I was talking to a friend the other day about having met some amazing and interesting people through my experiences, including myself. Wow! That is pretty deep even for me. Who was I all those years before? Actually who am I now? People have always and will continue to come in and out of our lives. I never really thought about coming in and out of my own life. I suppose it all is based on environment, experiences and our response to such that lead us to be the person we were, are or will become.
I feel healthier and better about being in my own body than I have ever felt-ever! I have lived 4 1/2 decades yet am more physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually able and capable of living and appreciating even the smallest of things. God has a plan and I’m riding it out. I don’t know what each day holds, much less any further than that.
Every day I wake up I am anxious to see what blessings I will receive, be a part of, or witness. I try to not take anything for granted. We are only here for a blink of an eye in the scope of eternity. I have to be the best “me” I can be while I’m here. I never cared before but God did. He’s cared all along. I have given up on “me” countless times. He has carried me through things many times. I am now aware and try to acknowledge that I would not be here if He did not have a plan for me.
I have to go forward, without looking back. It does no good to dwell on could’ve, would’ve or should’ve. Life has happened the way it has for a reason. Today I am here completely through the grace and love of God. I am very fortunate to have survived through being morbidly obese and with the health conditions related to being that way. I probably should have died along the way. He knew I wanted to many times and he knew when I prayed fervently not to die in my sleep. I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination to be able to live now in a physical body better suited to glorify God.
I like the me I have become and am still growing into being. The person I used to be has “died” in a way and I feel like I have been born again-given a second chance. I am outgoing. I am confident. I am proud to be me for what I have done, losing a lot of weight and learning to keep it off, regardless of what anyone says, regardless of support or lack thereof, regardless of who I used to be or who I am now, if people like me or not. It’s not for me to be concerned about. I will continue going ahead full force. If people can be inspired by my story then I am honored and humbled for God to use me in this way.
Soon I will be “revealed” to the world following the surgical removal of excess skin by Dr. Ordon, from The Doctors. How will it effect me? Will I change and grow even more?! Will I be able to encourage others to treat their body as the temple God intended us to do? Will someone learn about this God of whom I speak and want to know Him too? He can bring peace like no other. Give your worries and troubles to God.
I like me. No regrets. Lessons learned. Moving forward with God guiding me through calm and troubled waters.
I am doing it for Me!
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I thought I’d go ahead and share this with you. As I went across the state of Tn speaking as the reigning state queen! the theme for the Fall tallies was Under the Sea. I put my life in perspective and related it to that topic. This is what I wrote about a week out of surgery one morning when I was too uncomfortable to sleep. Please enjoy and hopefully be inspired.
Under the sea
For many years of my life I felt as though I were drowning.
Maybe some of you had similar dreams.
I kept trying to swim to the top but could never get there.
I had this humongous weight, this pressure, that built and built surrounding me yet keeping me still as life passed me by, compared to that sunken treasure chest under the weight and through the murkiness of the water.
Roughly thirty years passed where I was that wreckage at the bottom of the ocean waiting to be found, sitting on the couch waiting for the excess weight to magically disappear.
How I got there?
Well, generally I never wanted to be there, but somehow allowed myself through life circumstances to be buried alive.
Poor choices, made often, repeatedly didn’t help matters, or literally, my matter, my weight, at all.
Like many things that are lost at sea, the value and worth will vary depending on who finds it, who values it, the condition in which it is found, the history and sometimes even where the treasure is found.
Many years passed where I stayed stagnant, swaying ever so slightly with the current trend, the various waves of diet plans, methods and variety of hope for that magic trick to make me lose weight and have that “normal” body.
At times the water that covered me, as that sunken treasure, I would watch life go by through activities of others and most sadly through the lives of my daughters.
I could watch through that murky water but couldn’t do anything with them and seemingly nothing to be rescued from my condition. How many of you are the official photographer of your family? At gatherings etc. because you don’t want to be in that picture, much less be the background.
I made my own treasure map!
After allowing so many years to pass me by I figured out that somehow, some way, that the only way that I was going to find myself, my value, my worth,was to follow a treasure map planned and laid out for me and only me.
As a member of TOPS for several years, and having experienced losses and gains over decades of “dieting” I now declare that I have earned my title as Heather Gum, P.D. (Professional Dieter).
I knew all the reasons, methods, tricks, and yes the cheats, of attempting to lose excess pounds.
Had that gotten me anywhere successfully?
On that treasure map there were many places I circled, and circled, and yep, circled again, until stumbling into a new pathway of hope which all would lead me back to where I started, unfortunately.
Most of these paths weren’t wasted entirely because that was where experience and life lessons were learned.
Maybe that’s why when I returned to point “A”, or “You are here” on the map, oftentimes I was even heavier than where I began-I was weighed down with more knowledge.
All that circling around eventually lead me in the right direction.
Did I want to give up?
For sure I did.
The trigger for me, as my children were growing was my obvious inability to participate with them.
One plan was a trip to Europe through Girl Scouts. Me on a plane? Yeah right? NOT! That was not going to happen.
My job, I would stand in front of children daily reciting the 4-H Pledge …pledging my health to better living…. Whoaaa, who was I kidding? Myself!
Opportunities came and went due to my physical limitations, which lead to my emotional and mental restrictions as well.
I didn’t want to be the obstacle of attention, the brunt of jokes, and the ultimate worse, the end of that sweet little precious pointing finger of innocent children which would curiously, and comically, point at me in disbelief or humor.
My treasure map lead me in a path to learn to eat healthy through a nutritional program outside of TOPS.
I was taught what to feed my body, with food combinations and through weighting my portions for my body to generally melt away the excess weight.
Nutritionally I got the guidance I needed and accountability with one-on-one consultation bi-weekly, on top of attending my weekly TOPS meeting for yet more accountability.
I needed to have the camaraderie of others struggling with weight issues as well.
So as you can see my treasure map has many years of wear and tear on it.
The edges are rough and the permanent.
The best thing about it all….. Once I finally unfolded my map and started following the right path…. Is that I finally followed the right directions for my body and found my treasure. ME!
I am the treasure.
After decades of searching, I finally found the most valuable treasure, the most irreplaceable treasure in finding ME!
I am no longer hidden in that murky water on the sidelines watching life, but I am on land, with my feet firm, living the best life in a valuable body, with a worth more valuable than all the riches in the world.
I am Doing it for Me!
I found my treasure map.
Unfold your map completely and find your treasure- YOU!