Hi Guys. I get emails from all over the world every day. Most of them are from people I’ve never met. That’s a cool part of my life. Thankfully, they (the emails) are mostly nice. Occasionally, I receive one that brings a tear to my eye and makes me realise why I love what I do here at me-dot-com. Today was such a day. Please take three minutes out of your life to read Mel’s letter. It’s worth it.
I once made a comment on one of your articles about how I was losing weight; it was quite a while ago. You responded to me that you would like to see my before and after pictures when I had finished losing my weight. You told me to send you the pictures and you would make me a star (lol), now I don’t know about the star thing (lol) but I did set myself a goal when you said that to me to complete my journey and send you my pictures. I have not sent them until now as I was thinking he probably only said it to be nice… blah, blah, blah (insert insecurity here lol), but I want to complete my goal regardless of the outcome – so here are my pictures.
In the ‘before’ pictures I am 121.8kg (268 lbs) and they were taken at my daughter’s 1st birthday party. I weighed myself the day after her party and cried and cried when I saw the number on the scales. My BMI was 40.7 and I could not walk for long as I would get exhausted, sweaty and chaffed. I hid inside my house and was so embarrassed that I could hardly look people in the eye. I would not even go to my letterbox until it was dark for fear of being seen. I remember a day when I was sitting in my own backyard and the neighbour’s kids yelled over the fence “why don’t you join Jenny Craig?” I was mortified to say the least.
I decided to do something about my weight, after many failed attempts I made a decision that, no matter how long it took or how hard it was, I was going to get this weight off me. I got out my old Weight Watchers books from a previous attempt and started planning out what I needed to do.
I won’t sugar coat it and say it was easy and the weight just fell off, it was bloody hard work, it was exhausting to just walk to the end of my street but I kept going, pushing myself a little bit extra each week, and as the weight came off, I started to believe in myself (even when those around me were going yep yep here she goes again, it won’t last long).
I kept going, I adopted the mantra of nothing and no one will keep me fat. We all use so many excuses why we can’t do it: fight with my husband and bam there goes a family sized pizza down the gob. Stress at work: yep really need that chocolate and so on and so forth. I refused to react to external stimuli, some days it was easy others it was a bloody nightmare but I did it. I was told by certain members of my family that I wasn’t fun anymore because I refused to get drunk and because I refused to ruin my resolve – and also because I didn’t want to consume a whole heap of empty calories. I was told I was different and too serious now…. blah, blah, blah. I was laughed at and teased about what I chose to eat etc. I never gave up, I just quietly thought to myself nothing and no one will keep me fat.
I was not perfect. I had times when I put a kilo or more back on around Christmas time etc but I refused to give up. I just kept going and took that sucker that crept back on off again. I went through my mum being diagnosed with cancer, finding out that my husband had an affair, nursing my mum and dealing with her death via suicide – all while I was on my weight loss journey. I did not use these things as an excuse, I kept going. I just kept repeating that nothing and no one will keep me fat.
Today, four years on from that horrible day that I weighed in at 121.8kg (268 lbs), I am now 65kgs (143 lbs) – having lost a total of 56kgs (123 lbs). I have a BMI of 21.7 and I am fit and healthy. I love the new me. Yes I love how I look now but more importantly, I love how I feel. I now have the energy to play with my kids. I can run, jump and skip with them. I can fit on the slippery dip at the local park. I can play and live my life again. I am confident and happy. Weight-loss is not the solution to life’s problems but it helps you to deal with them when you are at your healthiest. I did not magically change on the inside just because the outside changed but it gave me the courage and strength to change other areas in my life and to look at myself with honesty.
I want to thank you Craig. You were with me on my entire journey. I read your articles and you inspired me. I wasn’t looking for someone to give me excuses to give up I was looking for the tough love you dish out. You helped me more than you will ever realise and for that I say, thank you. You are a remarkable man and should be very proud of the difference you are making in people’s lives and the world.
It took me 1.5 years to lose the weight in a healthy sustainable manner and I have now been maintaining it for about 1.5 years.
Your post today inspired me to follow through on my goal of sending you my pictures, so here they are. Do with them what you will. If they can be used to help others go for your life. I am just glad I have finally completed that last goal.
Congratulations Mel. I’m proud of you and you’re an inspiration to all of us.
Of course this letter was published with Mel’s permission (very brave and honest), so feel free to send a little cyber-love her way. She has told me (we just spoke on the phone for the first time) that she will answer questions - if anyone has one.
Enjoy your weekend all.
Group hug… ( )