Touching Lives, Making Connections
Just three short months ago I stood in front of 12 men at a Men’s Breakfast as the featured speaker. I had no idea what I was doing. How I would be received. I only knew that I was raw with passion, enthusiasm, and had a story of trials and triumphs to share. Yesterday, I spoke to my fourth group of about 30 men and women who eagerly listened to me share my story. After each speaking event, the picture becomes clearer. My story is applicable to all. My story is one of hard work, staying the course, making adjustments, and never giving up. I’m REAL proof that you can do anything you set your mind to. I love connecting and mingling with folks after I speak usually I am rewarded with some words of encouragement as well.
I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures...
Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!