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Where do I begin???

Friday, November 23, 2012

Joy Bauer and I (Pinch me, I still don't believe this happened!)

I have no idea where to start. I returned tonight from what literally has been the trip and the experience of my entire lifetime! Where do I begin the story? I had not even imagined such a trip to be a possibility, sixteen days ago I was unaware that I would ever be going to New York City to be on a national TV show and see and do so many things I had not seen or done since 1966 (when I was there last), if then.

WOW! On this Thanksgiving Day, when I did no cooking for the first time in my married life (42 years), other than a quick supper tonight for hubby & son, I have so much to be grateful for. I took over 500 pictures in New York, and rest assured I will be sharing many of them in future blogs, but for this night, I want to concentrate on how blessed I have been this year. How blessed am I? Let me count the ways. (These are in no particular order--I just wrote them down as they occurred to me.)

1. I got a chance to substitute teach this year. I had this dream that I could be a teacher when I went to college over 40 years ago, and this year that dream finally came true.

2. I have the world's greatest husband. He has loved me through thick and thin and it was mostly THICK. But he never made me feel fat or undesirable. He is my rock, my protector, my love. I could not have had such a wonderful life without him by my side. And on this NYC trip....he was SO WONDERFUL! He let this trip be for me. Our vacations in the past were about the kids: amusement parks, ballgames (well the ballgames were for hubby too), doing things that everyone else enjoyed and that I found fun, even if maybe they were not exactly the things I would have chosen to do if I were going on vacation by myself. I wanted to be with my family and doing what they wanted WAS FUN. But this trip, hubby made sure, was all about ME! He spoiled me rotten, let me sit by the window in the airplane every time, even though he really loves flying and seeing the view, he took care of getting us all over the city (I am map-challenged), he went to a Broadway play (Annie) and the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall with me. These kinds of things are not exactly his cup of tea, but he told me he loved them. He window shopped on Fifth Avenue with me, even going into the American Girl Store with me twice! And he hates to shop! He let me buy silly souvenirs in Times Square, and even appeared on national TV with me, and he hated that. But wasn't he cute??? I love that guy! I thank God every day of my life that He made me smart enough to latch on to this guy and hold on tight for the last 42 years!

3. My weight loss. The whole trip was made possible by the weight loss. But the trip would not have been possible without the weight loss. What I mean by that is losing the weight allowed the Today Show to choose me for the Joy Fit Club. But I could not have made the trip at 328 lbs. I wouldn't have wanted to fly, and would have been incapable of all the walking. Just in the Today Studio, you go up and down the stairs: up to hair and make up, down to the Green Room, and back up to the stage where you do the segment. Up and down, up and down. And NYC is all up and down. So many restaurants are small, but have an upstairs, so UP the stairs you go. We walked miles and miles. We only took a cab twice, once to the pier to take a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty and we walked up to the 9/11 memorial from Battery Park, then took the second cab back to our hotel. Even that day, we walked miles. I will be interested to see the scale in the morning. I ate quite well on vacation. I choose salads with grilled chicken several times, once I had a grilled chicken breast entree, and only splurged at one meal. After Annie, we had a late dinner (like you always read about the Broadway people doing!), and I had a shrimp scampi dinner. It was delicious and rich and much too late to eat that much. I didn't finish it, even though I could have. But I knew I would have been uncomfortably stuffed. That was my one splurge meal. I didn't buy any of the junk food from the many street vendors, other than two bananas and a bag of grapes. We did no snacking, we were too busy. So I'm hoping the scale will be good to me tomorrow morning. We shall see. I have been at goal for 19 months now, and the weight loss just continues to bring me so much JOY!

4. My children and grandchildren are simply wonderful. I have three of the greatest sons in the world. My daughters-in-law are very sweet and my grandchildren....well you know how I feel about them. Someone mentioned how many of my before pictures were with my grandchildren. I never wanted my picture taken when I was fat, and the few pictures I can find are almost always with those beloved grandchildren. One of the pictures they used for the Joy Fit Club segment was from the day Amber was born. We are on a bench (I didn't fit in the chairs that were available in the hospital room), and big brother Duncan is standing over me, looking down at Amber, who I am holding in my arms. I love that picture and I hate that picture. Duncan is so cute, looking down at his new little sister. It is a picture of true discovery and wonderment on his part and utter love on my part. I hate the picture at the same time, because I am simply huge.

Just a few months after Amber was born, I seriously started my journey to get and stay healthy. I think she may have been a main motivator. I want to be able to dance at her wedding!

5. My regained health. I feel SO GOOD! I can walk for miles as I proved in NYC. I take one diarrhetic pill for my blood pressure and honestly feel I could go off that one little pill now. I'm going to approach the doctor about that at my next check-up. Everything on me is normal now: my BP, my blood sugar, my weight. Life is so happy when you are just normal. Even my EKG's are normal now!

6. This chance I have to retire from my mundane job, where I have been under-employed and underpaid for 35 years. Retirement will give me time to pursue teaching, spending more time with grandkids and simply doing things that I want to do.

7. A local reporter wrote a wonderful story about me that appeared in our newspaper last Sunday, the day I flew to NYC. She interviewed me on the phone Friday, and a photographer came to my house on Saturday. I love this particular reporter, she writes a human interest column a couple times a week and she can make me cry and she can make me laugh with her wonderful writing style. Her Thanksgiving column in today's paper was also wonderful. In her story about me on Sunday, she got every single fact right, and pretty much said everything I had told her in our phone conversation. Only she said it in such an eloquent way. Everytime I read the article, it makes me cry. here's a link to the lovely article. I even got to mention in the newspaper, unlike on TV!

