She isn’t an official blogger (perhaps she should look into that), but, this makes a good blog post.  So, I will let my sister tell a little about her journey. (I didn’t even ask her permission.  Hey…can I use your thing for a blog post?  Thanks.)

The past year has been surreal.  I look back and it doesn’t seem like it’s happened to me.  In a way, September 19, sandra.jpg2006, seems like just a month ago, and in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.

When I look in the mirror now, the person I saw a year ago is a distant memory.  Then I look at these before pictures and instead of being proud and thrilled at the transformation, my first reaction is to burst into tears at what I was.  I had talked myself into believing that I was ok as I was.  I had everything I ever wanted.  A beautiful family, I was able to stay home with the kids for the first time in my life.  Life was good.  But looking at these pictures I can see how not good I was.  Yes I was blessed.  And thankful.  But I was not good.  And it was not about how I looked – how I looked was the least of my problems.  I was slowly killing myself and had convinced myself that I was relatively healthy and in pretty good shape for a “big girl”.  But looking at that picture now, I see a big girl who was anything but healthy.  I was lucky.  Lucky that my blood pressure wasnt out of control, that I didn’t have diabetes, that my knees, not to mention my heart, had not given in from the strain. 

I also see someone who hid the misery behind a joke and a laugh.  It was so much easier to do that than to face the sad truth in the mirror, on the scale and the obvious damage I was doing to myself.

So God knew what he was doing when he made the last year possible for me.  And that story is a doozy in itself.  And as I look at these latest pictures, the first thing I notice is not a smaller body.  What I notice first, and what brings me to tears now, is the peace and happines that is visible (even if only to me) that has come through this process.  I am healthier than I have ever been .  I am taking care of my body in a way that I never have before.  I am exercising 6 days a week – which is probably the biggest surprise to me.  I am learning to push myself physically.  I never have done that before.  I always looked for a reason to go slowly, or stop early or not even exercise at all.  Now, I crave it.  I always thought that was malarky when I heard folks say that before.  But it is true now.

So wearing a smaller size and physically looking better than I did are among the gifts that this surgery has given me.  But those are far below the gifts of health, peace of mind, contentment and happines that it has given me.  But the greatest gift is the realization that in almost 30 years of being a prisoner to my weight, I never once had handed it over to God.  I had done everything from liquid diets to thousands of dollars of unused gym memberships, to diet pills, to you name it.  But never once did I give it up.  Until late June of last year.  I had been trying for 9 months to get my insurance company to pay for this surgery.  I had been turned down twice and was waiting  and waiting for their response to my third (and probably final) request for reassessment.  I remember praying for the first time for God to “remove this burden from me”. I had prayed for years and years for Him to help me gain control.  But had never handed it to him and said “here, take it.”  Three days after I prayed for Him to remove it from me, I got word from my insurance company that I had been approved for surgery.  Talk about a reality check.  It was like He said “what took you so long?”  I had been trying for almost 30 years to do it myself.  And when I finally asked him to show His power, He did – immediately.  And this surgery has done just that.  He has removed this burden from me.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This surgery is not the magic bullet.  I can still sabatoge myself and gain the weight back.  But for the past year, the nature of this surgery is to completely make it impossible for you to over eat.  In that time, I have learned what I have to do for the rest of my life to utilize this tool in order to live healthily for the rest of my life.

So, all that to say, the person you see today not only looks completely different, but is completely different inside too.  And it is nothing that I can count as an achievement of my own.  I have been given a gift that I do not take lightly, and one that I intend to honor and be thankful for for the rest of my days.

Thank you my friends and family for loving me anyway.  Before, during and after all this.  I know there are times that I am not so loveable, but I am so thankful for the support of my family and friends.  That is among my most treasured gifts as well. 
Love,
Sandra

To date, I’ve lost 110 pounds.  Some day I will tell what I weighed when I started.  I’m not ready yet.  Maybe when I get to my goal.  I’d like to lose another 25 or 30 pounds.

Oh, and how bout the haircut??

sandra-after.jpg

The same person who I have heard say millions of times, “I could never get really thin, I’m too big boned.”  I always thought that was BS. She looks like she should be doing a commercial for laundry soap, doesn’t she? 

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