Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From the One Ringing Bell Top Twenty: More

Sometimes folks want to know the rest of the story--especially a weight loss story. I'm happy to share that since this post in August of 2010, my sister, Tammy, has continued to maintain her incredible weight loss. She now works for Weight Watchers and conducts meetings in several areas of Northeast Georgia inspiring others to pursue their own healthful journey. Please read the online article and be sure and watch the video of her talking about her journey here.  I'm still so proud of her, and even as I read and edited this story again, I was once more inspired by what God has done and is doing in her life.

That’s my sister, Tammy, on the cover of Weight Watchers Magazine. She’s second from the bottom on the left, and I’m so proud of her.

 In August of last year she found she’d been selected as one of six winners in Weight Watchers Inspiring Stories Contest. I traveled with her to New York in September for interviews and photo shoots, and in January of 2010, she appeared on the cover of Weight Watchers Magazine. At that point she lost about 130 pounds in two years. Yes, you read that right. 130 pounds. As she says, “I lost a whole person.”

Since January she’s been interviewed by many reporters about her story including folks like CNN and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Just last week Weight Watchers posted an interview and video of her on their site. Please read it here.

She’s not only maintained her weight, but also lost an additional 10 pounds beyond her goal weight. But what you read in the magazine and online is not the whole story.

At some point in the year preceding her weight loss, Tammy found herself just trying to cling to what she felt she had left in her life. She’d had a successful career as an educator, having been up for state teacher of the year, but rarely does anyone ever get those kinds of accolades twice. It seemed at that point her career might be winding down even as her only son headed for college.

Then there was the weight issues she’d been plagued with her whole life--issues she could never seemed to conquer. She says she was up to that point a "Weight Watchers drop-out." She remembers walking into her house one day praying, “I’m just trying to hold on to what I have.” What she heard next stopped her in her tracks.

“What if I want to give you more?”

If you watch the video of my sister, you’ll immediately recognize her humility, so she’s not the kind of person to walk around asking for more. But more, is exactly what God wanted to give her.

Within a year she began her weight loss journey. About the same time she was recognized for the second time in her career as “Teacher of the Year” for her school and her county which put her in the running once more for state teacher of the year. Though she did not receive the state award, she felt honored to make it that far again. A few months later, her Weight Watchers leader asked her to submit her story to Weight Watchers Inspiring Stories. Later, out of thousands of entries across the country, she and five others were chosen.

So many have emailed her, contacted her on Facebook, or called to tell her how much her story means to them.

Her story has inspired me as well. When I’m carrying on in my maintenance mode, God is whispering more. More of him, more alignment with his purpose, more of his glory in me, more hope…more.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20 

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