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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

                                        My Story - Part 3

So yesterday I left off with the saga of my experience with my Diet Center franchise. That fiasco was over in 1991.  And when I say over, I only mean that we closed the business.  I was soon to learn that in some ways it would never be over for me and for the next 20+ years I would allow it to affect much of what I did or did not do.  I continued for  most of that time to avoid going anywhere that I might run into someone associated in anyway with Diet Center.  That included clients, other Diet Center owners, their employees, my ex-employees, etc.  So every time anyone wanted to go to The Renaissance Fair, Taste of Colorado, an amusement park, a fair or festival of any kind, I would make up an excuse why I couldn't go.  I was so ashamed that I had failed.  I felt like I failed all of the people that I had worked with over the 7 years that my business was open.  I had believed we could all keep our weight off and now I proved I was a fraud.  At least that is what the voices in my head continually told me.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to gain weight.  I just felt like I didn't care anymore how big I got.  I am very blessed to have a husband who loves me in spite of any dumb or crazy thing I do but I didn't love me. 
This was at my son Eric's wedding and as you can see I had gained a lot of weight, for the first time I was well over 200, about 235 or so.

Finally, I had another chance to get healthy.  I was offered a chance to be part of a 10 year study looking at the effects of even a small weight loss on the heart health of diabetics.  As with most things, Ms. OCD jumped in with both feet.  While I weighed about 198 when I started the Diet Center program I now weighed 243 when I started the LookAHEAD study.  I was in the intensive lifestyle intervention part of the study and met with my mentor/counselor, Marsha, once a week and started on a healthy plan that included 2 liquid meals a day (either slim-fast or glucerna) and 1 healthy meal of real food.  I even got my developmentally disabled daughter, Shannon, following the regimen with me.  Over the next year I dropped 60+ pounds and was looking and feeling pretty darn good.  Shannon and I even went on a Scrapbooking Cruise to the Caribbean during this time and did pretty well with our eating plan.  Then came Christmas and we went to Arizona to spend it with my mother-in-law and brother and sister-in-law. 
This was in AZ at Christmas.

Steve's mom was one amazing, amazing cook and she loved people with food all of her life.  When she discovered that I wasn't going to be eating her wonderful concoctions she became upset.  She kept looking at me and saying, "Really?" I am saying it to myself now in her voice.  "Really?"  Well, eventually I caved and that was it for me.  I have always had an issue with not doing something perfect and if I was going to  go off my plan it was going to be all the way.  After all, it was Christmas, I had been perfect for a year, I almost never got to eat my MIL's food so Katie bar the door! 

The big problem with me or someone like me with all-or-nothing thinking is that I couldn't (or wouldn't) get myself back on track once we were back home.  I stopped going to the visits with my counselor or any event that the study put on.  I put all my weight back on and got back into my mode of not wanting any of those people to see me and see what a failure I was.  What a vicious cycle I put myself in.  And the really sad part is how many years I have wasted not having any kind of a life.  I have become so much of a recluse.

But...I am ready for that to be over.  I am ready to take whatever years God will give me and start doing things and having a life.  I am ready to spend time with people I love. doing things that matter.  I am ready to take whatever health I can regain and have some fun.  I want to see my grandchildren grow up and graduate from high school, go to college, get married and have children of their own.  I am ready to live!!!!!!

I hope I can be an influence for good to other obese people who are in the same boat I have been sailing in.  To be a force for good in helping others to avoid losing years and years of their life to the shame and embarrassment I felt.  I hope this little blog reaches someone that I can make a difference in their life!


  1. Colleen, this blog is great and I'm very proud of you!! Tracey P.

  2. Thank you, Tracey! I am proud of me, too, lol! Thanks for the encouraging words!