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This is Me Hurt and Discouraged

This is one of those pieces that you start to write and ask yourself, do I really want to share these thoughts and feelings with my readers?

LittleDSSpeopleFor me, the answer is a resounding yes, and let me explain why. I made a promise when I started this blog that I would share my journey with you, that includes the times when the journey isn’t fun or exciting and it includes times that I feel hurt and sad.

Today I feel hurt and sad and discouraged. I feel like this journey is teaching me who my real friends are, who really cares about me, and who really supports me. It’s funny my friend just posted a picture on Facebook as I am working on publishing this entry that said “You don’t lose friends, you just find out who your real ones are.” ( Thank you Claire you remind me so much of my Daddy )

Now let me start by saying that I realized there are lots of facets to my emotions and my feelings right now. First let’s talk about my life here in Portland. There are a lot of people in my life, people who I interact with on a regular basis that call themselves my friends and have no problem asking me to do something for them, or inviting me to do something with them. But you know what, when things start happening for me and I ask for help and support in the mere form of a COMMENT on a page that it is REALLY important to me, they can’t be bothered to help me. If you look at the page that I’ve publicly asked for support on, you’ll see the same people who have been supporting me for years in real life. My best friends Debby, Ashli and Heather, Debby’s husband Colin, and that.. is it.

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You have no idea how heart wrenching that is to me. You don’t see my family on there, you don’t see my friends on there, you don’t see local friends that I have done things for, supported, tried to help with their own endeavors on there commenting.

Now there are a few people in my life, like my “Second Father” as I call him, Tom, who is in his 70’s and just isn’t part of the social media world, and my Aunt Beverly who isn’t really computer proficient. Those people I understand, but the rest of them. No I’m sorry I don’t.

Frankly, the next time someone from my everyday life here in Portland asks me to do something for them or with them that could not bother to support me when I BEGGED for it. I’m going to say “I’m really busy right now but thank you for inviting me.” so when you get that response from me, you’ll know why.  That’s my approach, I’m not one to pick a fight or get into a big dramatic thing with you over it, I’m just the type to go away and give you back the same emotional vacancy sign you just handed me with your clear display of lack of support. Now if you feel that you fit into this box, then really, maybe you should ask yourself why you decided that something that I asked of you, something that was extremely important and exciting to me, meant so little to you, that you couldn’t be bothered to add a quick comment to a page that I asked you to.

Now that’s, the real world. But there are other spins on this too, and once again, I’m going to be honest about my feelings. But really, my online world isn’t that much different. There are people who read my blog on a regular basis, who have seen something in me from the beginning and support me. I love you guys, you are the very reason my blog exists.

529967_355878714449811_2000093436_aBlogging really isn’t my thing. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s not like I set out to be a blogger. I set out to share my story with others that were battling the same issues and that sort of made me a blogger. It’s not my dream though. I’m not after a 10,000 reader following or a blog that makes money with advertisements. I don’t make anything off my blog, the couple of sponsors I have are people who believe in me and what I am doing. NWFitness and PaceSetter, and their sponsorship isn’t in the form of cash, it’s in product. PaceSetter gives me running shoes and socks and tips on how to improve my running. NWFitness is trying to get as much of the equipment as they can for my start-up business as a personal trainer that I am lunching this year. And these sponsors weren’t even ones I found, they are sponsors my friends found for me, because they took the initiative to start looking for people to help me get started. It’s not my blog that I am focused on, my blog is my way of communicating my story to others, what I am out to do is help other people on their weight loss journey by teaching them that exercise can be fun, and to help the weight loss surgery community discover the benefits of exercise on an emotional level, as an emotional outlet, stress reliever, and, a damn good option in the battle of cross over addictions. Exercise has helped me so much, becoming a trainer and helping others find that is extremely important to me.

NWFitness125Every event I go to, everything I do right now comes out of my own pocket and of course the time that I am investing in it takes away from my normal job. But I believe in the WLS Community and I want to be a part of t, and those few people whose lives I touch and help with what I do, usually give me more motivation than I need to go on.

