Fourth of July a Time to Celebrate Personal Freedoms, Too

It’s that time of year when we will be celebrating our nation’s independence. I always make sure to take time to truly appreciate our freedom and this great nation that we live in, especially during the Fourth of July, just like other proud Americans. The celebrations around the country will include many fun festivities, which will include time spent with family members and friends. I’ll be celebrating a personal kind of freedom as well.

Freedom. I really like the word because it’s a word that comes to mind not only at this time of year, but every time when I remember saying “goodbye” to my obese life. The word freedom means not to be under another’s control, and as far as I’m concerned my obesity controlled me — a lot. My excess weight stopped me from being who I wanted to be along with stopping me from feeling the way I wanted to feel. I was controlled by my obesity and I hated it.

As I view this photo taken of me years ago, I’m sure I don’t see it the same way you do. You most likely see an overweight woman wearing a striped shirt who appears to be happy. That is not what I see at all.

I see an obese ME who didn’t want to wear a plus-size pair of jeans, but who had no other choice since that’s the only jeans that would fit. I see ME, who felt thin on the inside but who looked in the mirror and instead saw an extremely obese ME. I see the ME with a big, fake smile which was only covering up all the hurt and sadness that my obesity created. I see the disappointment my family felt in ME.

But those feelings all went away when I walked myself to freedom. After 25 years of being under the control of obesity, I took control of it and left it in the dust, literally.

Obesity does not control me now — I have my freedom. It’s great because when I view the photo taken of me after I lost my excess weight, I probably see it the say way you do: a happy woman.

Celebrating freedom is what I’ll be doing this Independence Day — and every day thereafter. Yes, I’m truly happy now!

On this Fourth of July, I feel pretty fortunate knowing that I will not only be spending time with relatives and friends, but also visiting Traverse City for their annual Cherry Festival, making some new friends while discussing healthy living. (If you happen to be in the area, please visit the Blue Care Network booth located at the “Health by the Bay” area on July 5 — I will be there all day and I look forward to meeting you!)

Whether you’re in Traverse City, Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids or in another state entirely, I’m sure you, like me, will be viewing beautiful firework displays. Yes, we enjoy celebrating this country’s freedom, it’s a great feeling shared by all!

I hope you join me; in fact, I invite you to do so. Celebrate your freedom, too!

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