Kristi Parker, age 42
My early 20s were spent battling eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Then, after my second daughter was born, my metabolism changed and it was a lot harder to shed the weight. I hated having my picture taken until I realized I was taking myself out of my kids’ memories.
I hit 245 pounds and I was miserable. My moment of reckoning came when my 4-year-old hugged me one day and said, “I love you, my big fat mommy.” That was really the way she saw me. I was worried that my low self-esteem and social anxiety would negatively affect my daughters. That’s when I decided to go to an information session at Memorial Health Bariatrics.
I had gastric bypass surgery in 2007 and, a year later, I had lost 110 pounds. But I recognized early on that surgery is only a tool – it won’t fix everything. I had to make permanent changes. We don’t have junk food in the house, but if we want ice cream I’ll buy the individual servings. It’s all about portion control.
I’ve also gotten into fitness. I ran a half marathon last year and, this year, I added strength training. Losing the weight was great, but I like my body now that I’m lifting weights. It’s nice to see curves in your arms.