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Unexpected Side Effects

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My family lives all over the place. When I started losing weight, I wanted to find a simple way to keep them up-to-date on my progress, so I started updating my Gmail status for every pound lost.

This way, any time they log in to check their emails, they'll see at a glance if I have made progress or if I'm stalling. This gives them an opportunity to encourage me if I'm struggling or celebrate with me if things are going well.

What I hadn't anticipated was how it would affect my friends. Helen sends a very cheery Instant Message everytime she sees the numbers change. Francine gets really excited everytime she notices that another pound has melted away. She says it feels silly, but she gets really happy whenever those numbers change.

Today, my status changed from "-37" to "-38".

Two weeks ago, Francince told me that she has decided to start losing weight too because my numbers have inspired her. Today, her she changed her Gchat status to "-5". We may have started a trend :)

Francine told me that I have been an inspiration to her. I admitted that my intention had just been to keep my family in the loop, but that it made me happy that it inspired someone else, and I thanked her for that.

To that, Francine replied, "That goes to show... Always put your best out because you are touching people as you go"

When I get home tonight, I'm writing that on a Post-It and sticking it to my wall. What she said doesn't just apply to this journey, it works for everything else. I am humbled that something I started for myself is having a positive impact on someone else. And I'm grateful that this person has taught me something new because of it.
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