Hello…I am a Professional Dieter

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Today is an opportunity.  Many choices will be before us in this day God has blessed us with.  It is our decision how to react to them which will determine the outcome.  What results are you looking for?  Making the “right” decision is not always an easy thing to do in many situations, especially when it comes to our health.

For 30 years I was overweight to morbidly obese due to not making the choices that were best for my body - physical, mental and emotional health.  I was talking to some coworkers yesterday about nutrition and they were saying how knowledgeable I am.  I gave myself a new title of PD - Professional Dieter.  There’s no way I could figure out an actual count of how many “diets” I have been on.  For some I couldn’t even make it through the first day but they would count too.  There’s something to think about. However the benefit of my experience as a Professional Dieter leads me into a vast familiarity with healthy eating, nutritional options and even more so on what doesn’t work best for trying to lose excess weight.

After all is said and done - I finally found what has worked for my body.  Every body is different.  There are different likes and dislikes, capabilities, financial means, location and availability of food, etc.  I was talking last summer to a friend that has lost a lot of weight as well, over 100 pounds.  We both started feeding our bodies metabolically about a week apart.  As strange as it is, she’s the one who invited me to my first TOPS meeting and wound up quitting.  This time we both found a method that suited our bodies and situations. While we were comparing notes, it came up that we are using the knowledge that we’ve had all along.  It truly is in the mind to surpass and prevail over all the things that life throws our way to make the decisions that we know we need to make for the outcome we know we need and want.

I am a Professional Dieter.  I expect to live the rest of my life feeding my body what it needs to get the most from my body.  I feel great and it’s only going to get better.  I referred to my extreme weight loss as a shedding of my exoskeleton at one point.  Now that exoskeleton that has me en-captured it will be surgically removed to reveal the real me - the me I was meant to be, thanks to The Doctors and Dr. Andrew Ordon.  Life is truly a blessing to not take for granted. Give GOD the glory in everything.  Without him I would have and be nothing.  I am trying to give all my problems to GOD and turn to him for guidance by letting it go into his control, because ultimately I am not in control.  Everything happens for a reason.  A verse in a poem that I wrote in my youth - “He may answer quick, he may answer slow, but he promises to answer yes or no.”

Speaking with a friend yesterday I recalled something she told me.  Back last year when I went to a local plastic surgeon about excess skin just to see what would be suggested, etc. she went with me.  Financially, as expected, it would be a huge burden on our family and I could not see doing that.  As we sat eating at a salad bar, I looked at her and said “I don’t see it happening.”  Her response was “You didn’t see yourself losing the weight either.”  That was the determination planted in me to reach out for other options and sources to help with my situation.  My mom loves the statement I made that “the excess skin is as mentally debilitating as the excess weight was physically debilitating.”

Life is a series of options, choices and outcomes when it comes to health and nutrition.  It’s taken me a lifetime to learn that and now attempt to live it. I expect every day to have continued obstacles and pray that I can overcome them.  It is really hard having lost 160-170 pounds to maintain now.  I’m staying within 10 pounds so I am okay with that.  I am continuing to do this.  I am doing it for ME!

Your story matters

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It’s been a while since I’ve written.  A lot has been going on lately.

Since my last post I have attended the TN TOPS State Recognition Days.   It was a fun event, as usual, to recognize accomplishments across the state.  There was a before and after parade where you can show your old sized clothes.  When it was my turn, imagine me just walking across holding my pants in front of me like I was a paper doll… NOT!  I had the big size 30 red pants from my before picture folded and rolled up real tight.  I stood on stage and let them unroll.   With dramatic pause between each unfolding I opened them up completely.  After stepping out of my shoes and hearing the roar and applaud of the crowd, I stepped into one pant leg, holding out the other.  What an amazing feeling.  The next day I was crowned TOPS TN State Queen!  I received a crown and a scepter along with a sash, certificate and fabulous bouquet. It was a very humbling experience. I was recognized and presented the Century Award for losing over a hundred pounds and keeping it off for 52 consecutive weeks.  I also graduated as a KOPS, Keep Off Pound Sensibly and as Queen, with the King, we started the Circle of Light.  Congratulations Scott Thomas! it was a great weekend with old friends and even better with some new ones.

With this recognition and new title, there are some opportunities that are open to me now. I have applied for and gotten my passport! Why? Because the TOPS International Recognition Days this year is in….. (Drum roll….) Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am really beginning to like traveling and flying!

The recognition from being on The Doctors was mentioned several times and I even was interviewed again for another paper yesterday.  I had to sign a few autographs too.  Unfortunately an Uncle died and I had to go out of town. Numerous relatives, who had not seen me, yet had seen me on TV, complimented and praised me about my weight loss.  It’s such an honor to be able to talk to people about what I have done and confirming what they know they need to do.  It’s not an easy thing by any means but if someone can make healthy choices because of seeing or talking to me, what a blessing.

I have had people ask me about the surgery that Dr. Ordon has so generously offered for me.  I have a surgery date!  My schedule will be busy with lots of flying.  I will be flying for IRD to Canada and have to turn around to fly to California for the procedure on July 22nd. Life is such a blessing.

I have recently returned from a work conference and have some new ideas and possible opportunities ahead to incorporate my new health-style and to encourage others to lead a more healthy life. It was suggested I even present a meeting at a national convention in a couple years.  That would be awesome. Not only do we, as educators, try to build on skills and values in the youth with which we work, but we need to be physically and mentally healthy to present information and capable of being the examples for the youth of today and leaders of tomorrow.

God is blessing me daily. I am so proud to be able to share me story with you.  Your story matters. Write it down for yourself as you go through the process so you can reflect on your journey as a reminder of what you went through. It’s a great tool for me and I am glad I have done it. There’s no way that I could go back and try to write what I was feeling each time that I was dedicated to write. It’s not been, and still isn’t, easy but I keep Doing It for Me! You can do it.

I have been having a lot of struggles lately. Trying to stay in control is not easy, facing temptations daily…..

If you are interested in reading what I consume daily, on a meal by meal basis, I am posting it on my Facebook page- Heather’s Healthy Habits, under Heather Shelton Gum.