Do you have a pioneer in your family? No, I’m not asking if Daniel Boone is part of your family tree. What I’m talking about is this. Is there someone your family who has courageously stepped out and broken a family pattern influencing other’s to do the same?
In my family I have 2 pioneers. Each of my sisters have both blazed their own trails in the area of weight loss.
In 2006, my sister, Peggy, joined a weight loss program called “LA Weight Loss.” She really had a lot of success with the program. Her efforts kind of parted the murky waters in the sea of doubt for Paula and me. After failing at the Adkins diet on our own we realized we needed an structured program if we had any hope of succeeding.
Encouraged by Peggy’s results, in April 2007 we joined our local LA Weight Loss program. We lost quite a bit but eventually got bored with the limited choices and stopped following the program. Nevertheless Peggy’s success had inspired us to get serious about losing weight for the first time in several years.
My sister, Shari partnered with Peggy in her effort to lose weight. She had some initial success, but soon Shari became frustrated. She reached a point where she wasn’t losing anything. No matter how little she ate or how much she exercised she couldn’t drop more than a couple of pounds. She had some tests run but her doctors couldn’t find any reason for her dilemma.
About the middle of 2007 Shari began a quest that made turned her into a pioneer. She blazed a trail that Peggy, Paula, and I would all eventually follow. She began exploring the possibility of having gastric by-pass surgery.
At the time she first mentioned it to me I was almost completely against any weight loss surgery. I had only heard the bad things about it. But Shari felt that only this type of drastic change would help her have any kind of permanent weight loss. She went through all the preliminaries and jumped through the hoops required by her medical insurance company. It took more than 8 months. Finally on February 14, 2008 she had her surgery.
From a distance I worried about and prayed for her while following her progress during the year after surgery. It was her progress and subsequent successful weight loss that was significant factor in getting Paula to start thinking about having the procedure done.
Over the summer both my wife and God (not necessarily in that order) worked on my anti-surgery stance. By the time September 2008 came around both Paula and I were on the same path that Shari had traveled a year earlier.
In the summer of 2009 we both had our surgeries. Over the next 2 years we lost a combined total of over 280 pounds. In July 2010, exactly a year to the day after me, Peggy had her by-pass procedure. As of this post she’s lost 90 pounds.
Now there are a lot of people, events, and circumstances that contributed to change in all our lives. And success can be measured in so many more ways than just “pounds lost.”
But as far as I’m concern there is no one single influence more responsible for the fact that today I weigh what I do today and over 400 pounds, like I once did, than the example of Shari’s decision to make a change in her life.
So I’m sure along with Peggy and Paula, I’d like to take the time to thank Shari for being the first to take that “giant step” and help lead us to the way to improving our lives.
I am convinced beyond a doubt that Shari was a vessel used by God to lead all of us to the place He wanted us to be in our lives.
So there you have the second of the two most significant ways Shari has influenced my life. Of course, they are just two of the thousands of ways both of my sisters have blessed and influenced my life.
Even though we have lived 900 miles away from each other for close to 13 years now, their love and support still mean more to me than I could ever tell them.
So now that I’ve come to the end of this 2-part post. I can sum up the reason for it all with this pair of phrases. “Shari and Peggy, I love you both more than I can ever tell you”. “Happy Birthday Shari”.