The journey continues for Karen Kelly
Encouraging others by sharing her story
“You’re taking my rights away, what gives you the right to take my right away from me to vote my (choice for) mayor in, you can vote your mayor in if you want too, whoever you want to vote for put their name on the ballot and then you can vote for that person if that want to put their name on the ballot…,” he said
Loretta Lewis, president of the Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, spoke on behalf of the chamber urging council to put aside their differences for the good of business and the people of the town of Marystown.
“We need a functioning council,” she said in the conclusion of her address to council.
“You need us and we need you, it’s mutual. Be careful you’re not undoing all the good that you have done, we the town, the people feel you are our parents — we are the children — we are caught in a divorce here with our town council, and for god’s sake either separate, move away from each other or get back together.”
When Karen Kelly first made the decision to regain her life, she had no idea of the attention that her and her dog Mya would receive.
“It’s unreal,” she said to the reaction she has been getting.
Kelly has been contacted by several media outlets since sharing the story of her weight lose journey. Since 2012 she has lost approximately 200 pounds, Recently she was contacted by a popular American talk show.
“I never imagined my story going international,” she explained. “Being asked to go to New York City to go on the ‘Today Show’ was something I never imagined.”
Kelly said that with each interview she does there is another request that follows.
“I believe people see a ‘real’ person,” she said. “I didn’t diet, I cut back, I walked my dog, (and) I got a group of strangers together for Zumba who are now family.”
Kelly said people have been reaching out to her for help and advice.
“High school students are reaching out to me to help lose weight for grad,” she said. “Others want to know how to handle young life overweight. I get hundreds of messages from all around now asking for help.”
She said that because she has been through it, she can relate to those who are turning to her.
“I opened up about my mental illness and how I fought depression for years,” she explained. “People can connect to me on the weight issue, the mental aspect, the high school girl who wasn’t asked to the dance, the girl who was told, ‘You’d be pretty if you lost the weight.’”
She added that there needs to be more understanding in the world.
“People who are overweight are no less of a person and should not be treated like second class citizens,” Kelly said. “People with depression or anxiety are not crazy. People need to talk and people need to listen.”
Kelly said her story has never been about her weight lose but rather, “It’s about coming to terms with how I got so big.”
“It took a lot of soul searching to realize just how broken of a person I was,” she said. “I believe if given the opportunity, I can reach others. I hear the success stories of people following me. I just need the help to reach more people. I’m told I’m a voice for the voiceless and I believe I am.”
On Wednesday Kelly started the second part of her journey, she underwent Kelly surgery to remove access skin.
“I have lost pretty much another person now and enough though I walk, run, teach Zumba, (do) low impact and my own online fitness challenges, this skin cannot tone.”
The exccess skin was causing problems for Kelly that can only be corrected with the surgery.
“My back is hurting now,” she said. “I tell people imagine putting a 10lb (sack of) potatoes on their stomach and see how it feels. I have a large amount of skin and after all my hard work, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.”
The surgery cost and after care total approximately $10,000, and are not covered by MCP.
“They said it’s a specialized field and not many people lose this much weight . . .so pretty much the demand isn’t there,” she explained.