1990- Age 10 put on my first diet from my mom and grandma starting 30yrs of yo-yo dieting and my belief no one would love me if I stayed fat. Probably weighed about 160 at this point.
1996- Age 16 I found out that I'm 7 months pregnant. The baby ended up coming early in Dec. The Dr messed up and took out my bladder with forceps instead of the babies head. Requiring emergency surgery #1. The new bladder wasn’t as good as my original, causing me to wear a pad everyday for the rest of my remaining life.
1999- Age 19 after 3 months of none stop bleeding the Dr does some test and a pap test to realised I have cervical cancer and require surgery #2
2001 Age 21 ovarian cancer requires another surgery, surgery #3 and a partial hysterectomy. Making my dreams of being a mom to another child slim to nil chance.
2006- Age 26 go to college and get my business management diploma
2007- Age 27 Gastric bypass in Michigan @350pds surgery #4
2009 Age 29 surgery #5 gallbladder removed due to fast massive weight loss.
2010 Age 30 Start fertility treatments, get pregnant with Jayden who dies at 6 months.
2011 Age 31 do IVF @5k and take 3 treatments before we get a positive test result with Riley. Gained a whole bunch of weight as I was terrified this whole pregnancy. During labour my heart stops from the result of the epidural and I get a massive migraine leaving me unable to speak or see for the remainder of labour. Riley is finally born and is healthy and I recover.
2012 Age 32 my mom dies unexpectedly
2012 Age 32 I decided I've gained too much weight back and Im not healthy or happy so I go to St joes to go back thru the bariatric program for RNY to DS conversion surgery. It's such a high risk surgery they do it in 2 surgeries.
2012 Aug 12th Age 32 I have part 1 of RNY to DS surgery. Surgery #6 seems to be successful.
2012 Aug 26th, Im feeling really sick and in pain so hubby drives me to Hamilton from Niagara falls. My temp is 103 and they take me for an ultrasound and find fluid around my organs that shouldn’t be there. Come to find out my stomach acid is leaking into my stomach cavity and the acid was damaging my organs. My body was shutting down. This is the first time my husband is told it doesn’t look good and you should probably know her final wishes. Rush surgery #7 to repair the holes in my stomach. Off to floor 6 I go. 2 days later my fever is even higher and I’m barely conscious. My husband was called and advised to come say goodbye. He makes the drive from Niagara to Hamilton and when he arrives he's notified that they are going to try 1 more surgery. Surgery #8 They put a stent into my stomach to block the holes so acid can't escape. My heart stops during surgery and I am reciprocated and my lung has collapsed. What was supposed to be an hr procedure is 4 hrs and my husband not given any updates during this time assumes I am dead. I manage somehow to make it through, bruised and beat up everywhere. I go back to my room with a jp stomach drain, lung drain and the stent in. I am still not conscious. I’m NPO nothing by mouth) with the stent. Now they decide I need a feeding tube inserted in my intestine colon connection so my stomach is left dry and to heal. Off to surgery #9, this time I come back with a JP drain, lung drain, stent and feeding tube.
This time 2 weeks go by and they start thinking of sending me home. Miraculously my body is somewhat recuperating. The stent is working. My fever has broken and my body has started absorbing some nutrients. The day before they are going to release me my feeding tube stops working. They try flushing it and moving it and still wont flow in. The machine they need to replace the feeding tube is broken and unknown eta on repair. So I wait and in the meantime not getting any nutrients again because there is still nothing in my mouth and now nothing by feeding tube. Another week goes by and we are in Oct now the machine has been fixed and a new feeding tube has been put in (surgery #10). All this is the name of weight loss. I’m finally going home a week before Halloween. I still have the stent, jp drain and feeding tube. The lung drain has been removed. I have a nurse from St Elizabeth coming in everyday to check the feeds, wounds, jp drain and outputs. She also weighs me and we find out I've lost 50 pds yay right after all that’s the goal. I’m so weak and all my muscles feel like pudding at this point from lying for so long. Im home and mending and spending time with my kids especially my 2yr old who missed me the most. Many trips back and forth to st joes over the next coming months
2013 March age 33 I am finally drain and stent free and down 75 pds.
2013 May age 33 I realize how grateful I am about the people coming to the house to take care of me. I go back to school for my 2nd diploma for PSW and for the next 8yrs work as a psw to pay back how thankful I was.
Over the next few years its pretty uneventful. I go to therapy work on loving myself and how I’m an emotional eater its not that I have no willpower which is whats ive heard all my life. I go to the gym regularly but the excess skin is really bothering me. I have body dysphoria and only see the 350pd girl in the mirror and pictures.
2015 age 35 I started contacting plastic surgeons in Ontario and everyone of them said I had to weigh 150 or less. If you remember my story though I was younger then 10 since I weighed this much so pretty much thought it was impossible and put that dream aside.
Covid and stuff happened
2022 Jan age 42 I started researching plastic surgery again cause I just wasn’t happy with myself. I found Florida, Alabama, Punta Cana and Mexico all had DRs that were more than happy to operate on me so I did my virtual consults.
