You Haven’t Changed – Or Have You?

Terri’s View: Nothing evokes childhood memories like going to a reunion. This past weekend was my (gulp) 25th high school reunion. It was great to see old friends, and to feel connected once again with people you thought you’d never see again.

Terri’s View: Nothing evokes childhood memories like going to a reunion. This past weekend was my (gulp) 25th high school reunion. It was great to see old friends, and to feel connected once again with people you thought you’d never see again.

Most of my former classmates knew about my story of weight gain and loss and my appearance on The Dr. Oz Show through both facebook and my website, I was not too heavy in high school, as I had thinned out a little from my chunky adolescence, but I really packed on the pounds after graduation.

I heard the same thing all night: “You look the same! You haven’t changed!” This is an awesome thing to hear, as I like to think most people are sincere when handing out compliments. Yet whenever someone said those words to me, I couldn’t help but think in my head, yes I have changed. I was once over 300 pounds and fought tooth and nail to regain my life back. I became double the person I was in high school and have vowed never to become that person again.

Even when I was in high school, although I was not technically overweight, I never felt sexy or svelte. By high school girl standards, I was still on the “big girl” side. I was never comfortable at the beach or wearing some of the clothes the others could wear. I was always “thick,” even at my thinnest. 

Truth be told, had this reunion been held when I was at my starting weight I probably would not have attended. There was a junior high reunion right after my daughter was born 6 years ago. I said I had just had a baby and couldn’t go, which was a half truth. I’m sure I could have made some arrangements and attended. But at almost 300 pounds, I had no desire to go out of my way to see people who would definitely not be saying “Wow, you haven’t changed.”

But now, 6 years and 2 kids later, I proudly went to my 25th reunion with anticipation of seeing old friends and feeling comfortable in my own skin. I enjoyed a night of rekindling old connections and not being self-conscience about what others were thinking.  

When someone said, “Wow, you haven’t changed.” I took the compliment as it was intended, but know that I have changed. I have changed into a strong, confident much healthier me.

Ed’s view: Going to a class reunion is scary and exciting. You wonder how people have changed, but you are really taking a closer look at yourself to see if you still “fit in.” Losing all the weight made me excited to get to my class reunion back in April of ‘09, and it’s funny to hear “you still look the same.” It feels great to hear this over and over.

If you are getting ready for your reunion, think of it as another goal for you to continue your journey to a healthier lifestyle, and a chance to take some of my past advice and put it into play. Make sure you have your game plan set and stick to it! Exercise, eat better food choices and a pick a great-looking outfit to make your classmates say that you haven’t changed a bit.

Trust me, while you are enjoying your evening with old friends, you will go through your story recounting your weight-loss journey. As you explain the motivation that keeps you going on your road that you have chosen, you may motivate a person from your past to start their change!

Have fun at your events that may be planned, and plan to look and feel great in the upcoming days.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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