Stories is something that I never seem to run out of. That can only mean ... that I am here, I am alive! No doubt in my mind what so ever, if it were not for me having weight loss surgery, I would not be here now telling any stories. Yes I had a great doctor, incredible medical staff at Sutter Roseville, and the best support system ever, my Mom and my Daughter.

Yes I had just about every illness you can name that is associated with obesity and yes now those illness are gone and have been for years. I never had very many issues that many have described during my weight loss process. The only thing I can think of really is that I just never wanted to eat, afraid I would get fat again.

After much convincing from my Daughter and my Mother, I finally saw in the mirror what they saw, a much too skinny woman. If it were not for the extra hanging skin, I was not much more than bone. I was down to a size 10, and you do have to take into consideration that a good deal of the extra size was in extra skin, not fat. I did start forcing myself to eat a bit more and guess what? I did gain some weight and now I am just like most people who do not want to gain weight. I do have to be careful and watch what I eat.

The greatest change that occurred in my life, happened to me pre-op. A good month or so before my actual surgery.

My doctor had put me on a medical leave from work because I was shutting down, not only physically, but mentally as well. The long process that it was taking me to get surgery approved was unbearable. I was in so much pain, could barely walk and I knew my time was running out, I knew I would not be able to hold on much longer before I ended up completely unemployed, no insurance, living on disability, not able to provide for myself and my daughter. Stress is not even the word!

Coming down with a severe case of Shingles, my face swollen the size of a basketball and in a great deal of pain, I spent a good couple of weeks in bed, suffering major depression. I just did not understand, what is the point of my life? Having spent most of it always feeling unworthy, not good enough, ugly. I knew I was greatly loved by my Mom and my Daughter and friends, but why?
Why am I loved so much? I have nothing to offer anyone. I felt like a completely horrible Mom and Daughter, not able to do the things I should be doing for them, especially  my little girl!

The only reason I could think of for not ending my life at that point was fear of how it would hurt my daughter and my Mom. Otherwise, there was no good reason to keep going. Pondering over those thoughts, I came to the conclusion that, perhaps they both would be better off, even with the pain, because they would not have to deal with my pain anymore.

Suddenly my attention was shifted from my thoughts to the television that was also on in my room. A story was being shared about a woman who had been in a severe auto accident, and her life turned upside down. Prior to the accident she was a beautiful woman, happily married with small children and also had a beautiful singing voice and often toured in a singing ministry. The story was about how through her determination and faith, despite what the doctors told her, she did work hard and was able to walk again and sing again. This was just one story after another, despite me changing the channels, for what ever reason, every channel I changed to, was one inspirational story after another, all people over coming their obstacles  and the odds, all by their faith.

Hmmmm, okay, so I felt that the Lord was trying to get a message to me. I said to the Lord, "I know that many people are praying for me, but I just feel that those prayers are not reaching you." I then heard a little whisper. "Those prayers are reaching me, but I am waiting for yours."

Needless to say, I broke down in tears and in prayer. Asking the Lord, "Why? I don't understand the reason I am even here. I don't even understand why I am loved, by my family or why I am even loved by you. I am ugly, I am worthless, I have no gifts or talents, no special abilities to offer anyone, I have no purpose. I feel as if my life here has been useless, I don't get it! Please help me Lord to understand, WHY?"

He answered my questions with questions.
"Child, think about it. Out of all of the things I have created in this world. The stars and moon at night. The sun and sky at light. The grass, the trees, the flowers, the streams, the rivers, the oceans, the animals, even the smallest of creatures, all things, different from each other, all unique in their own way, do you think my work is ugly?"

My reply, "Oh No, everything you have created is beautiful!"

His reply, "And I have created you! You are beautiful, as I created you out of love. I do not create ugly, people create ugly."

All I could do is, "WOW!" I know he was right!

"You think you are worthless? How much do you think your life is worth?  $1, $1000, $10,000, $1,000,000,000?"
"Child, you are my child, there is no earthy value that can be paid to show you or the world just how worthy you are to me, such is why, I gave the world my Son. What more can I pay, than the price of His life, for yours, to get you to understand, the world to understand, how valuable you each are to me? How much I love you,  how worthy you are to me. You are priceless!"

All I could do is, "WOW!" I knew this, but yet I never until that very moment, truly understood. Again I sobbed, big time. But instead of tears of despair, they were tears of joyfulness. For the first time ever in my life, I was beautiful! My face still the size of a basketball, still 360 lbs, but regardless, I was beautiful!

That day changed my life forever, not surgery. I became beautiful prior to the world recognizing me as beautiful.

As soon as I realized that I was already beautiful, my surgery was approved and I had a date with handsome Dr. Waldrep. Yes I did agonize over that a bit as well, but God said, "Who's hands do you think guides the hands of Dr. Waldrep? Regardless, you are in my hands."

God and I have had many conversations since that day and he has blessed me in ways that I had never imagined possible. I am still learning and taking each day as a great blessing and gift.

He also reminded me of the many gifts and talents that he had given me, only I had neglected them, forgotten about them, because I had spent so much of my life thinking that I needed to be like everyone else. He has helped me to understand that I am beautiful because I am me.

My purpose ... you are reading it. To share with the world His love for you and in hopes that you will embrace your own beauty.

To know more about me, visit my web site and visit my blogs.

Many Blessings to all of you Beautiful people!

About Me
Shingle Springs, CA
Surgery Date
Aug 19, 2005
Member Since

Before & After
rollover to see after photo
Sept 2003
Me and my Daughter Valerie, having fun! / My friend Shelly, Me, My Mom

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