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"Converse" ations with Meg

Operation Literal

Five years ago, I was such a different person. I weighed close to 350 pounds, and my life was fueled by food. I loved my job as a teacher and used it as my excuse to be lazy. I poured into my students, helping with clubs, tutoring, and anything extra to fill my time. I would stay at school late, getting every single thing done, then run through whatever drive-thru I had been thinking about all day, order enough food for 2-3 people, and head home. I would eat all of the food in one sitting, take a bath, watch whatever sporting event was on, and head to bed. I used my job as an excuse to be too tired for eating healthy and working out. I avoided people and outside events, the only places I would go were school and church and even there, I was generally uncomfortable.

I am not sure what motivated me to change, I just remember waking up and thinking I did not want to be that way anymore. I started with one small change I knew I could do, walking. I would get up early, before work and walk. After doing this, I dropped 10-15 pounds easily! I then became mindful of my food choices. I stopped eating so much, started meal prepping and making better choices, and as time continued to creep by, I dropped another 50 pounds. I was so encouraged, I decided to start doing some actual fitness classes in the gym at our church. I became ADDICTED! I loved the weights, I loved seeing my body change, and tone, and get stronger. Pretty soon, I had lost close to 120 pounds and I was an entire new person! My life has changed so much. I still pour into my students, I sponsor clubs, go to their games and plays, I’m involved in my church, I go to Braves games, Saints games, I am living a life I onetime only dreamed of. I am much busier now but have SO much more energy. I enjoy going and doing, where before, I dreaded leaving home.

As happy as I am now, parts of my body are still so damaged from my old life. I have been able to tone most of my body, but I have excess skin around my abdomen that no matter what I do, it just hangs lower and gets heavier. Skin removal was never really something I thought possible, I am single and a teacher, my budget doesn’t allow for added things like that! After some encouragement from ladies who come to my workout class, and my brother and sister-in-law, I went and met with a doctor just to talk about it. To my surprise, you can finance these surgeries. Without too much detail, it worked out for me to finance half, and pay the other, and I am scheduled on May 31st for skin removal surgery. I cannot explain how nervous, but how excited I am for this! I feel like this is the final closing chapter of my old life, and the official start of who I am now. I can close the book on that 300+ pound girl, and open it on a healthy, happy one!

One thing I can say for sure, the work has been worth it. I know there are so many quick fixes today, you have programs like It Works or Weight Watchers. You can have surgery to make your stomach smaller or freeze fat off your body. I am not saying these things do not work, but I am saying that these things do not teach you how to be healthy or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Weight and image of course is a huge issue but being healthy is just as important. I learned how to eat, I learned what fueled my body, I learned portion control and because of this, I have maintained my weight loss and workout routine. It Works offers a pill to “block fat” when you eat unhealthy foods like fried chicken or pizza. Even if you have “blocked the fat” what have you given your body? Weight Watchers is a steady program, but at times can put you in a rut with focusing too much on points and not what is really fueling your body. Greek yogurt may be 8 points while a pack of 100 calorie Oreos is 2, people will reach for the 2-point snack and not the one that adds fuel to your body. Do you see what I mean? These programs help but have not taught you how to maintain a healthy body and mind. Put in the work. Lose the weight slow, eat right, workout, and change your entire body and lifestyle. I cannot express enough how WORTH IT it can be!

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