Life is too short…

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I’ve been having a “writer’s block”. A friend suggested that I try to write about not being able to write. That’s an appealing perception that I figured I’d attempt it. I’d not expect it to be my best script. Throughout my weight loss I have written about what got me to where I was in life and existing in the state of morbid obesity and as I went through the process, unknowingly that this time my efforts weren’t going to be in vain.

A bunch has been going on and I haven’t had the urge to “make anything real” by putting it in print. I might have just discovered what the issue is at hand!! Writing about my weight loss experiences and emotions “made it real.” When I put my life and experiences, feelings and thoughts, trials and triumphs, and realizations and understandings into words I am acknowledging, claiming and clarifying my continuation and possess responsibility.

Perhaps as I make mention of what’s been going on and it will help me, while attempting to assist you, the reader in some fashion. I need to have an improved grasp at the circumstances and have objectives about what to do from here. It’s never easy to step up to own and face the facts, so here it goes….
I have gained a few pounds, not too much but more than I want, and I’m not pleased about it. Let’s look at the “why”. There’s no one to blame for your unhappiness, you got yourself into your own mess…. Wilson Phillips Hold On. It’s my “fault” and I know “why”. My motivation? I found success through having the right attitude and outlook – I am Doing it for Me. Lately….I’ve not been putting ME to the front and have tolerated my own actions thus have to suffer the consequences. I’m not quitting or giving up on ME because God never will. He got me this far and I know I need to relinquish the reins back into His hands. What has worked for me is measuring everything, preparing and always having a plan and even a “Plan B,” sometimes a “Plan C or even D.” If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s a great saying oozing with truth.

“How” can I make it better? The smallest yet BIGGEST word in that question is “I”. I am the only one that can make the choices I need to make nutritionally and otherwise. Huge problem - I can’t munch. For me that just is not a good thing and I can get out of hand very quickly, in an instant. I have been praying so much lately for situations yet haven’t kept up with the nourishment of my body and soul. Whose fault is that? Geesh…. I know, I know…… MINE! Alright, I’ve admitted it and claim it. Now? I have to go back to what has worked and what makes my body feel the best. I’ve got lots of eyes watching and following that I don’t want to disappoint yet the pair of eyes I see in the mirror are the ones that really observe what’s going on all the time. I need to up my water intake too. God saves our soul through cleansing our body with water during baptism…. We keep the dwelling of our soul cleansed internally with water…..

I’m not going to go into details publicly about the circumstances of my reality yet if you have read anything to this point about me it’s effortless to figure out. We are all scared of changes. That’s why “letting go” of excess weight is hard, having to rid our bodies, or life, of something that’s been hanging around a while, that we’re used to being there and that we know isn’t healthy for us. Interesting comparison actually…. Change can be a good thing though the steps to the reward aren’t always easy. I have to jump into God’s arms and let Him carry me through this. In Him I trust. Life is too short to not be happy, whatever it is in this time that brings you joy and peace. My ultimate prize is yet to come as I strive for health and happiness here on earth and eternal bliss in Heaven.

I must believe. I am important. I am worthy.

I AM DOING IT FOR ME!

Please follow me daily at
www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitforme

“Today” is the hardest

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Even though I post daily on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitforme,
I haven’t taken time to really write and reflect over life lately.   I
wanted to record some recent publications and travel.

I don’t think I’ve written about being in the June/July
issue of TOPS News.  It was a great story
and well written considering my lifetime struggle and being a survivor of
morbid obesity. I was used in a TOPS Healthy and Active magazine and that was
on the back cover.  The article was 3
pages and they even included one of my recipes!! 

I went to Milwaukee, the “motherland” of TOPS and the
headquarters, for the 2014 International Recognition Days.  It was a great week long experience with old
friends, new acquaintances and time with just me and God too!  It was all good.  It’s always such an inspiration to see others
celebrated for their success.  For me it’s
still kind of hard to believe that I’m among those being celebrated.  I did crown the new TN State Queen for 2013
as outgoing 2012 Queen back in May yet was still able to walk across the stage
as a Century Club Award recipient, having lost over 100 pounds and keeping it
off over 52 consecutive weeks, during their Lost Baggage presentation for
before and after clothes sizes from a 30 to a 12/14 and as a KOPS – Keep Off
Pounds Sensibly.  The ride to and from
was GREAT too!!

