Corrinne Monroe is a success story, even if some people can’t see it.
"Maybe they don’t -- they don’t see that I am a success story. I’m in the middle of my success story,” Monroe said.
Her weight loss journey started at 420 pounds. Monroe said she was a food addict.
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“It’s actually a chemical addiction on your brain,” explained Monroe. “When a food addict overeats, they pack their stomach and it stretches. And that stretch triggers the same chemical reactions in your brain as heroin does in a heroin addict, or any other kind of addiction.”
But when she graduated from law school and passed her bar exam, she reached a breaking point.
“I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of being an attorney, being 420 pounds, and plus it was really hard to get a job! I would have excellent phone interviews and then I would come in for an actual in-person interview and they wouldn’t give me the time of day,” Monroe said.
She added that being treated unfairly because of her weight is difficult to prove, but it’s certainly what it felt like.
She said as an investment in her career, and herself, she had vertical sleeve weight loss surgery.
She spoke at length about the every day challenges of having this surgery, and a video of her discussion can be seen below.
The surgery removed 80 percent of her stomach, which now only holds eight ounces. The weight started flying off.
“Because it happened too rapidly, I had to emotionally wrap my head around that. 'OK, this is what my body looks like,' there’s a lot of skin,” Monroe said with a chuckle.
So she started lifting weights, and then more weights. With the help of Ronnie Incerta, head strength coach and founder of Oakfit gym in Dallas, Monroe began competing in powerlifting competitions.
She’s becoming an athlete for the first time in her life.
“One thing that’s really helped about being athletic, now, and working out, is that I’m focusing more on what my body can do verses what it looks like,” Monroe said.
She’s lost 170 pounds, but she’s still continuing to battle her 31 years of habits.
“I still fight not wanting to get up and go to the gym. I mean, every little, every time I do the right thing, it’s a personal victory for me,” Monroe said.
Her lesson that all of us can learn about self-love?
“I think everybody has trouble being their own best friend, but that is so important,” Monroe said.
Stopping negative thoughts, forgiving your failures and celebrating your small successes are ways to be that best friend.
“You’ve got to pat yourself on the back,” Monroe said. “You’ve got to be the one picking yourself up.”
She said she still has a long way to go, “but as long as I keep loving myself and doing what I know to be right, I will continue to improve.”
Working toward the next chapter in her never-ending success story.