Success Story – Carla Strickland, “If I eat good, I feel good. If I eat bad, I feel bad.” — An Inspiring 200 pound Weight Loss

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?
I’ve struggled with food all my life. Because of my family having it so tough financially growing up, I can remember stuffing myself when we did have food because we just didn’t honestly know when we would have another meal. I became obsessed with having food. Weighing 92 lbs. in the second grade sticks out in my mind. Then weighing 160 lbs. in the 6th grade hurts too but the biggest factor that led me to my life change was that I was 37 years old, 5’2, weighed 372 lbs. and was sick constantly from silent acid reflux. I had two daughters to raise. I was miserable in how I physically felt and disgusted at how I looked. After I was diagnosed with silent acid reflux and being prescribed Nexium. I thought this is just plain crazy to have to take medication because I am letting my eating get so out of control. After having seen 3 friends have gastric bypass with success and doing a lot of research and seeing a surgeon, I knew that this is something I had to do. I tried unsuccessfully all my life to lose the weight and keep it off in every way a person could imagine. What was sad was my grandpa who was in his 80s thought he would live longer than I would because of my weight. That thought made me feel so bad.
What was the journey like?
March 3, 2011 will be six years since I’ve had my gastric bypass. I lost 200 lbs. in the very first year. It’s been an up and down journey mentally because gastric bypass is a tool not a fix. The obsession in my mind with food never goes away. I struggle every day in my mind with food. My want for a healthy life far outweighs the battle in my mind with food though.
How did you do it?
March 3, 2005 I made the life altering change of having gastric bypass.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
Keep moving;
Eat healthy to stay healthy;
Support from friends or a support group
What inspires or motivates you?
Going to the gym and seeing people of all shapes, sizes, and age inspires me to keep moving. Knowing how much better I feel and that I am not physically limited to do what I want motivates me even more. To be able to shop in the same clothing department as my teenage daughters is a great feeling. My fear of my two daughters ever having to struggle with their weight the way I have is always something I keep in mind. I feel so good that the three of us go to the gym and work out together.
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I’ve gone from a size 32 to a size 10-12. The only way I want to continue to go is in a healthy direction. Sometimes I fall off the wagon but I get right back on because feeling good and looking good is too important to me.
I tell myself all the time “If I eat good, I feel good. If I eat bad, I feel bad”.
Carla’s a champion in the fight against obesity and continues to inspire and motivate others to lead a healthier life.  Feel free to leave comments for Carla.

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