About the Author
Kelley Gunter was born and raised in a small town in Southern Ohio. She graduated from a small rural school that combined grades kindergarten through 12 in the same building. She spent summers with her grandparents learning the art of true southern cooking from her grandmother, whom she affectionately called “Nonnie.”
Kelley’s love of reading was passed on to her from her grandmother and her mother, who were both avid readers. Kelley graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in counseling. Throughout high school, college, and graduate school, Kelley’s teachers and professors encouraged her to write professionally. She had written both editorial and review columns for a few local newspapers, but only pursued writing as a hobby after the birth of her son in 1994.
Following a lengthy career in social services, Kelley began writing full time. Her first book, You Have Such a Pretty Face, is a memoir detailing the emotional journey of being obese and the surprising changes brought on by her 243-pound weight loss following bariatric surgery, as well as the emotional factors that contributed to her initial weight gain. Kelley is currently in the process of writing a second memoir, The Homecoming Queen of Crazy Town.
When she is not writing, she enjoys cooking, baking, and reading. She also loves spending time with her son, her best friend, and her three Rottweilers. She makes a habit of enjoying all of the sweet magic life has to offer and thanking God regularly for blessing her with the continued gift of life.
Have you struggled with obesity, poor self-image, weight-related health problems, or simply a feeling of inadequacy or meaninglessness? Are you tired of feeling left out of the active world around you? Have you ever contemplated weight-loss surgery? It’s an option many consider, often after trying and failing over and over again with diet and exercise. But what about the side-effects? The pain? The financial burden? The emotional toll?
Kelley Gunter found herself dealing with all of these issues and many more as she weighed the decision to undergo bariatric surgery. Finding very few personal accounts from those who had gone through the same struggles, she decided to write about her experience in an effort to help others facing the same decision.
Gunter struggled with her weight from an early age. Always self-conscious of her body, she endured the taunts of her classmates, rejections from boys, and painful nicknames such as “Richter” and “Tree Trunk Legs.” A natural athlete and a high-school cheerleader, she attempted to remain positive as well as physically- and socially-active, but her weight constantly thwarted her efforts to achieve the fulfillment she craved so desperately.
As an adult, her demons followed her into her professional life, where co-workers and even supervisors perpetuated the hurtful body-shaming she had come to know so well. Her personal relationships suffered as her constant craving for love and acceptance caused her to make poor decisions in romantic partnerships.
Gunter knew it was time for a change.
Mustering all her strength, courage, and faith, she undertook the monumental task of preparing herself for weight-loss surgery. She attended workshops and meticulously researched various procedures until she found one that was right for her. She worked to obtain the necessary funding, taking out loans to make her goal a reality. She even endured unexpected life-threatening complications that left her not only bedridden, but saddled with additional debt and recovery time.
Gunter leads the reader through her entire weight-loss journey in vivid detail. The reader will follow her as she copes with the early stages of recovery, where even the simplest tasks such as walking to and from the bathroom became nearly impossible struggles. Readers will journey with her as she works her way back to wellness, cry with her as she wrestles with the barrage of emotions that come with rapid weight loss, and rejoice with her as she begins to realize her goal of physical and emotional wellness.
Whether you have grappled with personal body image, yo-yo dieting, lifelong weight issues, or even morbid obesity, you will find personal inspiration through Gunter’s compelling personal story of pain, struggle, and ultimate personal triumph. For those contemplating bariatric surgery, Gunter offers guidance, words of wisdom, and personal examples from beginning to end. For those seeking inspiration, she offers her personal story of spiritual faith, family, and friendships that served as a guiding force in her ongoing recovery and personal growth. For those seeking motivation, she offers the triumphant story of a desperate, but determined woman who takes matters into her own hands and reclaims the life she deserves.
“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time."