After Years Of Abuse Mom Turns Her Life Around, Loses 243 Pounds
Mar 25th, 2020
You must have heard several dramatic weight turn-around stories, but this has to be one of the most spectacular ones that are better seen than just read. if you place a “then” and “now” picture of 53-year-old Kelley Gunter side by side. You will find it hard to believe she is the same.
the mother of one has completely turned her lie around and lost more than 238 lbs. going from a size 32 to size 8.
Kelley Gunter was battling with much more than being overweight, she was sexually abused when she was just a little girl of 8 until she was 14 and she didn’t have the courage to open up about it, this sent her down a spiral of self-destructive habit and comfort eating until she ballooned to an obese size of 392 lbs. by the time she was 30.
It took a trip to the circus back in 2002 for Kelly o realize how bad her situation was and she needed to do something fast. She had taken her young son, now 23 years old Alex to the circus but the experience was torture for her since she struggled to keep up and was easily out of breath.
That opened her eyes to see how bad the situation was and decided to do something “for her son”.
Looking back at her life back then she says:
“That trip to the circus with Alec was a real turning point for me. We were walking to our seats and every few steps we’d have to stop and rest because I was so sweaty and out of breath. Then he asked if he could go to the carnival and I had to say ‘no’ because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand for that long without being in pain. Instead of being upset Alec started explaining why we didn’t need to go to the carnival and I realized that my six-year-old was making excuses for me.
I realized that my size was affecting him. I was so big I couldn’t do anything with him, I was missing out on my son growing up. I needed to get my life back – for me and for him. ”
She went in for a gastric Band surgery the same year and followed a strict diet until she shed an astonishing 243 lbs. by October 2003. She had turned her life around and was now at a healthy weight.
Speaking about her weight loss Journey Kelly says, one of the things that motivated her during those time which was the motivation behind her book was people trying to make her feel better by saying she had a pretty face.
“When I was big people would always tell me ‘oh but you’ve got such a pretty face’. They think it’s a compliment but it’s not, it’s basically them telling you that your body is a mess. I wanted to show them I was so much more than a pretty face.”
But despite changing her body so dramatically Kelly admits that she was still not fully happy with herself back then.
“Our lives had changed dramatically and Alec finally had a mother who was active. We did everything because I was trying to make up for all the years we’d lost. But my happiness was a bit of a mask. I still had such low self-esteem and felt worthless.”
For her losing weight wasn’t enough she needed to open up about her emotional trauma if she would feel happy about herself. Even with the weight gone, Kelley felt she was still self-destructive because of all the hurt she kept bottled up. She had started a business in 2003 but lost everything due to her habits. She says: “when the weight was gone, I was still so self-destructive.
I opened a business in 2003 but instead of looking after it I spent all my time shopping and at casinos. I lost my business, my money, my home, my friends – everything. ”
It was at this point that she realized she needed to do something so she checked herself into a center and went in for therapy for two weeks. Speaking about that period in her life she said “It was really hard. I was flooded with all these memories and emotions. There was a lot of stuff I would rather have never remembered.”
Now the abuse survivor is bravely sharing her story and has released a book called ‘You Have Such a Pretty Face’ to inspire other people grappling with body image issues and obesity.
Speaking of her days in therapy and how she pulled through she says:
“I just kept telling myself ‘you’re still here, your heart is still beating, you’re alive, you’ve survived. The monsters from your past thrive in the dark and you can only defeat them by bringing them out into the light. I wish I had done that 20 years ago”
Kelley now feels more confident about herself because she believes coming out about her emotional state has helped her to begin living as her most genuine self. “For the first time ever my soul is free, all the demons are gone. That’s what inspired me to write my book and share my story”
She says she wants other people who have suffered emotional trauma like her to know that there is still hop and joy on the other side of suffering. She hopes that by showing all her scars to the world, she would help others to realize that they can heal too.