2022 May age 42 my dad dies who is a huge influence in my life and since i'm an only child it leaves just me.
2022 July 28th surgery #11 I drove to Alabama to have surgery. I had a tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift and breast implants. Best 24k I have ever spent. Healing is going well so we decide we are going to head back to Canada after 2 weeks. We get back to Canada and a week later because of course my surgeries are always good stories lol. MY stomach incision opens right up and I have a fist size incision where you can see inside my stomach, It was so gross . Fly back to Alabama for surgery #12 to repair it. Luckily it held and ended up healing with no other complications.
2023 Jan age 43 I enter school for my 3rd diploma. I will be graduating next year as a Practical nurse.
2023 Aug age 43 some days I still see a 350pd girl staring back at me, especially when I wear a bikini to the beach and see my huge thighs staring back. I tell her it's ok if that’s who you are or what you see because you are amazing. You never gave up and you fought like hell thru a lot of things other people would have thrown in the towel. Instead you turned it around and made it a lesson to improve your life. I love my body today, who knows what tomorrow will bring. When doing the photos Jennifer asked me if I want my scares hidden and I said Hell no they made me who I am everyone of them.
Also a happy note from my photo shoot with Jennifer I stopped wearing blue eye shadow that I really loved wearing because some stranger someday commented that I look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show that was on. If you’ve never seen the show she is a bbw who wears excessive makeup, since that day I stopped wearing eye shadow and just did eyeliner. At the photo shoot I had my makeup done and when I looked in the mirror I saw the blue eye shadow and I SAW MIMI staring at me. I started to panic but I put my faith in Jennifer that I wouldn’t look like a clown and that it was OK. You know what it was OK and since I've wore bold bright eye shadow everyday……..you want to know why? Because I LOVE and I love my eyes when I wear it and that is good enough for me. At this time there is no plans for surgery #13 lol. But who knows what the future holds.
Love loud and lots,
The Belly Love - The Perfect Canvas project is all about the celebration of all bodies, no matter who inhabits them or how they function. Bellies specifically are so often shamed into hiding, people and systems trying to fit them into a perfectly white, flat and unblemished mold - and if you are anything less, keep it all under wraps.
I'm here to say that, as someone else with a bloated, sometimes distended belly with tons of hair myself, that they've got it all wrong. Your belly supports you everyday, to keep you living and breathing. And even if it doesn't, due to any matter of physical (or even mental) disability, your belly tries its best to keep you happy and healthy despite everything it's been through with you. It deserves to be celebrated for its every detail, from the hair around your belly button to the way it spills out over your hips, or breathes around your c-section scar.
The belly project is all about this - celebrating your belly for all it does for you and meeting it where it's at. Self love is never easy, but being able to beautify an area that is so often chastised and scrutinized for all our lives is one way of taking that first step. After so much turmoil and shame, it should get its flowers too. But maybe just for this time, they'll be painted instead of given in a vase
- Sam McGowan
After being separated from my authentic
self, for quite some time, I have spent the
last 1744 days reconnecting.
1 day at a time, 1 step at a time, letting go,
trusting the process and asking for help!
My name is Terra, and I am a recovering
I choose not to be anonymous, in hopes
that my story might help others crack open
that door, to a new beginning. ( A life lived
without Alcohol. )
We all have a unique story, and it took me
many failed attempts on my own before I
was desperate enough to reach out and ask
for some help.
I have no control over Alcohol, I finally
could admit I had a problem! I always
thought that an alcoholic had to be
someone who drank everyday, someone
who has lost their job, their license, ect.
I couldn't identify with those qualifications, and this is 1 reason that had
kept me sick. Not realizing that the path I
was on would surely lead me in that
A progressive disease I am told.
But whenever I had a drink or 2 , I found it
very difficult to stop at that. And if I did
manage to stop there, I was very irritable
I was always an all or nothing type drinker.
It had a hold on me, and I had real difficulty
living in the moment.
I rarely felt content.
Waiting for the weekend so I could let
loose and be free from my thoughts, and
my responsibilities for a while.
I was living my life on repeat, on the same
rollercoaster that I couldn't get off.
Today my life is beyond my dreams. My
heart is full, self love is now something I
practice daily. The opportunities that are
arriving are refreshing and readily accepted.
I can breath! I can move with ease, knowing
where I'm supposed to be. I feel apart of my
community, I show up for my family and
friends and I am accountable. My life has
done a 180. I'm so grateful. My spirituality is
growing and getting stronger! I can look in
the mirror now and tell myself I am loved.
If you are struggling, please reach out. Ask
for help, you are worth it.
Having had done this incredible experience
with Jennifer, I now feel even closer to my
higher power, Mother Nature.
Staying grounded is continuous process
that I am willing to put my time into these
days. Thank you Jennifer for all your kind
affirmations, guidance, love and
acceptance sharing part of my story with
#recovery #selflove #addiction #alcoholism #AA #healing #photography #photographer #mentalhealthmatters
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