12 years….Where is the cake?


Happy Anniversary to me…

This year today I am in a totally different place than I was last year. I opened up Facebook this morning and saw the historical FB reminder— One year ago today—….and I froze. My first instinct was to share it…then I stopped. I read the words…
11 (12) years ago today I took a step that impacted my life forever. I had a gastric bypass at White Plains hospital with the amazing Dr. Phillip Weber. He changed my life physically… And I changed my life mentally. This adventure has been blood, sweat and tears… And it is a lifetime commitment.

Everyday it is about making the right choices and pushing to achieve my dreams. If you told me 11 (12) years ago … that today I would be working to share my story and help people build healthy magical lives.. I would have laughed. At 365 lbs… I struggled to just make it through the day.

I am beyond blessed and grateful for all of the friends and family that I have loved me and supported me from day one. I have met the most amazing people on this journey (adventure ), and I will be forever grateful for those that have shared and taught me along the way. I know my god given life purpose was to battle obesity and build my own army doing it. If I can help one person everyday believe that they can regain control of their life… Then I am doing my job.

Thank you to all who believe in me and support me. This life vision is just beginning.”

Almost all of that holds true. So I decided to add a few edits— what is in the parentheses. Today it is 12 years ago. I no longer refer to this path as a “journey” — I now call it my adventure.

At this time last year I was working for myself, running my own online support group. I had moved from Chicago to Niles Michigan. Moved into an old building downtown Niles with a BIG vision—- and needless to say, I learned a lot. About people, passion, vision and life.

Today I am sitting in a whole new space — and starting a brand new life book. While I can cut and paste those words from my 11 year anniversary— adding a year…I can’t repost the picture. I am sitting on a pile of regain— AGAIN. This is a pattern for me over the last 12 years. When I fall out of balance, I fall into REGAIN.

The 11 year anniversary photo. Not the reality today.

The 11 year anniversary photo. Not the reality today.

The word “regain”—- its funny, I was just in a conversation with someone the other day that thinks it has a negative condensation. When they said that to me I really didn’t respond…I pondered it.

My Facebook name has been Bariatric Regain Laura Preston for almost since I can remember. I don’t find negative in it….I find truth. I currently have bariatric regain. I don’t live in denial. Denial gets me to 365lbs. But here is the magic in the word Regain— I can Regain Control.

This is MY adventure. I am writing this life long book. I call the shots. I make the decisions. I define me…..at any point in time I can Regain Control.

So today….I am going to Celebrate my 12 year anniversary.
I am going to Regain Control…and share the adventure with you. It’s my gift to myself (accountability) and my gift to you….my circle. My community.

Today we are going to start with 12 things I know for sure RIGHT now.

1. This is going to be a life long adventure.

I knew going into my surgery that it was forever. I was surgically altering my body. There was not going to be a start and stop. The struggle with food has been a lifetime battle, and will forever will be for me for so many reasons. The goal weight (if I ever got there…and, what really does goal weight mean? Topic for another post.) was not going to be the end. The goal weight was not going to be “ she lived happily ever after.”

I have labeled this my ADVENTURE. My adventure is full of rabbit holes. It is full of magic. It has a winding paths full of detours. villains, friends, places etc.

2. Less is more.

I have found this proven true over and over again, to the point it is now a goal and mantra. I now seek quality over quantity in everything. I think everything should have meaning and purpose. I truly believe you can curate your own life.

3. Weight was not the problem, and losing it was not my answer.

I thought if I lost the weight, everything in my life would be perfect. Perfect job, find a perfect husband, have kids….perfect crystal ball— Normal Rockwell life. WRONG. 12 years later…none of that came true.

In the last 12 years I have defined my answer in 7 Fundamental Keys. When these 7 keys are in balance— or in sync— that is my answer.

4. Key #1: Wellness.

This is my nutrition and fitness. I have to eat clean, drink my water, take my vitamins, and move my body. EVERYDAY. This is my crucial first step and it needs major attention right now.

5. Key #2: Career

I believe you should love what you do…period. My whole life I have tried to stick to this rule. Even some of the jobs I have hated…the core of it was something I loved— a product or a service. I hate selling. I don’t want to be a salesperson ever. I live to tell and share. I never want to be a part of something that is not a part of me. If I tell you to read a book, I have read it and LOVED it. If I tell you to buy a product….I use it and LOVE it. If you live by this— your never selling. Your sharing and caring. I have to work in a place that allows me to be creative, expressive and share a passion. I must have respect for what I do, and who I do it for. When I break this rule or step outside of it— I am out of balance. Right now I am blessed in this key.

6. Key #3: Finance

Money. Pure love hate relationship. This ties right into Key #2—- you have to run finance on purpose and passion. Don’t do something for the money, it will never be long-term successful. Debt is ugly and haunting. This is a key that can overwhelm and swallow you…but you can REGAIN control. This is also a place where you learn less is more. Finding balance between want vs need. Facing the truth and building a plan is the foundation.

7. Key #4: Relationships

The relationships in my life are everything. It is who you give your time and energy— do they deserve it? Do you deserve them? I believe in looking at who are the 5 people closest to you— do they reflect you? When my relationships are not healthy, I am not healthy. This is an area where I need to learn to say goodbye and close some doors. Be done when I say I am done— take back some keys.

