I used to be a “big girl” until I got my wake up call. I used to hide behind the bulky clothing and extra layers of me. When I was a big girl, I was invisible, I could retreat and hide from the world, but most of all, I was dead inside. It was the last part that I did not realize until the event that changed my life in the early morning hours of August 1, 2003.
That one event, that I will explain to you in a minute, is what led me to develop a healthy, effective plan for losing weight – and changing my lifestyle. I am not a doctor, a dietician or a nutritionist. I am just a regular, homeschooling mom to three terrific teenagers and the wife of a wonderful man. My story, however, is far from regular. Once I received my wake up call, I did extensive research and developed my diet plan. I went from a size 24 to a size 12 in just about a year. On top of that, I became healthier than I had ever been in my life. This is what I wish to share with you.
When I was younger, I was super thin. I modeled, I danced and had my choice of dinner dates and male companionship. But I was not truly happy. Men had always approached me based on how I looked and people treated me special because of my looks. For some time I had felt a great dissatisfaction in this and wanted so desperately to be recognized for my intelligence, wit and personality. There is so much more to me that how I look! Society views you differently when you are an “acceptable” size, when you possess beauty as our society dictates. People expect more from “pretty people.” At least, that was my perception. I did not want to deal with people, had enough on my hands with the people in my life, so I just insulated myself. Being a big girl allowed me to hide. I became invisible.
After several years of being a big girl, I had my great awakening in the most peculiar way.
Mark (my husband now, but he was my boyfriend then) and I were going back to his house in a nearby town. He had met my parents for the first time. It was around 2am. We had stopped by the restaurant, Denny’s, and ate then started back to his place.
On the interstate, we noticed a car tailgating us very close. As we exited the interstate, the car followed closely behind. We were on the highway, very close to his home. The car started to pull up on my side, but Mark turned left onto a quiet, residential street (a shortcut to his house). The car swung over and followed. We had not gone far when the car pulled up on Mark’s side. I looked over and saw the window rolling down.
“This doesn’t look good.” I told Mark. He looked over just as the gun appeared over the top of the window. Five or Six shots rang out, taking out the windows of both the driver and passenger doors of our car. Mark pushed me on the floor and leaned his body over mine, shielding me from the bullets. All the while he was frantically trying to shift the car into reverse and get us out of there.
He slammed on the brakes and the car passed, then stopped. The shooter got out. I looked over the dash and saw him walking toward the front of the car, arm extended, shooting into the front of the car. I will never forget his face.
I was terrified.
Mark got the car in reverse and we got away. As soon as we were away I started checking him out. He was shot in the arm and in the side. Blood was everywhere. I was covered in glass, but unhurt.
We flagged down an officer and the next thing we knew there were about 8 or 10 police cars around us. EMS came and tended to Mark. I talked to the officers. As they walked around the car, looking at the damage, they were astounded.
There were bullets in Mark’s seat, imbedded in the door, in the console, in the windshield – and in the middle of the back of my seat – about heart level. One officer turned to me and said, “Lady, you shouldn’t be standing here right now. You should be dead. I just don’t believe it.”
Mark spent some time in the hospital, but is fine now. He proposed to me from his hospital bed. I accepted and we were married on August 1, 2005, the two year anniversary of our wake-up call. Mark still has bullet fragments in his arm, but it doesn’t bother him much.
The next day I spoke with a detective. He said the kids were with a gang and had gone on a spree in the area. We were only one set of victims that night. He said yellow may have been the color of the night (we were driving a yellow car).
I will never forget that night.
I woke up that night. I realized that I was a lot closer to 300 pounds than I was to 200. I had high blood pressure, was in the early stages of diabetes, battled depression, and was being treated for angina. Why should I kill myself when there are obviously people out there who would be more than happy to do it for me? As I was on the floor of that car that night I thought of my children growing up without a mother. After the incident I realized that they were still in very real danger of growing up without a mother – if I didn’t do something about it.
So, I hugged my children, hugged my parents, hugged Mark and told them that they deserve much more than what I had been giving them – they deserve me to take care of ME, to be healthy and to live life to the fullest.
I can’t control a wicked person empting his gun into my car, aiming for me, intent on taking my life, but I can get healthy and take care of myself.
Life is so precious. It can be taken away in an instant. I had been praying, begging God to “make me thin.” Well, God answered me, not in the way I expected or necessarily wanted, but he answered me just the same. He got through to me in a way that stuck. I can’t think of a more effective way to say, “Get a grip on your life and get it straight.”
We should have died that night; at least that is what the police say. At the very least we should have been hit and wounded much worse than we were. God had his hand on us that night – and He still does.