The change that began in 2000 brought me new determination, so despite continuing to encounter roadblocks, I continued to bounce back and return to my exploration of the inner athlete. I spent my first six months in Nevada alone. I used that time to first walk and then run the hills. I took ice dancing lessons, and I continued to eat healthily. By 2005 I was within 20 pounds of my weight goal. And then another event, elective surgery in the spring of 2005, interrupted my workouts.
I will confess that the surgery was meant to undo some of the damage that years of obesity had done to my body. One of the procedures was a tummy tuck. Of course you know that the surgery essentially involves taking in or decreasing the size of the skin in the abdomen so that it better fits the body. You may not know that a tummy tuck includes repair of the abdominal muscles that often become separated during pregnancy. Once healed, I looked a lot better and had much more self confidence. You see, in the past I had been very self conscious about my tummy. I was so self conscious that I would deliberately wear things to hide it and would even sit with my arms wrapped around my belly.
By the time I was fully healed, we were in the process of buying a house and things became more hectic. The weight slowly inched up. The house we purchased took us away from the hills in which I would run and the ice rink. And then in 2006, I was laid off by the local hospital. Just a side note – psychologists do not expect to be laid off – this was a huge surprise and made worse by the fact that we had purchased a home only 7 months earlier. Remember the Ulcerative Colitis? Yep, it came back with a vengeance and in August 2006, I moved to middle Georgia.