Why I share my weight loss story

“Jodi, I just wanted to tell you that I love how you can speak about topics that people like us (obese) are thinking about but just find it too difficult to say. You’ve been there and you know how it feels, you tell it like it is because you are real and not like one of those people that we see on a TV show.  After hearing your story about the reason why you decided to start walking and eating better, I realized I need to make changes too.  This is the first time in my life that I feel I can lose weight without dieting, just like you did.  I’m going to start walking today and I’m not giving up.  When you said “NO EXCUSES” it really hit me.  I’m not using them anymore.  I’m gonna do this!  Thank you.”

Those are words I live for, they mean so much to me.  Motivating and helping others who are currently living the life that I once did and giving them hope is the best feeling ever!

There are hundreds of comments that I’ve heard that are very similar to the one mentioned above, and even though it’s been over ten years that I’ve been receiving remarks such as these, they still bring a smile to my face.  You see, I know that ANY person living an obese life can make changes and lose weight successfully; but it isn’t always easy for others to realize that.  It’s one reason why I talk so openly about my previous life as a morbidly obese individual.  It’s difficult for me at times, often taking an extra effort for me to hold back any tears, but I tell myself that if I can help another individual, it’s worth it.

I’d rather wipe my tears while telling my life story, possibly saving a life, instead of keeping a dry eye and saying nothing.

You see, I realize that the majority of the overweight population would not feel comfortable revealing information that they most likely consider embarrassing.  In fact, before I lost my weight, the thought of telling others that I wore size 24 pants or weighed almost 300 pounds would have made me cringe!  No, it’s not always easy revealing all the details of how I felt about myself when I was morbidly obese.  Wow, even as I type those words today, it’s still difficult to use them for describing my past size; morbidly obese … those are unpleasant words, aren’t they?

Yet, now I will talk openly about how I didn’t like looking in a full-length mirror, having my photo taken or being videotaped because I felt that I always looked like a “fat cow!”   I will admit that I once worried about fitting into a seat at an amusement park, theater, airplane or squeezing behind a booth in a restaurant… no, it wasn’t easy!  I tell how I feared walking past a crowd of people because I assumed they would laugh at me behind my back.  I discuss how I dreaded having to shop for clothes to fit my extra-large body, especially when I knew it was close-to-impossible to do; and, I talk about how much I worried about my kids being embarrassed by their mom’s size and having to be seen in public with me.

But the more I talk about these things, the easier it gets.   When I hear:  “Wow, you really understand,” coming from another morbidly obese person who is struggling to lose weight just like I was for 25 years, I can show them an ever-so-slight smile and inform them “Yes, hun, I really do.”

Then the hug that often follows conversations such as these is always very special to me as they allow both of us to feel that we have connected.

I wonder … have I connected with you yet?   I surely hope so, but if not I will continue to put forth every effort to do so – your good health is my ultimate goal because I really do care!

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