On the ride back it became a little hunt.  A hunt? 
Yep!  My article came out in First
for Women magazine in the August 4, 2014 issue. 
We had stopped at a gas station and I saw the previous edition with Dr.
Travis Stork on the front, from The Doctors. 
I inquired if they had the new issues to put out.  They went to the back and retrieved a
box.  There I was- on the FRONT!!  There were 3 magazines.  I bought one, a travelling friend bought one
and the cashier got the third.  It was
quite AMAZING to see myself on the cover of a magazine.  I wasn’t the “Cover” person but I was an
inset on the front!  Water is so very
important to our bodies.  It was an honor
to share my experience.  I hate that TOPS
isn’t mentioned.  I have had people find
me on the internet and even call to talk to me. 
Blessed beyond my imagination.

That’s one thing I always try to do.  If someone is interested in health and weight
loss I will try my best to stop and make them the focus.  If God can use me to help someone I am here
for His service and to give Him the glory. 
This brings me to a whole other topic that I’ll post separately. 

Weight wise I’m trying to hold my own.  I still say that ”today” is the hardest.  It’s not easy maintaining.  It is still a conscious effort at every meal
and food opportunity to make the right choice. Over and above everything else
and all the obstacles that the world provides I have to be victorious for me,
for God.  It wasn’t easy losing the
weight nor is it now to maintain but I will NEVER give up on ME because God
doesn’t!  I am Doing it for ME!

GOD LOVES ME.

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February 14, 2011 was the day I chose to learn to love myself, a significant date that is very symbolic for me. God has carried, pushed, pulled and dragged me through life and daily I struggle with permitting Him do so. My better days are when I wholly put my faith in Him and what is to be. My body is my temple. This is the temple in which my soul resides here on Earth. My soul and breath exist only through the grace and love of God. My personal war with food is one of many surrenders and downfalls with minimal victories strategically in place to bring me to the present. One can serve God in any form or condition, however, for me, I feel like I am more capable and much stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually to go forward in His name appreciating, respecting and responsible for my temple. My faith is stronger than it’s ever been. Life is worth living no matter what bumps are in the road, what bridges I must cross, the valleys I must endure, what obstacles and challenges I encounter. I can be victorious today because God loves me. Triumph comes in many methods to be considered whether it’s a number on the scale, personal observations discovered in a healthier version of me, or sharing my rite of passage to encourage, inspire and offer hope and God’s love to others.

Today is a day of reflection – July 31, 2014. I might celebrate alone yet God knows my heart and soul better than I even know myself. Trust me, I have learned more in the last few years than I ever knew before and guess what? I like me. I love me. I am important. Most important? GOD LOVES ME. I was in a sad, lonely and miserable place for a long time. I allowed it. This is the day that I was given a new lease on life. Thanks to Dr. Andrew Ordon, Dr. Chopra and The Doctors today, a year ago, was the day I woke up “skinny” or “skinless.” That was one of the most intensely emotional moments of my life. I felt renewed, reborn. I have the scars to remind me of the 25 pounds of excess skin which was surgically removed after making the dietary changes necessary to lose over 160 pounds and recapture, rejuvenate my own health and have the opportunity to live, not just exist .

The last few years I have experienced a mammoth expanse of changes that seem to continually be revealed daily. I am truly blessed beyond my imagination. It is an honor and privilege to reach out to others that are somewhere along their own rite of passage. Learning to love and care for yourself is an intricate part of succeeding in the endeavor to live a health style extending your years, increasing your abilities to be able to help others and your own capabilities to face the life issues we all have about us. God gives us countless opportunities for strength training of the qualities in which we need to sustain us through life. Patience to sit through temptations is one of my hardest “work-outs” daily it seems yet is also one that needs the most preparation to face diverse situations as well.

