Saturday, December 22, 2012

MY HERO - AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK...


2008 was an epic year for me. At 21 years old, I had lost 100 pounds all by myself. That, my friends, is my definition of a miracle. When asked, who is my hero, I quickly respond 356-pound version of Liana. I have a relatively short list of heroes and she most certainly belongs on it. Why am I my own hero? That may sound a bit egocentric but it isn’t. It’s revolutionary. I often encounter people who have lost weight and when they look back on the heavier versions of themselves, they are disgusted. They are ashamed, embarrassed and uncomfortable with the image of what they used to be. That’s not my story. I give all the credit of who I am today to a very broken, wounded but courageous young lady who at 356 pounds, made a decision to fight for her own life. I was afraid but I was desperate and hopeful enough to take a chance. I took a chance on myself. When is the last time you took a chance on yourself?    

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WEIGHT LOSS & THE HOLIDAYS

Holiday Weight Loss Thought: I was having a conversation the other day with someone so I thought I would share my opinion about weight loss and the holidays. It is my personal opinion that the healthiest approach to making it through the holidays is to focus on maintenance. Don't be so unrealistic and hard with yourself that you can't enjoy the festivities. On the other hand, don't throw away this time by gaining a whole bunch of unnecessary holiday weight. Eat reasonably, workout consistently to help off-set some of the extra calories you may intake from some of the treats. Limit yourself and exercise self control. Pick the treats and meals that matter most to you and enjoy those. For example, on Christmas I have a brunch with my adopted family, gumbo with my parents and then dessert with my entire family. GUMBO matters most to me. So, I won't be eating all the danishes and carbs with breakfast and dessert that night will be a very small portion and I just might make some fat-free brownies so I know there is something there for me to eat. And of course, I will be going for a run that morning. Heck, I may start incorporating a few 2-a-day workouts just to keep myself on track. Learn to tell yourself, 'No" so that you can tell yourself, "Yes." Don't forget to enjoy the MUSIC, THE LIGHTS, & ALL THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. At least that's what makes the holidays special to me :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

HELP, I'VE LOST 180 POUNDS ON MY OWN!!!

HELP, I'VE LOST 180 POUNDS ON MY OWN!!!: I need you! After struggling with obesity the majority of my life and finally losing 180 POUNDS NATURALLY, I can't fully enjoy the benefits of my transformation with all the

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TUMMY TUCK JOURNEY W/DR. POUSTI



HUMBLE BEGINNINGS....





  THE BEST DAY EVER...




3 MONTHS AND COUNTING...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GOD HAS PREPARED YOU FOR THIS - 1 SAMUEL 17:33-37

So yesterday, out of nowhere, I get a text from a friend and it reads "1 Samuel 17:33-37 like David, you have been prepared for this very moment. Seize it!"

I did not stop in the moment to read the actual scripture but his text, in general, ministered to me. I knew it was from God and that I need to recognize that everything in my life that has happened to me and that I have faced has prepared me for this very moment. However, it really hit me when I was leaving the gym this morning and I was sitting in my car. I stopped and went back to the text and then I decided to actually read the scripture:

33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

David's defeat of the lion and the bear were never simply about the lion and the bear. David probably didn't know it then but God was preparing him to have the confidence, assurance, and faith that he needed to face Goliath. David had to face some difficult circumstances that challenged him to trust God and in doing so, God was building David's belief and hope factor. God was developing character in David. God was teaching David how to be confident and stand strong in the face of fear and terror. God was teaching David how to rely on God when all odds were against him. GOD WAS TEACHING DAVID HOW TO FIGHT GOLIATH BEFORE HE EVER FACED HIM...

I am now beginning to realize that my battle with obesity, was never about obesity. It was never about weighing 350 plus pounds. It was a context to build me, to strengthen me to teach me how to face opposition, fear, terror, the impossible - Everything I have been through and conquered in my life was to prepare me for what is to come. There are bigger giants that God wants me to fight and beating obesity was my playing field, it was my lions and bears. However, like David, God has prepared me for this. I am ready to seize the moment. God is taking me into territory and situations were He is saying to me, "Remember how I've taught you to fight. You can face this and so much more!"

