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If you haven’t figured this out about me I love to write.  In response, or study about the term being “excused” I wanted to share some thoughts. For those that aren’t familiar with the term – as a member of TOPS when you have to miss a weigh-in/meeting your chart is marked “excused.”  I evaluate and look at things differently now when it comes to weight loss and keeping off pounds sensibly.  Therefore I will share some observations from the side of success that are only intended to bring awareness and thought to my health and yours on the topic of being “excused”.

To be “excused” doesn’t necessarily mean that we are “excused” from being accountable for our actions when it comes to the nutrients which we put in our bodies and the physical level that we choose to participate in.  There are reasons that we make the choices that we make. There are temptations that are put before us daily that sometimes we give in to for whatever the situation.  There are regrets for choices perhaps, but should we be “excused”? NO!
When it comes to our health and well-being there are NO EXCUSES!  There are choices and there are results of those choices.  Consequences for our own actions. No one physically makes us do anything that we don’t want to do, or that we don’t “let” them direct us into doing.
Making the right choices for our bodies is not always an easy thing to do but it is our choices that WE have to live with. There is no “excuse” worth more than MY personal well-being, physically and mentally.  Edgar Guest’s poem Myself is one that I chose to pen in calligraphy in high school.  It says no much.
I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself up in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself- and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
Have a blessed day.  Take care of yourself.  NO EXCUSES!  Only YOU can make the choices for your body.  I am doing it for ME!

YOU have to put YOU first above all

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I hope as you are reading this that you are doing well.  You have come to this site for help, for encouragement, for truth and for guidance towards a healthier life-style.  I pray that my words, my journey and experiences will relate to you somehow that you too can find success in reaching your goals towards a healthier you.

My experience has been lifelong.  Literally, I have been overweight to varying degrees for over 30 years.  A couple of years ago it finally sunk in and I have been dedicating my time and efforts to making my body healthy-inside and out.  Physically I am more capable after losing 170 pounds, without surgical intervention.  Mentally I am in a place that is still new to me.  I have become a person that is more confident,  outgoing and enthusiastic.  I am more positive now and have WORTH.  I suppose I was worthy before but never acknowledges that.  Now I now that I have value, if from no one else, from myself!
What I wanted to share with you is a link to my new Facebook page.  I am posting daily what I am eating. If it turns out good, which most of usually is taste-wise anyways, I will include pictures and even recipes!  This is a great way for me to stay accountable, not just to others that possibly could be enlightened by something that I post, but to myself.  Ultimately, I am who matters.  Does that sound selfish? I guess it does but to find that value in myself has lead me to reach goals, after learning from numerous past attempts. Now I am focused to stay where I need to be within a reasonable range.
YOU have to put YOU first above all.  It took me so very long to figure that out.  I wish I could bottle up the confidence but since I can’t all I can do is try my best to share my experiences with you and give you the hope that your excess pounds can be shed, that you can be healthy, that you can feel better about yourself and that YOU are the only one that can make the changes that possibly need to be made.  No one put food in my mouth-I did.  No one can make me get up and move-only I can. No one can make you feel better about myself- only I can. The drive really does come from within.  You read about it and hear about it but something really does seem to “click”.
I am so very blessed and humbled by what experiences are forthcoming.  As the TOPS TN State Queen, I will be in a parade for the 4th of July!   Then I will be heading to represent TN at the TOPS IRD, International Recognition Days, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I will be going across the stage several times and must be dressed in formals.   It’s pretty neat how friends are able to loan me dresses, etc. for events-that I can wear other people’s clothes.  Upon returning home I will be heading back to California a week later (rescheduled again) to have a consultation with Dr. Ordon on July 30th and the corrective skin removal procedure on the 31st.  God has been carrying me through all of this and I trust that He’s in control.  I am at peace completely. It’s a great feeling.  I didn’t quite expect to build my relationship with God so strong.  Truly when I try to take control things just get all mixed up and go wrong.  Then something seems to happen, like a swift kick in the derrière, to make me jump back up on his shoulders to carry me through everything.
I am doing it for ME!

Get up, brush off and move on!

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No matter what personal issues are going on in my life I seek to find the strength, through fervent prayer, to stay positive and go forward.  Looking back doesn’t do a lot of good mentally and it sure won’t change what history has been made. Get up, brush off and move on!  I have to push through and go on – for me.  I don’t mean to sound selfish but life isn’t easy.  Life hasn’t been full of happiness and butterflies to this point but it’s my choice to find it from this day forward.  No one else can do it for me – but me.  It’s hard to evaluate your life in terms of comparing how you would treat/feed others or even a pet.  Sometimes it’s easier to punish our bodies through bad choices but would we try to instill or force those same habits or actions on another?  Unlikely. 

There have been countless changes in me physically with losing a lot of weight that are visible to the world but on a personal level – wow!  I never used to really look in the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw on the outside, knowing all along there was a valuable worthy person trapped inside.  Now I have been allowed, blessed, given, this amazing opportunity to use my story to try to encourage and help others.  The thing I’m learning now is that it’s not about the physical form as much as it’s been about my personal growth and faith.  If someone doesn’t like the “new” me, that isn’t my problem.  Does it hurt YES!  Does it hurt enough to punish my body with overeating or dwelling on issues? NO!  Giving it ALL to GOD gives me a calm peace that’s quite hard to explain.  I am so appreciative of having been given another day to reach out to you, anyone, that needs some encouragement to fight whatever health condition and life circumstances that you are facing.  We all have a purpose.  We all are here for a reason.  Even when we feel alone we never are.  Reach out and GOD is there to hold your hand, to hear your prayers and pleas, to be a friend when no one else seems to be.

