Social Networking

Becoming a Trainer

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Twitter #PleasePickMe to Help an X-“Fat Girl” Get Noticed

 

I am that girl who never wins anything.

I’m not saying this in an emotional, whinny sort of way either, I am just being honest here, after all I’m about to ask you all for help, so honesty is the best policy.

Alright my Weight Loss friends, here’s the scoop, brutal honesty.

I hate my job. I’ve wanted a new career for about 5 years and really when you weight 420 lbs you’re not exactly the most employable person out there, so I stuck with what I knew and what got my Family through. About a year ago now I started playing with the idea of becoming a personal trainer. At first it was just some fleeting thought, what if I could do that?  That would be cool… But as I got farther and farther into my own weight loss journey, my desire to help others on theirs just kept growing and pretty soon I just knew it was what I had to do. For me and for the people I want to help. When I made this decision almost a year ago, it all seemed overwhelming and I didn’t think that it was even remotely possible. (Read: Crossing Bridges from Dec. 2011) I made a new year’s resolution to tackle 4 HUGE things I would need to accomplish to get this done. As of today, I can say with 99.9% certainty that I have achieved all of those and will have each one marked off my list by the start of 2013.

  • Reconstructive Plastic Surgery – I’ve done 2 of 4 surgeries, the next will be done before the end of the year and the last is just touch-up stuff which will be done in early 2013.
  • A Reliable Car – My car blew up, I bought a new one, bought one specifically to use for my new business venture.
  • ISSA Certification – I’ve not decided for sure if I will go for the ISSA or the ACE but as of 10/15 I have the Money (Thanks to Tora, Colin, Tom and a Savings Bond I won in the 8th grade) and I will be purchasing my certification course as soon as I am ready to start studying when I get home from my skin removal surgery in December.
  • The Equipment – My friends and I launched an IndieGoGo Fundraiser to try to help me raise the funds to start my own business, the fundraiser runs through the end of 2012 and hasn’t done very well at all, but our efforts in doing that did get me my first Sponsor, Northwest Fitness who are donating as much of the Fitness Equipment as they can to my business. Jeff, our contact at Northwest Fitness has been amazing and told us he is pretty sure he can get me everything I need at little or no cost to us.

These were huge goals to take on accomplishing in a year. But I did it. And as I did it, my dream changed. Suddenly I didn’t JUST want to be a Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Motivation Specialist … I mean I do, but I want to do it on even a bigger scale! Suddenly as I got closer and closer to my goal weight, the passion, desire and drive to pursue this just started burning even brighter in me. Before I knew it I was getting more into my blog, social media writing letters to people like Chris Powell and when I actually got a response from him it just made my dream even bigger. (Read: A Letter to Chris Powell)

I started thinking about the things I had dreamed about being when I was a kid. For a while I wanted to be an Actress, then a Talk Show Host, then a Journalist, then a writer. Suddenly I realized that I still dreamed about a lot of those things. The chances of them ever happening and me actually getting noticed enough to do something like that is really slim though.

And suddenly another opportunity presented itself…. I found out about CBS and a new reality show called The Job – CBS describes the show on their website:

From reality show masters Michael Davies (“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” “Watch What Happens Live”) and Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Voice”) comes a new reality series, THE JOB, where every week talented candidates are chosen from across the country for a chance to win their dream job at one of America’s most prestigious companies.

Host Lisa Ling guides participants through several rounds of challenges as they compete for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to land the job of their dreams.

So I decided to apply and ask them to give me a shot to win my dream job. I told them my dream job is to have my own Weight Loss Show like Chris Powell … I told them I want to be an Icon in the Weight Loss community.

CBS is the only big network to NOT have a Weight Loss oriented Show and I think it’s time to change that!

But I’m one of those people who enters contests and never wins; that writes letters that never get answered. I always believed before that it was because I was big, big people tend to become invisible to the world as ironic as that is.  For those of you that were overweight as kids you might recall the horror of standing there while teams were picked for some sports game in PE. If you were anything like me you probably wanted to crawl under the nearest rock. All you could think was please don’t pick me last. You just wanted someone to like you, to be your friend, to want you on their team. “Please Pick Me” reverberated through your head. That’s how I feel right now! I don’t want to be overlooked, picked last or end up sitting this one out because of uneven teams! So I am on a mission to make sure that I get noticed here and that I’ve made sure CBS and the Casting Team of The Job has seen me and knows how bad I want this!

Mission #PleasePickMe: Yup that’s right, I’m not that scared “Fat Girl” anymore that is afraid to get noticed or scream to loud and make a spectacle of herself. In fact, I will gladly make a spectacle of myself over and over if it means that I can pursue my dreams of building a new career in a field I love and helping people who I feel especially connected to.  So every day I will be Tweeting using #PleasePickMe trying to get CBS and The Job Casters to pick me for their show and I really hope you will join me. Not just in my mission to get noticed, but in yours as well. Use #PleasePickMe to help you meet your goals and get noticed too. Is this me trying to start a Trend? Is that what this is called? I don’t even know, what I do know is that this is my dream right now, this is something I have to chase, and I’d really appreciate your help. So if you’re feeling like helping that ex-fat girl get noticed, tweet with me, re-tweet for me, and share your own dreams and goals with me using #PleasePickMe

Amanda Todd: Teen Suicide results from Social Media Bullying

You can’t really exist in Internet land today and not have heard about Amanda Todd, the 15 year old girl that hung herself after being cyber bullied over the internet. Her story, started with a Man that harassed her into taking topless photos that he sent out over the internet. The trauma of the entire event sent the girl to another school to try to start over. In the video she posted on YouTube Amanda Todd spoke about being depressed, feeling alone, cutting herself, wanting to die, and trying to commit suicide. Several weeks after posting her video called “My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self-harm,” Amanda Todd hung herself.