The battles in my life have produced BIG FAITH in me - My prayer is that my faith would not be hindered, stifled, or impacted by disbelief around me - I pray for a culture shift in the church where faith becomes the norm, where we expect Great things from God simply because HE IS GOD!!! - Lord, may my faith impact my culture and may you raise up a generation of youth who are willing to accept your word when it defies human logic. Even better, Jesus will you remind those who are older in the faith that IT'S TOO LATE TO BELIEVE YOU FOR GREAT THINGS!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ABDOMINALPLATSY SURGERY CONSULTATION UPDATE

During my appearance on the NBC’s Today Show (http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/46428557) , it was highlighted that God has been my strength during this 4-year weight loss process. While I’ve had to put the work and effort into losing the 180 plus pounds that I have loss, I am completely aware of the fact that God has been my source and my strength during this process. During recent interviews I have done, post-appearance, I’ve been asked, “How has God been your strength?” Initially it was very difficult for me to answer that question because, while I value the art of communication, there is a reality that the human language has its limitations on being able to fully communicate the realities of life. However, there is one major way, of the many, that God has been my strength during this process. I have come to realize deep in my heart and in my experience, one undeniable truth:

“I am a firm believer that God orchestrate the affairs of your life in such a way that He inserts at the perfect time that which you need to hold on, to endure, to make it to the next level!!”

With that stated, let me share some insights on the consultation that I had with an amazing plastic surgeon, today and how I even got to this point. As many of you may know, I have struggled with weight and obesity the majority of my life, since elementary, and in 2007, at the age of 21 and a weight of 356 pounds, I decided to yield myself to God and the process of losing the weight. I wanted to be free an I knew I had to do what seemed impossible to me.

Over the course of these four years, I have worked extremely hard and my body has changed in remarkable ways. I am grateful for how the elasticity in my skin has snapped back pretty well but I have been left with excess skin and fat tissues that no amount of exercise will remove. On December 31, 2011 I created a video blog expressing my desire for surgeons, tv shows, anyone to sponsor my surgery (http://www.youtube.com/user/thequeenliana?feature=mhee). I have put a lot of effort into this process and have endured through difficulty but I am a struggling college graduate with loans and barely enough money to provide for my necessities. I put my video out there and I decided to leave the process in God’s hands. Time went on and I continued with my life. I had not heard any concrete feedback but I didn’t doubt but there were still moments of fear and discouragement in this process. See, even though I just got back from New York, from doing the Today Show, for some reason I started experiencing some fear in my heart in relation to my relationship to food and this weight loss process. Many people wouldn’t understand but when you are addicted to food, this is a daily process. Yes, I have lost 180 plus pounds but I still have my days where I feel overwhelmed by the tug food has on me. I beg God to shut off the desires that are ever-present in my mind and body and as much as I want Him to remove them, he hasn’t but what he has reminded me and continues to remind me that “His grace is sufficient and in my weakness His strength is made perfect. He will give me all I need to conquer and be victorious over the enemy and over my addiction. ”

On Wednesday, February 23, 2012 I went out to dinner with one of my amazing mentors, Dr. Nicole LaBeach and while we were conversing, fear and pain led me to tears. I did not ever realize how much I was allowing myself to be tormented by the thoughts that my addiction would win and that I would gain the weight back….God knows I want my story to be that I was a success and not that I relapsed. I want people to look at me and believe that difficult is not impossible and that this thing can really be conquered. I want to endure until the end but sometimes it just feels like I am too weak to fight – and I cried and we talked – she encouraged – I cried some more and I was just real with where I was in my process. The last thing I want people to think is that this thing is easy for me but even more so, I want people to know that just because something isn’t easy, it doesn’t mean you can just throw in the towel and quit. Anywho, I went home that night feeling a little encouraged but still working through the fear – BUT GOD…..

