I am so happy right now! This past week, I have had a life changing experience. I won a scholarship to go to a leadership camp. While I was there, I not only learned what a leader was, but what my values are and how to follow my passion. The more I think about it, I believe that my passion is to help people fight against obesity. Obesity has changed my life drastically, but with the right outlook and support, I believe that anyone can beat it!

At camp, we took a hike to Vista Point, in the Gorge. Vista Point is a beautiful house built on a cliff with an amazing view. However, in order to walk there, you have to hike up and down some fairly steep hills. I made it to the house and walked up the hill to get back, but I ended up being the last person in my group and had to get a ride back the rest of the way. I was devastated that I could not finish the walk and started to put myself down. Then it finally clicked that I did not need to be disappointed in myself because I know I pushed myself as hard as I could, for as long as I could, especially only 4 weeks post surgery. I just remind myself that two months ago, I probably would not have been able to make it to the house in the first place.

The lesson I learned that day was that no matter what people expect of you, you have to do your personal best and be ok if it is not up to their standards. Its so easy for me to compare myself to those who lose weight quicker than I do, have less excess skin, or are stronger than me. This week I have learned to stay positive and to not compare myself with others because we all have issues we struggle with, even if we don’t always show them.

Weight-loss surgery is not any easy thing to do, but is SO rewarding! I am a much happier and healthier person then I was a month ago. I came back from camp, not only more confident about being a leader, but 11 lbs lighter, despite the “camp food”. I have been able to walk a lot and even started swimming! I want to help people out with their weight loss journeys more than ever now! Please don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether from me, a friend or the professionals at Willamette Valley Weight Solutions. WLS is a tool that will allow you to take charge of your life and be the healthy, confident person you want to be. Remember that this is about you and only you!