Hope
Courage
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Volume V Issue XXXVII

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Erin Brady Worsham: Breathtaking Metamorphosis
  by Associated Press / Knox News
 

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A Time For Every Purpose
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A Dose of Strength
  by Jennifer Basye Sander

 

I Turned My Life Around
  by Shelly Sundholm

 

Dunk Not
  by Joseph Walker

 

 

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Seattle Washington USA

I Turned My Life Around
By
ShellySundholm
It’s been said that life is a journey, not a destination. My life has been an incredible journey! A journey that took me from a 260 pound unhappy, unhealthy, depressed, self-conscious woman over 11 years ago, to the happy, healthy, active and confident woman I am today! Here’s my incredible story.

Unhappy with the stigma of being a chubby child, I joined my first weight loss club at the age of seven. I tried program after program, diet after diet, but with no real success. I’d lose a few pounds but always gain more. By the age of 25 the years of yo-yo dieting had taken their toll and my weight had affected every facet of my life. My marriage ended when my husband left me for a thinner woman. My career path was limited -- I became a radio broadcaster because I was told I was too obese for television. My negative feelings about my appearance prevented me enjoying everyday life like going to movies, participating in sporting and volunteer activities, and visiting with family and friends. I hid from cameras and I ran from mirrors. I hated the way I looked, and worst of all, I hated myself.

The final straw came on January 3, 1992. That morning, as I was getting out of the shower, I slipped and my whole body plunged forward. It was in my frantic attempt to prevent myself from landing on my head that I saw myself in the mirror – my complete self, from head to toe. I was absolutely horrified with what I saw. I was obese beyond belief and there it was right in front of me. No more hiding, no more excuses, I was fat – and I was disgusted. I sat on the edge of the tub and sobbed. I cried a tear for every hurt I’d ever felt, every cruel joke I had endured, and for every diet I had tried and failed. By the time I finished crying I had made a decision – I was going to change my life – for the rest of my life. And I knew it couldn’t involve another diet – another round of expectations, broken promises, and failure. That’s what got me in this mess in the first place. This was going to be a lifestyle change, for the rest of my life. Diets had always turned my life upside down -- I was going to turn my life right side up.

So what did this lifestyle change involve? First, a new attitude about life and a new attitude about food. I had to learn that there was more to life than planning my next meal, that food was just food – nothing more and nothing less. That’s why diets don’t work – they keep us focused on food, on what we can and can’t eat. It’s a proven fact. 95% of people who go on a diet will lose weight, but regain it back, plus more, within two years. An even more astounding fact is that dieting is a $35 billion per year industry in North America. What does that tell us? Diets don’t work.

The second key to changing my lifestyle was to incorporate physical activity into my life. The key was to pick something I liked so it would become habit forming. I’ve never been good at team sports and I hate aerobics but I’ve always enjoyed walking, so that’s what I chose as my lifestyle activity. Today, I power walk three to five times per week and also do strength training two to three days per week and I feel fabulous.

The third key to changing my lifestyle was common sense eating. Which is exactly that – using common sense about what I eat. Common sense doesn’t mean eating only broiled fish and lettuce – it means eating healthy, most of the time, and learning to push my plate away when I feel comfortably full – not overstuffed. Diets had always left me feeling deprived and hungry. I no longer feel either of those because my eating habits have changed. The irony is that once I changed my attitude about food and incorporated physical activity into my life, what I was eating wasn’t nearly as relevant as diets had always wanted me to believe.

The decision to change my lifestyle was the most profound decision I have ever made. I now live a life that’s full and rewarding and no longer limited by my size. I have the confidence and self-belief to pursue my goals and dreams, and I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I’m an active volunteer in my community, I participate in social activities with family and friends, and I have energy, energy, energy! Most of all, my lifestyle change has given me contentment with myself. I like me, I really do, and that’s a fabulous feeling.

And, I no longer run from mirrors!

 

Shelly Sundholm.jpg (2744 bytes)Shelly Sundholm is a communications specialist and popular speaker on lifestyle management.  By changing her lifestyle Shelly transformed her body, losing over 120 pounds and has maintained it for over nine years. She formed Sundholm Lifestyle Management Inc. to help others do the same. Visit her website at www.sundholmlifestyle.com or email her at sundholmlifestyle@sasktel.net

 

Hope      Courage     Determination      Compassion
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