(Note: this is the VERY MUCH ABBREVIATED version of my story!)

This was me, at my wedding, "before."
This isn't even at my heaviest weight.
I gained 50 more after I got married!

There's a Garth Brooks song that goes, "I'm much too young to feel this damned old." That was me.

I was 44 years old and felt at least ten years older, but I'm enough of a realist to know that I probably wouldn't have lived to see 54. I was 376 pounds with a half-dozen or so comorbidities, taking ten medications a day - including 2 insulins - and doze driving at the wheel every day from the exhaustion of having sleep apnea.

But worse than all the medical problems was my self-imposed removal from life. I didn't want to do anything, didn't want to go anywhere because I was too tired, in too much physical pain, and too much emotional pain to want to leave the house much. And that was punishing my husband, as well as myself.

In 2003, I took my life back. Now, I am - and WE are, together - doing all the things that were put on hold for so long. Traveling - flying for the first time in 9 years, and without needing the seatbelt extender this time. Horseback riding. And, after years of giving it up, we're walking around Manhattan again, for hours on end, until my husband is practically begging for mercy.

And this is us renewing our vows, "after", in 2006.
A couple of hundred pounds lighter.