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Salute to Succees - July 2009


    When I read Jenny's story, I couldn't help but feel a little patriotic.  You see, Jenny served our country in the Air Force, and so did her husband.  Jenny worked to take care of our country, to take care of her husband, and to take care of her children.  But for a long time she didn't take care of herself.
     But now, Jenny has liberated herself from many of the things that were holding her back and keeping her from reaching our goals.  Here we are, just a few days before our nation's Independence Day...and Jenny is celebrating her own new found independence.  Yes, that's right, we have our own Lady Liberty here in the clubhouse.  And just like the Lady Liberty in New York...she's inviting you to join her and free yourself so you can reach your goals too.
     So, in this month of Independence, I want to share Jenny's story, and let you see how she is transforming her life!  Jenny (Revampher)  was always a chubby kid, especially in junior high.  She says she was overweight and over developed...and, well...the other kids made things tough for her.   She has also struggled with her weight throughout her entire adult life.  She always went up and down the scales.
     Jenny was in the Air Force for four years.  During that time, she met and married her husband, Jim who was also in the Air Force.  Then she became pregnant, and they had a son named Jimmy.  Jenny got out of the Air Force to stay home with the new baby.  And then her husband was called away to the Gulf War.
    Jim was gone for seven months.  It was  hard for Jenny being separated from Jim, and having the responsibilities that come with a new baby.  She pushed her weight to the side, and didn't take care of herself.  When her husband got home, Jenny became pregnant again, and had a daughter named Jessica.
    After Jessica was born, Jenny decided to try my Deal A Meal program in 1992.  She was doing my videos too, and the weight was coming off...and Jenny was having fun!  She was eating real food and losing weight.  Jenny couldn't believe it!   But being a military family, Jenny's family was always moving, and her husband kept getting orders to go somewhere...and Jenny fell off the program.  She says she just never felt settled.

     Eventually, they found themselves living in Aviano AFB, Italy.  The last two years they were there, Jenny's weight climbed to 240 pounds!  All the Italian food and wine!   And then she went back to Deal A Meal.  She stuck with it longer this time and lost 97 pounds!   She and her husband even quit smoking together.
     Jenny was feeling better, and looking better.  But then things started to change.  You see, Jenny's husband had gotten orders to go to Utah.  The day they boarded the flight to return from Italy to Utah was September 11, 2001.  They were on a "pet flight" and even had their dog with them as the whole family was returning to the US.   When the plan was an hour away from a scheduled landing to refuel, the pilot came on the speaker and announced "It seems I have some disturbing news from the states, the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon have been hit.  It seems the United States are under attack." 
     Instead of stopping just to refuel, Jenny's family ended up staying in the Azores Islands until that Friday.  Then they made the rest of the trip back.  When the plane flew over New York, they could still see smoke billowing up from where the attack had occurred.
    Jenny says, "We visited family in the east. Our daughter Jessica was not feeling well. She had an infection... drinking a lot of water and milk... eating a lot but we just didn't see it as any big deal.  We drove to Utah.  Well, Jessica needed to use the restroom a lot, like every 50 miles or so.  It was long and dragging and yes, I complained more than thought about what might be wrong with her.  When we got to Utah she was tested, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes."
    "I felt like the worst mother on the planet. I shut down immediately. How could I have been so stupid and selfish not to see that something was wrong with my child? I remember the  Doctor, Dr. Lindsay, saying to me and another girl’s parents, especially to us (the moms) not to beat ourselves up about this. He said 90% of these cases it gets to this!  Both the girls looked anorexic! I thought my kid was just at the gangly stage!  I stopped taking care of myself. I did the worst thing you could do. I pushed me aside I didn't matter. Unfortunately it was the most selfish thing I did looking back now."

     "A few years later, in 2003 I even tried to get back into the Deal a Meal lost about 20 lbs. I had recently at that time spoke to my older sister Becky, we weren't that close but we had IM’ed and chatted on the Internet.  Vicky, our youngest sister kinda got us all talking and I am grateful for that!. It was like a reconciliation of sorts. I had no more animosities... you know the family garbage that we cling to! Let it go people if you can!! Because 2 weeks after yucking it up with Becky, she was taken from our family, she was brutally murdered Feb 22, 2003. She was shot 4 times in the back of the head by a crazed monster who couldn't take no for an answer. Because she said no! She never got to see her son graduate college or see her granddaughter or grandson.. It rocks your world."
     Jenny stopped the program again.  She ate she drank...she ate and drank some more...and it continued.  She says she drank mostly wine, and ate just any food.  She didn't care any more. And she got bigger and bigger.  Then her husband told her he had gotten orders to go to Korea,and would be gone a year!  Jenny kept eating and drinking.  She also began to become reclusive. She was burnt out.  She says she wasn't there for her kids much, and she was making all kinds of excuses about her weight.  Her husband went to Korea.  Then when he got back he got orders to Shaw AFB, South Carolina.  They stayed there a few years...but Jenny then decided she wanted Jim to retire.  She was tired of the moving, and the separation, and just wanted it to stop.
     Jim agreed with Jenny, and retired from the Air Force.  Jenny had ballooned to over 300 pounds.  She says she knew it. She could see it in her family photos...and she was disgusted. But she didn't do anything about it.

