Love Ourselves, Love Our Bodies: Charley Burton

Today’s story of transformation and self acceptance is by Charley Burton.


The Road To Acceptance

I have always struggled with my weight. I was the one in elementary school that was laughed at, left out, and most of the time was alone. I struggled with both my weight and my identity. Growing up, I tried so many different schemes to get rid of the weight, but nothing worked. I always tried to fit in with the crowd and not be laughed at because I was fat, and I always wanted to wear boy clothes.

The only thing that allowed me to fit in was drinking and drugging. I turned to drugs and alcohol as my way of coping with life and being accepted. What I didn’t realize was that I had such an addictive personality. Food was a part of my addiction. I continued to get bigger and bigger. One day I realized that I could not even weigh myself on the home scales. At the doctor’s office I discovered that I was over 450 pounds. I was struggling with getting employed, being alone and still addicted to substances. The more my struggle the more I ate and the more I ate the bigger I got. Not knowing where to go and my health getting worst, I sought out help.

On November 14, 2005 I elected to have gastric bypass surgery. When I weighed before going into surgery, I was 486 pounds. I could barely walk and emotionally I was a wreck. I stayed at home and would drink and drug. I was afraid to go out of the house any longer because of the stares and laughter. It was just like being that child on the playground again. In 2006 I got sober, and along with getting sober I begin to accept who I am now. Through the gastric bypass, I lost 186 pounds. Today I still struggle with my weight, but I no longer struggle with how I look.

After being sober 5 years, I took another journey. I started my transition. I look in the mirror today, and I see someone who is confident and loving of the body I have. I continue to work on eating healthy and taking care of myself. My journey to self acceptance has been a long one. Looking back now I realize I am now in the right space with my body.

– Charley Burton


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