“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
The Setting: San Francisco, Mt. Vernon Street
Me: Stay-at-home mom to two young babies, both in diapers. I keep a vigilant eye on the girls, change them as soon as they soil their diapers. Feed them healthy food and push them on swings in the park.
You: Your usual goofy self – the “Mayor” of our street; very sociable. Your impressions of famous people make everyone laugh.
By the time you get home from work, I’m in serious need of “me” time. You swoop Ava under your arm, carrying her like a football. Josie walks under your feet and so does Maggie our Labrador. With your one free hand, you carry a cabernet and say, “Bye honey, relax. Enjoy some solitude. I love you.” You and the family are out the door, to visit the “Different Boys” – a group of young, single party guys up the block.
The silence in the house is deafening. I don’t know what to do with my free time. I’m glad to have it, but also miss you, the girls and the dog. After a bubble bath, I get worried. You are not as “obsessed” as me when it comes to safety. So I get dressed and walk up to the boys’ house. No one answers. The front door is unlocked and I walk in. There are papers and clothes piled up everywhere in the house. I walk some more. On the pool table are Josie and Ava, wearing only diapers now. Where are their shirts? Ava has the 8 ball in her hand. She holds it up to her mouth and slobbers all over it. Josie has a ball and chucks it off the table and onto the floor. The ball bounces off the hard wood floor.
You are in the next room, lying on someone’s bed, drinking and talking to Matt-the-Artist. Maggie lies next to you.
“Uh, Willey, I think I’ll take the girls home.”
“Why? Honey, just stay. Relax. Grab a beer.”
“Oh, thank you. But the girls need their baths, their books read to them…we need to get ready for dinner and then bed.”
You look at me adoringly.
“Ok. I’m going to finish my wine here. I’ll bring Maggie.”
I take the girls home. You come home shortly, and we eat dinner right after you tickle the girls silly.
I’m dedicating this portion of my website to life makeovers: not just losing weight or a getting a new hairdo, but overcoming huge obstacles like self-doubt, depression and “failure.”
The easiest and most motivating way to do this is to learn from people who are doing or have done what you are dreaming of accomplishing!
The Debut Spotlight belongs to someone who, against all odds, overcame incestual abuse, spousal abuse and debilitating depression. She is also a single mother of two beautiful daughters. Still think you can’t overcome your current struggle? Meet Laurie Lee…. She lost 130lbs and gained a brand new life.
Laurie experienced incestuous abuse at a very young age from various male members of her family. She left her home, fell in love and got married at the age of 26. After having two daughters, she realized she was in a loveless marriage. There was no physical affection of any kind and no emotional connection. At age 33, she was divorced. “The weight gain just happened,” she says. “After ten years of absolutely no exercise and bad eating habits, I weighed 275lbs.”
She was working at a bank and doing very well, but her boss could tell that she needed help, and told her so. Fortunately, Wells Fargo has excellent insurance for employees. They covered counseling sessions and, despite her doubts, she went. “I didn’t expect anything to change, but something did.”
Laurie’s therapist is an exceptional one. While Laurie kept calling herself, “broken,” Tammy was adamant that nothing was broken, especially Laurie. During her first session, Tammy listened to her 100%. There was no agenda and Laurie was shocked.
After several sessions of Laurie sharing her painful past with her, she declared, “I want to lose 100lbs this year.” Tammy didn’t blink an eye. Laurie thought she’d say, “That’s nice, but you have a lot on your plate already.” Instead, she said, “OK.”
Throughout their next sessions, Tammy began using words like “fearless” and “warrior” to describe Laurie. It was a challenge – a very big one – but slowly, Laurie began to see herself that way. “Those are powerful words!” Laurie says.
Losing the Weight
Laurie said she wanted to try running. Again, she expected Tammy to laugh in her face, or say she wasn’t ready. Tammy accepted her wishes matter-of-factly. Laurie joined a running support group. The group supported much more than running, the women supported each other emotionally. “Running, for me, is a mind clearing event,” Laurie says over her salad. “But I started running to prove to Tammy that I couldn’t run.” It took her over a month before she could run a mile. She watched “The Biggest Loser” and admired Jillian Michaels. Laurie lost 60lbs. in 7 months.
It’s been a rollercoaster, Laurie’s weight loss and increase in self-esteem has not been easy. She’s cried a lot, felt alone much of the time and struggled with feeling at ease. With over 1/3 of the United States’ population being obese1, this disease is a pervasive, challenging one to overcome. The roots of obesity’s cause run deep. Mid-way through her progress, that discouraging voice still reared its ugly head. Laurie wanted to prove to Tammy that she was right, she was broken. So she brought in a broken flower vase. “You see, this is broken, this is how I feel. I want to feel whole again.” Tammy showed her a website of art created by broken glass. “So, you think these pieces of art, made of broken glass have no value?” “No, I mean…they are definitely worth more than just a broken vase.”
But now, Laurie feels better than ever. Take a look at the gallery:
She’s still losing weight (slowly) and she’s enjoying the process! These days, it’s more about the feeling she gets after the run. Some runs are inspiring, others not, but she always feels better after going on one.
Key Factors for Success
Take advantage of insurance and offers of help from others.
Know that life is a journey, not a destination.
Change your thoughts, learn to live through your heart. You come out the other side stronger.
Think less and feel more.
Don’t diet, just be aware of what you eat and stay active.
Get cute outfits, you want to look good.
References: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html 1
If you’re curious about your BMI (Body Mass Index), here’s a calculator: http://alturl.com/m7nay