Ultimately I give credit to God to have made it this far and have an endearing appreciation for my life. As for this physical body and it’s safe-keeping, I am solely responsible for what fuel goes in either reaping the rewards or paying the consequence. When I think about the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, for all of us, on that cross I can give up what isn’t healthy and beneficial to my body. I am human not super-human. I do not eat “perfect” by my personal chosen standards, consenting imperfections and flaws in my dietary intake. God can forgive me where I err so I can too. Trying to do my best daily with numerous small goals helps me feel commendable when accomplishing them and not completely devastated if I don’t reach every objective established. I can try again tomorrow, Lord willing. To this present day, which truly is a gift, and henceforth, I have and will continue my efforts, with God carrying me, be Doing it for Me!

Please go to www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitforme to follow me daily.

Grocery store Soapbox

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Okay I am going to get on a soapbox for a minute. Bear with me….

Walking around the store tonight I was actually more observant than usual. (I would not make a good witness.)

When I am in that type of environment I typically block out all the stuff I choose not to put in my body, yet have to “see” what my family wants.

I do look at people. It’s good to say hi to those you know. However, It’s disheartening to see the physical condition of society to the point of some not even being able to walk through the store due to physical/medical limitations caused/enhanced by excess weight.

Tonight I saw what was in the isles at a glance.

How many companies exist that manufacture processed/canned “food-like” products?

It’s an instant world we live in, not producing anything ourselves, just going about our busy lives eating on the run, “nuking” foods and trusting that what is consumed is safe.

Just because we can physically eat something instant and not instantly die from it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t slowly kill our cells, infect our bodies and ultimately develop “minor” to “major” and even “terminal” consequences.

The way I eat now is healthy. It’s not 100% unprocessed yet much closer than ever in my life before.

I am the steward, the keeper, of this body. My soul, that God created, is housed in this form. It’s my responsibility and privilege to have the knowledge of how to care of it. A friend was quoting scriptures that I need to write down for reference.

Eating things without nutrition labels does seem to be the healthiest way to go-vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat.

To compare the nutrient values and taste of fresh verses canned there’s really no comparison, especially with taste.

I season with herbs and spices for flavor. Sometimes I’ll use Walden Farms zero calorie products. It’s interesting how companies market their products to make them appealing, no matter the expense we pay with our body and health. Gravies, sauces, and dressings mask the taste and offset nutritional benefits.

Well I could go on and on and I’m sure it will be discussed again….. I’ll come off my grocery store soapbox.

As for me- I will continue to feed my body as healthy as I can with what’s available and affordable. I can’t serve God if I can’t take care of me. It’s my right. It’s my duty.

I am Doing it for me!

You can’t “make” someone love you.

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On a very personal note I want to discuss relationships. I know I have mentioned having lost friends from me being so “selfish” by bettering myself, with increased confidence and generally foodie friends that aren’t who I need to be around anyways. Now I want to talk about how weight loss effects marriage, from my experience. I have known of a couple dissolved relationships due to weight loss and the statistics are showing an increase in divorce following extreme weight loss over 75% after a couple of years in maintenance. Well, here I am working towards two years in my new form. What will the future hold for me? Considering that I have found the strength to become a survivor of morbid obesity I am ready to conquer the world – with or without a man on my side. Will my situation alter or count in that statistic?

I was married before.  I have two daughters, 15 and 12.  I have wondered if, when or why I should ever tell them. For over twenty years I have been with my husband, their father.  The situation has gotten out of control recently and the time was at hand that seemed fitting to tell them of my previous relationship.  I was physically and mentally abused. I have had major weight, self-esteem and confidence problems from my youth, compounded with relationship issues. I have built many a wall around myself, quite high and layers thick, with LOTS of “insulation”, for self-preservation.  In the last couple of years I have learned to love myself and have lost a lot of weight, without surgery, over 150 pounds and dropping 9 sizes. My confidence has gone out the roof and I have found my treasure-me!

My husband, on the other hand, to this day, has not been supportive about me losing weight.  Ask him?! He’ll tell you that he hasn’t been supportive in my efforts. He has been a saboteur in previous attempts and I have “allowed” him to lead me away from bettering my health. Now that I am smaller than I have ever been as an adult, or a teen even, he has even more problems with me and my personal improvements all around.  My daughters’ well-being is important, yet the way that they see him treating me is not a good example. I don’t want them to think that this is the way they should expect to be treated by a man, much less that this is how a relationship is supposed to be. The two parties should have some kind of similar interests and all that but friendship and communication is key. You hear about marrying your best friend…. At the time maybe I did? I know that I haven’t been the best “wife”, loving, etc. because he makes me feel so bad about myself. I can’t pull something out of nowhere and offer myself to one who rejects my existence. It’s too much to explain to my daughters now, yet hoping that in years to come that they will have a better understanding once involved in relationships themselves. Hopefully they can learn from my experiences to choose wisely, don’t “settle”, and for sure don’t marry someone who doesn’t make you feel like they’d do anything for you.

