Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Half Their Size

Happy New Year!

2007 was quite a year for me and 2008 has just barely begun. My plan is to take what I started; indeed what I learned in 2007, apply it to a good dose of imagination and see what I can make out of it all this year. There are already a number of pots on the stove. Simmering. Hardly enough time to consider the things that I did right last year. Definitely not enough time to worry about what went wrong. Except for that one nagging thing...

Last September or October or so, on a lark, I submitted my weight loss pictures and story to People Magazine for their "Half Their Size" issue. It is on the news stands today. I got an immediate response from them, wanting more pictures and promising me that they were making their decision(s) soon. The perimeters? You must have lost so much weight that you now weigh half - or less - than that when you began. And it must have been done through 'natural' means. I.e. no drugs, no weight loss surgery. I clearly met their expectations in these departments.

So I submitted the additional pictures and told just a very few people about it and waited to see what happened. And waited and waited and waited. I heard nothing back from People. Not a peep. And so I knew that I had not made the cut, but had so much else going on in my life that I didn't spend a whole lot of time worrying about it.

But of course, insecurity still plays a significant role in my life. And as the new year approached, I wondered just who was chosen. Had I done something wrong that I was bypassed? I had made a rather depressing blog post right around the time that they were considering me... all about how shell shocked I was at the changes in my relationships with my friends. Could it be that they saw it and I shot myself in the foot? Maybe. And I worried - just a little - because when you spend most of your life as a morbidly obese woman and suddenly look like the pretty ones around you, it's hard to understand what behaviors are now acceptable and what are not. It's a whole new game.

But I thought about it and realized that maybe the post wasn't the image that I would like as my cornerstone, but the truth is that when you lose a lot of weight, you are confused quite a bit of the time and no, there was nothing wrong with my self expression. And most likely, they had never seen it anyway. And if they had, so what?

So I started watching the news stands to see when the issue was put out. And I think I even mentioned it to Beth on occasion. I wasn't upset exatly, but I wondered why I didn't make the grade. And this morning, I got my answer.

I have not seen the issue yet and I do intend to get to the market to buy one. But People did their "Half Their Size" segment on the Today Show this morning. I was half asleep in bed, but when they announced it, I sat bolt upright. Watched intently.

They brought out two beautiful women who have done a masterful job in bringing their weight issue into order. Both weighed in excess of 300 pounds when they started. Both chose reasonable weight loss plans to lose it. Both were young and vibrant and...

OK, wait a minute! They were so young! One was 0nly 26, the other had to be in her early 30s. BINGO! So THAT was the problem. There was nothing wrong with me. I simply did not meet the prefered demographic for People. Duh!

Who reads that magazine the most? 20-somethings. Maybe 30-somethings. Certainly not a lot of people of middle age. We're over it!

So I went from not being too worried about not having been chosen to elation. After all, I did make the final cut. That's a big deal in and of itself given the size and nature of the publication. Anyone knowing me for any length of time knows of my struggles with health, and I have made it to my 50s! Rather than having a problem with that, I'm as pleased as punch. After all, I know intimately how life is a gift and a privledge, not a right.

I know that I have a lot to offer and that I will find my forum. So it isn't People. So what? Somebody out there is going to want me to share what I know. Because it's important; it deserves to be told. And as Lucy from HMR told me in an e-mail a couple of weeks ago, I have the credibility because I've not only lost over 200 pounds, but I've kept it off for two years now. I've changed my life so completely that I hardly recognize myself. I'm learning and trying things and successful in so many ways that a single rejection cannot stop me.

I'll have my day. Maybe it will even be today. Because you never know what's just around the next bend.

Happy New Year! May 2008 be everything you make it.


hot tamale said...

Happy New Year Laura, my creative buddy. You are so right that somewhere out there, people want to know what goes on inside your head and how can your experience help them. Meeeeeeeee LOL Really I know what I need to do, DOING it would help alot...Im so proud of you for turning around a situation, into a positive one instead of the same ol routine. Change is good as long as its applied. You are teaching me that in my own slow, hard head way....LOL
Happy New Year Laura, may we see each other again soon.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Girl..This is your forum and any other forum. You are an incredible inspirational lovable and incredibly talented..You have so much to offer and give. I love you..

christine said...

Wow that is a terrific story. I am surprised at so many that I know not having been chosen. They do seem to target the very young. They should hit the older ones, it's harder to lose when you're older! My weight loss/PCOS blog is at


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