Today’s weight loss success story: Emicia lost 160 pounds with gastric bypass weight loss surgery, changing her diet and by facing the reality of her health issues. She started at 404 pounds and was deeply moved by a neighbor who tried to reach out to her about health concerns and obesity. I truly appreciate her openness and transparency. Here is what she shared with us:
I’ll never forget walking my neighbor Ms.Barbara to my door that day. As usual, we had a long conversation, but this time when I gave her a hug good-bye, she held on for a bit longer. When we parted, she was crying, which she *didn’t* do. I was concerned, and apparently, so was she. “Emicia”, she began, “I love you, but you have to do something about your weight. I suffer so much [due to my weight] and I don’t want you to suffer like I do”. I was confused. The confusion would be cleared up on my way to work one day when I ran into 2 policewomen in the hallway. Assuming someone was robbed, I asked what was wrong. They pointed into Ms.Barbara’s apartment, where she lay…dead. I broke down. But as cruel as it felt for God to allow me to witness that, the lightbulb finally went off. “I don’t want you to suffer like I do!” now had an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence.
At that moment, there was no BBW rallying cry that could drown out reality. It wasn’t about being “big and beautiful”, or whether Lane Bryant also made cute clothing. I saw weight for what it really was, a life or death situation. Ms.Barbara’s death made me decide to chose life. I didn’t understand why stress made my body react so oddly. After watching both my [adoptive] parents die in hospitals, I could not bring myself to see a doctor. However, the week Ms.Barbara died, I gained 7lbs without any lifestyle change, which baffled me. That brought my weight up to an astonishing 404 pounds!!??!! I had to see a doctor. It took awhile of testing and exams to determine the cause, but I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s, which explained the whole host of symptoms associated with my body attacking itself. One of the other symptoms, hypermenorrhea, had nearly killed me.
After being placed on medication, I found a nutritionist, a walking partner, and created a food journal. I also limited carb and sugar intake, ate more fresh vegetables and fish, and less beef and pork and I lost 30lbs. I needed to amplify my efforts and I wanted a tool that would give me portion control. On May 23, 2011, I had Gastric Bypass surgery. I’m not sure why it’s said to be the “easy way out” because it’s actually been quite difficult. I fought on, changed my diet, and continued walking. Now I stand here 2 years later and 160lbs lighter. I still have a way to go, but I’m on my way. I’m not sharing this to perpetuate the myth that big women are self-loathing, lazy or worthless. Quite the opposite!!! Many of the big women in my circle are the best mothers, grandmothers, everybody’s mothers, community leaders, businesswomen and worldchangers that I know. They’re the women who keep us healthy, so why not keep them healthy??? Ladies, I am on this journey with you and we will get there together. If you need any encouragement, advice or support, you know where to find me :o).
“I call heaven and earth to record this day … that I have set before you life and death … therefore choose life” -Deut 30:19