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The Beginning
  Starting Over - Outward beauty is a side effect of self esteem... what a concept! | Texas!! | Messed Up Mondays 5th Anniversary (and stuff) | All Kinds of Craziness! | Birthday Parties and Read Whine Book Club Meetings! | Easter 07, My Parents's Visit SD, Sanderson Wedding and MORE! | SO Season 2 | SO Seasons 2 and 3!!!! | Starting Over Season 3 | Starting Over Graduation Day!!! | Starting Over Dance Off! | Almost Famous | Sommer's Q & A - Top Questions Answered | Friends and Family | Sommer's History | Weight and Skin... My side | Class of 96 Reunion!! | Baby Pictures | Where to Find My Friends | Contact Me  

Me

Well, going on a popular reality show certainly gave a lot of you a lot of insights into my life.  Some of them weren't quite right however, and I wanted to rectify those here.

I have always struggled with my weight.  I was definitely an active child, although I could have been much more so.  I was in dance for years, and then my obsession with cheerleading (I am from Texas, you know) began in 6th grade.  I spent hours and hours and years and years trying to teach myself things, although ultimately, I was just too big to really be any good.  That was ok with me though, I got to be the most spirited person in the school!  Looking back, I think I was attracted to cheerleading because it gave me an excuse to be loud and hyper, and of course, meet lots of people. 

Despite my weight, I was always still trying for things.  Class president (every year), cheerleading (a couple of times), drill team, school plays, and art.  I was only successful in the latter areas, although I pretty much gave up theater my freshman year in high school- it took up too much valuable social time for me! :)  I tried, and succeeded, in making the most out of every experience.

I worked in a movie theater when I was 16, and had a blast!  Talk about meeting people!  And I got to see all the free movies I wanted!  Life was great!  At 17, I went to an internship at Northen Telecom where all my friends were also working, so senior year was an easy one for me! :)

Most of my friends went away to college after graduation, and I moved into the restaurant business.  Steak and Ale, Tony Roma's, Chili's, and Bennigan's, which was when I started traveling around opening restaurants.  They call it live industrials, and I guess you could say it was my first paid job that could possibly fall into the entertainment industry.  I LOVED it!  But traveling around constantly took it's toll, and I eventually left to manage a photography studio.  Very fun, but also very taxing.  When I lost the first of my close friends, Tiffany, I decided that my time was better spent with those I loved than at work.  So off to the University of Texas at Dallas I went.  Human Resources wasn't really my thing, although working at a college was fun.  I did get to work as a featured extra in an independent film called 'The Anarchist' while working there, with one of my favorite characters from a show I had watched in high school, 'My So-Called Life.'  It was a tremendous experience!  And I would do that again in a heart beat, even though it really didn't pay much of anything! :)  I left there to work for Outback Steakhouse, and after another year in the restaurant business, I was done.  I was hired to work as an Assistant Agent at The Kim Dawson Agency.  I absolutely ADORED my job!  I was good at it too!  I had opportunities to work on charity events, produce friends' independent films, and even produce and direct my own fashion show!  So those of you who have been wondering exactly what I have done in the 'business', well that's it.  Nothing too glamourous.  I was never what you would call a 'professional actress.'  I was given some amazing learning opportunities while working at the Kim Dawson Agency, though, and I am so grateful to them for giving me the chance to work there!

That pretty much brings you up to date.  I left the Kim Dawson Agency to change my life on national TV, which I did, although not at all in the way I, or anyone else watching, would have thought.  But that's another story! :)

Why did I choose the R-N-Y Gastric Bypass procedure?

My mom's best friend (Sandra) had had the R-N-Y 6 months before I did, and watching her go through all of her changes was really a blessing.  I went to support groups with a couple of different doctor's, but sticking with the one who did Sandra's surgery was the best option for me.  I knew what to expect.  The support groups and information sessions were key to hearing about which option was best for me.  In all honesty, I never seriously contemplated any other surgery.  The success rate (as of now, I am sure that will change as the surgeries become more popular) for the lap band is 50% of the people keep off 50% of the weight whereas the success rate for the actual bypass is 70% of the people keep off 100% of the weight.   These figures are from various journals and studies that my doctor receives, so of course I did get that information from him.  The thing about the R-N-Y is that not only are your 'hunger hormones' essentially cut out in the process (the body will eventually adjust and those will return around 2 years after the surgery, but it's long enough to make some very healthy habits!), but you no longer metabolize every single thing you put into your mouth either.  Since a portion of your intestines is circumvented, you will not be able to take in all of the calories you consume (of course, that also means that you will not be able to get all of the nutrients either, so vitamins are a must, but they really should be anyway.)  There are certain things they say the R-N-Y will never allow you to eat again, but so far I have had no problems whatsoever.  Big problems I mean.  I have not had sugar yet, but I don't feel the need or desire to.  There are so many low carb/sugar free options out there these days, it just isn't an issue.  I have drank sodas (although I choose not to almost all of the time now) and eaten meat, and if I drink too fast, or eat something too greasy, I will feel nauseous, but I am happy about that.  It's like my body is trying to teach me how to listen to it.  If I give it good food that is nutritious, I am fine, if I give it crap, it tells me so!  :)  This is just not the case with the lap band.  You have to make the decision that is right for you, but to me, the band does nothing more than slow down eating.  If that is your only problem, than it is probably the right choice, but for me, I needed to curb the appetite, I needed to speed up the metabolism, slow down the emotional eating, and learn to listen to my body intently.  I am working on that last part, it's tough to hear my body talking now after all of these years of ignoring it!  :)

Ultimately, again, you have to do what's right for you.  There is danger in any surgery so make sure the risks are worth the rewards, make sure you are as educated as possible, and truly make sure that you have no doubts going into the procedure.  Oh, and you really have to be able to commit to a better, healthier, life style.