Her Story: Miranda Perez

Motivating Stories from Local Women

Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever.

These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand. 

Share your story. Share your light."

“How did that happen?”

I was in disbelief after stepping onto a scale in my bathroom back in June 2021.  

I looked at myself in the mirror, and I asked another question: “What does 265 pounds even look like?”

Well, 265 pounds looked like me, and it was painful. My ankles would balloon and throb nightly. My legs and hips ached from walking. Walking in general was uncomfortable. I didn’t even consider exercising because it hurt to do basic daily activities.

What weighed even more on my body, however, was my mental health. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing, and feeling undeserving are a few ways to describe my mental health at the time. Then there was mom and wife guilt – guilt because I was in so much pain that it was hard to be mentally present after not seeing my husband and children all day. Guilt because I felt ugly and fat. How in the world could my family be proud of “that”?  

I needed to turn “that” into “this,” but diets and lifestyle changes were always temporary for me. I tried them all, and I always gained the weight back. I needed a better tool. A tool to help me drop the weight and keep it off. Weight loss surgery was my answer.

In January 2022, I underwent bariatric weight loss surgery. “This” girl in the picture has lost 80 pounds. “This” girl’s ankles no longer swell and throb. You will see “this” girl walking or even hiking. I’m finally awake after years of being mentally absent. I love myself, and in return, I allow my husband to love me. The smile I have now is genuine, not like the fake smile I used to wear to disguise depression. 

A genuine smile from the inside out is contagiously hopeful, inspiring, and almost like a vitamin D ray of sunshine. People need it. People crave it. Depression, weight, and anxiety can feel bigger than you are and, sometimes, unbearable. Your ray of sunshine might just be the light at the end of a dark tunnel of depression for someone who needs it.

Share your story. Share your light.

Miranda Perez, Ooltewah

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