RWO's Health & Wellness Edition June/July 2019

Page 146

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THE BODY HEALTH BATTLE BY CORTNEY KRUGER

ONE WOMAN’S FIGHT TO SAVE HER OWN LIFE BEFORE OBESITY CLAIMED HER AS ANOTHER CASUALTY IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

Many people are familiar with the daily struggle to lose those extra few pounds. Still others live each day overweight as the obesity epidemic claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Sherry Hale, Founder and CEO of the SHALE Group and Western New York’s renowned Master Artist at medi-spa Custom Beaute, is using her platform to share her incredible before and after journey (and the struggles that align with them) in order to advocate for and inspire others to take necessary action in their own lives. With the health issues compounding for her, she fought to save her own life by going from a size 20 to a size 2. Hale’s family history had already seen members lost from the health issues caused by excessive weight, and Sherry wasn’t about to join their ranks. In today’s culture of body positivity and wellness, Hale is hoping her story will motivate others to become their best selves like she has worked so hard to do for herself. Starting with the loss of her father at a young 51, Sherry set her health goals for herself to be met before she turned 50 years old. With that birthday this May 12, 2019, she has surpassed these 146

goals in order to become the best advocate she can be for herself and for many others in need of inspiration. Hale is spreading a message of self-love with a dash of major girl power as she is stepping up to root for those who might not have anyone else in their corner. Women and men who have struggled their whole lives trying to lose weight are often burdened with guilt and a stigma that suggests that their weight is “their fault”, regardless of how hard they have tried to adjust their food choices and exercise

regimens. When they have finally struggled too long with the weight gain compounding, and they have decided to reach out—to a bariatric surgeon, for instance, in the case of Hale—there are often further hoops for them to go through to reach criteria in order to qualify. For Sherry, her genetics were working against her from a very young age. “Being overweight runs in my family,” Hale said. “Everyone seemed to be always fighting weight and health issues.” Over a time period of 10 years 8 family members were lost due to health conditions. Her father’s youngest brother (at over 350 pounds) died from a heart attack

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at age 62. Her father’s middle brother has battled weight issues, her dad’s father, had a quadruple bypass from cholesterol and has passed from complications related to diabetes, and many of the other members are fighting the battle as well. Sherry’s weight struggles started at around 12 years old and held a constant presence for most of her life. After getting married and having 2 children she found herself at over 200 pounds with each child. Grappling with depression, and trying every weight loss program available, it was only when she practiced a low-calorie diet throughout a grueling year that she was successful in losing the weight for the first time. Sherry says, “I discovered that I had a poor metabolism and a low calorie diet and constant exercise was the only program that worked for me”. The weight loss was only short lived, however, as her father’s cancer battle began, and the stress resulted in her weight beginning to rise again. It was at that time that family deaths started and continued, as did her weight gain over the next 15 years. Diets are notoriously unsustainable, and lead to that yo-yoing effect in weight gain and loss. Sherry wasn’t happy and health issues were creeping in - she had finally had enough and looked into bariatrics. It just made sense. If having a low metabolism and needing a low calorie intake worked, then bariatrics sounded like it might be the right tool. At 38 years old and 190 pounds she inquired, only to be turned away because she didn’t meet the requirements of a BMI of 45. Forced to battle for two more years