I woke up SKINNY!

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There are not words to express the appreciation and elation in my life right now.  I never would have imagined life to be the way it is today.  When I walked into Metabolic Research Center in Murfreesboro, TN on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011 I had to do it for me - thus the title of my blog.  I needed to learn to love myself.  Now what I realize is that not only have I learned to love myself, but that my self-worth, self-esteem, and value have grown exponentially.  More importantly my relationship with God has strengthened.  He’s always been beside me, yet I haven’t always been in the right direction.  When I try to be in control it doesn’t work.  When I give it all to God to handle there is a peace I have that’s unexplainable. 

I wanted to try to write everything down to this point so I have a record of it all.  It’s still all so surreal and the most humbling experience.  Now it is an honor to share my experiences with others to encourage good health.

The way things have gone to date:

30 years overweight to morbidly obese

Joined TOPS October 2005 – continued to yo-yo diet

Joined MRC February 14, 2011

Made the remark to friend after 2012 New Year’s – no resolution – “The Sky is the Limit!!” (Had NO clue how true that statement would wind up to be!)

May 2012 TOPS won TN State Division 1 (over 300 pounds) First Place - Memphis, TN

May 2012 – Found Arm Girdles!! Huge ego boost, had been girdling my stomach and legs excess skin for some time

July 2012 TOPS won International Division 1 First Place – San Diego, Ca – incredible opportunity to share my story and be an encouragement to others

Visited Hollywood Blvd with family on trip to California

October 2012 Visited a plastic surgeon – too expensive for corrective procedure – insure won’t cover

October 2012 Wrote to TOPS President Barb Cady to encourage TOPS to work with legislation for insurance to cover procedures with specific stipulations and requirements met, response after discussed at board meeting was it was too big for them to tackle

October 2012 – TOPS – received Century Award – a beautiful pendant necklace in honor of losing 100 pounds and keeping it off for 52 consecutive weeks or longer (VERY emotional – amazing honor for accomplishment)

December 2012 Submitted story to The Doctors TV show

December 2012 Contacted by The Doctors – interested in my story – supplied lots of information and pictures

December 2012 Reached weight loss goal via TOPS! Became a KOPS!!

February 2013 Was flown, alone, to Los Angeles, Ca with drivers, hotel, etc. to shoot my back story and appear on the episode SKIN: Feed It, Fix It, Tuck It – as THE guest for the Tuck It segment – was generously offered Dr. Ordon’s professional assistance to remove stomach and arm skin

Stayed at the Loew’s Hollywood – where God had allowed me to be months before so I would have the confidence to be there all by myself – even ate a few meals ALONE!!  (Huge accomplishment for me) Had a free day where I saw a taping of The Price is Right and Extra – with Mario Lopez interviewing Mark Wahlburg and Sean Combs! WALKED back to hotel about 4 miles because I could, physically and mentally.

March 2013 Interviewed for the Daily News Journal at Metabolic Research Center – huge article in Business Section

March 2013 Interviewed by Tennessee State University (employer) with story published on their web page, Facebook, etc.

March 2013 Interviewed by The Murfreesboro Post – appeared on the FRONT page with great article inside

March 2013 Interviewed by The Daily Corinthian – appeared on the FRONT page with story

March 2013 Interviewed by Channel 2 News which aired several times over a couple days

March 20, 2013 The Doctors episode aired – watched with friends (Available on the website www.thedoctorstv.com – search for the title of episode above to watch 2 clips)

April 2013 – TOPS was crowned TN State Queen (Their records, lost a few pounds not recorded, 163.75 pounds) -   also participated in the Before and After Parade, recognized as a Century Award recipient, graduated as KOPS, started the Circle of Light with the TOPS TN State King

May 2013 – Started a Facebook Group that turned to a Facebook page to stay accountable for everything I eat, share recipes with pictures sometimes, encourage healthy eating and self worth, trying to help and make a difference, bring awareness to healthy living  www.facebook.com/heathersheatlhyhabitsdoingitforme

June 2013 – Interviewed by The Independent Appeal – appeared on the Front Page with story

July 4, 2013 – Was in TWO parades in a convertible!

