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I hope I will not forget this journey as I pray it will follow me throughtout my life.

God is my strength, my will, and my comforter even if I feel I don't need him because my will is strong, I know that if I falter, lose hope, or my will fades, He will be there to pick me up and carry me through. He is so gracious, precious, wonderful, worthy, and so much more. I know it is He that will see me on this path so I can become a living proof of His work.

With that said..

It is the time I had to do this for myself - not for some guy to look at me, or to feel like I am finally a part of the crowd when my friends go out. Don't get me wrong those would make me feel good but it's deeper than that.

I am here for my health. The beginning of March I came out of the ICU for pneumonia as well as gaining 86 lbs from steroids. I also found out I have a hole in my heart. All of this devistated me.
Not only did I have pneumonia and respiratory failure but I suffer with Post Traumtic Stress Disorder and Panic Disorder. It was very overwhelming to take in. Since my hospital visit I have been on oxygen (since Feb 23, 2010)

I then had a gastric bypass on Feb 28, 2011 with complications during surgery. I have spent the last three and a half months in the hospital with this complicaton. We're hoping it's taken care of. Unfortunately now my mother has one, an ulcer. So I am praying for her speedy recovery. The bypass is an intense surgery, but I had gained 180 lbs from where I was and 155 of that in one year, since the pneumonia. I had to do something to change my life around and at 455 lbs I couldn't walk, or move. I kept having falls, down the stairs, in the shower, or just getting up from the furniture. I couldn't manuver myself. When I felt down and stressed about my weight I wanted comfort food. Like I needed it right? It was time to do something. I didn't want to live the rest of my life like this - if I would be lucky enough to have a life at such a high weight.

Would I do the gastric bypass again? I don't know it's too early for me to say. I am happy with the weight loss results but I am also looking at the risks and complications. What the surgery has put me through and the intense pain involved. I paid $1,500 for a program so they help me through the steps of surgery, I have a dietician, physical trainer, doctor, psychologist, P.A., and all kinds of tools at my hands. Yet it's still very easy to feel so alone when you're suffering with complicatioins. The doctor acknowledges my pain and suffering but as he said "there's nothing I can do about that." He has to do what he has to do to make sure I am ok medically. He can't snap his fingers and take the pain away. After the program, and before surgery I learned all I could, but it still didn't prepare me for what was to come. You really don't understand how hard and painful the surgery is until you've had it. (Not to scare anyone from doing it, some people are champs with it! This is my testimony) As long as things go right in a week you're good, still on meds and have to take it easy but you're on the right track. Just eat well. One thing I can say is this surgery has not led me to do stupid things other patients have done like eat a slice of pizza when your pouch is the size of an egg. Then they have to go in while being awake and the doctor has to scope them (EGD) to take the food out of their pouch. So if you're thinking on it, you have to change your view of food. Do you want to inflict that kind of pain on yourself?

So for me to say "do it!" I would have to get back to you on that one. I believe it depends on the person and situation. I was 455 lbs and in the waiting room I saw people at 250 lbs wanting this done. Absurd! They have to make their money some way though. Now that to me is taking the easy way out. If you're at that weight do the lap band. Don't rearrange your insides like I did. There's no going back. Absolutely no going back.

As for the scale, I don't weigh every week. I'm actually not a scale person. I will weigh in the doctors office, or the hospital, then report back on here but I haven't touched my home scales yet. One weighs up to 400 lbs, but they make them for a skinny girl to stand on. I still have thick thighs! I don't feel like standing one legged on the scale. So, when you see updates about my weight that can be from weeks of not weighing, and if you catch me weighing every week it's because I have been to the doctor or hospital that week.

I just wanted to update this for those who didn't know. When I was on Spark People before I was trying to do it the "right way" and I lost weight - for 9 weeks I did well, but was pulled back because of my condition. I jumped right into it after my respiratory failure incident. It was too much work on a healing body. I was put on bed rest and to be inactive, except maybe 20 minutes a day, and steroids plus me equals weight gain like no other! So I know all our weight isn't food, but a lot of it is, or inactivity. I haven't exercised once since the surgery because I have to be cleared to do it. With the complications for the last three months I haven't been cleared. When I am, I will be hitting the gym and straight to the pool. I love to swim, it's a release for me.

So, this time around I reset my ticker and put in my weight and what my first goal is. I want to lose 200 lbs. You can track where I am at. It's wonderful for the weight to come off and hardly do anything but at the same time, there will come a maintenence part, and people can gain back all that they lost with the surgery. Some people have it done again but it's not advisable. Honestly I don't know if I could have it done again. If you want more detail as to what happened with my surgery and why I had complications (my mom was a textbook surgery, what set her back is she didn't have comfort food so she started smoking again and it caused the ulcer) I would be happy to answer. I am a different case, it wasn't the doctor it was my body. He didn't know till he got into the surgery what he was up against. My surgery took twice as long. I store my fat on the inside, around my organs, it's not really like my skin stretches, my skin, and thighs were rock hard. I walked like a sumo wrestler. I took up the whole hospital bed. I was huge. I will put a picture up of me at that time, just don't mind I was on a pain pump and doped up. LOL.

I will be back with more, please ask me questions especially if you're considering it. All I can do is give you my advice. It's your choice. What I can say is that, you will in time be happy no matter which way you do it. So spark on! Let's go out there and show people what we really want. For me that's my health! Let's go get it!

Member Since: 3/19/2010

Fitness Minutes: 4,399

My Goals:
1. To become healthier.
2. To learn habits to live a healthier lifestyle.
3. To live happily everyday.
4. To laugh off the stupid stuff - enjoy the meaningful things.
5. To eat correctly, and proper portions.
6. When I do succeed, I want to be an inspiration and positive motivation for others.
7. To hold myself accountable!
8. To know that even if the scale doesn't move it doesn't mean I haven't become that much more healthier. (I'm not the type to weigh every hour, day, or week.)

My Program:
My first attempt on here was a good one - I had lost almost 30 lbs but my plan needed an overhaul. During that time I was hospitalized twice, but I came out almost 100 lbs heavier than I was before. For a lot of people it's food or a lot of people think overweight people eat a lot but there are other factors such as medical issues. Now I'm trying to turn it around to work in my favor. God willing this battle will be my victory!

Personal Information:
My name is Rachel but my friends either call me "Ravey" or "Rae" - I am 30 years old, I attend community college full time. I have two dogs, no kids, and never been married.

Other Information:
I love a variety of things, reading a book, watching a t.v. show, or doing some writing in my spare time. I most definitely look to God for my needs and thank Him everyday for every breath and every heartbeat. I enjoy the SPRING WEATHER!! I am loving the sun being out and the warmth. I enjoy being around my mom after the Lord she is my best friend. Sadly I don't have many friends, but I am looking forward to making some on here during our journey's.

Read More About BEAUTIFULRAVEY - Profile Information moved here. (Updated October 4)

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 Pounds lost: 174.2 
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