Sunday, January 27, 2013
...For anyone and everyone I encounter who is obese and in obvious pain from the weight. I was checking out at Walmart Friday and the clerk told me there was no lines down at the other end. Obviously she wanted me to leave her check out stand. But I was in no hurry (one of the many perks of retirement). I told her that I would stay where I was because I was parked at that end anyway. As she started checking me out, her supervisor came up and said, "How can I help you?" Evidently she had called him. She almost moaned, "I think it's past time for my break." He assured her that he would do what he could. Then I noticed her....really noticed her. She was a heavy-set older woman, although not as heavy as I got in my estimation. But she was hurting. She had probably been on her feet for hours, scanning purchases and sacking and taking payments. I felt for her aching body because I remember the pain of being on my feet for too long so well. My job never required much standing. I used to blame my sedentary job for my weight gain, but that was a lie. I was heavy when I went to work there in 1977, and it was a Catch-22 situation anyway. Sure...my "sitting all day" job didn't help my weight problem, but due to my weight, I couldn't have done a job that involved much standing anyway.
Today I'm like any reformed (but still and always recovering) addict. I want to help the world. But I know there was nothing I could to help that woman at Walmart. Everyone has to come to their own "Aha" moment and to confront her would have just humiliated her. I carry around my "before" picture, as well as my picture with Joy Bauer and a copy of the article that was in our local newspaper, but I never take them out of my purse.
That's why when I heard about an acquaintance of mine who had observed me walking around campus and then realized that slimmer woman was FAT PAM, who she knew but hadn't recognized from her window, and that encounter led her to lose some weight, it felt so GOOD! To hear that there was a person who was actually so inspired by my accomplishments that she changed her own life meant the world to me.
Here at Spark, I'm only one of many inspirational success stories, but for this woman, I was her only inspiration.
Losing weight is tough. Keeping it off is even harder. I am motivated by so many Sparkers, not just weight loss maintainers, but those who are still in the process of losing. There are a few bloggers, however, both at Spark and elsewhere, who have been especially inspirational to me on my own journey. Some of those bloggers are: Shauna Reid who used to blog at http://www.dietgirl.org/, is still archived there, but now is blogging at http://www.shaunareid.com/, Katie at http://www.runsforcookies.com/
, Anele at http://successalongtheweigh.bl
ogspot.com/, and most recently Holly at http://www.300poundsdown.com/. These marvelous young women have documented their journeys to lose weight and keep it off and are absolutely brilliant writers! They inspire me and motivate me and help keep me on course. Of course there's tons of Sparkers whose comments on my blog and through their own blogs keep me going every single day, but they are too numerous to mention. I hope they know who they are.
To all these bloggers I say THANKS! But not only did none of them confront me about my weight problem at Walmart, they know that wouldn't have done any good if they had done so. It might break our hearts when we are unable to help someone who obviously needs it, but we are wise enough to know from our own experience, that the person themself has to be ready and come looking for help before our encouragement will do any good. We all have to be ready in our own minds to change. I do wish sometimes I could show and tell these people my own before and after story and tell them about Spark and all the motivational blogs and information available on the Internet. I wonder sometimes if I'd have been aware of all this motivation available at my fingertips, if I wouldn't have started my own weight loss journey much sooner. Who knows?
UPDATE: My sweet little girl was not at class again last night. I will always wonder how her story turns out.