OK, I decided that if I want you to follow my journey, you should know a little about me. So here is comes.
I was born in Erie, PA (in the chimney of PA) which lays along the lake shore of Lake Erie. I have lived here almost all my life. I spend three years living in Charleston, WV while I was attending trade school and college. Growing up I had several friends who loved me for who I was, Emily, Shelly, Pat, and Mickey. They did not care what I looked like, they loved me for me.
High school to me was Hell. With a capital H. I did my best not to let the daily comments about my weight get to me, but let's just say Graduation was the happiest day of my life. I had my high school crushes, and kept them as quite as possible. I had a little larger expansion of friends, including those listed above, there was also Lynda, Barb, and Shawna. Believe me even then I was no social butterfly. I used to laugh when the boys (and sometimes the girls) would comment on my size, just to make them think it was not bothering me. IT DID.
After high school I moved to West Virginia to start school. While there I made a couple friends, but they were nothing like my core support of Emily, Shelly and Lynda. The only three that have actually stuck with me through thick and thin for all these years. I fell in love in West Virgina, and almost got married. But he cheated, I got hurt, and moved home.
After moving home, I started school at Penn State (Go Nittany Lions). Yes I am one of those obnoxious people who think Penn State is the only College Football team and Joe is the only College Football coach. While at Penn State, I became active with the newspaper and the radio station. I started to feel comfortable, because no one really commented on my weight or my size. People seemed to not really care. But I was always very self conscience of the fact that I was a very large woman. Especially those classes that were theater style and the desk folded into the chair. I could never get the desk to fold flat on my lap.
I graduated with decent grades, and a knowledge that there were people out there that looked deeper than just skin deep. I immediately went to graduate school instead of looking for a permanent job. I started to attend Edinboro University for my Master's degree. There I discovered I was wrong about people. Even though I had great grades, and was always very attentive in classes (graduated in the top 5% of my class), my instructors seemed to ignore me for the prettier students.
I even had a professor tell me that if I lost some weight I could go places in this world. Wow, I could not believe she said that. I took the next couple days to really re-evaluate my life. I have tried to lose weight. Then my dad died. Everything else seemed to not matter at all. He was my hero, the person I looked to to answer the tough questions.
This was 1996. My life changed that year in two ways, one I lost my hero, and two I almost lost my life. Yes, I did something stupid, and I have the scar to prove it. It is in the shape of a "Y". This way I will always look at my wrist and say "Why did you do that?"
Since then I have battled with my weight and struggled with my self-esteem. If you don't know me, you will find this typical. If you do know me, I bet this is a big shock. I know, I am a very good actress. I don't even have an ulcer. I deal with it with food, music, crafts, even photography. I have learned that I am good at certain things and use that talent for my justification.
Then Emily had Gastric By-Pass Surgery. Wow she looks fantastic. I think, "if she can do it, I can do it". So, yes my dad is my biggest hero, but my friend Emily is right up there with him. And now she is fighting something bigger and more dangerous than her weight, and she is more worried about seeing me through this. So here is my promise to her and to everyone. I will follow this all the way through, but I will also be there for every step of her journey, just like she is there for mine.
I promise to take pictures (as I said I am an amateur photographer) and post them here and on my Photobucket site: http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn250/ladyer1968/Me%20and%20My%20Tummy/
I am also going to track my weight loss on my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/erieladyer
Well now you know a little that makes me tick. Some of my hobbies are cross stitch, crocheting, knitting, computer work (I administer a Masonic fraternal website: www.supremeshrine.org). I also belong to several forums for one of my favorite TV shows: The Deadliest Catch. If you surf around, you will notice the ErieLady on the F/V Northwestern's site, the F/V North American's site, Capt. Phil Harris' site, the Deadliest Forums, and the Actuality Forum. Stop in and say hi.
I also love to read. History, crime, and Harry Potter. Sudoku is my favorite game, and I must say I am addicted to Peanut Butter Cups and diet Dr. Pepper. One of these I must give up forever. Emily has promised me they make Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups, so I must try those.
Thank you all for listening to me ramble. I feel way better than I did this morning. Now, I still have all that reading to do. So I promise to let you all know what I learn with my reading.
Until then, "Keep looking toward the future, it is bound to be more surprising than the past"