July 2013 – Attended TOPS International Recognition Days in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as TN State Queen – also participated in the Before and After Parade, recognized as a Century Award recipient (cried as “The Climb” was sung to all recipients) and participated in my first International Circle of Light

July 29, 2013 – Returned to Los Angeles, California and drove with friend to Rancho Mirage

July 30, 2013 – Consultation with Dr. Drew Ordon and Dr. Ritu Chopra at The Plastic Surgery Institute

July 31, 2013 – Life changing, figure altering, corrective surgery, to remove excess skin: panniculectomy – removal of stomach tissue and correction of two hernias AND bilateral brachioplasty – removal of upper arm skin and excess under armpit and down side

Many asked me prior to the surgery about being scared or nervous.  I truly had given it to God for a calm and peace through the process of filming, photos and after-care.  I woke up skinny!  How many times have I wished I could wake up skinny? It finally worked, after I put in a lot of work on myself. I felt like I had been in a magic show and my middle had been removed.  J

August 1-13, 2013 – Recover at Rancho Las Palmas Resort, with assistance from nurse Shirley a few days and my friend Trish – not really any pain, just discomfort and mobility restriction which have lead to sleep deprivation – “It’s temporary”

Encased in compression belt over stomach and hip area and in compression vest from wrist to hip

Through discussion with others having had similar procedures the biggest complaint was the compression wear.  God has prepared me through constricting the excess skin from bouncing around by girdling which also prevented rashes and back pain. The compression wear is not uncomfortable – it’s a huge hug from God.

August 14, 2013 – Return to Tn to continue to recover

August 17, 2013 – First public appearance at a local TOPS function where I was able to speak

August 21, 2013 – Check up at family doctor to be able to return to work on Monday, August 26, 2013

September – November – TOPS Speaking engagements across the state of TN at functions, maybe more at the Chapter level

Date TBD – Future return to Los Angeles, Ca - appearance for the big “Reveal” on an upcoming episode of The Doctors (until then…. I must avoid having my picture taken where my body, the results, can be seen)

 

 

Well, there you have it.  There might be something I missed.  It’s hard to believe the way things have all worked out just from losing weight.  I couldn’t have done it without God guiding me and giving me the strength to stay focused, fight temptations and go all the way.  This is it!  It’s still a daily battle and I expect health and nutrition to always be my focus.  When asked what was the hardest part I still will say-today.  I’ve never been a “normal” sized adult.  It seems to have been easier to lose the weight than it is to maintain within a few pounds.  I am Doing it for ME!

 

What does your future hold from making continuous healthy choices for your body, losing weight if necessary? Share your story with others.  It’s a great feeling to have someone tell you that You are their inspiration.

 

The Reflection Revisited

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I have much to catch up on as time allows but had this come to me this morning so I had to share. Much love for you, but love yourself even more!

The Reflection Revisited
Months have passed by
In the new form of me
I’m literally half the person
That I used to be.
I feel twice as tall
With my head held high
Though lowly and more humbled
As each day passes by.
It matters not how long
The journey took to complete
To lose the excess weight
And finally succeed.
Now with graciousness
And tear filled eyes
I can feel and see the benefits
And have received the prize!
I have learned to love me
Like never before
I have put myself first
There’s a new world to explore!
It’s not selfish or conceited
To put yourself first
Besides God you’re the most
Important one on this earth.
Heaven awaits you
But only you have the key
Your body and health is your temple
Your responsibly.
If you take care of yourself
From the inside to out
Everything else falls in place
Without a doubt.
Your life was set in motion
Many years ago
God has a plan for everyone
That we know.
What’s yours? What’s mine?
Are we to ever know?
Take charge of your destiny
And let your light show.
Does it really matter in the scheme of all things
What others think of you?
I once believed and know better now
That My love for myself is what’s true.
You can’t take care of others
If you’re not taking care of you
Lead by example
Don’t do what others do.
Be the exception
Make your rules matter most
Life for yourself
For God, for Jesus, and the Holy Ghost!