What is Your Most Life Changing Experience?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
About a month ago, I found an interesting new movie on The Hallmark Channel. A Family Thanksgiving was about a happily single, high powered attorney and her taste of what her life could be like if she had made different choices. It was about the opportunity to walk in different shoes in order to recognize life's blessings more clearly. I love when movies cause us to reflect about what matters most in our own lives.

There is another movie coming up this Friday, December 3, 2010, with a similar theme and opportunity. Movie partners Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble will premiere their third made-for-TV family movie on local NBC stations at 8PM EST (Eastern Standard Time). A Walk in My Shoes looks at the sacrifices a military family endures in service to their country. Perhaps it will help all of us recognize the importance of not making judgments without looking at situations from another person's point of view. It may also inspire us to help others when we see a need as well.

Healthy TV habits are important in a healthy family. To help ensure there are family friendly options, Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble partnered to create the Family Moments initiative and Family Movie Night. The initiative was kicked off last April with the premiere of Secrets of the Mountain which was quickly followed by The Jensen Project in July.

With this third movie, Moms4FamilyTV is sponsoring an essay contest to promote the principles of understanding, self-improvement and empathy. Consider this question, "What has been your most life changing experience and what has it taught you?" If you can answer that question in 300 words or less, you might be the contest winner. Perhaps your healthy living journey has been your most life changing experience. FARMERCHIC's life changed when she lost 145 pounds and discovered a passion for fitness and developed a dream to start a healthy living program for schoolchildren. ZIRCADIA learned as she lost 125 pounds that she can do anything through the empowerment of setting and achieving goals she once thought impossible to reach.

If you need a little inspiration related to how unexpected life events can teach us valuable lessons, perhaps you will want to watch A Walk in My Shoes this Friday. If your life changing experience has taught you lessons you never thought possible, consider sharing it in the Moms4FamilyTV Essay Contest.

Has your health and weight loss journey been your most life changing experience? If so, what has it taught you? How can it help others?

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Having my wonderful children, the death of my first husband, then meeting and marrying my second husband, 6 years ago. My children leaving home, was certainly a big change, and not so easy to deal with.
Thanks for the blog., but I must say the death of someone you love, is the most life altering thing, that there is. Report
my life changing experiance is my abusive childhood. It defins you as a person and that is sad to say. But I am also reminded that I can find someone in life worse off than me. Also God's been my life changing act too. Report
Being a mom has changed me in so many ways. It has made me step outside of myself and see that I am not the center of the universe and that the purpose of life is not to have as much fun as possible. The last 5 years have been some of the happiest of my life. Report
Becoming a mother has been the most life changing experience for me! What an amazing journey it has been so far. :) Report
I suppose my most life changing experience was when I signed up for the military. All the exercise and healthy eating greatly alleviated my depression, not to mention that there I found out a lot about other people, I actually was surprised at how nice people can be..which wasn't anything I was used to back home. I'm home again now..struggling through depression..again. And hoping to get my life back on track. The military really broadened my perspective though, although there were some very tough times there, I don't regret the experience it gave me. The journey never ends, one must realize just how ignorant, naive, and unwise oneself is in order to become more intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced. I look forward to growing with SparkPeople as another next step in my life changing experiences. Report
Having my heart broken several times in college. It taught me that complete selflessness isn't the best thing in the world, and that I need to take care of myself too.