But I won’t lie to you, I won’t sugar coat stuff and paint it with pretty colors to make people like me. I’ve been that big girl who was invisible to the world for so long that if you decide you don’t like me because of what I have to say, that’s ok, I can live with that.

But seriously folks, I don’t think you understand how disheartening it is to ask your community to do something for you and pretty much get ignored. I don’t pretend to be one of those people who has a following of 5000 or even 500, but I have a couple hundred of followers on the social media networks and you know what. EIGHT of them, took the time to post a comment on this page when I literally begged. And really… I wouldn’t think asking people to go to a page and encourage a famous fitness guru to get involved in our community and come to our events would be such a hard thing for my friends in this community to do. But apparently it is, and I’m not going to lie folks, it’s hurt my feelings.
DSS-PostLogo3bFor the first time, I honestly am second guessing my involvement in this community. For the first time, I am wondering if I want to continue pressing forward to build a fitness career focused on the WLS community specifically. For the first time, I’m starting to think that maybe I should just be focusing on building my new career in general and not so much on just the WLS community, even though I am extremely passionate about it and care about the people within it.

One thing that I know right now is that for the last 6 months I have written letters to my Hero Chris Powell that were answered. He was listening to my voice, I had gotten his attention.

So many things were happening for me, and when I was Honored with the Ms. Fabulous 2012 title I thought, OK  here is my big shot to make a go at this and actually write Chris Powell and ASK him to come to some of these events and recognize this community. I thought it was really a good shot to work on fighting the misconception that weight loss surgery is the easy way out, and of course, help promote fitness in the WLS community because that is what I am all about.

DSS-PostLogo4bI feel right now, like I sort of wasted my one big opportunity. I feel like I should have waited to ask Chris Powell to do something. I feel like instead of asking him to support a community that can’t take the time to show him that they WANT to be supported I should have just kept that little open line of communication with him to myself and held on to it until there was something I wanted for just me, not the entire community. I know that sounds selfish, so be it, that’s the truth about how I feel right now. I feel like I’ve really pushed to get his attention, his wife’s attention, and his management teams attention, and I asked for something big, and got a pretty positive response. But, even when this community could SEE that positive response ( I mean you can see his responses to my letters on my website and obviously on the post on his Facebook page that I asked for support on. ) only EIGHT people who are not 5-10 year-long friends of mine could be bothered to support me. It hurts my feelings a lot because there are so many people in this community that I thought really cared about me and respected me, and when I see that they can’t take 5 minutes to make a comment, or share a post for me it just really hurts my feelings.

I pay close attention. Especially to those that sure has heck don’t mind it when I do that for them. I’m very good at hitting the like button, commenting, sharing, retweeting, replying, and let me just tell you honestly guys, the lack of support I feel here, it’s not encouraging.

Now I will be the first to admit my own issues and own my own stuff. Is my reaction to this warranted?  Is how hurt I feel right now justified? I’m 100% positive that I am even more sensitive to the lack of support I feel from the WLS community because of the lack of support I get from my own Family. But you know, I’ve been honest about the lack of support from my Family and my poor relationship with them. I’ve been very honest about my “chosen family” and about how I very much see the WLS community as part of my family. And the fact that I didn’t get the support I thought I would from my WLS Family really broke my heart.

I’m going to be taking a few days to lick my wounds and re-evaluate what I am doing, how I am doing it and whether I need to go into a different direction.

My best friend Ashli arrives for a week-long visit on Wednesday and you won’t see any blogs, or social media presence from me while she is here. I’m going to take some time to consider where I am going to focus my energies and spend quality time with the women that have supported me for years.

DSS-PostLogo5I feel like my dream is unreachable now. I realize that after what I asked Chris Powell to do and how hard I tried to show him that the weight loss surgery needed him, he’ll likely never respond to me again now. The fact that I probably lost the ear of my biggest hero by asking him to get involved with this community rather than just get involved with me and potentially blew any chance I ever had of meeting the one person whose words of praise mean as much to me as my Father’s is just crushing to me.