As I have lost weight and with the increase of confidence and pride in myself, he told me something a year or so ago that has stuck with me. I can hear it echo in my head as if he said it a second ago.  I am pretty good about forgiving and going on but this is one thing that speaks volumes about the truth in his “love”, or lack thereof, for me.  He has never been one to defend me in any way, shape or forms so it wasn’t too big of a surprise when he told me that he had agreed with whomever told him that they thought I walked into a room “better than everyone” after having lost weight.  My “defense”, was if I should even have one to my husband, was that I walk into a room now confident in who I am, where I’ve come from if anyone knows about my weight or not. I am proud to be who I am.  He doesn’t “get it” and just stands firm on his beliefs.  No, he’s never had weight issues. No, he cannot understand. No, he doesn’t act like he cares at all. Yes, it is obvious that he preferred me larger. This is what I’ve lived with and put up with for too long, trying to hang in there, because of the kids. Anyways, the straw that broke the camel’s back shall we say, is the remark he made “Don’t expect me to ever put you on a pedestal!” I don’t care what I look like or if I weigh 100 or a thousand pounds- I’m his wife and he should always put me on a pedestal. I need that. NO! I DESERVE THAT!

I was sick and tired of being beaten and abused in the first marriage and now I have had about all I can take in this one too.  The difference is the connection that won’t be cut because of the girls.  I will have to be around him still to a point.  I can’t imagine that he is willing to get any help or counseling.  I have mentioned it numerous times before and I think it’s beyond repair.  The love I had for him is gone through all the hurt.  I can’t see trusting him again.  I have gotten rid of a lot of weight that was holding me back from living. Now I think it’s time to get rid of a few more “excess pounds” that are weighing me down. If he wanted to go for counseling and to work on the marriage then HE needs to make the effort, make the appointment, etc.

Biblically…. It’s confusing. God has brought me through many a tough situation, carrying, pushing or dragging me. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Why did my weight loss “work” this time? Because it was my “time”. Why have I lost friends? Because it was “best”. Why have I had the privilege and honor of journaling my story? Because it needed to be recorded to help others. Why have I been chosen for opportunities to appear and speak? Because God wants me there at that time to help someone that I might not ever know. Why do I go on? God has a purpose for me. What is that purpose? Well, that’s the one I’m still trying to figure out. Having been in that small percentage of overweight kids that became obese in adulthood, working with impressionable adolescents that could potentially benefit from my experiences and change not only their weight but their health views for themselves would be a blessing. My weight loss “rite of passage” was traveled alone because I was the only one in control, or out of control. Through this process I have come out on the other side, to return, a much healthier person physically, mentally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually. God’s institute of marriage is not to be broken. When one’s spirit is being broken by the other partner it’s difficult for me to imagine that God wants that person to feel invaluable. A husband is to love his wife as God so loves the church. I am not one to have that experience, unfortunately twice. You can’t “make” someone love you. You can’t “make” someone understand what they aren’t willing to learn or care about. You can’t “make” something that should be natural, or instinctive, to come out of someone that won’t open their eyes to possibilities.

Everyone has their own choices to make while here on Earth. We can’t do for others that won’t do for themselves. We can’t go to heaven or hell for anyone else. It’s completely up to ourselves. Life is too short to be “stuck” in a situation that drains you and prevents you from being the best person that you want to be. We are here to help others. If I can’t help myself how am I to help others? It made my husband mad when I started writing about my weight loss. I am worthy. I am valuable. I am Doing it for ME!

I am worth more than a dollar menu!

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Life is busy as you know.  I tend to not find as much time to post here.  I need to.  A lot has been going on that I need to write about to record for myself, and you too, if you’re interested, to maybe benefit from or find encouraging.  I want to give you hope through my struggles in becoming a survivor of morbid obesity.  I had lost hope over and over again. When I finally found hope I starting finding my true self.  I post daily on my page www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitforme where I have recipes that I come up with, with pictures, encouragement, educational information and motivation.  Please go visit when you get the chance.

