Perhaps it was fate… I wrote previously about the one small, overlooked piece of advice that I would share with others recovering from a total gastrectomy, buy a belt. For those who like to shop, you can replace your wardrobe several times as you lose weight and your body transforms. Shopping for clothes is not one of my priorities. I waited for my weight to stabilize before replacing my clothes. In the meanwhile, I learned a good belt will keep your pants up. I started buying clothes that fit after I lost 30 lbs. It was time. Most of my pants had several folds at the waist since I lost about 3 inches. My baggy shirts made me look sick. As fate would have it, I got sick on two occasions after about a week of wearing things that fit which lead to losing an additional 10 lbs, an extra 1.5 inches off my waist. That’s okay, I followed my own advice, I had a good belt. Flash forward several weeks… We fly to Atlanta, GA for a college visit with Kiley. Berry College is located near Rome, GA about 90 minutes from Atlanta. We had a nice 3 day weekend. Saw the college and got to spend time with family in GA. Back to the Atlanta airport. Security was loose, shoes could stay on and no scans. Except… I get chosen for the random screening. Shoes and belt off. Step into the scanner. TSA asks if he can pat down my left leg. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Must be something about the anatomy of my left leg that looks suspicious on the scan. All is good. I go to collect my things and… no belt! I ask the TSA agent what he did with it. He said he put it on the conveyor to be screened. They look to see if it fell off the track, they looked to see if it was stuck, but it was gone. I can only guess that someone mistook it for theirs. It was not fancy or worth stealing. It was a $15 belt. So there I was, loose pant and no belt. I only packed the sketchers that I was wearing, no shoe laces that I could tie together as a belt. I picked those shoes because they would be comfortable for all the walking on the college tour. So the image that best sums up my first year of life post gastrectomy is me walking through the airport, carry on over my right shoulder, my left hand grabbing my waist line holding up my pants, and Kiley laughing with me. And yes, our flight left from on of the furthest gates and arrived in Philadelphia at one of the furthest gates. Probably would have never happened if I had not written about buying a belt. When I think back on this past year and the more difficult challenges I like to reflect on this one. It reminds me to accept my fate and laugh a bit.