Motivation Articles

''I Never Expected to Inspire Others''

Weight Loss Led to a Meaningful Moment with My Son

One day my soul woke up and it was fat! It didn't happen overnight; I wasn't always fat. I had spent the last 11 years eating emotionally. It started with my husband's death. We had been newlyweds. Emotional eating stayed with me long after my wounds began to heal and even after I remarried. It had become a habit. And even though I knew I was hurting myself, I felt powerless to overcome it. Food had control over my life for years, but finally, I decided to live differently. From somewhere came a glimmer of hope that my life could be different.

Then SparkPeople showed up with a soft knock and an invitation: "Can Audri come out and play?" This began a journey of self-discovery I never could have imagined. You see, I didn't realize that year after year, my personality and my future were slowly being buried under a growing layer of fat!

SparkPeople helped me realize for the first time that to be successful I had to make some serious changes. It wasn't enough to make a New Year's resolution and hope for the best. I had to commit to being different…but first I had to believe it was possible. So I started with what I knew to be true. I knew I had not always been fat. I knew others had overcome even greater weight obstacles than mine. Mostly, I knew that through my faith, I could do anything. After acknowledging these things, I felt prepared to commit to whatever it took to conquer myself. Within a week, I came up with the four strategies I would use to set myself up for success.

First, I assessed my battle with food in an honest way. My "If they don't see me eat it, it doesn't count" attitude had to go! Using the Nutrition Tracker, I took a close look at my food choices and it opened my eyes! Over time, I chose to eliminate caffeine, table salt, alcohol, sodas and excessively high fat, high-calorie foods from my diet. Some were harder to let go than others were, but one by one they fell by the wayside in exchange for healthier options.

Second, I stopped hiding my struggle. Those who loved me had known all along anyway—my size 18 wasn't a good disguise. I was only fooling myself. I realized I had fallen into a habit of secretly losing a little weight with the hope that others would notice. When they didn't, I became discouraged and eventually quit. I decided to try a different approach and bring God, my family and friends into the program with me. This way, I was encouraged and held accountable. Eventually, I joined a SparkTeam and even started one of my own.
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Member Comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Yes, I had to grab a tissue to wipe my eyes before I even got to the end of your blog. Truly inspirational and beautiful. - 8/9/2014 4:07:50 AM
  • That was beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story with us - 1/27/2014 9:56:06 AM
    NICE and happy to learn I can make this is a crockpot :)))))) - 11/7/2013 12:03:08 AM
  • What a beautiful story and person you are! It brought tears to my eyes! - 10/11/2013 12:37:06 PM
  • That was really uplifting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on achieving your goals! - 10/9/2013 11:40:18 AM
  • This was a beautiful story! Truly inspirational and touching! - 10/8/2013 10:04:49 AM
  • Fell a bit off track with my progress and was looking for inspiration...the story is very sweet and I too have done a 5K with my kids...however a 5K is 3.1 the data is wrong cause it doesn't add up...but otherwise a good story. - 9/23/2013 5:06:42 PM
  • What a STORY !!! What a gift you gave your child. That lesson, is a lesson we all need to learn at some point. He WILL be a better man because of it . WAY TO GO MOM !!!
    Congratulations on a very successful journey & thank you for inspiring us with your story ! - 8/17/2013 9:54:34 PM
  • You are so inspiring..Thank you for working so hard..and sharing your thoughts , trials, and triumphs..It is so nice that we can inspire each other to have a better , healthier life..Your inspiration is a tender mercy..!!. - 6/21/2013 7:28:55 PM
  • What a great article... how touching... - 6/21/2013 12:47:19 AM
  • That was so beautiful. Thank you. - 6/15/2013 7:06:44 PM
  • The story about your son made me teary (I'm not a cryer). It states very similar lessons that I strive to teach my lil one :) Thank you for sharing. - 2/23/2013 12:51:03 PM
  • There is nothing better than being told that you look good or have done well.
    But you can't inspire those that don't want to be.

    What you have laid out should help others to get starts, fingers xxxx

    - 2/23/2013 3:31:52 AM
  • Thank you for such a wonderful and inspiring article!! I'm sitting here crying because i was so moved by your story about your son. Reading this has pushed me out of the rut the i was in and it's gotten me motivated to go for my dreams.
    I had never thought about my weight and personality being so interconnected but when i read your words i realized that it was true for me too. I looked back over my past 8 fat years, and realized that the emotional eating i used as a comfort in the beginning turned into a bad habit. Slowly, as the pounds crept on, my personality got buried underneath. I turned into a sad, depressed, shy, anxious person. I hid from the world literally (not leaving the house for weeks on end) but i avoided all contact - cut off all my friends and family. I was ashamed of my appearance, but also ashamed of myself as a person, believing i was lower than dirt.
    These past few weeks have been an eye opener for me. I resolved to change - not just lose weight as i had so many times before. My mood lifted and the active, vibrant, happy person i once was began to peek through. Then i had a bad spell, and the defeatist attitude began to creep back. I knew that spark had some good motivators, so i started reading some articles and came across this one. It was just what i needed to get moving again. Thank you! You've inspired me more than words can say! - 1/17/2013 11:30:15 AM
  • Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. - 1/12/2013 10:30:36 PM

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