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I originally started this blog in May of 2011 (read my first post!), when my life was in the midst of a series of huge changes.  I was facing a second spinal fusion, cautiously excited for what would hopefully be a pain free new life.  As these types of things rarely go as planned, the surgery ended up creating even more pain.  Cooking was a fantastic outlet for me, but it felt that even week by week, I could sense that I was losing tiny parts of myself...the parts that make you, "you" - the essence of who I truly was.  Over a short span of time, my pain was so severe that I was unable to do lots of the things that made me happy.  My days were ruled by my schedule of pain meds, and I rarely left the couch.  Basically, not a  good time.

In a turn of events that I still can only refer to as miraculous, I came in contact with a few individuals that referred me to two surgeons in NYC.  On April 22, 2012, my boyfriend and my mom headed with me to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where the next day, I was fused from T8 to my pelvis.  Recovery was slow, but early on, I could feel that something had changed...something huge.  Over the next year, my surgical pain slowly disappeared and to my amazement, was not replaced by the old, nagging, endless pain I had felt for so long.

I live day by day.  Some days are hard, some days I'm pain free.  In many ways, I'm strangely thankful for the pain days.  They make me appreciate the good ones even more.

There's a funny (and by that I mean: awful) thing that can happen when you have chronic back pain for, like, four years.  You gain weight.  A lot of it.  And, to be fair, I didn't have a lot of options.  Prior to and immediately following "The Big Surgery", I was basically living life from my couch, with an hour-to-hour television schedule and a serious blog addiction.  Additionally, I may or may not have eaten a lot of my feelings (hint: I did).

So fast forward to the summer of 2013.  As I said, for the first time in what felt like forever, my pain was becoming so minimal that I felt like a totally new person.  But, that new person looked in the mirror and felt sad, and felt angry.  Somehow, Mike convinced me that we should try a ketogenic diet, which is a type of low carb lifestyle.  When we started (I can't believe I'm admitting to this), my highest weight was 158 lbs.  I'm 4'11", so this was horrific.

Currently, I'm ten pounds away from my initial goal weight of 120 lbs.  It's been slow, but I feel healthier than I ever have, and I'm completely certain that much of why my back feels so great is due to this weight loss.

Comparison before and after ("after" taken on 11/26/13, 134 lbs):

I'm starting to blog again because I feel like I have so much to talk about.  I have a LOT going on, and it's all really positive, happy things.  When I initially created this blog, it was a distraction.  A way to forget about what was really happening, to forget what might be ahead of me. 

I hope you can join in my celebration of how breathtaking life is, even with a few bumps in the road along the way...

xo, Lindsay