My name is Tiaesha Scott and I am 37 years old.  My weight loss journey is one that you may often hear about.
I have been over-weight ever since I was a little girl and really picked up a lot of it at the age of 13.   I was a 7th grader and, my God, kids can be cruel at that age!

I weighed a whopping 170lbs at just 4 feet, 11 inches and my self esteem was really low.

I would pass all of my classes except Gym class because I wouldn’t dress for it. I didn’t want anyone to see my thighs rubbing together, or my belly; I was too embarrassed!

I remember going to my mom and telling her I wanted to be skinny. I wanted to lose weight so I could enjoy being a kid at school.

She was very supportive and, like any parent, wanted what was best for me! She took me to a nutritionist who gave me meal-planning information. I can remember my mother preparing the meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner; but for lunch I would cheat and spend my bus fair money in the snack bar line at school. 

I was never full enough because I was used to eating more than the average serving and I was unhappy eating off the diet plan.

I can remember my family saying that it was just “baby fat” and it was going to fall off when I grew, but I was short and wasn’t going to grow much taller —  only wider!

Many can ask why my mother couldn’t stop me from eating so much.  But you must remember, she could only monitor breakfast and dinner, what I ate at school was under her radar.

I was my worst enemy and food was my best friend.

By the time I made it to 9th grade, I was 215 pounds!

I started Slim Fast shakes. I would drink a can in the morning and bring another can to school for lunch. I would put the can in my locker, but was too embarrassed to bring it to lunch with me so I would eat what my friends ate; then by the end of the day, I would throw the unopened can of Slim Fast away.

My mom would ask me, “How is the Slim Fast working out for you?”  I would tell her they were good and that I wasn’t even hungry! Well, part of that was true. I wouldn’t be hungry because I was still eating unhealthy for lunch.

In my mind, there was a smaller person inside of me, but I loved food!

It made me happy.  Whenever things were going good;  I ate—and on the flip side—whenever things were going bad; I ate.   There was never a time when I didn’t have an appetite.

All of my friends were smaller than me.  They dressed really cute and fashionable and I looked up to them because I wanted to be their size.

My mother had to pay a lot of money for my clothes because of my size.  She couldn’t shop for me at the regular stores! I was in women sizes, even at the age of 13.

I dressed nice and wore pretty clothes, but it was hard to put me in name brands.  When she did find my size in name brand, she would have to pay more.

People don’t realize it, but being over-weight is an illness just like any addiction; your intentions are good, but you struggle from day to day. Your whole life is a struggle because it affects every angle: relationships, family, career and the list goes on!

I often met guys that would tell me you have to pay like you weigh in order for us to be together.

I was in very toxic relationships and I blamed my weight rather than the person that was hurting me.  I would tell myself, “If I was skinny he wouldn’t cheat on me, he would love me!”

I later realized that was just an excuse for me to keep eating and feeling sorry for myself.

I looked for any excuse to throw myself a “pity party” and only invited food to accompany me.

But baby, look at me now!

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It was October 2009 and I had a doctor’s appointment with my OBGYN. Throughout the years I would have irregular menstrual cycles I would go months without one. They tried to regulate them with different methods and nothing would work! This particular “highly-recommended” doctor told me if I didn’t lose weight, I would never have regular cycles or have kids.

He told me since I weighed 287 pounds at just 35 years old, I needed to consider having bariatric surgery.

I told him I had been dieting and had lost 11 pounds that month and I really was trying.

“Ma’am, with all due respect, your biological clock is ticking and you don’t have a lot of time! If we were having this discussion 10 years ago it would be different,” he said.  “You have lost 11 pounds and as soon as you get off the diet, you will gain double that.”

He told me to gather my family and other support system and prepare myself for surgery.

I was in tears when that man walked out of that room, the nurse came back in and told me it was OK.  She explained he may have been straight-to-the-point, but he was a great doctor!

I left there feeling horrible and cried all the way home.

I called my mother and told her what the doctor said. She was very supportive and told me to pray about it. The first thing I did was change doctors because I was angry at the truth!

In February 2010 I had an appointment with my new doctor (OBGYN) and told him all about my experience with the previous doctor.

He said if I wanted to have any type of bariatric procedure done, he could get me approved.

He told me I could continue to diet and exercise, or do whatever I felt comfortable doing, I just needed to make it happen for myself!   He explained that only I knew what would make me happy and he gave me the number to call for a seminar.

He basically told me the same exact thing the previous doctor said; he just had a different “bedside” manner, so to speak.  He was more compassionate towards my feelings!  Unlike my last appointment, I left there with hope.

I let a couple of days go by, then I called the number to attend the seminar. Of course I told my mom and (now) fiancée about my decision to attend the seminar and they were very supportive!

They both went with me and it was a very informative. They answered any and all questions, and believe me, all three of us had plenty.

I left there with a different outlook on bariatric surgery  — until you get educated, you are ignorant!

I had so many failed diets I had tried them all: Slim fast, weight watchers, diet pills/water pills, shots, nutritionist, etc.  etc.  etc. 

I prayed and asked God to help me because I wanted to live a longer, healthier life. I had enough of being unhappy and miserable in my own skin!

I got the show on the road I followed every appointment, attended every class and not once did I have a second thought about having the procedure done.

The day of my surgery I weighed in at 285 pounds. 

I got a Gastric Bypass on August 11, 2010 and to date I have lost 101lbs!

On the one-year anniversary of my surgery, I woke up that morning, got on my knees and thanked God for my journey.   Even the tough times I went through made me a better person and I wouldn’t change one thing about my life!

The fat girl is gone. I buried her, along with the misery, the day I dialed the number to attend the seminar.

I have the will to live! Many say you’ve got to have will power, but you really have to have the will to live!

The weight just didn’t magically disappear. There is still hard work; all I needed was that big push!

My body now lets me know when I’m full.

I normally would eat a full meal, dessert, seconds, thirds and a drink. Now I can only eat a cake plate of food and usually can’t finish it.

I have so much energy now. I work out three to four days a week, and I must admit, the workouts were hard at first.

I started out just walking a little, now I do just about every machine in the gym and walk five to six miles on some days.

I have changed my eating habits completely and food choices, I haven’t had a carbonated drink in a year! I never really ate a lot of sweets, but I loved rich, cheesy and greasy foods. Now I love fruit and vegetables.

In the past, I avoided mirrors.  But I can now look in one and love the person that I see.

I wore a size 28 before my surgery, but now I’m a size 14.   I lost a whole person!

I still haven’t reached the finish line, I still have 50 more pounds to lose and I’m pushing full speed ahead.

My journey has been my biggest inspiration to myself and my prayer is to help someone else who may be going through a similar situation.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. You have to realize you need to get help because you can’t do it by yourself!   Next, you need to get educated because there are different procedures that many bariatric centers offer.   Then you need to join a support group with others that have the same goal as you and can help you on your journey.

Remember you eat to live, not live to eat! God deserves the “Encore.” He gave me the strength to accomplish this goal, he showed me grace and mercy, I owe my all to him.

My name is Tiaesha Scott and I approve this message.