Are you on a treadmill or a hamster wheel?


I was at a lunch recently standing in front of a table full of people when a woman looked my way and yelled, “Oh great, another skinny b****!”

Who knew that I would one day be called skinny? I spent most of my life being called football thighs. But now, in front of my peers (I think), I am vindicated…no longer a chunky nobody…I’m a skinny b****!

I grew up the school ‘Scum Bag’. Remember them? Those three kids everyone makes fun of? I was

one of them right along with Pim Vandergeesen, the guy that picked and ate his boogers and Mike

Noble who we all affectionately referred to as Mike No Balls. I was the little chubby girl who had a mullet because my mother wasn’t around to tell me how to wear my hair. (I refuse to put mullet

pictures on here so don’t ask). As all socially awkward nerds, I didn’t know I was one. I knew boys

didn’t like me and I knew my only friend was Mary Labeda, the buck toothed girl no one else liked but me because she lived down my street.

Then one day after Patty Clinefeld threw a handful of dog food at me and told me to eat it, I was

walking home from school alone and a little kid saw me and yelled, “Hey girl, you have a fat butt. That was the day, the day in the seventh grade of my junior high school I became determined to lose weight. My focus turned to weight and food. It would be how I would control my emotions for the rest of my life.

In my Mom’s great concern for my well-being she made me watch a weight loss show about Anorexia and Bulimia that taught me how to lose weight fast. And after passing out at 86 pounds, my dad was driving me home from the hospital and said, “I’m gonna tell you this once and only once, I know you’re just trying to get attention so knock this shit off.”

So I did. And then I really did get fat…fatter than I was before.

Food continued to hold me captive, and I lived feeling like the fat girl every time I walked in a room. I was never admired or looked upon by men. I used to twist the front of my bra beneath my shirt out of nervousness. I’d have my index finger wrapped up tight in my bra strap…but no one ever noticed because no one ever noticed me. I even used to sit and tweak my nose in awkward ways (I can make it squeak if I tweak it just right).

As I got older I tried to work out and lose weight in spurts. But food always conquered all my efforts. I’m 5’2” and a half (that half counts), and I always weighed 152 pounds. I fluxuated from a size 12 at my best to a size 16 at my worst.

In one of my, ”I’m really gonna lose weight this time” efforts, I joined…yet…another gym. I was

watching television while on the treadmill and saw those 90-day makeover shows. I decided that if

these women could take 90 days and focus on their bodies and get makeovers and look 100% better, so could I.

What ensued has been 10 years of continuous challenges to lose the weight I hated so much and
change the body that has defined my self image my entire life. Before you give me diatribe about self-image, that’s what it is…self-image. I wanted to look in the mirror and feel good about myself. I
wanted to stop having ‘lose weight’ as a New Years resolution. I was sick of ‘wanting’ to lose weight.

Then my brother died. He had been very overweight his whole life and had told me the best part

about his cancer was that he’d finally lost all his weight. (That’s how badly my brother always wanted to feel good about his body). His clothes were hanging off him when I went to see him. His wife giggled at his large pants, “I figure,” she said as she looked at him and shrugged, “What’s the point of buying him new clothes now?”

Seeing my brother die changed me and I created my own Bucket List. On that list was, for once in my life I wanted to walk into a room and feel gorgeous because I had never felt that before. I didn’t want to die having never felt like a beautiful woman. I deserved to give myself that much.

I discovered the challenge of seeing how good I could look and pushing my limits working out through Body for Life and other programs that I followed. Not just physically but through nutrition as well.

I learned which foods make me feel good, what supplements to take, which spices improve my health and longevity of life. Most of my skin care is from the inside out now. I changed things up and do them differently…drastically different. I was a size 12-16 all my life – 10 at best. Now I rate myself by size…a 6-8 and some 4’s. I’ll always push to be better because I enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge of pushing my body. I went through Boot Camp and discovered how resilient my body is, what happens when I push myself beyond what any human should. I passed my final physical training test on my 40th birthday, 60 pushups strong in only 2 minutes. When I was 35 I couldn’t do one pushup and wore a size 14 jean.

I hated running too. But I changed. Challenge and pushing myself has become a drug in some ways for me. Am I in the gym daily? Heck no. I wish. I struggle too. I need to dig deep constantly and find motivation. I enjoy my body today, and I never want to look back. As one trainer told me, I wasn’t born with a pair of Aces. I didn’t get offended. He was right. I had to work harder than the next person to achieve the results I wanted, and I have gotten it.

I have achieved the Skinny 'B' title and am proud of it. I may even have T-shirts made, so to the

woman who yelled that out…thank you. It has fueled my passion to help others that come to me with similar improve themselves.

And to my brother, who’s death was due to tongue cancer, I honor him by not taking any flavors for

granted, both literally and metaphorically, taking the time to taste…my food, my life. I enjoy food,

making it and experiences all different flavors. I also love my body and live life to the fullest possible with passion and I encourage those around me to do so as well. Life is too short to be shy, unheard, unnoticed, think twice and not say what you really want to.

If I die tomorrow I want to have lived today with passion and fullness and beauty, honesty and love, feeling sexy and beautiful knowing I put my best self forth and held back nothing.

For those that made it through this…thank you for reading. I hope you found something you can take with you in it.

For the friend who encouraged me to do this...thank you.


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