Today I can truly say the I am grateful for my health. I have learned to not take my good health for granted. I have lost a few loved ones too early in life – my best friend died at the age of 18 from brain cancer, and my dad died too young from prostate cancer, and even my mom and sister have had bouts of cancer but both survived. I am trying to be better about taking care of myself so I can beat the odds. I have yearly my mammograms and paps and take vitamins daily. Eight months ago, I weighed the most I have ever weighed in my life. I decided to take action and change my weight because it is something I could control – even if I needed help. After 18 years of being overweight, I decided to take my doctor’s advice and have weight loss surgery. It was evident that all the other programs and diets he had me try over the years were not working out the way we had hoped. Even having a personal trainer at the gym 3 days a week for 18 months showed little improvement and I was running out of time with my goals. This decision was not easy, but after observing my sister’s success with her surgery 5 years previous, I decided to wait no longer and to take control of my body. After a 16 week class, I was approved and on my way. The surgery was on March 2nd of this year, and today I am 100% healthier in many ways. I have not only lost 96 pounds, but I am training to run a 5K on Thanksgiving day! My training program calls for jogging 3 days a week and I am on Week 8 day 1, and last night I ran for a solid 25 minutes and felt like I could do more, and I will be advancing to 28 minutes tomorrow. I hope that this new running habit will stick for a long time and that I will stay healthy enough to make it to many more 5Ks in the future. Here’s to health!