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WEGO Awards Finalist Cooper Institute Scholarship Recipient and Powell Pack Love

There are days when I really wish that the things that I had to share with you were more inspiring and less depressing; today is not one of them. ::Snicker::

I have such great news to share! So let’s go start at the beginning of the week and work my way down.

I had my 3-month post-operative reconstructive thigh lift follow-up appointment with Dr. O’Brien at the Waldorf Center and everything is healing well, I have the all clear to go ahead with the next stage of plastics when and if I decide to and, most importantly, I am cleared to run outside again! Until now I have been limited to a treadmill because they wanted me only running on absolutely level terrain.  I was getting a lot of questions about my scars the other day so I snapped a picture while I was in the doctor’s office. I’m very scar tolerant, so the scars don’t really bother me and I am hoping to tattoo over them, anyone know any REALLY good cover-up artists in the Portland, Dallas or LA area let me know, I am in all of those areas enough that they would be a doable place to find an artist.

Okay next up, back around December I think it was, I got a notification from WEGO Health that I had been nominated for one of their Health Activist Awards.  I had been nominated by a few of my peers for the Health Activist Awards – Best Kept Secret category. This week when they announced the finalists in each category, I had made the Finalists for that category. Please go check out their page, visit the pages of the other nominees and share some internet love in the form of Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows, WEGO Health Blog is all about Empowering Health Activists to help others and I am so honored to be one of the finalists among sites like www.letsfeelbetter.com, www.cycleforfreedom.org, www.downwitdat.blogspot.com, www.livewello.com and www.somanyways.net. Going through the list of Health Activists that they recognized it included Health Activists from all different backgrounds. People fighting against Cancer, HIV, Down Syndrome, Diabetes, MS, Lupus, Thyroid Disease, Arthritis. To be one of their selected Finalists representing the fight against Obesity in their nominations categories is such an honor to me I cannot even begin to tell you. To those that nominated me, thank you.

As if this honor wasn’t exciting enough, you all know me; Chris Powell is a personal hero of mine he has been for a couple of years now. His wife Heidi Powell, through my communications with them both on Facebook has become another of my favorite people and I adore them both. So when I have really exciting news, something I am really proud of, I instantly want to share it with them. So I headed over to their Facebook pages to share the my news. It once again made my day to have them both respond back to me.  Let me just say that I truly believe that Chris and Heidi Powell are two of the most compassionate and caring human beings I have ever had the pleasure of; I am at a loss for the right word here; knowing? Whether I ever actually get to meet them or not, they have become beacons of support in my life through their personal choices to communicate with me on Facebook.

ChrisPowellFBRn

HeidiPowellFBRn ChrisPowellFBRHeidiPowellFBR

I recently started re-reading Chris Powell’s book Choose to Lose. I had done so at the suggestion of Heidi Powell when she responded to a post I had written them asking for some guidance as to what exercises I should be doing outside of my cardio routine and she reminded me that Chris had some basic strength and toning exercises in the book that would be a good start. There is a part in Chris’s book that I really didn’t pay attention to the first time around when I read it; I was so focused on what I should be eating and what exercise I should be doing that I missed a lot of the mental and emotional aspects that the book discussed. I’ll be writing a review of the book when I am done and I will go into it a bit more. Chris talks about relationship dynamic during your weight loss journey and how important it is to identify some of the positive and negative characters in your personal support team. Chris defines “The Coach,” as the person who “Understands the hardships of the journey and gives guidance along the way.” This could not more accurately describe who Chris and Heidi Powell are to me. If I ever get the chance to meet them; I am going to give them both a big hug, and say “Thanks Coach,” and I will probably cry like a baby.

So in other news, you all know finances have me stressed out beyond compare right now. We won’t go into details, I will ramble on forever because it is on the forefront of my mind, but basically after the last two years of my WLS Journey my Family is a whopping $60,000 in debt and I am trying not to let us drown, while I still continue my personal WLS Journey, start a new career and continue to work in my current full-time job. In January I applied for the Susan J. Sterling Scholarship to the Cooper Institute in Dallas Texas where I am going to be going in June to take the Personal Trainer’s Education Course thanks to the generous $600 donation of one of my long time followers. They have several other courses that I could take while I am in Dallas; in fact, they have nearly 3.5 weeks of courses I could take. Well today I received the award letter congratulating me on being selected as the scholarship recipient. Right now the classes I want to take are going to cost me about $1325 on top of the PT Course that was already paid for and the exam itself costs $289. With this scholarship I have to come up with about $1100 by June to take all the courses that I can while I am there and hopefully pass the test and come home a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer. \O/

My planned schedule right now would be:

Any WLS Friendly Companies out there that might be reading this, I’m looking for Sponsorship for my classes and I’m very loyal to the companies that support me. Just ask Northwest Fitness and Pacesetter Athletic; my local sponsors for exercise equipment and running shoes!

That is all the wonderful news I have for you all today. Time is moving so fast right now, HJ and I leave a week from Sunday for the Ohio / Washington DC Trip and from there my life is going nonstop until July. I’m excited to be sharing it all with you though, and even though the financial aspect of things has me freaking out on the inside, I am keeping it in check and remembering something very important.

“On your transformation journey, I can guarantee that you’ll encourage challenges of your own, such as financial difficulties, relationships problems, work worries or health issues. You’ll experience a wide range of emotions along the way: elations, anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, you name it. Bottom line: expect trouble to happen because it will. The question is how will you react?” – Chris Powell “Choose to Lose”

Chris Powell has helped coach a lot of people. He’s helped 8 people each season through ABCs Extreme Make-over Weight Loss Edition, if you watch his show, there have been times he has helped people pack their stuff and move out of their houses because their weight loss journey took them there. He’s changed people’s lives through is book, and he and his wife have changed my life through social media and Facebook, through their involvement with me on Facebook I can honestly say I can call Chris Powell my “Coach” and part of me feels like I could call the Powell’s my friends. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for either one of them and the more I learn about them and the more I find we have in common, the closer I feel to them. I had no idea Chris and I were about the same age. I had no idea we had grown up in the same general area of California. I had no idea that Heidi had lost her father so close to the time that I had lost mine. I had no clue that Chris was horrible with finances and had lived in his car at one point. It is amazing to me how close I can feel to two people I have never met and how much they can affect my daily life, help me, coach me, and be a huge part of my support system through social media, Facebook and Twitter.

With Chris and Heidi’s help and guidance I am working on remembering that each obstacle life throws at me, every problem it puts in my way, and every harsh experience it gifts me with is an opportunity for me to learn, to become emotionally stronger and to gain self-confidence and self-integrity. Thanks to Chris’s words on a Facebook Post Response, I am working on remembering that I am not haunted or defined by my past, that my body is mine and that what I see in the mirror is mine and mine alone, it’s the body I made, it’s all of my accomplishments. Seeking Slender doesn’t stop when the scale hits a number you are content with; it’s an ongoing journey and you and I are about to embark on the next chapter of my story.

“Thanks Coach.”

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Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

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