I have questions posed and wanted to respond on a couple views/opinions.

Having a list of foods to “choose” from and weighing everything has been very helpful to me.  It’s a lot easier measuring foods on digital scales and getting to a specific weigh than dirtying all the measuring cups, etc.

Sometimes I choose to use meal replacements, shakes or bars, depending on schedule, situation, need or desire. Having food to chew and feel in my mouth is essential to me verses complete liquid diets. I don’t want to drink all my meals/calories.  Those will work temporarily until incorporating food back into your plan.

Pills? Nutrients are extremely important -that’s “why” we eat in the first place.  Our bodies need fuel for every cell in our body.  Of course vitamins and minerals in pill or capsule form are a great way to Meet daily requirements.  If we choose wisely which nutrients we put in, our bodies will work the best and benefit from them.  If “diet” pills are used to assist in speeding up, slowing down, absorbing, blocking, etc it might be beneficial in ridding excess pounds.  However…. Yes there is a “however”…..you have to “weigh” the side effects that could occur and potentially be detrimental instead of beneficial in the long run for your organs, systems and general well-being.

Eating as natural as possible (and affordable) with fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit and lean protein has gotten me to where I am today.  I have lost more weight than I ever imagined possible and have fortunately changed the way I eat for good.  I might have a bite here and there of something but I will never go to a buffet or eat in massive unhealthy quantities and quality of food.

You get what you pay for.  I am worth more than a dollar menu!

i am doing it for ME.

No regrets!

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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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Under the Sea

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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!

Another poem… Gone Away

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Life has been busy with work, kids and of course the holidays.  I am doing well 20 weeks out of major surgery for skin removal.  Life is great and I can’t complain.  I am blessed beyond measure.  There is a small issue of lymphedema, swelling in extremities from manipulation of the lymphatic system (armpits).  In time all will be well. I am not worried or concerned.  I am in therapy for treatment and recovery.

I got the urge to write and you know how I am about that.  I have to run with it and let it out.  So here ya go… Another poem….

Gone Away

I am 20 weeks out of surgery today.

I woke up skinny with the skin cut away.

Dr. Ordon and Dr. Chopra did an amazing job on me.

I am ever so grateful for their generosity.

My life has changed by choices I made,

the excess weight I’ve carried has gone away.

The skin that was hanging to remind me off my past

has been removed but the memories still last.

I cannot and will not ever forget

the years of anguish, but live with no regret.

God had a plan and I finally obeyed,

I changed how feel, I love ME today.

I have more value and worth than ever before.

I am important and am doing this for me evermore.

It’s a health-style not a “diet” the way I live now.

I eat healthy and move as my schedule allows.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will still be me.

I’m becoming the person I was meant to be.

The confidence came from somewhere down deep.

The humbleness of success often makes me weep.

I never intend to return again

to the morbidly obese condition I was in.

Every day is an opportunity to make it all right

and tomorrow’s another chance to battle the fight.

There’s always temptations and struggles that abound

but I turn to God for help, in Him peace can be found.

Love yourself as much as God loves you

and treat your body as He intended for you to do.

I have changed my life and am ready for what’s yet to be.

I am healthy and capable I’m doing it for me.

Heather Gum

I hope that you are doing well on your journey to a healthier you.  This time of year has it’s trials and temptations everywhere!  Don’t wait till next year, after the holidays. Get a head start on YOU today.

You are worthy! We all are worthy. You have to believe it, feel it and act on it.  Be all that you can be, that you’ve always wanted to be and make your dreams reality.  Only you can do it for you (NOT for anyone, or anything else). I am doing it for me!

P. S. I post my food journal publicly with ideas, recipes and motivation.  Please go check out my page. Follow me and share my page with your friends too.

Facebook page:Www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitform

Dear Heather

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Dear Heather,

I understand that you are having some issues right now.  You have been through a tremendous amount of changes in the last few years.  Your life has been one of consistent hurt and betrayal emotionally, mentally and physically by others and even yourself.  What you have done in the past doesn’t matter any more.  Things can’t be redone or reversed.  You have to move forward the best that you can, letting go of the past, forgiving yourself as God forgives you.

