I stood at the top of the steps panting and sweating uncontrollably and thought about all the life changes I was “going” to make in my thirties. I was going to join a gym, eat healthy, go on 30-mile bike rides, and finally get back in shape. But my kids took all my money (thank you college tuition) and my job took all my time – or at least that’s what I told myself.

Regardless of the reasons, none of that happened. Forty has come and gone and I can’t walk up a single flight of freaking stairs without losing my breath. Now really is the time to start my much anticipated weight loss routine, I told myself, before I wind up in the hospital with doctors telling me I need to lose weight, instead of myself being the reminder.

I am not clueless at all about losing weight and getting into shape…I just have never really bothered to actually go through with my ambitions. All I needed, I thought, was a good game plan. So I came up with one.

Step One: Eat Right
It turns out that this is MUCH easier said than done. I did all the right things: brought my lunch to work(filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, mind you), started counting calories, managed my portions better, turned to celery sticks and peanut butter instead of a 99¢ grab bag of chips, cut out soda (except for diet soda, obviously) – you name it. It turns out, however, that just eating the right food isn’t enough. You actually have to eat it, instead of the greasy, artery clogging, oh so delicious fast food you are accustomed to (I cheated a little.) So eating right for weight loss? Not so much.

Step Two: Exercise
Another disappointment. Apparently, the money spent on gym memberships and workout clothes does not guarantee results. For that you actually have to show up and do some physical activity. Who knew?

At this point I found myself at a crossroads, constantly upset at myself and scared for what would happen if I never actually went through with what I promised myself. If I was incapable of significantly changing the way I ate or finding the incentive to work out, how was I ever going to take off the weight?

Then, a light bulb turned on in my head. I turned to the Internet for ideas, and it turns out that there are several different types of weight loss surgery designed to help people who, for some reason or another, cannot stay at a healthy weight. After much research and dialogue, I decided to have gastric sleeve surgery at the end of last year.

I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that this time I was FINALLY able to shed some lbs. and deliver on what I promised myself over 10 years ago. And by “some” lbs., I actually mean 105 and counting. I am a completely different person with a new lease on life. I’m out walking around every chance I get and am able to do so much more with my kids that I wasn’t able to before. Gastric sleeve surgery has literally saved my life and I don’t know where I’d be right now without it (actually, probably sitting in the other room watching some TV).

It has been a very emotional year and I feel incredibly blessed to have had the procedure done and once again excited for whatever adventure tomorrow brings.