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Chris Powell Responds to my Letter

I was going to write a blog today about this amazing experience I had in the gym yesterday…. But then I woke up this morning to A Letter from Chris Powell, and well, I will just have to share that amazing gym experience later, but it’s now on my list of things to blog about!

Imagine my surprise when the first thing I see this morning when I log into Facebook is…

Chris Powell commented on my link!

Chris Powell commented on my link! My heart started racing… so I went to see what it said…

Another click and my heart stopped as I realized that Chris Powell had PERSONALLY responded to ME! To ME! To little old insignificant x-fat girl ME! But when I read what he had to say…. OMG I started jumping up and down, screeching with excitement, going “HE said I’m AMAZING! HE said HE is proud of ME! OMG HE actually wrote ME back!”  I mean with someone like Chris Powell you expect that they will be able to touch your life the way they do others, but you NEVER expect that you will be able to touch theirs enough to get them to notice you and to get a response like this…

Chris Powell's Response to my Letter

Chris Powell’s response to my “Letter to Chris Powell”

About two and half years ago when this journey began I had never watched Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, I didn’t really know anything about Chris Powell, and honestly as far as famous trainers go, I knew Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels from watching the Biggest Loser a few times and that was about it.

Once I had my Gastric Bypass and my life became so focused on Weight Loss, being healthy and exercising, I started watching a lot more shows. I watched Ruby, I watched the documentaries on people that had had Gastric Bypass and Skin removal surgeries on cable and I started watching Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition with Chris Powell.

From the beginning I just saw Chris Powell as someone that stood out among the masses. The way that he dealt with people, there was genuineness there that I didn’t see on a lot of other shows about people that were morbidly obese and trying to lose weight.  The one thing I noticed more than anything was that Chris seemed to key in on not just the food and exercise aspect of weight loss, but the emotional journey that it is as well.

That’s one thing a lot of people don’t understand about extreme weight loss. For me losing the weight wasn’t just about losing the weight and being healthy, it was about reclaiming my life as my own. Once I realized that my weight was a huge self-defense mechanism to make sure that people didn’t hurt me, I realized that it hadn’t really protected me at all. In fact, hiding behind weight got me hurt a lot more just in the way people’s eyes bugged out when they looked at me, or the shock on their face as they walked by me and realized how big I was. Not to mention the rude comments from people in cars driving by you when you are walking down the street. And from a health standpoint, it never did anything but hurt me. Diabetic and taking insulin 3x a day in my 20s, Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure, Sever Edema, Skin Disorders, rashes and yeast infections in the crevices of my body that I couldn’t keep dry… the medical complications were endless.

Exited about Chris Powell response

My text to my BFF and Soul Sister Debby Aka “Tora” about Chris Powell’s response!

But once you get all that weight off, you are faced with whole new issues. The excess skin issues I honestly feel are even more emotionally hard to deal with that the fat was. In fact I’ve heard of women that purposely sabotage their weight loss when they start to face the excess skin issues because they decide they would rather be big and tight that skinny and wrinkly and saggy. For me, the skin wasn’t so much about how I looked; it was about not being able to truly see what I had accomplished. It was this feeling, that even after fighting so hard to lose all that weight, the people who had abused me enough to make me turn to food and being heavy as a means to protect myself still seemed to have concurred me. For me, reaching the end of my journey, being able to look in the mirror and see a Healthy, Fit and Slender me, meant I was reclaiming control of my life from the people that once took it from me. I have one more surgery left to go, but I feel that goal is nearly accomplished now. One of the hardest parts of the last year for me has been that my Father was not here to see the end of a journey I began to help put his mind at ease about my Health. I wanted my Father to know that I was going to be OK. The fact that he had to leave me before I finished and that he wasn’t really in any condition to understand how much I had truly achieved even when he saw me after the first stroke had hit him in January. It was just hard for me to never have my Father be able to say to me, “I’m proud of you,” – There have been a lot of people that have said those words, Tom, Jason, Heather, my Mother, My best friends Debby and Ashli, and while they all mean so much to me, it never was quite the same as having my Father say it. In fact right after I woke Heather up to tell her and  Jason a text to tell him next I sent a text to my BFF and Soul Sister Debby AKA “Tora” to tell her! After that I called Ashli to tell her but of course she didn’t answer her phone as usual. Next I posted all about it on Facebook, Twitter, Updated my “Letter to Chris Powell” Page with his response. And later called my Aunt Bev to tell her about it too!

Today when I read Chris Powell’s Letter to me it brought tears to my eyes. I think that having Chris Powell himself tell me that I am amazing and that he is proud of me, is probably about the closest thing to having my Father say it to me. And you know, I do believe that my Dad is still out there somewhere, watching over me, anytime something amazing to me happens I always find myself wanting to go for a run and talk to my Father and say, “Thanks Dad, for still looking out for me from wherever you are.”

Today was a pretty amazing day for me. All around. I feel inspired, I feel like I am headed in the right direction. Everyone once in a while Heather and I will eat Chinese food. It’s a good healthy option for me once in a while as long as I stick to something like green bean chicken or mushroom chicken. I have to make sure the protein is lean, not breaded and that it’s cooked in healthy oils. Anytime we’ve had Chineese food since I’ve decided to move forward on this buiness I have kept my the fortune in my cookie and let Heather eat it….  So far I have….