Let’s talk about relationships for a minute.  Everyone needs friends and family but not always is your family your friends.  People need support in different ways and people offer support in different ways.  The type of support that you seem to need might not be available from those that you know.  So what do you? You reach out for guidance from God.  He is always there even when no one else is.  He is always there when you’re happy or sad.  He always is there to support you but you have to let Him. No it’s not always easy to do.  After all, we are creatures that want to be in control and right.

I know that there are people that have problems with the positive changes you have made in yourself by losing weight whether it’s jealousy or envy, or whatever reason they claim, it doesn’t matter.  You need to have and keep positive influences in your life. Get rid of, or stay away from, people that make you doubt yourself, that lead you into temptations and those that don’t offer what you need.  Pray for those that do you wrong keeping in mind that Gods wrath will be upon them in time and it’s not deserving of your time and energy.  With that being said, you must treat others how you want to be treated as well.  Listen to those that need a friend, a sounding board or even ask for your opinion or advice as you need them to do for you. People will come into and leave your life as God deems necessary. All you can do is to try your best to be a friend, be nice to everyone and make the most of this life.  You only get one chance at it.

Now for your weight loss, let’s talk about a few things and how it’s changed you.   It’s amazing that once you started losing weight how your confidence has grown. It’s great to see the smile on your face that’s been missing for years, decades.  When you walk into a room you are proud to be who you are regardless if anyone knows your history of morbid obesity or not.  Confidence is a good trait but don’t let it overtake you.  Always remain humble.  You are so very appreciative of your success and it shows.  Never forget where you came from and remember to be empathetic to those fighting the battle, not knowing their individual story- health, medical, etc.

Besides your confidence, the determination and drive that you’ve had is admirable. Where did it come from? Where has it been in years of numerous attempts to lose weight?  God has always been walking besides you and mostly carrying and directing you.  You are one hard-headed person! Countless times you have fought against God so hard that He let you learn from your choices, and you learned a lot each time. He was still beside you, even when you didn’t acknowledge Him. Not until you really trusted Him and were really ready did He carry you through to success, when you gave it all to Him out of sheer desperation and reaching your personal breaking point. You’ve never had such an experience to be successful, much less being prepared for what was and is yet to be.

You are making a difference.  With your weight loss journey and succeeding you have taken to the sky to journey across the country and even to another country!  Everywhere you go and have the opportunity to share your story-do it.  Give God the glory and the credit for where you were and how far you’ve come on your rite of passage.  It is encouraging and an inspiration to speak to anyone who is interested and has an open mind about their health yet even better to spread the love of God. Bringing someone to the mindset to make choices nutritionally to enhance their quality of life is a wonderful goal and blessing. Bringing a lost soul, or one who has strayed away, to God is even better!  Keep sharing through speaking, through your support group, blogging and posting.  You are helping others while helping yourself too. Don’t let anyone stop you or get in your way of helping someone or many.

Speaking of helping yourself, congratulations on finally figuring out a huge puzzle in your earthly life.  You have found your worth.  Not everyone can seem to come to this enlightenment. People try to blame anyone else and everyone else sometimes for their problems or situations.  You’ve claimed it.  You have owned your faults. You have made the changes necessary for bettering yourself.  You now have put yourself first in a world where it is hard to be able to do so.  You have not been selfish, as some have claimed, you have gained self-worth.  Only you are responsible for your body and ultimately your soul. Only you could have made the changes needed once allowing God to take over.  You are correct in “Doing it for Me” because no one else would, could or should do it for you, but you.

Heather your future is what you are willing to make it. You can stay at your goal and be healthy and active.  You can work with others and be an example nutritionally to show that someone can lose a lot of weight, even without surgery.  You are worthy and can do anything that you set your mind to with your confidence, determination and God beside you.  Keep up with the self-talk too. Not only are you trying to help yourself, but at the same time God is hearing your pleas and will help you too.  ”He may answer quick, He may answer slow, but He promises to answer yes or no.” -Heather Shelton

With love and devotion to you,

Heather

If you’d like to follow me daily check out www.facebook.com/heathershealthyhabitsdoingitforme

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