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Salute to Success ~ July 2010


         Have you ever bought sparklers at the fourth of July?  They're so bright and happy!  And just one sparkler can brighten up a whole area and make a lot of people smile!    
          Well, today I want to tell you about a couple of my students at Slimmons who have become little sparklers themselves, they've learned to sparkle and shine, and they can just light up a whole room.  Oh, you've met Leya and Marcia before.  But oh, their story didn't stop there.  They kept going!  And this month, I'd like to update you on my Slimmons Sparklers!
         First let me tell you about Leya in February of this year.  When you first met Leya, she had lost 65 pounds, and she told you all about how much laughter had helped her in her weight loss.  Now I'm going to let Leya tell you, in her own words, what has happened since...
        "Well… A LOT has changed for me in the last 4 months! All good things, even with a few minor setbacks I have come out stronger and healthier than I have been in YEARS!
        Since my last “Success Story” I have lost an additional 25 lbs! Which brings my total to 90lbs. Not to mention the fact that I have gone from a size 22 to a size 14!! All in 11 months! 

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                I have had some struggle. The weight started to come off slower and my routine needed to be changed, and still does constantly. But once I put the principle of “Fun” ahead of me, there was no stopping me!

         Along with working out at Slimmons and movin’ and groovin’ with my “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 5” DVD I started taking some Latin dance classes. Talk about spicing up the routine!! I used to spice up my food, now I spice up my workouts!!!
         The best part of all of this is losing weight is SOOOOO much more fun than gaining weight! There are dog walkers in my neighborhood- who I don’t know- that come up to tell me how great I look, then they get my name later. 
         For the first time in my adult life I can buy clothes anywhere in the mall… which has made me a bit of a shopaholic… but it’s way better than going to the mall with girlfriends and looking at just accessories or shoes!
         I NEVER worry about fitting into a booth or chair- in fact I now sit Indian style in my work chair- simply because I can!
         I shared before that I was scared to go to the doctors because I didn’t want to step on a scale… well now I enjoy it (co-pay and all!) because my doctor sees me and tells me she is so proud of me. The number has gone down 90lbs since last year!!! It’s awesome!!!!
         Everything about my current lifestyle is fun. It gets hard… there were moments where I have been tired, “Why can’t I have that chocolate ice cream and drink that beer?” has been a part of my inner dialogue on more than one occasion. Those are the moments where I have to remind myself how worth it this all is, how worth it I am.
         I am so much happier now. No matter how hard it gets, how slow the weight starts to come off, every single pound counts. It is something I have worked for. Something that I have accomplished… something I couldn't have done without my dear friend Richard cheering me on and laughing with me the whole way. 

         I am so grateful to have shared this journey with so many people. I have felt support and love through it all and the best part is I have learned to cheer on myself. I have learned to LOVE myself! It is worth every bead of sweat, every tear, every skipped chocolate chip cookie and every tender muscle… I am pushing right through to the finish line, hope to see you there!"
         Thank you so much Leya!  I'm so proud of you!  You keep on Sweatin'...keep on laughing...and keep on sparkling!
         Now, I want to update you on my friend Marcia.  You remember Marcia!

         You met Marcia this past April, just as we were at the start of spring.  So now as we are in the first weeks of summer...let's see how she's doing.
         Marcia had quite a long history with her weight, and some of you may want to click over to my April column and read her story again.
        You see, in 2008, Marcia had lost her husband to a massive heart attack.  Just before he died, Marcia had promised him she'd get healthy.  
        As many of you know, I've known Marcia's sister, Iris, for a very long time. Well, about a month after Marcia lost her husband... Iris gave her a gift.  Iris was going to bring Marcia on my Cruise to Lose!!!  Marcia had a wonderful, and successful week on the cruise.  And when she got back from the cruise, she began to come take classes at Slimmons.  By the time you met Marcia here in my column, she'd lost 87 pounds and her goal was to lose a total of 100!

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        Marcia says, "My weight loss is now at 96 lbs.  I am moving forward with my life and getting out more with friends. Shopping has been a lot of fun.  My self confidence is getting stronger and I am ready for the next phase of my life which will include dating again.  Look out world, here I come. I am excited and scared about the future. I continue to get unbelievable support and love from old friends, new friends and my wonderful family."
        Just look at you Marcia!  You're only 4 pounds from that 100 pound goal of yours!  And just watch you sparkle!
        Thank you both so much for letting me share your stories...I know you'll both keep on going...and keep lighting up every room you enter.  Sparkle on!