An inspirational story–as she put it an exceptional story about an ordinary person

Day 231 – TAKE SHAPE FOR LIFE!

Today, January 16, 2011, I reached a GOAL, and that in itself is exhilarating and worthy of recognition !  But it was a “weight” loss goal; one I never thought I would be able to achieve, so how did I arrive at this amazing day???
I remember 30 years ago when I was so skinny, tan, long blonde hair and attracting the looks of many people, but especially men… I liked it at first, but then the looks became “leering” and disgusting and I started to hate the attention…
            After 13 years of struggle in a marriage with so much “conditional performance” and then a terrible divorce, I began a journey of faith that resulted in the finding of true love in my new husband, David….a man, who although he loved the way I looked, never saw me as anything but beautiful even after I put on over 50 pounds… he always made me feel loved for who I was and am…inside….an unconditional love that helped me understand the love God has for me too…
So, my weight was just something I accepted because:
 my hysterectomy changed my metabolism;
 my genetic predisposition for overweight-ness;
 no diet ever worked for me for long;
examples of close friends obsessed with thinness and hurting their  health because of it;
I didn’t have time to think about it or work on it…everything I did was for others….
I didn’t want the “looks” again…
The list goes on and on…………. 
Then, one day, I saw a picture of me…. And I cried…
            I didn’t know I looked that bad…
            I was the “largest” sister and I never realized it or felt like that…
            I was….embarrassed and ashamed…
 
Then, I hurt my arm, badly…and went to a physical therapist, and saw:                     
                                    THE CARD OF HOPE ! 
If I hadn’t known about Jan Tillotson, I may not have picked up the card, and although I had never met her, I already had respect and trust in her and therefore, I could trust TAKE SHAPE FOR LIFE… it sounded so good! 
            I went to my Mayo doctor and asked her if I could start that diet, and she said she didn’t want me to do it… I was fine, that even though I should take cholesterol medication and was overweight by  50 pounds (at least), I was okay for now…. I ALMOST DIDN’T DO THE DIET…. But then I remembered what my oldest sister had shared when she was struggling with cancer… 
 “There are 3 doctors in you life:          
            1.  GOD, THE GREAT PHYSCIAN,
            2.  THE BEST DOCTOR YOU CAN FIND,
            3.  AND YOU”
so, I decided to take hold of my life and do what I knew was best for me, and allow the “Nudge” to move me in the right direction !
            And, Jan was incredible… the first thing she advised me to do was write how I felt about myself before I started the journey of optimal health…and it clarified my thoughts as well as my sadness of where I was…and therefore, I had all the “motivation” and incentive and inducement and stimulus  and “kick” to stay focused on a plan that lasted 231 days, and counting ! 
            It WAS all about ME.. because I am worth it…
            Jan said I would feel  “EMPOWERED”, and I started strutting around the town 2 days after I started my new life, and I had only lost 2 pounds !!  Now, over 50 pounds lost forever, I am almost impossible to be around !  Fortunately, I am learning to control my enthusiasm and surprise and amazement…my poor David was asked almost everyday:  “Does this make me look fat?”,  Do you think this new outfit shows off my new figure okay?   Poor guy… but I think he liked every minute of it… I’m better about that now, but I still smile and catch myself staring in the mirror and asking:  Is that really me?  I still love shopping for “petites” and walking past the “Women” and Alfred Dunner aisles!
            Now, I have reached the Pinnacle of an upward climb; it hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t really been hard either…It took me a lot longer and so much slower than most people on the plan…but it wasn’t about how fast…it was about the goal…whenever it happened… I did this in the middle of LIFE, and all of the reasons I thought were good excuses to not lose weight before—challenges of time, temptations of delicious food, parties, vacations, illness, emotional stresses, selling a house, and moving…the stuff LIFE is made of..
            AND I … WON! 
And it feels incredible… a kind of redemption of Karen…the person I want to be…and now I can win at anything !
            Thank you Jan and Take Shape for Life…
            And Thank you God, (and David) for loving me as I am…. Always…
 
Now what’s next?