From There to Here ~ The Tale of Terra
Weight is a challenge that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. I was a fad dieter from the age of at least ten. My weight hit an all time high AFTER my second son was born (how could that be???). The more I gained, the more I worried I became and the more I ate. It was a vicious cycle that I knew I had to find a way to stop. What I really wanted was a magic pill that would take the weight off while I slept. Why can’t that be invented??? Anyway, I knew that didn’t exist and fly-by-night diets had greatly attributed to my situation in the first place. It was time to do something permanent and real life.
In January 2001, I walked into a Weight Watcher meeting (for the umpteenth time in my dieting life!) and prayed that this time I would finally “get it” and that it would work for me. I quickly realized my prayers were being answered when I met the perfect Weight Watcher Leader for me and made a connection. She was upbeat, energetic, funny and, most importantly, she was real and I related to her. It made all the difference in the world to my success! She inspired me and I liked being a part of her successful meetings. I liked being surrounded by others who were attaining the success I was looking for and who were not only willing, but excited about sharing their tricks to success!! I felt a connection, an energy, and my attitude about the weight loss process started to change. Losing weight started to become fun, because I was doing it in a way that was realistic for my lifestyle. I was focused on ENJOYING the process in each present moment, rather than waiting endlessly to achieve a final goal weight to bring me happiness. I enjoyed my meetings and the relationships I was establishing there. I was still able to eat chocolate, drink red wine and go out to dinner!
Of course the quantities were adjusted, but it was worth it! No more “all or nothing” living. I knew this was it…I felt successful from the very beginning because I was living a realistic, healthy lifestyle each day, that had the balance I had never really experienced. I was not depriving or starving myself and I started to feel alive and in control rather than out of control and embarrassed. I committed to myself that when I achieved my ultimate weight goal, I would do everything in my power to inspire others to lose weight and feel the empowering sense of self that I was blessed enough to be experiencing. Becoming a Weight Watcher Leader myself seemed to be the best way to go about this commitment. So, after losing 75 pounds, I did just that and have been a Weight Watcher Leader ever since.
My life has changed dramatically since losing 75 pounds in 2001 and it could not be better. After losing the weight, I had the confidence to start jogging with some other moms in my neighborhood. I thought running would be a good way to help maintain my new weight and I thought maybe I could even enter some kind of race to give myself a goal. Until that point, walking had been my primary form of exercise, so I gave running a try. In October 2004, I ran the Chicago marathon for the very first time and finished in 4 hours! To me, it felt like a miracle! Since then, I have run a total of four marathons (26.2 miles) and countless half marathons (13.1 miles) and I love it. Wait, wait, wait…that is not all together true…I don’t think it’s the running I actually “love” as much as the camaraderie I have developed with the kind, funny, beautiful women I run with every morning. They motivate me to get up before the sun rises (even when I am tired and it’s COLD out!) to do something just for me. They make me want to be a better person and I love them for it. When we share our energy with others, we gain it back exponentially.
Losing the weight also gave me the confidence and energy to get back into the workforce. I have a degree in Public Relations from Illinois State University and a successful corporate sales background, but this time wanted to do something that allowed me more flexibility to be near home for my children, continue my healthy lifestyle and lead my Weight Watcher meetings. I wanted something that I could excel in on MY terms. I chose real estate sales and went to work for Stone Tower Properties as a Realtor in 2003 because I loved the idea of “boutique-style real estate”. By 2006, my business partner, Teresa Keenan and I purchased the company and ran it ourselves. I was a great experience but my plate just became too full, so in 2009, I sold my half to Teresa and went back to selling homes full time. This allows me to work full time and still lead my Weight Watchers meetings, which is so important to me. Teresa is not only one of my best friends, she’s does an incredible job of running the brokerage. The firm is all about personalizing, not franchising, real estate sales and I love that! Stone Tower Properties is located at 325 South Street in downtown Geneva, Illinois (www.stonetowerproperties.com) and is the most quaint, charming “office” you have ever stepped foot in! STP has about fourteen agents and continues to grow more rapidly than we ever anticipated! I am proud to be a part of the reputation Stone Tower Properties has for integrity and professionalism in Fox Valley real estate.
I am thankful everyday for the renewed energy and confidence that living a healthy lifestyle has given m e so that I can provide for my family! My life would be very different today if I had not started my journey of self discovery on that cold January night in 2001 at Weight Watchers. I am grateful that I met the right people at the right time in my life who helped me lose 75 pounds and put me on the road to finding myself again. It is an on going journey that never ends and if I have learned anything, it is that the goal is to enjoy the ride rather than impatiently wait for the destination. I treasure every opportunity I get to touch other people’s lives at a time when I can be of help to them. I know better than anyone how weight issues can sabotage one’s self-esteem and make us feel paralyzed, defeated, weak and embarrassed. I feel privileged to share in the successes of others and I feel like I am finally the role model for my children that I always wanted to be.