Right now, my instant reaction is to withdraw, to go focus on my education and my life and not worry so much about blogging, Facebook and Twitter or being friends with people who don’t really care about something that meant so much to me. But I know that reaction comes from a place of hurt and emotional response and I won’t make any decisions until the smoke alarm stops sounding and I have time to really analyze all the emotions involved in what I am feeling.

For those of you that did support me, and did comment. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time. I will never ever forget the eight of you that tried to help me, and as always it’s an action I will pay forward somehow, someday, someway.

My blog has gone silence once before when my Father passed away. I felt like I needed time to grieve and heal before I could move forward. This time it won’t be as long but I feel like a dream of mine died with this part of my journey and I need some time to get over that.

People often ask me what I do when something happens that hurts me or discourages me. This is it, I step back, reevaluate and re-approach, I’ll see you all in a week or so when I have my head back on straight and the hurt is a little less new and raw.

Related Links:

Chris Powell answers my letter. Please help make my dream come true.
My spin on WLS Advocacy – What I am doing to help
A Letter to Chris Powell
Chris Powell Responds to my Letter

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Chris Powell answers my letter. Please help make my dream come true.

I’ve got to take a deep breath. I need to write this all down and honestly I’m so excited about everything that is happening right now that it’s hard to bring myself to stop and actually do that.

I posted on my Facebook account on January 3rd, “You know that old saying go big or go home? I’m actually scared of something I got brave and decided to do, Details to come soon.”

That was 5 days ago. And since then things just started falling into place for me. Originally my post was because I had decided to enter the Flab to Fabulous Pageant, and there was that little voice in me at first that said “Why would YOU enter a Pageant.” Then I reminded myself to keep up with my daily affirmations resolution and I looked myself in the mirror and I told myself “Because you are Fabulous and you were a Flabtastic ( I know that is not a word ) and you deserve to showcase your weight loss and tell the world about your accomplishments.”

FlabtoFabulousHonoreeNext I contacted the Pageant Director, Charlie Brown, to talk to her about the Pageant. During our conversation she offered me the slot as their 2012 Ms. Fabulous Honoree. The opportunity to be the Ms. Fabulous Face for the time leading up the pageant, and to be on stage with a crown and sash and crown the next Ms. Fabulous 2013. How could I turn that down? I get to be Ms. Fabulous 2012 and I get to help someone else become Ms. Fabulous 2013! This was originally the BIG NEWS that I was so excited to announce back on January 4th with I posted on Facebook “OH MY GAWD!!!!! Something AMAZING has happened for me. I can’t tell you yet, I want to so bad, but I can’t. But I’m working on getting all the right things to all the right people so that I CAN… Oh gosh this is big… remember when I said I was scared and that maybe I needed to remember go big or go home? Yeah, this is it, it’s coming…. 2013 I <3 you so far.

photo569The next thing I did was set out to find people who would be willing to represent OR in the Flab to Fabulous pageant but, I saw a possibility here, with cash prizes, I thought hey maybe I can find two people to compete on behalf of Oregon; I’ll sponsor their entry fees so it doesn’t cost them. I’ll help them with finding local sponsorship to get them to the Pageant if they make it to the Finals and I’ll ask them if they would be willing to donate their cash portion of the prize to one of my favorite charities the WLSFA! What a neat idea! So I found a Oregonian Bariatric Surgery patient that is willing to do JUST that. Steven Gray, who is my own personal Mentor and 8 year post op Gastric Bypass Patient, Steven, boasts a total weight loss of 265 lb. I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am to sponsor this contestant and send Oregon representation to the Flab to Fabulous Pageant!  The fact that he is willing to donate his prize money if he wins is amazing to me! The fact that he is willing to help me help a charity that I believe in as passionately as the WLSFA by trying to raise money for our PNW Chapter while getting a chance to experience something we never would have gotten the chance to experience before is absolutely FABULOUS!