“Fame and Fortune are coming your way.”

“Your Confidence will lead you to Sucess.”

I don’t care about Fame or Fortune, but today I definitely feel like I’m headed towards success. Who’s coming with me?

What a week for Seeking Slender

There is so much stuff going on in my life I really have no clue where to begin sometimes. I might have some really exciting news regarding the Desperately Seeking Slender Fundraiser but I don’t want to announce it until everything is official. But Heather and Ashli have been working hard at seeing who they could get to sponsor our Fundraiser and who they might be able to get to donate and it looks like Ashli got us the Sponsorship of a very nice exercise equipment and fitness store here in the Pacific North West.

I’m very happy to introduce everyone to Northwest Fitness. One of Portland’s Best every Fitness Supply locations. Heather and I had the pleasure of meeting their Sales Direction Jeff Hahn and we got a chance to look at their Showroom. OMG there were so many things I wanted to take home. When we first started talking to Jeff last week over the phone we had sent him a list of Fitness Supply products that we were hoping to buy with the $3500 we had budgeted for “Equipment and Surfaces” and Jeff got right on it. He even took our list to a Fitness Supply Trade show that he was attending in Las Vegas last week to talk to some of his Vendors about us and the things we were looking for!

We got to meet with Jeff on Saturday morning and we were so impressed with Northwest Fitness it isn’t even funny.  From their AMAZING Showroom that literally makes you want to jump on everything, try it out, see how it works. If I had the space for a home gym I’d go broke in that store! And Jeff, was awesome about showing up the options for the products that we were looking for, talking to us about what we thought we would need and making adjustments, and of course he showed us a couple things that were not on our list that are now like The Human Trainer! Oh the torture I will make some people endure someday working on THAT thing. It’s very similar to the TRX Suspension System that my own Personal Trainer, Suzie over at Tym for me Fitness, uses on her clients, and trust me when she first got it a lot of us were cursing at her under our breath in her gym. Maybe not even under our breath so much as just cursing at her. Of course whenever Suzie wanted me to do something new I didn’t really curse at her, I just looked at her and asked “Are you high?”

Suzie went with us on Saturday as well and she was really excited about some ab rollers that Jeff showed us. I would have gotten excited about them too if I had the abs and upper body strength to use them without falling on my face, but I’m still healing from surgery. I know I look all healed up but it wasn’t even two months ago yet that we did my side gather abdominoplasty and breast lift and the fact that not even 8 weeks out I am in a Fitness Equipment Store doing lunges off a step 360 and trying out dumbbells and such is pretty amazing and I think, a testament to what sort of physical health I am in these days. I remember a time when I would not have bounced back nearly that well.

Last week was so full of exciting news for me. It was also my first week back in the gym. I’m starting out slow again with my Cardio, no reason to go crazy right out of the gate and risk an injury that will lay me up unnecessarily, I’ve got enough of those 8 week gym breaks after surgery scheduled for the next year or so. Speaking of which, I know a lot of people have been asking me, I spoke with my Plastic Surgeon the other day and she said we were going to try for an early December surgery date for the next surgery which will be working on my thighs. They say this surgery is the most painful and hardest recovery of all of the reconstructive surgeries that one has after major weight loss and I will be honest, I am NOT looking forward to this one.

Heather and I had our little IPhone adventure. You might recall I waited on a Birthday present this year from Jason to wait and see what the IPhone 5 was going to do and when they announced it I decided that was the phone I wanted for my birthday. Since I had an upgrade available I got the phone at the carriers discounted rate which is like less than 50% the full price of the phone. But I wanted a 64 Gig Black one and you would not believe how difficult it was to get my grubby little hands on one when they came out on Friday. But that’s a story for another time. I did get the new IPhone5 so that too has now come off my Fundraiser list!

Between that and the help of Jeff and Northwest Fitness, we’ve knocked a pretty big chunk of our start-up costs down. The biggest thing here is that we absolutely HAVE to raise the funds to pay for my ACE Certification as soon as possible. Even if only the Personal Trainer one saving the Nutrition one for right after, we have to make sure that if NOTHING else at all we get that Covered so our next milestone we want to meet in the Fundraiser is to get someone to Sponsor the ACE Certification which is $800 for the Personal Trainer one and $800 for the Nutrition one I want to take right after. I need both of these to make sure I can do both Personal Training and Diet Plans, both of which are going to be essential to Desperately Seeking Slender.

I know that we have a couple pledges sitting out there from a few of you that love me! But you know me, I don’t count my pounds before I lose them, or my hatching chickens or something, so we’re not banking on anything JUST yet.

It’s been an insane week for me and everyone around me. Fundraising, Gym Time, Puppy Training and Training Classes, Planning the Oakland Trip, Camping out for IPhones, Doctors Appointments, Meeting Jeff, getting our first Sponsor, it’s been an amazing ride this week and to top it all off, I can officially say that my swelling is down enough to let me back into my skinniest pair of jeans yet… my 7 for Mankind Jeans. \o/ and in case you don’t recognize that gesture it looks something like this… oh and by the way, I weighted 335lbs when this picture was taken 7 days after my Gastric bypass just 23 Months ago….

But you have seen that \0/ Gesture a few times… Like when Heather and Ashli came to visit in November and of course the night we bought the Dodge Caliber that I knew was going to become my Desperately Seeking Slender Mobile Training Vehicle.



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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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