Live like you mean it
Special for CraftyChica.com by Jackie Guerra
Live Like You Mean It
What happens when you stop “weighting” for the day you will lose 175 lbs., quit smoking, workout regularly, completely change your relationships to food, get rid of unhealthy relationships or unproductive habits, have three surgeries to remove over ten feet of excess skin, stop eating refined sugar and still have time for good eyebrows? I know what happened to me: I discovered a life that I’d only dreamed about and a freedom that I never even knew existed.
On April 16, 2004 I took a major step toward my new life. After a lifetime of being obese and buying every pill, shake, and pre-packaged food that promised a cure to the disease of obesity from which I’d suffered my entire life, I had to make a decision. I was finished with gaining and losing the same 100 pounds over and over. I was emotionally drained from a lifetime of bouncing between making peace with my obesity and feeling like a failure because though I could lose weight, I couldn’t keep it off. I never hid because of my weight. I tried my best not to “weight” until I was “perfect” to be the person that I was capable of being. However, like many, my struggle made me defiant about my weight. “I have too much attitude to fit into a size 6”, I’d often say. Like so many, I had mistaken confidence and self-esteem with having a free pass to eat, drink and be merry. Many people, including me, had strong opinions about WLS and so I had to find a safe and reliable way to get information and speak with people who knew the facts and not just the bad press and prejudice that it seemed to receive in the mainstream media. I went on an intense research mission so that I could know that I could learn what I needed to make my choice. And you know, it was my choice to make: my body, my choice. I didn’t know if WLS was for me but I did know that there was no future in weighing 300 lbs. and smoking 1-2 packs of cigarettes per day. After months of research, meeting with my doctors, attending support group meetings, meeting with nutritionists and therapists as well as surgeons, I made the decision that was best for me. I had laproscopic Roux en Y surgery.
I used to say that I shouldn’t be judged for who I am based on my weight because we are all more than our bodies. And that’s true. Today I weigh 133 lbs. and wear a size 2/4 (and my attitude and dreams all seem to fitJ. I am more than my body – we all are but,
My body is where I live. As I say in my book, Under Construction, “you have to love where you live but, be open to a little home improvement.”
Home improvement often takes the form of knocking down walls and rebuilding but it also frequently takes the form of “remodeling” old habits and attitudes that need a little “fixin’ up” so that you are open to new ideas, new attitudes and new opportunities.
I have learned that when you make choices that are the right ones for you, you are able to remove the “clutter” from your life and, opportunities appear.
My brother and I are named after the Kennedy’s; we’re the only Mexicans I know named, Jackie and John! I grew up with a deep sense of civic duty and have built a lifetime of being of service. I began my career as a stand up comic because I saw an opportunity to get on stage and by making people laugh maybe dispel some stereotypes; about women, fat people (remember I weighed anywhere between 250-300 lbs.), Latinos, I am all of them and use my time in the spotlight to give a voice to the voiceless. My dream is to host a talk show to make you think, laugh and do something.
I hope to inspire everyone to free themselves from the obstacles that weigh them down. I am so grateful for the life that I have today and, I want this feeling for everyone. Have fun, laugh a lot and, be great and, live like you mean it!
Jackie Guerra is an actress, author, and activist. She lost 170 lbs, is a WLS advocate, and is on a mission to make life healthier, happier and more exciting for everybody. Visit her website at www.JackieGuerra.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jackieguerra.
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Peace, love, and glitter!