Thursday morning I woke up to the most amazing email ever. Please please people, hear me and hear me clearly, “GOD SEES YOU.” One of the greatest joys in my life is to just sit back and think long enough to conclude, “GOD SEES ME!!!!” – I received an email from a remarkable woman, my angel, Debbie!!!! The email stated:

Hello Liana,
My name is Debbie, I'm a Registered Nurse at Kaiser. I was so amazed by your story that I sent a request to Dr. Pousti, a well-known Plastic Surgeon in the San Diego Area. Below is the information that I forwarded to him. I also sent before and after pics and a link to your youtube/blog. Please give him a call at your earliest convenience, also check out his website. (http://www.poustiplasticsurgery.com/)

By this point, I was in tears. I had not even yet read the actual email that she sent to Dr. Pousti. I was just honored by the fact that someone cared enough to stop and selflessly share my story – I’m amazed by the beauty of the human spirit – the blessedness of connectedness – the power of love.

The email she sent him stated:

Hello Dr. Pousti,

My name is Debbie. I am a Registered Nurse at Kaiser. I have heard of your surgical procedures and makeovers in the San Diego Area. One of my co-workers spoke highly of you, and I enjoyed seeing the transformation in all of your clients on your website. I also did a little research, check your rating/scores, and was very impressed. You are one of the best Plastic Surgeons in the country. Sometimes in the distance future, maybe a year or so, hopefully we will meet for a little Makeover myself, but still working on me at the present, 50lbs down and more to lose.

I was browsing around on Facebook, minding my own business and came across an amazing young lady. Her name is Liana. She's an in debt college student from the Los Angeles area. This woman has lost over 180lbs without surgery (4 year weight loss regimen) and is looking for assistance to have excess skin removed. Take a look at her video, for more information. I truly hope you can help her.

She has also been a guest on the NBC Today Show - I think she may also bring in great publicity for your company. I do not know her personally. But, I do admire her strong will-power and endurance.


Dr. Pousti then responded:

Dear Debbie,
Thank you for the very nice email. I would be happy to see her in the office to see what we can do to help her. Do you know her personally? If so, please ask her to call the office to set up a consultation for her and I to meet.
I look forward to it. Again, I appreciate your kind words and look forward to meeting you in the future. Have a wonderful week end!
Tom Pousti, M.D.


I called the office that very day and set up an appointment and within days, Dr. Pousti had emailed me personally. I had no idea how I was going to make it to San Diego. My car is not in shape to endure the drive on top of the fact that I don’t do well taking drives alone. But once again, I didn’t fret. I setup the appointment on faith, trusting that God would make a way for me to make it to this consultation. Normally, a consultation fee is $100 but they waived the fee. However, if I missed the consultation, they were going to charge me $100. I setup the appointment not knowing how I was going to get there but I knew I did not have $100 to waste and that God was going to get me there. Long story short, my sister and I swapped cars for the day and my mother was available to take the drive with me.

(Side note, it was amazing because over the past week God has miraculously been healing my relationship with my mom so for her to be the one available to take the trip with me was nothing but the sovereign hand of God all in and through this entire situation)

