Skin Removal: The Two Year Anniversary

Hello all!

It has been two years (yesterday) since I had my skin removal surgery! It feels like it has passed in a flash! I have seen where people have said that skin removal surgery isn’t necessary and I am here to tell you that that is simply not true for everyone. It was very necessary for me! If I had not had it done, then I know to this day I would be extremely self-conscious about it especially when working out. Before the surgery when I would work out I could hear the slapping the skin made with every movement. I mean they took off 6 square feet of skin!!!

It truly was a blessing to be able to be rid of that skin so that I can live a relatively normal life. I can’t thank the best surgeon in the world, Dr. David Stoker, and the most awesomely, amazing nurse in the universe, Tami Greiner, enough for all the care they provided.

Before the surgery Dr. Stoker asked me if I would be able to maintain the lifestyle and not develop extra skin again. I responded with an emphatic HECK YES! And I can say that I have lives up to that promise.

The skin surgery is unbelievably liberating for someone who has lost an immense amount of weight. It signals the end of a chapter in your book of life and the beginning of a new one. When I first saw what I looked like post surgery I was in awe and the tears flowed instantly. The tears were happy ones because it showed me just how much work I had truly done over the year-long process.

To all those on your weight loss journey, keep fighting! To all those in the next chapter, stay diligent and don’t regress!

A-Train

It’s Been Three Years Already!?

 

My attempt at The People's Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

My attempt at The People’s Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and i’ll tell you what…it could not be more true! Three years ago today I found myself on a plane headed out to Los Angeles, California for finals week of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous as all get out. We were all picked up on a charter bus and little did I know, but the last one to step on to the bus was this loud, happy, and exceptionally sparkly girl who would become the love of my life. The first couple of days I stayed to myself and unbeknownst to be the others stayed away because of my “do not disturb” sign on the door (which was only for the hotel staff). Courtney was busy being the social coordinator so when I decided to find out what the rest of the finalists were doing I called her room and asked if I could come hang out (oh my how times have changed).

Y’all know the rest of the tale, but aside from finding my future love what I found were people who were battling the EXACT same thing I was. I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb like I did back home. These individuals knew exactly what I was going through and what life was like being “super obese.” For the first time in a decade I took my shirt off in front of other people (at the pool) because I felt comfortable that I was not going to be judged. There was a level of acceptance unparalleled and the beauty of it all is that we were all trying to change our lives for the better in being there. We had all become fed up with our current life situations and were taking control of them. Those 16 people had a profound impact on my life in one way or another since I have known them.

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

This week was also the first time I got to meet Chris and the moment I met him he endeared himself to me just by knowing who I was. Chris Powell was my saving grace and I couldn’t even begin to thank him for all he has done for me. Three years have passed since that week and I can’t even believe it.

Obviously a lot has changed since that day three years ago and I must thank God that they did. I thank God for bringing Courtney and Chris into my life. They have both had a big had in helping me become a better me. I didn’t know it then, but as time progressed I realized that Courtney is my one and only. Thanks to Courtney I have love and thanks to Chris I have life.

Here’s to great memories and hoping the next three are just as great!

Me, CP, and Court

Me, CP, and Court

Life: An Unexpected Journey

Life is full of various twists and turns that we generally don’t see coming. There are pretty much two options when we get to those twists and turns: 1) go with the flow 2) swerve off the path into who knows what. Over the past few years my life has taken a number of twists and turns that I would never have even imagined possible. Three years ago I never thought that losing weigh was a possibility. I thought I was forever destined to be 459 pounds. Then came Chris Powell, Extreme Makeover, and hope. He showed me what I was capable of and gave me the knowledge and the tools to make it happen. Over the course of the next year, and with the help of an AMAZING support system, I lost 216 pounds. I was given a whole new lease on life!

Then came love. I finally loved myself and in doing so I was able to open my eyes and my heart to a woman who had been one of my very best friends throughout my journey. Courtney Crozier stole my heart and for the first year of our relationship we did the long distance thing. She came to Georgia on numerous occasions and I went to Indiana a time or two. Being away from her for weeks at a time was terrible, but we made it work. However, she was opening her own frozen yogurt shop, YoAmazing, in Indiana which meant that we were destined to be apart much more. I wasn’t alright with that and that meant another twist in my life was right around the corner.

So, one year ago today, after an INCREDIBLE Christmas in which Courtney surprised me on Christmas Eve with help from my dear friends Alison and Ardy, I picked up and moved to Indiana. I never thought I would live in Indiana…EVER! Love does funny things to you though. I knew it was the only way I would get to see the love of my life so it had to be done. Had I stayed in Georgia I know my heart would be longing to be with Courtney, but I didn’t and my heart could not be any more happy.

I also couldn’t be any more happy or thankful about the people who have welcomed me into their lives. Kevin, Marci, and Casey Crozier are fantastic people with big hearts who made my transition so easy. Their hospitality and humor are unrivaled and I am blessed to call them family. Thank you for all you have done!

I’d also like to say thank you to the Arroyo’s, Teresa, John, Joe, and Nick. Always welcoming and with delicious food (hello skirt steak). Even when my family came to visit for Spring Break they had us over for a feast. Thank you!

I can’t believe I have been in Indiana for a whole year. The one thing I will say about the state is that the winter’s do not play around! Being from the south does not prepare you for this kind of cold.

Here’s to the next twist and turn!