     Jim got a job in Ohio, and they found their "Old Charm" house which was over 100 years old.  But Jenny still wasn't taking care of herself.  She kept trying to get back on plan.  But she says she just wasn't in the right mind set.  She had let stress take over her life.  "I was in agony, I mean here I was at 46 years old and I couldn't walk more than a few feet!  I was hurting with excruciating back pain, I was dizzy, light headed, my feet hurt terribly, I was out of breath all the time! Couldn’t sleep well at all... cranky, flustered, frustrated etc. You know I thought about dying... not in a suicidal way but that, I knew that I was going to die.  I wasn't going to live very long."
     "I went to bed and woke up  hopelessly depressed. I finally prayed for God to help me, and you know I truly believe He did! I needed that push!  Well, what at first seemed like an infection between my eyebrow and eyelid turned out to be that miracle from God. I of course had to see a doctor for this. I did begrudgingly!!  I mean “they better not get on me about my weight!” you know when you're not willing to face the truth! But, you need to face the truth!"

     "Then it happened. I went to the doctor’s, (in fact to date the appointment was right after the November Presidential election) this last November of 2008. Of course the very first thing they do is weigh you!...there  I was staring back looking at the digital large numbers 320lbs.staring back at me…”.welcome to the truth Jenny!”"

     Sometimes we need that turning point in our lives to make this change… Jenny had hit that rock bottom moment right in the doctor’s examining room. A nice nurse was taking her blood pressure…which was off the charts.  Then, out of nowhere, Jenny burst into tears. She says, " I was like Niagara Falls on a rain storming day!(I hope the doctor has flood insurance!!!)."
     Jenny wanted to live and she just couldn't stand what she was doing to herself any more.  She didn't want to die.  She didn't want to be depressed. She wanted to be able to live her life...and she knew she had a lot to live for!  The doctor was supportive and they did lots of blood work.  Jenny did not have diabetes.  She didn't have thyroid problems either.  But her blood pressure was very high, and Jenny was very stressed.  The doctor proscribed water pills and an antidepressant.

     "I had to have the infection removed with minor surgery and I found that what I had was very rare! it was like hair follicles were clogged, but people do not get this around the eyes, usually it’s the ears. You know I think God did it this way to always remind me when I look in the mirror to take care of me so I can be there for others! From now on!"
     So, Jenny started trying to cut down and eat better. Then, the Monday after Thanksgiving of 2008, Jenny started back on plan...this time my FoodMover!  She got out her workout tapes and DVD's...and she joined my clubhouse.  And you know what?  Jenny has already lost 109 pounds!  She says she still has a ways to go...but she's happily getting there!

     "I am doing it! My Husband and Kids got me back.  Jim’s got his wife back the kids have their Mom back and all our relationships are better!  My son Jimmy is on the dean;s list in college.  Jessica is getting A’s in school and she is doing fantastic! Jim is working hard! Likes the job!  We love our house! I love all of them and I feel the best I have ever felt in close to 8 years! No more back pain no more depression, and my blood pressure is in the perfect range! I feel like a million!"
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     Jenny has asked to say one last thing to all of you.  She says it's a penance from some guilt she feels.  Here's what Jenny wants to tell you:   "Please folks if you see any child... your own or a friends or neighbor's drinking a lot of water or any drinks and a lot of rapid weight loss, going to the bathroom too much, please, please have them checked. Don't be afraid to speak out!  Have them tested!  Its a simple blood test and  they have done so much to make life easier for diabetics! And they are still working on finding that cure!"
     Jenny wants to thank all of the webbies in the clubhouse for their support too.  Thank YOU Jenny for sharing your story.  I'm sure you'll help inspire many people to become independent from the things that are holding them back.  Keep on going and you'll reach your goal before you know it!