This has been without a doubt, the hardest, most stressful year of my life. Since my mother’s cancer diagnosis back in September of last year, my emotions have been all over the place and my attention has been on so many things other than my own health. Although I really did make a few attempts during the time that I was caring for my mother, my heart just wasn’t in it. If any of you out there have had a loved one battle cancer, you will understand that it can be an emotional roller coaster that you cannot possibly be prepared for. For me, when I am emotional, I turn to food. From September to March, I gained a total of 15lbs. This did not put me in an unhealthy category but I just didn’t feel good. I felt sluggish and uncomfortable.

During the last few weeks of my mother’s life, she and I had some good conversations. In one of those she told me that she was proud of who I am. She was proud of the woman that I have become. Writing those statements still makes me well up a little bit. (Or a lot. Good thing I don’t regularly wear mascara.) I am so very grateful that I was able to spend that time with her, as heartbreaking as it was.

After my mom passed away, I felt as though I needed to do something for myself. Losing her has been so very hard and I felt like I needed to find that woman that she was proud of and honestly, I felt as though I needed a distraction from grief. I wanted to get back to working out consistently and eating well again. I know I have said it before but having a goal to work towards is important. Whether it’s a race, an event, a trip, you have that deadline to keep you in check. Without it, it’s easier to deviate from your plan. A good friend of mine reminded me how dedicated I had been to my regime when I was training for a photo shoot last year and so I decided that would be my goal to aim for.

July 17th, I did the photo shoot and it was such a wonderful time. Everyone there was incredibly kind, supportive and encouraging. I was kind of nervous even though I have already been through this experience but once things got going, it was a lot of fun. I miss my mom. She was the one person in my life who has always been here for me and I will never forget her but in doing this, I feel I have grown even stronger. I know that there are going to stuggles ahead, it’s just part of life but I am proud of myself for doing this and for continuing to strive to be the woman she wanted me to be. I think that she would be proud of me too.

In case you’re reading this some place…………I love you……….and ignore my grammatical errors πŸ™‚

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