Support group starts for people on a powerful journey

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Jessica Moore

Staff Writer

After being overweight all her life and even suffering a small stroke, Emily Elliott, with love and support from her family, decided it was time for a change

"I wanted to be here for my grandchildren. I wanted to be able to play with them and watch them grow up," said Elliott.

She had tried everything to lose weight: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and other dieting, but nothing seemed to help. By the age of 18, she was already over 200 pounds. After years of struggling with her weight and the many health problems that went along with, she decided to look into bariatric surgery. She studied the available procedures extensively until she was finally able to decide which one she preferred.

Unfortunately, due to personal finances and insurance policies, she wasn't able to have the surgery. She has been an employee of the post office for many years, but wasn't considered full-time, so she wasn't able to receive benefits until recently. Finally, after waiting nine full years, Elliott was given full-time status.

At that time, she knew the wait was nearly over. She could finally have her surgery, and she did on Jan. 8, 2013. Before surgery she weighed 325 pounds. At nine months post surgery she had lost 175 pounds. This was quite a feat, and one that she had waited for for a very long time.

Today, she continues to be in maintenance. This is the time period post surgery when a person works hard to maintain their weight loss.

This is where Elliott found herself struggling with old habits. "It's not enough to have the surgery, you have to be in the right mindset. You have to change your habits," said Elliott. "I needed support from other people; from those who were going through the same things. So I decided to start a support group."

Elliott has been working hard to start a support group for anyone who has had gastric surgery, wants to have gastric surgery, or may be curious about it. Even those who are just needing support in their own weight loss journey, no matter what it may be. She plans to meet the last Thursday of every month (this month it will be the 24th) from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Marshall County Memorial Library, 310 Old Farmington Road, Lewisburg. There are no weigh ins, and no fees. Everyone is welcome to join or stop in to check it out.

As Elliott said, "It's never too late to make the change!"

For more information, call Emily Elliott at (931) 293-4664.