My visit with Dr. Pousti was nothing short of an amazing God-thing. I really wish I could communicate with my words what my heart is bursting to share. I mean, really my eyes are filling with tears as I sit here and type this blog. His staff was extremely personable and accommodating. They handled me so well and once I met Dr. Pousti I was fully convinced that he was the man God placed in my life to make this surgery happen for me. I was blown away by him and he was blown away by me…LOL…Beyond how remarkable his experience is, his heart and compassion is even greater. A man of his expertise and experience stopped by to see about little-oh-me. He said to me, “Liana I have done thousands of surgeries and over my years of practice you are on the top 10 list of most inspiring people I have met.” – WHAT??????!!!!!?????!!!!???!!!?? Are you kidding me? This man has been in his field for over 20 years. I was 5 years old when he started doing surgeries and he walks in and tells me that I inspire him. I refused to cry in that office but wow, I felt so affirmed. To top it all off, one of my greatest fears is that I would walk in there and he would tell me that I have so much weight left to lose before I could be operated on. As I changed into my gown to be examined, I just didn’t want to hear those words. I’ve put so much effort in, the last thing I need to hear is how much more weight I need to lose. He took one look at my body and looked back at me and said, “You’ve done all that is humanly possible. You’ve done the hard work. At the most you have 5-10 more pounds to lose but really, you’ve done all that is humanly possible to do.” – and I think to myself, isn’t that all that God requires of us, to do only what is humanly possible. – I wish I could go more in depth on how this entire process, over the past 4 years of my life, have had enormous spiritual implications. God has taught me so much about life lived in Him, through this process of losing weight.

After Dr. Pousti examined me, he sat down and spoke with me and stated, “I am going to do all that I can do to help you.” I said, “Dr. Pousti, what does that mean?” He then explained to me that the cost of this surgery are not all him. Meaning that the plastic surgeon is only one piece of the pie in this whole process, when it comes to financial expenses. He can only promise his portion but he can’t guarantee the rest.

4 Major Components of the Financial Process
1. the plastic surgeon (Dr. Pousti)
2. the anesthesiologist
3. the medical facilities where the surgery is performed
4. the medicine prescribed to manage the pain during recovery

However, Dr. Pousti has agreed to be an advocate for me and he will share my story with the other parties in an attempt to help me out as much as possible. I gave him a business card that has my blog/youtube/facebook etc. so that he can share it with his colleagues. We will be in touch. However, I am convinced that God is going to make a way for Dr. Pousti to do my surgery. I trust him. I trust his work. I trust his heart and from one short visit, I feel safe in his hands. He said to me, “Liana I am a very blessed man. I have been blessed to do this work and to make good money. If I can help you, I will. You are an inspiration and you have done the hard work.” – MAY GOD BLESS DR. POUSTI AND MAY HE GRANT DEBBIE (MY FRIEND WHO INITIATED THIS PROCESS) THE DESRIES OF HER HEART!!

Continue to pray for this process, and remember, there is #Freedom2Live and do it now! Why wait? #MondayNeverComes. With that stated, I’M OFF TO GO SIGN UP FOR MY ½ MARATHON….Who wants to join me in the OC ½ Marathon? Or do the 5k? Just come out and do something. I want to enjoy a quality of life with each and every one of you. Sign up here (http://www.ocmarathon.com/registration/information.aspx)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MY APPEARANCE ON NBC'S TODAY SHOW

I was honored to be inducted into the JOY FIT CLUB

Below is the link to my weight loss story. Enjoy

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/46428557#null

Thursday, January 12, 2012

3-DAY DETOX BY QUEEN

I have been eating a lot of more meat than usual and I wanted to give my body a break and detox before I entered into doing a 21-Day Fast (No Meat, No Sweets, No Alcohol) with my church. I have done several cleanses over time and what I tried to do here was combine what I liked from the different cleanses in order to produce the maximal results for myself both physically and mentally. I did not want to feel like I was depriving myself and suffering over the course of the cleanse but I also wanted to cut back and make sure that I was giving myself the proper products/nutrients that would cleanse and fuel my body. ENJOYABLE TASTE & PHYSICAL BENEFIT ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO ME!

Throughout the course of this detox/cleanse, my goal is to avoid animal products (meat/dairy), processed foods and sugars. The goal is for everything to be natural and plant based. FEEL FREE TO TRY MY DETOX & GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU!!!!



INTRO VIDEO



DAY 1 RESULTS

Monday, January 2, 2012

SKIN REMOVAL SURGERY REQUEST!! - Mobile.m4v

I am four pounds away from a total loss of 180 pounds, NATURALLY!!! This video is my request for a pro-bono skin removal surgery. I can't afford it but I believe I deserve it. Hear my story and pass the word along!!!