Also, the small things that have given me great friendships over the years! Report
My life changing event happened in 2003. I lost everything in my life but my children and myself! My husband became addicted to pain medicine prescribed by his family doctor and when we found out that he had an addiction, it was to late! We lost our home, our land, our cars, everything worldly! We lost a husband, father, our rock! We had to start over with just the clothes we owned. You really see that worldlly things are just that! They can be replaced! You see what family, friend, and faith can really mean in trying times. We lost everything, but yet we gained so much from our storms! We found faith can overcome anything, if you just believe! It has been 7 years since our life fell apart and all my boys have found Christ, they still struggle with there Father's addiction. He still cannot beat his addiction. They have grown up to be there Father's keeper. They have became the Father they never had:( They are my blessing! I work for The Department of Human Services and I have been on both sides of the table and I can relate to the embarassement of coming in asking for help! I believe God put me there for a reason! I started DHS in 2002, just before my life fell apart. I would have never went for help, not even if I knew that I qualified, but the worker's there pushed me to apply. I am not on the system anymore, but still raise four young men on my own, with no help from there father! I watched the movie last night and tears feeled my eyes! I see that on a daily basis at my work! I know that feeling all to well! I feel God put me behind that desk to understand, be compasionate, to let people less fortunate not feel so bad to ask for help! They always ask if I am going to be there worker and when I tell them no, I am just the pre-screener. You can see they felt comfortable at peace with me. I am the first person they meet coming in the office and I set the tone for the rest of the interview. I feel like a bit of an angel on earth. I care, I have been there, I know how it is to struggle....................... Report
My life altering experience is when I had renal failure and ended up in the hospital in a coma for 3 months. I had a small stroke or maybe a TIA, not sure on that one, but I lost the use of my legs and left arm. My left arm came back pretty fast though. I also lost a lot of H2o so not only did I have to learn how to walk all over again, I had speech issues which I am still having problems with at times, and this was something that I was very good at. The words are there but they just won't come out of my mouth. It's a good thing my sister is a nurse, she also teaches nursing at the local college inbetween her job as a DSD. I give her all the credit as she helped me get out of that hospital I was in down in L.A., and had my oldest son pack me a bag then drove me 375 mls up North to her house where she started teaching me how to walk again. She is still helping me at times with my speech. If you read my bio it will tell you more about all of this. However, out of this journey that I had too go through, I did receive a perfect match kidney and I just celebrated my 2nd year as a post transplant patient and couldn't be happier. With one exception, I think I have a cold and am so worried about getting Pneumococcal again I just can't stand it. I keep telling myself this isn't happening as I've pretty much have stuck to all the rules. However, this is why I hate this type of weather and time of year. I rarely go out shopping during December as everyone is coughing,etc. I hate touching the shopping carts anytime of the year, even with the germ cleaning stuff. However, I am really not complaining. Honest, it's just the truth. Nonetheless, I am just thankful I am alive and doing semi well. I am dissapointed about my diet though. I seem to have turned into a junk fund junkie this past couple of weeks and it is just weighing on my mind. I have to stop and take a step back so I can get back on track, and start my food journal again. I just hope I haven't gained back to much weight. That's another thing. I have never had a weight issue until I started taking steriods and of course eating differently now that I am living with my sister as we both have such different tastes in foods. Nonetheless, we are trying to take turns cooking so we shall see. I just hope and pray I stay healthly and can get back on track. Start walking again and start loosing again. And of course learn how to say NO to unhealthly foods. Lorilorraine Report
I've had many live changing experiences. What I've learned is to keep growing and moving forward. Nothing in life is permanent so it's best to enjoy each moment regardless of what I'm doing. Report
2004 was a year of self revelation. I was a victim of domestic violence and a practicing methanphetamine addict. Not only was I in a bad situation, but I was also putting my three amazing children through much turmoil. I lost about 102 lbs using meth and weighed about 114 when I finally found a way to leave my ex. I got clean for a bit but when I started gaining weight, soon relapsed. In July of 2006, I made the choice to stay clean and break the addiction cycle for my children (my parents are addicts). For the last 3 1/2 years I have stayed clean!! I also gained most of my weight back:( In August, I joined an 18 week fitness challenge at a local gym. In 12 weeks I have lost almost 20 lbs! I married a wonderful man in 2005, I have a salaried position with one of the world's largest retailers, my kids go to the gym with me and I am able to see them and the world through sober eyes. I share my story at churches, recovery groups and women's shelters so that it may help someone else. I know I have about 55 more lbs to lose but every moment I work for it is a gift that I cherish!! Report
My life changing experience has been having my first child with CP; raising her and helping her cope with the peer pressure she encountered, then her marriage, and later raising her child. An ongoing experience joyful in so many ways and humbling and painful in others, but I would not change it for the world! Report
One of my most life changing experiences was being in a head on collision in 1993. Gaining lots of weight. Then getting the courage to do something about. After losing 89.6 pounds my mom took sick and I forgot to care for me instead doing all I could to help care for mom. Mom lost her battle with lung cancer on 11/28/2009. I miss her so much and am still trying to find my way in life with out her in my life. Report
I had a hysterectomy @ 47. Complications of 3 blood clots in my legs. One traveled to my lungs and shattered. I needed a second surgery because I was hemorrhaging from the blood thinner they put me on b/c of the clots. Almost died on the table. LIFE IS SHORT; enjoy while you are able. I'm healthy now but it was a 2.5 month recovery for me. Report
My most life changing experience thus far has been retirement. I retired at 54 from the Post Office. I weighed at least 325 if not more. My feet were killing me and I just couldn't take the pressure anymore. I was able to move back home and live with my sister and her husband. If not I would be I don't know where. What I needed in my life was family. Then my sister and I got sparked. That has impacted us so much. We both have lost at least 165 lbs each. We are eating and living healthy. We enjoy exercising now. The most fun thing we can do now is walk or hike pushing ourselves a bit further. I can see people and situation much better than before. Before all I could think of was me. Poor me! In this world of instant gratification working and changing my life over 2.5 years has brought me great joy. Report
My most lifechanging experience, to date, was living through my son being deployed to Iraq with the Marine Corps. It has changed me forever, and I know I will never be the same. I took his dog for him, and she is a barker when anything moves. Everytime she barked, my heart stopped. Everytime the doorbell rang, my heart stopped. The most difficult day was when 12 Marines were killed outside of Baghdad. The media has access to information so early now and they were reporting the ambush. I sat on the couch for 2 1/2 hours changing the tv station over-and-over trying to get more information, sobbing. Two of my other children at home were besides themselves. They just didn't know how to handle it. That moment I decided to hand the situation over to God and let him handle it, as I knew it was going to kill me if I continued. My son made a choice to join the Marines and that was his choice, which I totally supported. But, I had other children and a life I needed to live. All of my worrying was not going to keep him safe or put him in harms way.

