Latesha started a journey to get healthy 2 years ago. After she had failed at ever diet (like we all have) she was desperate and miserable and afraid she was going to die. She has 4 children, an amazing husband, she works hard and she has a huge heart. She would quite literally give the clothes off her back to someone who needed them, and she has!
She came to the realization that she was addicted to food. The hardest part, being faced with having to consume her addiction in order to survive. She suffered sexual abuse at an early age, (5) which is when her need for emotional overeating began. This story is familiar to many people who are comfort over eaters.
The cycle of abuse continued only she was the abuser to herself and she wreaked havoc on her body by gorging on the only thing that provided comfort without judgement. Food.
At the start of her journey, she weighed over 400 pounds. According to the posts on her personal Facebook page the first step for her was making the decision that she was WORTHY of being a healthy human. Her hashtag became #WorthyAndWorthIt. This was a huge step for someone who was battling to overcome so much damage.
She had been offered gastric bypass by 6 different doctors and told that was her "only hope" to escape the prison of her own body. She learned through the abuse in her childhood and an abusive marriage early in her adulthood that "NO!" is a complete sentence. She also decided that she had the power within her to battle addiction. She researched and she decided that no surgery, diet, pill, or specialized program was ever going to work. What was going to work was total abstinence from the main trigger foods that cause her to crave unhealthy foods. So she immediately removed all processed foods and refined and sugar.
Detox set in and it was hell. She was sick. Just as if she were detoxing from drugs.
She persevered though and remained steadfast. She was ridiculed by many who just didn't get it. "Have a little bit..." or, "It's the holidays, surely you can have just a nibble...."
For 2 years she has remained a warrior. Not one bite. In that time she has lost the equivalent of two human people. Over 260 pounds. SHE IS AMAZING.
Many have called her an INSPIRATION. She doesn't see herself as such. She just sees herself as a wife and a mom who wants to be healthy and help others along the way if they are struggling.
With massive weight loss comes massive skin issues.
And this is where her fight now needs our help. Her insurance company has done the following:
This is her most recent post about surgery:
The verdict is in.
The insurance has PARTIALLY approved my tummy surgery. Meaning, they will cover a Panniculectomy but what I need is a full Abdominoplasty. The Panniculectomy only covers removing the excess skin from my pelvic bone up to the bottom of my belly button. Only 1 insurance company has approved this partial surgery. The remaining surgeries, the one that I desperately need for my breasts has been denied and deemed fully cosmetic. With the partial coverage for the tummy and the full cosmetic that is leaving our out of pocket cost at a MINIMUM of $17,000.
SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
That is AFTER my surgeon is GRACIOUSLY discounting his services 20%, and has managed to get the hospital to discount the use of the facility for both procedures by 50%... because he truly believes I NEED & deserve this and hates that they are denying coverage.
I am completely devastated.
That # is provided I have no complications. It also doesn't account for time off work for recuperating provided I have to be off work longer that I have paid time to cover. I am realistic. I know that with 4 children, it just is not feasible for us to make it on one income for very long....if at all. I also know that short of robbing a bank, or moonlighting as a saggy gross stripper....17 grand in 90 days, which is how long these quotes are good for just isn't going to happen.
So here I sit in my bathrobe feeling like I conquered the world by losing 260+ pounds in less than 2 years and now I am stuck being punished and doomed to live in a body that disgusts me and makes me physically sick....forever.
There is nothing in this world that I want more than cheesecake right now. Do you know how sick that is? My brain wants cheesecake so damn bad. I have NOTHING LEFT FOR COMFORT. It is not fair. FOOD was my comfort for THIRTY years and I don't have it as an option anymore when I am broken and NEED something.
She has remained steadfast. She is a warrior and such an inspiring human. She desperately needs our help now. It's become more than just skin issues now. She was thouroughly starting to enjoy exercise but she's having bone, muscle, and joint issues now combined with the skin infections now. That makes exercise impossible and even dangerous. She has a desire to HELP. If you know Latesha at you know that she is a helper, doer, and fixer of all things. She wants nothing but good to come from every situation. She wants to donate her viable skin and tissue to burn victims and patients needing skin and tissue grafting procedures, provided these procedures can be done. She wants to IMPROVE LIFE for others because this journey has been about improving her own quality of life.
Latesha is a true definition of WARRIOR, GRACE, PERSISTENCE, DETERMINATION, & INSPIRATION.
Her family needs our help. Latesha has always been quick to offer advice when asked. Share recipies. Be fully transparent sharing not just to good, happy, fun stuff....but the hard, emotional, hit you in the gut stuff that most people are too afraid to share. Latesha has given clothes to people starting their journey, encouraged others to exercise, offered to help whenever and however she can, and she stands by her word. Let's help her family fix her. She doesn't deserve to remain a prisoner of her own body any longer!