I always hope that sharing this blog is helping others. Even if it’s a fraction of how much it helps me to write it, knowing that someone can relate or find a useful tip makes this all worthwhile. Some days I’m busy and I don’t make the time to write it. And then a day like today happens and I’m reminded why I must and that I love it. A lot of people have asked why Molly and I have shared our stories so openly and invited in the scrutiny and judgment that comes along with taking on healthy living in the public eye. The answer is easy; because we want to help. Helping others and paying forward what I’ve learned and experienced is my passion and it drives me daily. I’ve always said if sharing this helps just one person change their life and find happiness and live longer, than it was worth it all.
Today I went down to the gym at work for a cycling class. My walking partner in crime, Melody, is out of the office for the holidays and so yesterday I did Zumba, today was to be cycling. Figured it would be good for me since that triathlon thingy is right around the corner. So I’m running a little late because I was stuck on a call. I get down and start changing and a woman approaches me. She thanks me for sharing my blog and says she loved watching the videos I did for Principal while I was at Biggest Loser Resort. Then she starts crying. She tells me that my story and my blog have changed her life. She shares with me that she has been overweight most of her life and that she’s on a continuous roller coaster of yo-yo diets. She has zero support at home and is even ridiculed by her family when she tells them that she’s serious this time and is going to get healthy. I can’t really tell her to get rid of her family if they can’t support her but I encourage her to talk to them and explain that it’s important to her. She says they won’t understand and that she’s been working out at the gym here so that they don’t know and won’t make fun of her. She’s trying to save her life in secret because she has no support. Really? My heart breaks open inside when I hear this. I tell her that I believe she can do it. I tell her it takes strength and courage to make the right choices every day and whether or not anyone agrees with them, she is doing the right thing for HER and that’s what counts. We talk about how I balance and juggle all the responsibilities of life with my workouts, job, family, etc. I give her some tips on food. And I gave her a hug. I told her that I was proud of her and if she ever needed anything, she knew where to find me. And then she finally smiled and left for her class.
I didn’t make it to cycling but I jumped on the treadmill and thought about what had just happened and again, counted my blessings for the loving and supportive people I have around me. I felt a renewed sense of energy knowing that I was doing the right thing by sharing my story. I have helped somebody and there is no greater feeling in the world. I want to feel like that every day. I wish I could reach out to everyone I see with sadness in their eyes and try to offer support. I hope that this blog continues to reach out to people and help them change their lives, the same way writing it is changing mine. Most importantly, I hope people know that there is always hope. Have a wonderful 4th of July. Shine and be brilliant like the fireworks overhead. You ARE worth it.