Losing weight,taking control

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

Hollaway focuses on health, drops over 100 pounds

By Deborah Goodwin

The Selma Times-Journal

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Reporter’s note: This is the sixth in a six-article series. Local women share their battle with weight. Different ages, different races, different backgrounds, one story &045; the need to take their lives back. We thank them for opening up their hearts and lives to all of us.

Teasing hurts.

At 406 pounds, Camella Hollaway, 35, felt as if she had to be a people pleaser, doing whatever was asked of her, in order to be accepted.

Overexertion sent her to the hospital with a blood sugar level of almost 500 &045; drastically higher than normal.

With a family history of diabetes, Hollaway’s doctor told her if she continued on her unhealthy path, she too would be diabetic.

In November of 2006, Hollaway opted to have gastric bypass surgery.

Hollaway had tried diet after diet and even some unhealthy means of losing weight, but the pounds came back.

Healthy eating was not part of her routine. Fried foods, no exercise and sugary sodas were part of her daily routine. After stopping to think about her diet, she discovered something about herself.

Food was her comfort. Hollaway recalled being teased about her weight and made to feel unaccepted by strangers and even those close to her.

Hollaway said she had to do some praying and soul searching. Once she discovered who she really was, &8220;I fell in love with myself.&8221;

After that awakening, Hollaway said she no longer cared what others thought of her. She socialized, got her nails done and kept up her appearance.

Standing at 5 feet, 9 inches, Hollaway has dropped from a size 34 to a size 26 and has lost 106 pounds. She has even dropped two shoe sizes.

Her ideal weight is 158 pounds.

Hollaway is co-owner of Curves gym, but before she was an owner, she was a member. She had not joined a gym before because &8220;I felt like people would scorn me because I was overweight.&8221;

She said the Curves atmosphere was comfortable to her and she felt accepted.

Currently recovering from back surgery, Hollaway cannot be as active as she’d like, but after her three-month recovery time, she plans to &8220;be back to working out one hour, five days a week at Curves.&8221;

Hollaway says her weight loss efforts have not gone unnoticed by her three-year-old daughter, Trinity.

When she was heavier, Hollaway said simple activities such as tying her shoes would be so strenuous, she had to stop and take a breath afterwards.

Now she is enjoying playing on the floor with Trinity and having more energy to keep up with her active toddler.

Hollaway says she teaches Trinity not to judge or to stare at other people.

Knowing what it feels like to be on the other end of other people’s judgment, Hollaway said she never wants her daughter to have to go through what she has gone through.

Though done as an outpatient surgery, Hollaway recommends that anyone considering a gastric bypass operation go into it neither mentally unprepared nor ignorant. One should research prospective surgeons and operating facilities.

Whatever the weight loss plan, Hollaway suggests seeing your doctor first. And regardless of what others say, &8220;see what you like about (yourself).&8221;