Sunday, November 21, 2010
Once upon a time there was a chubby little girl who was the shortest person in her class. Everyone liked her. She was a great friend to others and had a terrific sense of humor.
Time passed. The little girl grew into a chubby, short teenager, as often happens with chubby little girls. Her childhood friends had grown into taller, slimmer young teenagers who lived lives of partying, dating, being homecoming queens, cheerleaders, and class officers.
Oh, the chubby, short teenager had her share of parties, dates, and accolades. But something was changing….
The short, chubby teenager seemed different somehow. She had fewer smiles, less funny stories, and instead of being in the center of activities with her “friends”, she just stayed off to the side. Still part of the “popular crowd”, she was invited to fewer parties, left out of after-game trips to the pizza parlor, went shopping less and less with her girl friends. Her phone rang less often. Friday and Saturday date nights still occurred, but more often she went out on only one of those nights…not both.
The short, chubby teenager was sad. Was something wrong with her? Did she smell funny? No..she sniffed to be sure. She smelled just fine! Did she have bad breath? Just to make sure, she used mouth-wash and carried gum or mints everywhere she went.
Time passed. The short, chubby teenager grew into a short, fat young woman. She graduated from college. She didn’t live in the dorm like the other girls. She still lived at home so no one would have to see her in the shower.
She HAD found love. She married the nerdy, geeky guy who carried a briefcase instead of a backpack, but that’s another tale for another time.
The short, fat woman continued to be the shortest person in her class..only this time, she was the teacher! Other teachers would fuss at her to “get back in class”. They were embarrassed when they realized she wasn’t a student. She got fatter and fatter.
She had a baby. More fat. She was a fabulous hostess. More fat. She felt ugly. She felt worthless. She was lonely. She was miserable. She was obese.
Time passed. In the spring of 2010, the short obese woman was doing an internet search for “ground beef” recipes when she accidentally stumbled upon this strange place from another world--Spark People!!!
What is this? There were more fat, obese, lonely, miserable people out there in the world? She was not alone? There were steps she could take to eat better, learn to exercise, and there were actually people who would help her along the way??
Well, this she had to see! She had to join this amazing, free site. So she did. At first, she spent hours and hours on her computer joining teams, making friends, setting goals. Oh, yes! This was the place to be! At Spark People everyone liked the short, unhappy, obese woman! She belonged here! She got fatter!
What??? She got fatter? But this was where she was supposed to magically turn into a tall, slim young woman!! Oh, that only happens in fairy tales, doesn’t it? This was the real world. A world where there is no Fairy Godmother with a magic wand. A world where Prince Charming could not save her----not even from herself!
So, the short, unhappy, obese woman quit some of her teams. She made commitments--real commitments to just a couple teams. She set some real goals. Little ones. She bought a treadmill and actually used it for something other than a place to store stuff that didn’t have anywhere else to go! She stocked her kitchen with good, clean, healthy food! She read articles! Boy, did she read articles!!! She talked to other people on Spark who were just like her! She learned about calories, fat, carbs, protein, fiber, and more! She walked, and walked. She even ran, a little, but mostly she walked! She did yoga, strength training, she stretched, she worked out with Coach Nicole’s dvds!
She smiled more and more and more and more! She quickly moved from obese to overweight to normal weight! Remember, she is very petite---so she could do that with as little as 5 pounds. Remember, though, she can move back to overweight and obese just as quickly! She is not only petite---she is “petite-petite”!! Yes, all you normal-height folks--that is a REAL category!!!
Well, the short, chubby girl who had grown into a short, chubby teenager, who grew into a fat, overweight, obese adult woke up one Sunday morning, hopped on the scale, and there it was! She had FINALLY met her goal weight!!! (It was tough the last few weeks, but she eliminated all processed foods, which eliminated a ton of salt!)
The short, healthy, energetic, active woman is pleased with herself! She is smiling at this very second! She knows that maintaining this new weight will require a lot of hard work and a lifelong commitment.
She is not afraid because she is not alone. She has an entire world out there..this land called Spark People!!!! She will continue to set goals, stay active on her teams, and be a great friend to others.
Thank you, Chris Downie, for changing the lives of so many people! Thank you, MIH, for believing in me, inspiring me, and challenging me! I must end my story now. The outside beckons me to get out and walk!!!