Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Fab Four

I've never had real girlfriends before. Truthfully, I've never had friendships of any kind. Not that others didn't want to befriend me, but I was so wrapped up in my own head that I couldn't see it. Couldn't respond to it. Wouldn't even acknowledge that it was possible.

Then, something changed inside of me. Partly because of years of therapy, partly because of Richard influencing me to lose weight, partly because I couldn't go on the way I was. And I lost weight and joined Richard's Clubhouse, and found Beth and Claudia and Vennie. Women who, without Richard and his web site, I never would have known existed.

Between us, I think we have lost around 600 pounds. And maintained that loss within reasonable boundaries. We've laughed and cried and adjusted our mindsets to our new realities together. We were lucky enough to find each other at around the same points in our weight loss journeys, and were experiencing the same astonishment at how the world didn't work the way we had thought it did, all at the same time. It didn't matter that Beth was an East Coast Girl, Claudia lived in Florida, Vennie hailed from the MidWest, and I was located in Los Angeles. Richard introduced us, and our common experiences bound us together in a way that few can know.

In 2006, Richard held his first Retreat at Slimmons. I met Vennie during the filming of his PBS Special a month earlier, but had never met Beth and Claudia. Vennie was staying in a hotel near Slimmons, and Beth & Claudia were going to stay with me. (All these arrangements were made before we met and knew we liked Vennie.) We picked Vennie up every day and my, what adventures we all had! Between the retreat itself, and our agenda between sessions, I don't think we stopped running and seeing things and laughing the whole weekend. And we named ourselves The Fab Four.

We were fabulous together. None of us had ever had anyone pay us any individual attention before that weekend. Ever. But we became the It girls. We felt like we were Cheerleaders in high school. Everyone was watching us. We knew it. And we loved every moment of it! It wasn't like we planned it or anything. It's just that we kind of glowed when we were together. We were having fun - like in the times of our lives - and nobody could miss it.

And we realized that that's the reason that the Cheerleaders were the envy of everyone else around. What the big secret was. It wasn't that they were that brighter or more beautiful or better than everyone else, even though we thought it to be true at the time. That was just our own value set applied to them in our youth. The truth was that we were jealous, plain and simple. We thought they were evil. We were wrong.

They were simply determined to have fun and were not going to let anyone deter them from getting the most out of life. And that's what we did, together, last year. We had fun. And we didn't let anyone or anything stop us. We did not take time to be sad or depressed, or terribly introspective. We simply had a ball.
Now Richard is having yet another Retreat at Slimmons. And the Fab Four is reuniting! This time, we are all staying at my home, even Vennie. I have no idea how I am going to accommodate us all plus Cosmos, plus Sunny, but we'll figure it out. We're so looking forward to meeting many of the webbies that we've chatted with and gotten to know from Richard's site over the past year. And to spend time with them at the retreat.
But I know that the best of all will be during our down times at my condo. Because we are going to have simply a fabulous time together! We are going to have fun.

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