I still cry whenever I see a service member was killed. I still cry when I think back to that time in my life. I know this experience has changed forever who I am and how I view the world. Report
My most life changing experience was dealing with my first brain tumor. I was very scared. The tumor was benign. se thaI have had two others and each time I feel it is my last months on eart. Yet, I am still here! I have alot more respect for peoples desicions and don't fret so much about the small things in life. Report
My most life changing experience has been becoming a Christian. My life had been very lonely and filled with despair and guilt. I would eat to feel better about things. Then I heard that God loved me and sent Jesus to save me (John 3:16). The love that came into my life was and still is so amazing. My life has never been the same since. The next thing that happened was when I met my husband (46 years and counting).
We have 5 children, 11 grand children and 5 great grand children. Life is good.

I just need to get victory over the weight. I have been in this program since Thanksgiving Day and I have already been able to stop my diabetes medicine. Taking it one day at a time is winning one victory at a time. Report
Losing my Daddy, Mother, and baby brother (not all the same year) to heart disease...and then an older brother to cancer....has made me look differently at what I eat and do. and makes me appreciate my loved ones even more so.......telling them each chance I get that I love them Report
My most life changing was my divorce. Going from home to marriage at a young age (19) and getting divorced 7 year later....and becomming happier with myself was affirmation that I could stand on my own feet, earn a respectable living and not be taken forgranted! Report
My most life changing experience was finding out I had Lupus when I was 4 months pregnant with my second child. It saved my life because had I not been with child I wouldn't have realized that I had a problem. I was tired because I had another baby at home, my 2 kids are 18 months apart. Most doctors would have ignored the problem as being a new mother with lack of sleep. I have been on prenidsone for close to 26 yrs. but I am alive. Report
Some choirs did a show and we can contact our local NBC to tell them we want this on during the season.
The UCC is producing and editing a special musical Christmas TV special with the National Council of Churches called

"Christmas Angels". It's an hour-long celebration of the season featuring the youth of America. Local churches from the UCC, Lutheran and
Episcopal churches submitted videos of their choirs.

