Kerri Schoonvelt. from Levelland
I chose OCC after talking with a family member that had a dear friend that had went to OCC for a couple of different procedures among much research.
My struggles look very different than most. I am and always have been a very confident woman starting at an early age. As a young girl I was the “little girl” – the one that clothes wouldn’t fit correctly, the one that was smaller in build than others, tall, lanky, bony, etc. As a teenager I, like all young girls, thought I was “fat”. I struggled with having the “ever so dreaded” curves – I had the hips and backside – go figure (these are things women pay for now). I didn’t want to accept these curves and thought at this age and size 7-9 I was overweight or a big girl! I missed the mark completely – What we speak and believe about ourselves is what we become and what becomes truth in our lives. Fast forward thru college and into marriage at 25 years of age – I entered into a marriage at a young age and so much changed. I packed on the pounds out of misery – I had married a man that was abusive verbally, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I ate things out of comfort and escaped – I ate fast food, carry out, or fancy restaurant meals to fill the voids that I was experiencing in my life. I quickly gained the weight 20, 40, 60 lbs. in a little over 4 years – I had let myself go and was the largest I had been at about 175 lbs. This was just the beginning. I continued life and hid most of all of this well – I dressed trendy, accessorized, walked with confidence and talked the talk of a wise woman but oh my goodness I was burying all this junk and adding pounds slowly but surely it continued to creep upwards to 200 pounds. I believe through all of this time my faith gave me strength and courage and my confidence continued to be a major part of me. This part is what eventually gave me the courage to decide on surgery. The comments came from friends and family – “that I was such a beautiful girl and had a pretty face if I could just get the weight off”, “that if I didn’t lose the weight my health would decorate”, “that men would find me more attractive at a smaller size” – I could write a book of “nice comments” that cut deep and hurt to the bone. I have always also been that girl that loved to be anywhere on the water or near the water as well as I love the social scene, enjoy dancing, fashion and so on – I was even letting my weight affect my love for life and my passions. I carried shame, fear, sense of being a failure, doubt that God had great things for me and so on. I was spent – I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! I started praying and asking God to give me answers and control over my weight. I started asking questions and researching different options and God showed up in 3 different situations confirming the choice for surgery and not only that the choice to do it with the OCC and Dr. Ortiz! I had my answer now I just had to figure out when and how, this was March of 2015. I got all the financial part figured out and booked my surgery for July 24, 2015. I decided to choose ME and MY HEALTH! I started out at 295 lbs. in March of 2015 and at surgery weight I was 282 lbs. and now as of Feb 2016 I am at 215 lbs. It has been more than anything I could have ever imagined. So much of my life has changed not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually and I am a NEW PERSON and still becoming the BEST ME! There has been so many adjustments that I will admit that are not the easiest but are worth every bit of it. I am able to wear clothes from regular stores, sit comfortably, date without shame, let God love me the way he wants to, stand up with the confidence I had stuffed down, and make all around better choices. Dr. Ortiz and the OCC have been a life changer for me and I am blessed and thankful for the love, encouragement and belief from the staff and Dr. Ortiz himself. This is a top notch facility with top notch people! There are still changes occurring in my life and I am continuing to grow into the best ME!!!