I am a much more confident, viable, worthy person than I thought I was 2 1/2 years ago and previously. Beyond and against some peoples wishes – I have done this for me and will continue to do so, regardless.  The sky is the limit and the best is yet to come.

The PAST is your lesson.

The PRESENT is your gift.

The FUTURE is your motivation.

A five mile talk with God

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Well today I got some news that was really quite crushing.  Actually the email came last night but I didn’t have the opportunity to check it till this afternoon. My surgery, again, is postponed and will have to be rescheduled.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason.  I have been very upset today trying to figure out the circumstance. It will all be okay some how, some way, some day.  I really want to be rational and keep positive about the situation. Something that was weird, especially for me, was that all I wanted to do was to go walking.  It wasn’t possible at the time.

My 5 mile talk with God today was good when i got. Home.  I probably was certifiable if someone had been around.  I talked out loud as I walked a couple miles. Lots of things going through my mind evaluating my life from different points of views and praying earnestly about lots of aspects. Did anything get resolved? I am more at peace. Yes I am still upset to a point but trying my best to put it in God’s hands to deal with.  It’s hard to do-give your problems to God.
I am so humbled by the fact that I have lost an insane amount of weight and have been chosen for such an incredible opportunity. I give the credit to God completely, still in amazement and shock myself really, especially when I look in a mirror. There is a reason for everything though we might not ever know why. I am trapped in this body sagging with skin.  Emotionally it is so tormenting. Physically it is uncomfortable having to tuck and shove into a constricted form daily.  Tomorrow is a new day, and yet another day closer to starting to live in a new body. When that day will be is yet to be determined for good reasons I’m sure.
Time for me to practice the self-talking that I have somehow stopped. Time for me to show others by example that  you can overcome problems and not turn to food, maybe even exercise instead?! Time for me to be, or become, a strong woman to be an example to my daughters.  Time for me to realize and practice my own motto-that I am worth it and that I am Doing it for me. Time for me to ultimately give it all to God.

Be more aware of the body-effect that the food will provide.

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I responded on my FB page about my senior picture that i posted. A friend complimented me that I look better now. My response….

I am smaller now than when in high school. Pretty crazy it took me 30+ years to do it. I really put my body through a lot, emotionally and physically.  The torment, etc of growing up over weight is just horrible.  I truly wouldn’t wish it on anyone: being left out, not having invites, being uncomfortable in desks, not being able to wear the “in” clothes…. The list could go on and on.  Now when I see a child overweight I want to just talk to them and tell them to do it while they are young to not miss out on life and opportunities.  I am so thankful to have a second chance and a new beginning, ready to face the world and not hide away.

Now it makes me sad, so very sad, to reflect on my missed years of life and living that was restricted by the permanent “fat suit” that I wore.  It was my shield and protector at the time.  I hid behind, or in there, but who or why was I hiding? I don’t know and at this point it doesn’t really matter because it can’t be changed.  The youth of today have even more struggles than I did I think, not with just the social aspect of the results of being heavy but the temptations available and put in front of them/us today.

Its better late than never!

It isn’t fair that I don’t get to eat what everyone else eats. Does it make me mad? Absolutely! Did I use to eat all that “stuff”? Well… absolutely.  Did it produce an outcome, or shall we say side-effect, or even better a body-effect, that I didn’t want? Again I say… Absolutely!  Externally everyone could see what was going on but internally, in private, no one really knows what it does to your mind, your self worth, your self value unless you too are, or were, overweight.  Keep n mind when I say overweight, for my situation I pretty much could say that I was 200 pounds overweight.  I will hope to hit the scales one day with a solid 200 pounds gone, if my body allows it o happen.

So now what can we do for these children suffering with weight issues today? Cheap food is usually eaten for economical and time efficiency purposes, running through the drive thru somewhere, grabbing whatever will fill the void the fastest, not considering the long term body-effect.  I like that term! I will continue to use that.  We can look at the body-effect of fast foods, prepackaged foods, etc versus eating healthy-fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and minimal, non refined grains. The body-effect of making the fast choice is excess weight gain possibly, but then look internally what damage it could do with your heart, blood sugar, etc. not to mention the issues that could arise with joints and so on.  Now on the positive body-effect of making the healthier choices, you could experience weight loss, decreased levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, pain on joints and general overall feeling of goodness and health.

My new term…. Body-effect.  I like it! It says a lot.  Now, before eating I will personally try to be more aware of the body-effect that the food will provide.  Will it be a healthy choice for the body-effect that I want?  Absolutely!

On a personal note, I have been struggling. Writing helps me a lot.  If anyone reads it or not, it helps me.  The body-effect is great for me emotionally to release and share my thoughts.  I hope that someone, anyone, that might read my words will be helped through bringing awareness or thought to their own body.  Only you can do it for your body.  I am doing it for me!

if you follow me please feel free to respond.  Also I am now trying to post daily on my Facebook group Heather’s Healthy Habits, including what i eat at each meal, sometimes with pictures and recipes.  Just request to be my friend- Heather Shelton Gum or message me to be added to the group.