pasta for one of my meals.  I didn’t go crazy, it’s not like I ate thousands of calories every day.  But when I got back, the scale said 10 pounds heavier.  IN FOUR DAYS.

I know that’s not “true” weight.  To gain 10 actual pounds of fat, I would have had to eat a ridiculous amount of calories in those four days.  Part of it is water retention for the salty snacks, part is bloat from my period, and maybe a small part is an actual gain.  The difference between then and now though is that I’m keeping myself in check.  I didn’t allow myself to continue beyond the weekend.  I got right back to my routine and healthy eating, and three days later, 7 of those “pounds” are gone.

But do you see how quickly things can get out of control?  And when you’re already feeling defeated and sad because of a personal tragedy, then all of a sudden you’re failing at weight loss too?  It takes effort.  It takes hard work.  It’s not easy.  I had always worried before surgery that it would be looked at as “The Easy Way Out.”  But I’m here to tell you that you still have to work damn hard, you have to put in the effort, or it doesn’t work.  I know I have some gals reading that are thinking about surgery, and i want to paint the whole picture for you.  Is it worth it to me?  Absolutely.  Would I do it again knowing that I would gain 60 pounds back a year after surgery?  Definitely.  I would just remind myself that it doesn’t happen without a lot of effort on my part.  And that if I get off track, whether intentionally or on accident, I just have to get back on track.  If I fall off the horse 100 times, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I got back on it 101 times.

Long Time Gone

It has been quite some time since I’ve written–I had to go back now and check to see when the last time actually was–February.  And here we are in July.  So what’s been going on?

We were lucky enough to travel to Florida twice this year already.  The first time was just for a long weekend for a friend’s wedding, which was lovely (but the drive was NOT).  The second time was for our family vacation to Anna Maria Island.  It was a very pretty place, and somewhere on the Gulf where I had not actually been, so it was nice to travel somewhere new.  Later this month we have to take a long drive again, but this time to Colorado.  I have a conference to attend for my Thirty-one business, and Eddie always comes along for the ride.  This will be my third year going, and I’m excited to see what’s in store.  After this trip though, we will be saving our pennies, as we have one more trip planned at the end of the year for a good friend’s wedding–in Cancun!  We’ve never been out of the country, which reminds me… passports… and we opted to have this trip be our anniversary/birthday/Christmas present to one another.  We are “experience” people and would rather go places and experience things instead of have actual possessions anyway, so not getting the physical gifts on those holidays is not really a big deal to us.  We will have the memories!

Eddie had a double osteotomy last summer and is still healing from the second one.  For those who don’t know, they cut a chunk of bone out of each of his thighs, essentially breaking them each, then put a plate in and wait for the break to heal.  One of the breaks is still there (how he walks around I have no idea) but it is slowly getting better.  Once it’s healed up, two more surgeries will be in the works to remove the plates, as they are causing a lot of pain and discomfort in being there.  Hopefully once the plates are out he will have more relief from the daily pain he is in.  He is the toughest person I know and I don’t know how he does it.  No other choice though, so just have to keep plugging along and live the life you have!

Despite his surgeries, he’s still done great maintaining his weight loss from the sleeve surgery in February 2013.  Over 2 years post-op and he still maintains a 200+ pound weight loss!  At his lowest he was around 160, but he is more comfortable hovering around 190, which is what he’s maintained. I’m so proud of him!  I, however, have struggled with re-gain.  I could blame it on a number of things in my personal life, but the bottom line is that I stopped following my bariatric diet plan, and when you do that, you gain weight.  I lost my Poppy, I had a stressful year afterwards, I had a giant tumor pop up in my breast and had to have surgery to have it removed (no cancer!), and a host of other stressful things happened that I couldn’t control, so I let my eating get out of control too.  I am working hard now though to get back on track and lose what I gained in the last year (60 pounds), and then hopefully some beyond that.  My initial goal though is to take off what I had gained back.  It seems that no one really talks about re-losing the weight after a post-op gain.  I’ve gone to support groups to seek motivation from others who may have done it, but those people aren’t there.  I’m sure they exist, but they’re not around to be motivation… so I will be my own motivation, and I will then go to those support groups after I’ve succeeded so that I can be the motivation for someone that might be going through this too.

I guess there’s not a whole lot more going on right now, just mostly same old same old… plugging along and rolling with the punches!