This week alone, I have seen this blog become something I never anticipated it could or would be in terms of page hits and exposure from multiple friends sending their friends here to check out my story. I've received a tiara, 2 dozen roses, a new "girl space" of my own in my house with a cool flat screen tv and desk/vanity, and a crisp, new $100 bill to remember each of the pounds I lost from some of the most important people in my life. I've also heard from about 200 family and friends - online, in person, by phone, you name it - who took time out of their own lives to celebrate such a tremendous milestone with me. What a fan club I'm blessed with!
This week, I've also had the chance to "meet" new friends online, share my story, and offer encouragement to others walking my same journey. I had the chance to interact with one of my very favorite singers and receive her congratulations...along with those of her other fans who don't know me, but took time to tweet their words of support to me because she asked them to!
With all this love surrounding me this week, it gave me an opportunity to reflect as I shared the message again and again with these people. And here's what I've come up with...
- Having a personal fan club is not a nice added benefit along this journey. It's ESSENTIAL to me making the journey at all! There are members of that club without whom I literally could not walk...work...do life in general. And then there are others whose primary function in the club is to cheer me on and make me feel amazing about who I am, regardless of how much weight I've lost. But this is not some nice little pat on the head for me. Knowing there are people in this world who have my back no matter if I ever lose another pound...that is PRICELESS!
- The wider my circle of influence becomes...the more people whose lives I have the privilege of impacting with this blog, or telling my story in person...the more I need my personal fan club right behind me. They are the POWER behind the public face I now get to share with a lot of other people that I'll never "know"...but whose stories are so similar to mine. It's truly humbling to know I have this opportunity. It's wonderful to take a difficult situation in my life...be open and honest about it...share it with others...and show them that they can change their lives, too. But that takes courage to do publicly, and without my personal fan club empowering me, I'd probably stay more quiet and lose the chance to help people understand how they can create and live out a new vision in their lives, too. I'm so grateful that my personal fan club makes me believe that I have something valuable to tell other people, and then encourages me to go do it.
- And finally, the biggest thing that I've reflected on about having a personal fan club is this: I need to be a card-carrying member of that club! Everyone in the world could believe in me...love on me...support me...encourage me...and yet if I can't come to the place where I can do that for myself, too, it loses its effectiveness. It doesn't come naturally to me to do this, by the way. I've spent so many years ashamed of who I was physically, denying that I had anything of worth to share with this world because of the package it was wrapped in. But that's just not true. I can be honest enough now to say that I am proud of myself, what I've already accomplished, and what I am confident that I WILL still accomplish walking this journey. I'm not who I thought I was 100 pounds ago - quite, shy, retiring, resigned. I've got things to say...things that can change other people's lives for the better. And I trust myself to say them!
So...to my personal fan club...this post's for YOU! I'm grateful beyond words for the difference you've made in my life. You have poured into me...love, kindness, support, encouragement, healing, correction and discipline...and because you've done so, I can overflow and hopefully bless so many other people's lives, too. And in the immortal words of Kelly Clarkson..."My life would suck without you!" YOU ROCK!!!
Do me a favor...if you are reading this and consider yourself part of my personal fan club, tell the world who you are by taking the time to do something here...write a comment...check "Me, too" or "Wow"...do something that will encourage everyone who reads this blog post. Help them understand just how incredibly HUGE and important my fan club is to me. Maybe it will help them identify who's in their own so they can experience this, too! Thanks! Love you all! <3 <3 <3