8. Key #5: Self Development

Always be learning and growing. Keep jumping down those rabbit holes until you get to the bottom of them. I have learned it is ok to explore, learn and grow. It can take you on adventures that you would have never thought possible. If you have a flicker of interest in something— dive into it. You can always change your mind, take a different turn or stop for directions. You don’t have to finish anything. Take a bite— devour it—- or spit it out, or throw it away if you don’t like it….but now you know.

9. Key #6: Self Care

Love and nurture yourself first….so you can do it to others. Make peace with your body right now today. Learn to love every lump and bump TODAY..not when you get to goal weight. It is worthy right now of our love and respect. Our bodies are amazing works of art that we take for granted. We can shape and mold them into anything if we love it along the way.

10. Key #7: Spirit

Follow your heart. If you are quiet and you really truly listen…you know what to do. Dance to your drum beat. Drop labels and opinions. Follow what moves you. You can find it everywhere…

11. Define your priorities.

Understand what your personal deal breakers are in life. Decide what you stand for and why. Get crystal clear on what is most important in your life…making 100% sure you are deciding for you, not what others define for you. Think of your priorities as the foundation of your house. You can measure everything against it…your time, your choices etc. Once you decide your priorities, then you can set goals based on them.

12. Stand by to stand by…there is always more to come.

This is not a race. It is a life long adventure. If you make a wrong turn you can always back track and get back on the right road. Don’t be afraid to make frequent stops. Explore along the way. Slow and Steady is always the right choice. Don’t speed, enjoy the ride. Be the turtle 🐢

That is it friends. That is my 12 years of wisdom and advice.

Take it or leave it.

Now I am off to Regain Control of this adventure. If you want to join in or follow along, please do– there is always room in this circle and tribe. You just have to be committed to designing your life– keeping it honest ,full of growth and understanding that you can REGAIN control...one day at a time.

You can find us ( Lola and I — and the tribe) here, on Facebook and Instagram.

Subscribe to this blog in the upper left hand corner so you don’t miss a post.

Tomorrow is Monday.

Regain Control Day 1.

Key #1: Wellness day– nutrition/fitness

Weigh in day— face the scale. Your truth. Your reality. Your measure of space not value. I am posting my weigh in tomorrow everywhere…because I love myself enough to do it.

Are you going to join me?





9 Responses

  1. Thank you for your honesty and your time. Very well said. I enjoyed reDi g this and look forward to getting my life in control as well. Starting right now. I’m with you and Lola100%

  2. Hi Laura, I just found your site! I had Roux/En/Y gastric bypass surgery on May 6, 2002. My highest weight was 400 lbs, my lowest weight as an adult was 99 lbs. On surgery day, I weighed 310 lbs. My lowest weight since surgery was 179. Due to having major depression, ptsd, and family issues, I made many mistakes regarding the weight loss surgery . Also medical problems, etc. I found you today as I just purchased the book “Eat It Up” by Connie Stapleton, PH.D. I am ready to REGAIN control! Thank you so much 😊

  3. I think you’re awesome. You and Yvonne, are right up there with wls peeps who I truly admire, being so beautiful inside and out and are precious priceless assets in the wls community.

    While I’m often misconstrued about my intent in the wls community, as a long term peer, there’s not many who I don’t have to think for a nanosecond of whether it’s ever not to refer pre-ops to long term posties who find me, but I may not be the right person to help them, even though I am wls positive, like I feel about you and Yvonne who are on top of my list when telling the above who to follow as amazing human beings who keep it honest and real but with kindness and caring when supporting the community.

    Of being the VERY best examples of how long term wls support is SUPPOSED to be done.

    It’s odd that your blog found me today… I’m rarely on Facebook and virtually NEVER on Twitter. I’m so glad, even though it’s belated, that I get a chance to tell you that I think you’re amazing….

    p.s. And keeping my fingers crossed that SOMEDAY some wls conference finds it’s way to the Twin Cities!!!! ❤

  4. This came through my work email this Monday morning. I feel like you could be speaking my story as well. You inspire me so much and like so many I am so much better just for being part of your life and your tribe. I am trying to get my head out of the sand again and receiving this today was a sign. Love you and thank you !! Shari Kuhlmann

  5. You are a bright, shining, star in my life and many others!! Thanks so much for your inspiration 😉 !!!

  6. I so admire your energy!!! & your service to inspire us that we are not failures!!
    You’re right, the journey is an adventure, we never know what’s in store for us!
    Hope & perseverance!!! That’s what you bring to me! Thank you awesome LAURA

  7. Always!! You are like my bariatric twin. We have been trying so hard to find the best way to combat this disease for so long. We live and breathe it every day. Thank you for your love and support. I don’t think I could have done it without you. ❤

  8. Love this! Thanks for sharing. I feel so very lucky to have you in my life and am honored to be in your tribe! You are an inspriration to sommany, especially me….

    • Trust me….I am the one that is honored! My tribe keeps my head in the game…I couldn’t do it without you! Nobody understands the path like those that are walking it. ❤️ you!

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