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2018 THE YEAR OF ME! | Where Have I Been?| IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!

When You No Longer Can Recognize Yourself

Welcome to my little corner of the world! I know I don’t normally share much about myself here, but today is my birthday and the first year I’m celebrating my birthday and not working an event in 4 years!!! Today is more than just my birthday, it’s a day that I’m choosing to liberate myself and share my story in a hope to pay it forward!

 

The past 10 years I’ve struggled with my weight. Every year, multiple times during the year I would start and stop weight loss journeys, only to fall off the wagon and fail. In 2015, I was so focused on my business that I allowed my weight to consume my life in ways I didn’t know. So much so that it contributed to me and my husband separating. I spent the entire year of 2016 trying to get my life in order and once again, started a weight loss journey that I ended up failing. You see when you have a dream, nothing or no one can stand in your way! I had big dreams for Southern Amore’ and I was determined to make it a success! Needless to say, I was separated from my husband in 2016, but married to my business. 2017, came around and I decided I needed to create balance as my business was thriving after all of my hard work in 2016. I spent the entire year of 2017 focusing on family first (as it should be) and things were better than ever. The problem, I gained over 40lbs in the process. For our 2017 family vacation, I was pushing 311lbs and didn’t know just how large I’d gotten. After some extremely embarrasing and sad experiences on our vacation, I decided that something had to change.

I’ve always been a pretty happy and confident person, but the past 3 years I realized my inner joy was deteriorating because I was so unhappy inside. How can a person so fully of life and love, be sooo unhappy inside? I’m in the wedding business because I love LOVE so much, but I was in a place where I wasn’t loving myself. In addition, the fact that my own marriage was on the rocks, life was just not what I was used to. I guess you can say that I was living through my clients for the past 3 years because my son, business, and love for photography have been the only things keeping me at some type of peace.

The Big Decision

Upon returning from our family vacation, I knew it was time to do something different. This is when I started actively looking into weigh loss surgery, something I NEVER considered for myself. I’ve always been a tough, strong woman and the thought of having to have weight loss surgery was just NOT and option. This mentality is one that many individuals have when considering WLS, but I quickly realized that I was just ignorant to the pros and cons of Weight Loss Surgery Options. During my research, I found out that there are 3-4 types of WLS options and gastric bypass is not the only option, which I was extremely terrified of. Inspired by one of my clients, I began considering Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, otherwise known as VSG.

How Am I Doing?

As of today, I’m 6 weeks post op and could not be better!!! I’ve received so much support and love from the weight loss community and my immediate family that this journey has been spectacular! I’m so grateful for my husband as he’s loved me through all of my highs and lows, and trust me, there have been many lows over the past 10 years! He’s been with me every step of the way and I’m forever indebted to him for his unconditional LOVE.

I decided to share this with you all because you are my family as well! I live and breathe Southern Amore and it would be selfish of me to not include you guys in this monumental time in my life.

Did The Surgery Work?

Yes, Yes, Yes!!! See below!

The above set of images are my reality! I didn’t know I was as big as I was! How could I be my best for my clients at that weight? How was I able to endure 8-10 hour days without passing out? The only answer I could come up with was, PASSION and DETERMINATION!! I love my job so much that no amount of weight could keep me from creating beautiful images for my clients 🙂 The before images were taken the month of January and the afters, this month. I’m currently down 48lbs!!! To God be the glory!!!

Thank you for all of your support over the years, I am forever grateful for every single one of my current and past clients. I want to be my best for you in every way and I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 has in store for us!!

I’ve been documenting my story on Youtube.com, if you’re interested in supporting my journey please feel free to watch the video below and subscribe. This is very personal to me and a huge accomplishment, so the more positive vibes the better! THANK YOU!!!

Yours Truly,

Cierra 🙂

 

Watch my story here!

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