We will be sending the show to NBC and they will make it available to all of their affiliate stations nationwide. It's up to

the local stations to decide if they will air the show or not. Please take the time to contact WKYC TV Cleveland or your own station and let them know you would like them to
broadcast "Christmas Angels". You might want to mention that the show was produced in edited here in Cleveland and there are several greater Cleveland
churches featured in the video.

WKYC TV3 programming@wkyc.com



Ms. Jean Robinson, Video Producer
Publishing, Identity & Communication MinistryUnited Church of Christ National HeadquartersUSA 216-736-2182

Check out UCC videos on your smart cell phone: http://www.callonfaith.com /

My life changing experience was the loss of my dad in January of this year and then the loss of Baby Kadeen this summer. I am still finding aspects of my life that this has changed. I am on a journey in itself through finding myself as a woman that doesn't include the title daughter and mother. Report
Almost dying from my DVT & PE's when I was at my heaviest.
Now I'm down more than 100lbs. and healthy! Report
the day i was diagnosed with conjestive heart failure, it was loose weight or not live a very productive life..im down 70 and still going strong Report
a happily single, high powered attorney and her taste of what her life could be like if she had made different choices.
Had I seen this movie, I'd probably laughed so hard I'd have fallen off the sofa, since I have five children and I always love people like this woman who THINK it would have been SO simple to have dealt with a husband and NO power or MONEY at home with kids. A SAHM is the hardest job there is because u have NO control. A high-POWERED attorney has MONEY and CHOICES. There is no comparison. Report
Being diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer with bone metastisis forever changed my life. It has made each and every day more special than the last. Sometimes I have to remember to look for the best of the day, but it is always there. I am a 8 1/2 year survivor and was recently told that I no longer have cancer anywhere in my body. God truly works miracles. Report
Attending MIT when I was 16. No other choice has had a greater impact on my life so far.
But then, I just became a Naval Officer Candidate two days ago. I'm pretty sure that will change everything. Report
Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 24 was my most life changing experience. My daily life consists insulin shots and carb counting and I must be in control of these two things otherwise it can lead to serious health complications and even death. Although this was a horrible diagnosis I believe that it has been a blessing as well because it has given me the excuse to be healthy, eat right and exercise! Report
My most life changing experience was my husband's sudden death when I was 42. My children were 5 and 11 and I was all of a sudden alone with all the responsibilities. And it completely sucks! But I am learning what I can handle - and have accomplished more than I ever thought I could - including getting in the best shape of my life - which started because running has helped me cope with the stress. And so does eating well. Report
My life changing experience was one of mind, not body. After a bad breakup, I took a trip to Europe with a gal-pal. Studying the art, history, and literature before even leaving the U.S., then soaking up the culture when I got there, proved to me that I needed more intellectual stimulation in my life. When I got home, I soon went back to college. It is now almost 11 years later, and I'm set to graduate with my B.A. in history. Juggling job, kids, etc., with school has been tough, but it has been a truly life-altering experience. Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Great ideas and inspiration. Thanks Report
Recovering from breast cancer was my momentous life changing experience and it made way for all the good things I am creating now including my weight loss. And they told me I would gain weight from my treatment and I did but they didn't tell me how to lose it. Spark People did!
I saw the movie 'A Family Thanksgiving' and it was really special. Yes, I agree, the movie brought memories back to me - but most important thoughts on how families should be, supportive of each other. Great blog, thank you for sharing... Report
AWESOME Blog, Thank you for sharing. Report
Great Blog, thanks. Report
My most life changing experience has been having children. Anything else in my life was potentially reversible, even emigrating to Canada.

Adopting a healthier life style started for me several years ago when I started practicing martial arts. That has certainly changed my outlook on life and led to me wanting to take better care of myself. Report