Sometimes it takes loss to understand the importance of what’s missing. That’s what happened to Suzy Hendrix this past April, when the 41-year-old table games dealer realized her Instagram account had been hacked.

Hendrix had been building a strong foodie following @happytummy_702, and then suddenly one day she was locked out of her own feed, watching the pictures she’d posted and the people she followed just disappear.

“I had businesses calling me the next day because they knew something was wrong,” she recalls. Followers reached out to see what had happened, and Hendrix began to realize both that she’d become a digital fixture in people’s lives and how much Instagram meant to her. “That really showed me how much this was a part of my life. Life isn’t over, but for those eight days I was like, ‘Wow, a big part of my life that I really enjoyed was gone.’”

Hendrix eventually recovered her account and has repopulated it with bright, neatly composed photos of sushi tacos, roasted mussels and loaded hot dogs.

“It’s kind of my distraction and outlet when life gets tough,” says Hendrix of the social media network. “It’s my escape.”

Food has always been a source of happiness for the Oahu native, who says her last meal on Earth would be her mother’s Korean cooking and that there’s almost nothing she refuses to eat. @happytummy_702 started as a personal food diary, but today 22,000 followers gush over photos of dripping ice cream cones, videos of rainbow grilled cheese and occasional selfies with her 9-year-old son.“He’s autistic, so that creates a bit more of a challenge, but he’s awesome,” Hendrix says. “He’s a very happy kid.”

Usually, she saves photo shoots for when she’s with Instagram friends or on her own, but in one post both Hendrix and her son happened to go for a French fry right as the camera clicked. And the image is lovely.

Click here to follow Suzy on Instagram.