I'm going to fix Thanksgiving dinner for my family on Sunday. I thought about simply not having a celebration this year, but then I thought about all the wonderful things that have happened to me this last year and realized I needed to take time to truly give thanks for the blessings I have. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to God and my Spark friends, and my family and to myself for giving me the willpower to make the changes I needed to make so that I could once again enjoy living.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO late to the party! I honestly can not believe I missed this! I found the video on The Today Show site and you looked gorgeous and your whole story was just so fabulous, it made me tear up, but happy tears for how amazing you are! I am so proud of you! emoticon
    2001 days ago
    I just watched the video, and I am so happy for you! You looked beautiful!
    2004 days ago
    I love this! The story in the newspaper was wonderful, too. I like the fact that you keep saying how staying thin is so, so hard... but it's a hard you prefer to being fat. So true.
    2006 days ago
    So glad you had the trip of your lifetime!
    And your husband helped make it that way.I am looking forward to your pictures!

    You deserve it. After all it was because of your determination and persistence that you were awarded this!

    I would like to know how you were chosen? How did they learn about you? Spark people?

    Congratulations again on your honor!

    2007 days ago
    2008 days ago
    Beautiful blog!!!!!!!!!
    2009 days ago
    Now that is a wonderful Thanksgiving! Can you clone your hubby! lol
    2009 days ago
  • TERRYT55
    Great newspaper article, Pam. I understand why you like this writer so much. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner this Sunday with your family.

    You inspire me and make me want to try harder........Thanks
    2009 days ago
    I loved watching you and had my husband come and watch..we was so thrilled for you as I and your hubby looked so cute and so in love..and by the way the pants and the red jacket were perfect and now so glad you had such a good time and are so blest..we all need a reminder of how blest we are...thanks so much for being you!!!
    2009 days ago
    Your story and this blog are so wonderful, I have no words. Your description of MY hometown brought back memories too. We saw the original Annie back in the 70s. You deserve to be so proud of yourself and deserve all the accolades coming your way. You are an inspiration!
    2009 days ago
    You were a natural on TV! I cried while watching ;)
    2009 days ago
    2009 days ago
    2009 days ago
    I had to go and find this just now on the internet. You were fabulous and your husband looked so proud of you. Amazing experience for you. As they say it isn't going to be easy but it will be worth it and you just proved that! Keep up the good work because as we all know your journey isn't over.
    2009 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Hi Pam,
    I don't need to tell you that your life is RICH, RICH, RICH:). You are blessed on many fronts, and your darling husband is number one among them. You've got the love:) This blog is a magnificent testimony to your effort and your support system. Your joyful heart shines through here. Remember your feelings and the moment, and know that it's based on all that is good in your life. And then just keep doing what you're doing:) Savour the moment!
    2009 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    You looked fantastic on tv-very relaxed even if you were maybe a bit nervous. My mom said the newspaper article was great-I'll need to look it up
    2009 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    It sounds like your spirit was renewed, a wonderful Thanksgiving gift.

    You looked great on The Today Show! I'm delighted for you. Were you freezing on Liberty Island? We've only gone there in the summer. Then we would take the Circle Line and go up the Hudson. I'm so glad you got to see a Broadway play and got to go to Radio City, too. Isn't that great fun? Those theater seats are tiny, aren't they?

    I've been very lucky in my almost 39 years of marriage, too. It truly is a blessing to have the love and support of someone who cherishes you. What a good sport he was, and he got to appear on The Today Show! I know how he feels about being on TV, yet, for you, he was. I'd say he's definitely a keeper.

    You do have so many blessing to celebrate for your Thanksgiving on Sunday! Enjoy your children and your precious grandchildren and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    I forgot to tell you: you looked fabulous on Today--I loved the outfit!
    2009 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/23/2012 10:10:19 AM
    Wow! That's so exciting!
    2009 days ago
    Thank-you for sharing your journey with us. Reading this made me feel happy and inspired. There is so much in life to be thankful for, and without good health it's often all overlooked. I can feel your excitement as I read and want that for myself.

    I love NYC (we're going there to visit my niece for Christmas Eve) and it's wonderful how you were able to drink it all in and experience every single thing it has to offer. You are truly living life to the fullest.

    The icing on the cake is the Joy Fit Club! I watch it all the time. I missed the day of your appearance, but I just watched it online. BRAVO! You are amazing!!

    Congratulations on all you've achieved and thank-you for spreading your joy!
    2009 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/23/2012 9:26:05 AM
    THIS IS JUST AN AWESOME BLOG.. I SEE A POPULAR AWARD COMING.. I sure hope so so many get to read and see this!




    BR>You have such a great attitude.. and wonderful thankful spirit..

    I went to read your newspaper story.. you were right.. that was wonderfully written and her writing style is GREAT! I love her comment "GET.OUT"... LOL LOL

    2009 days ago
    You are beyond blessed ! I enjoy reading about all that is happening for you.
    2009 days ago
    Hi, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this blog. It has lifted my spirits immensely. Congratulations on being chosen, and for your wonderful trip. And congratulations on your wonderful husband. And being able to walk long distances, and all the rest. You look wonderful in that red jacket. Did you buy it especially for the show? Bless you for sharing. I'll look forward to seeing some of your other pictures.
    2009 days ago
    emoticon What a Blessing it has been to share this Adventure with you!! And, Yes, your Hubby was CUTE on TV!! I have told EVERYONE all about you and rest assured a LOT of Okies were watching the Joy Fit Club last Monday!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Thank You for sharing Your Journey and Your Blessings with us!!
    2009 days ago
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