About Me... Shanda

I was the first born to my parents. I was also the first granddaughter on both sides of the family. I was born with red hair which surprised both of my parents being they are both blond. My Dad did have a tinge of red in his hair and when he grew out a beard. My grandfather apparently had red hair when he was younger which my parents found out after I was born. When I was about three years old (4 months before my 4th birthday) my sister was born. She was very blond and matched the rest of the family. So from the beginning I felt odd and out of place. Even to this day I feel like I stand out because I am 6'1, red hair and I am very obese. So I feel like I stand out in a crowd of thousands. I've always felt that way. I know that losing weight may not change that but I am hoping that at least I won't feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

I grew up a relatively "normal" childhood. My Dad was a cop, my mom was a stay at home Mom (until we were old enough to be in school then she got a part-time job while we were at school). We didn't have much money but at the time I was young so I didn't really know the difference. Looking at pictures of me when I was younger I could see I was always a little chunky. I never grew out of my baby fat. There are some periods of my life where I wasn't as chunky but most of the time I was. As I got older the weight became more of a issue. I remember being teased as early on as pre-school. In middle school and high school I got teased a lot and was one of the non-confrontational type of people. I wish I would have stood up to these bullies but I didn't and I know it furthered my eating issues. By the time I got to high school I had learned (and taught myself) that food was my friend. Food comforted me. Food never teased me. I could depend on food no matter what. Of course that would be part of the thinking that caused the weight issue. In high school I played softball but still was chunky. After graduating from high school I thought to myself "thank goodness know more P.E.". Yes, another reason I am where I am right now.

I didn't have many boyfriends growing up but dabbled in the boy department. I met my husband in May of 2002 and we were married September of 2003. So as you can tell we got married a little over a year after first meeting. We pretty much lived together since our first date and I just knew he was the one (although I did put him through some road blocks the first three months but he didn't leave so I knew he was meant to be). He said he knew pretty early on he wanted to be with me too. I was honestly so shocked that someone else (besides family) could love me. I know it is a horrible thought but I didn't think guys would love fat chicks. But my husband prefers "meat on the bones" as he would say. I've since learned that there truly is someone out there for everyone. We all have our personal opinons of what we find attractive and they all vary. The hard part is just finding that match. But it isn't all about looks it is about compatability as well. My husband is the most romantic, caring, thoughtful, sweet, loveable and overal wonderful guy I know. We've been married for almost 8 years and he still sends me cards to work to let me know he loves me and thinks of me. He will send me flowers just because. He hides cards in my car and has me do a hunt for them. He is just so amazing and we have the most amazing relationship. I am very grateful and lucky for that. He also loves me no matter if I am fat or thin which really touches me. He is defintiely my rock.

Diets. I've done them all and many times. You name it I've done it. Some I did well on and some I didn't but something they all had in common was I gained back all my weight back plus some. I have decided I am done with diets. I am focusing on a lifestyle change but I know I need help. I know that genetics plays a small role in my obesity issue. I know that it will never be easy for me and I will never be able to let go of that healthy mindset. So I've decided to have gastric bypass surgery to help me to get to a healthy weight and also to allow me to have a tool for the rest of my life and is something I am looking forward to. It will help me with portion control and it will also help me not choose foods that are not good for me (sugar).

I am excited about my new lifestyle and hope you will follow me as I go from my highest of 579 pounds to my goal of 200 pounds.