Amanda Todd Video

This is the Video that Amanda Todd Posted on YouTube
Click here to view entire video.

This story is tragic, and had Facebook existed when I was in High School, it could have been me.
I honestly don’t know how kids do it today, how they survive in a world of Social Media and Internet Communication.

I wasn’t very different from Amanda Todd at 15. We didn’t have cell phones and Facebook, we had beepers and CompuServe and Prodigy and 3200 Baud Modems.

A Picture of Me at 15

I never had a lot of friends, I usually had one or two really close girlfriends that I hung out with and that would come over my house on the weekends and that was it. I was never really popular, I was chubby, I was being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, which translated into something else for kids to pick on me for and tease me about. Being chubby was enough to make me stand out, get teased and get picked on. When I was one of the first girls in my class to get boobs and start my period I got picked on for that too. Then that weird skin phase where your face is a giant battlefield of pimples kicked in and it was something else for kids to tease me about. I got called names, I got beat up by the school bully, another chubby kid named Rusty that thought it was fun to hit me and kick me and take his frustrations with being picked on and bullied out on me.

My Family life wasn’t any better. I had a mother that was verbally, mentally and sometimes physically abusive. I struggled with the knowledge that I was adopted, and knowing that my biological mother was actually my Aunt, and still a major part of my life. Being adopted made me feel unwanted and abandoned. I’d been molested by my step Grandfather, a Man my entire Family already knew was a predator and had already hurt other girls in our Family. My Mother and I fought constantly and I hated everything about my life. By 15 I was doing drugs and had tried to kill myself several times.

YouTube, Facebook, none of those things existed or like Amanda I probably would have made some video reaching out and trying to get help, it’s not like I wasn’t desperately looking for it, I wanted out of the darkness so bad I just didn’t see the light. Instead, I wrote an article for my High School Newspaper called “My Battle with Depression.” The article was published in the Daily Breeze Newspaper on August 6, 1993 after a reporter for the paper contacted my Journalism Teacher asking if they could run the story. You’d have thought, after a story getting noticed like that some responsible adult might try and help me. They didn’t.

The Daily Breeze Article

The Article I wrote in 1993 as a Depressed and Suicidal Teenager. 
Click here to read the full article!

Like Amanda, my depression, being bullied and being picked on lead me to cutting and self-harm a defense mechanism that even today I have to be very cautious not to fall back on. For me, cutting and self-harm allowed me to feel something when all I felt was numbness, so when things get really bad, when I feel numb, that tickle is always there, that fleeting thought about how I could make myself feel something with a simple swipe of an exact-o knife. For me, cutting is no different than over eating or emotional binging, all things that I could very easily slip back into doing if I am not paying attention and monitoring my emotions.

I have no doubt, that had I been 15 in today’s world where Technology pretty much enables anyone to stalk you, follow you, harass you and bully you without being too noticed. According to the Examiner; “Authorities are attempting to gather information that could lead to charges in the death of Amanda Todd.” The Officer on the case Sergeant Peter Thiessen said, “We are looking at what transpired in regards to Amanda, what transpired on social media, what transpired face to face, who many have had contact with her in that regard, and whether there’s evidence to support any sort of criminal charge to any person or persons who may have had an impact in the type of decision Amanda made.”

Guess what. Too Little. Too Late, and someone should be asking WHY. Why did this girl have to change schools so many times? Why wasn’t anything being done about the bullying, stalking and harassment that were going on BEFORE it lead to a 15 year old girl tragically hanging herself? Why wasn’t something done to stop this obvious internet predator that was collecting topless photos of a 15 year old girl and posting them all over the internet? Someone explain to me why weeks after this girl posted a video of her cut arms telling the world her story and what happened to her nobody was paying attention and she managed to hang herself?

I cannot believe what this girl endured. To be perfectly honest, if it had happened to me, if I’d had people posting on my Facebook page wishing me dead, hoping I was more successful at my suicide attempts, and telling me how stupid I was and what a failure I was because I managed to screw up trying to commit suicide, I probably would have just gotten more determined to succeed, I probably would have done exactly what Amanda Todd did. Thank goodness there wasn’t any social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter back then or I might not be here today.

This girl’s tragic story has struck a chord in me. It’s touched a place inside me I didn’t know still hurt. It’s made me realize how vulnerable teenage girls are and how important it is that we help them. Since I decided to become a personal trainer and start working towards opening my own business to help others achieve their weight loss goals I’ve really only considered adults and Pre and Post op Bariatric surgery patients. But after reading this story, and realizing how other young girls are going through some of the very same things that I did at their age and how much harder it must be in today’s day in age with the internet and technology I’ve decided that I can’t just focus on adults. The truth is the emotional problems that we uncover during our weight loss journey usually are some of the very things that are bothering us at that age. I was just saying the other day that I resented that nobody taught me about obesity, exercise and the physical and emotional dangers of obesity as a child. I’m starting to think that I want to speak to teen girls about obesity, I’m starting to think that on top of becoming a trainer and helping others lose weight I also want to help make sure that teenage girls don’t end up being me in 20 years and fighting to get their lives back after eating their way to obesity as a coping mechanism or worse, like Amanda, giving up because “I have nobody. I need someone.” –

I’m sorry Amanda, had I seen your video a few weeks ago I would have tried to be that someone for you. But I will try to be that someone for someone else.

Related News Articles:
Amanda Todd Facebook Memorial Pages Overrun by Bullies
Amanda Todd: Bullied Canadian Teen Commits Suicide After Prolonged Battle Online and In School
Bullied Teen Leaves Behind Chilling YouTube Video

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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