But you know I couldn’t stop there. I mean I sponsored a local candidate as Mr. Fabulous. But there was someone else that I felt I needed to reach out too, someone else that I needed to repay a favor to. You see, there was a part of my WLS Journey that was very hard and dark for me when my Father passed away. And there was a woman whose voice shown through the dark and spoke to me during a time that I hardly had anything in me but to listen, to eat, and to work out. This woman’s voice through her writing and blog carried me through. If you have followed my blog you will know who I am talking about by now, my dear friend Waning Woman. So I called her, and I asked her to allow me to pay her entry fee and help her get sponsorship in any way I can to send her to the Finals if she makes it. I knew that this Flab to Fabulous Pageant was right up her ally, and I wanted to help make sure she got to participate. I am happy to Announce Waning Woman as my Ms. Fabulous sponsored contestant.

I am still looking for a local Oregon Female to Sponsor as well as a long distance Male Contestant; if you are interested in doing either, get in contact with me!

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So that done, I decided to write Chris Powell another letter. Many of you know I wrote Chris back in September and when he responded it was a monumental moment of my weight loss journey.  I talk about how Chris Powell is my hero all the time and how when he wrote me and told me that I was amazing and that he was proud of me, it really was the next best thing I could have had to hearing my Father say those same words to me. Since my Father passed away in just 9 months after my weight loss journey started he didn’t get to see me through. And so, I don’t know something in me just said, Hey, I think I will write Chris Powell and ask him if he would be at these events for me, because well, I would really like my Dad to be there and he can’t and Chris Powell would be the next best thing.

The next thing I knew I was getting a call from the local news station because one of my friends had tipped them off to my story, and by yesterday afternoon, my first time back in the gym after my reconstructive thigh lift, I was being interviewed by KOIN 6 News about my weight loss journey, about my trying to get the attention of Chris Powell, about the Flab to Fabulous Pageant, and about some of the Organizations I am most passionate about helping.  The segment is scheduled to air on Thursday during the 4 o’clock on KOIN 6 in the Portland, OR area. ( That is why I had a t-shirt on in that picture yesterday that said “Desperately Seeking Slender” )
chrispowell2I went to bed last night, without announcing anything that had happened, I needed some time to absorb everything that was going on. Then I woke up this morning and CHRIS POWELL WROTE ME BACK AGAIN.

I can’t even begin to explain to you the excitement here. I’ve written Chris Powell three times and he has written me back each and every time. I truly believe at this point that my dream of meeting Chris Powell might actually happen, and I honestly believe that there MIGHT be a chance that he’ll consider coming to these events that I asked him too.

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I chose to have Gastric Bypass because my Father came to me before he died and told me that he needed to know that I was going to live a Happy and Healthy life.

A Happy Healthy Life. Those were my Father’s exact words to me that day….

Today when I pulled up Chris Powell’s New Vemme Bod-e Weight Loss Management Products Page to look at the nutritional information on the Powell Protein drinks I saw a quote at the bottom of the page I had never seen from him before…

 

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I’m sorry but sometimes you just know something was meant to happen.

Please! I’m begging you! Go tell Chris Powell that WE all deserve to live a happy and healthy life! That we do not deserve to have the cover of People Magazine taking pot shots at us. We do not deserve to be ignored because we choose the tool that would help us make this journey. Al Rocker has paved the way for us without even realizing it, we are TALKING about weight loss surgery right now in the media and how it’s being viewed with an unfair bias. PLEASE let Chris Powell know that this community wants the POWELL PACKs support. By going to this page and commenting and ASKING them to get involved.

This community is growing by leaps and bounds each day.  220,000 Weight Loss Surgeries being performed each year. Let’s help continue to pave the way for others to help ensure that they do not face some of the WLS biased that we have faced, let’s help advocate and educate and utilize this chance to rise and asked for involvement from someone who could really help this community.  By going to this page and commenting and ASKING them to get involved.

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” The OAC Event taught me this philosophy, put your stick with mine my friends, please; together we can make a difference.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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