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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Paying it Forward

Before I started my weight loss journey, I decided to post a message on Facebook telling the world that I was going to attempt to lose weight. I thought that if I put it out into the universe it might make me more accountable. I guess it worked.

Several days after posting, I received a private message from Esther, a friend of mine from elementary school. Esther and I were in several classes together throughout grade school. We were never the best of friends, in fact, I don’t ever recall scheduling a play date or spending time together outside of school. I do remember that Esther was a lot of fun to be around and a lot of the girls in class naturally gravitated to her.

In her message, Esther shared that she went through her own battle with weight loss and was successful by learning how to eat properly and exercise. She shared her struggles with food and the emotional crap that went with it and while I was reading her words I thought that those words could be mine. I was flabbergasted.

I hadn’t seen Esther since I was 12 years old, and looking at her pictures on Facebook, I never would have guessed that she was ever overweight or that she struggled with food the way I did. Her pictures portrayed a thin, healthy, beautiful woman filled with a vibrancy that exuded joy and happiness. That day, Esther reminded me that what you see isn't always reality and that we all have demons that we need to tame. More importantly, she motivated me in a way that no one else could.

Esther taught me that if she could do it, so could I.

Over the last year and a half, she and I have gone to each other when we’ve struggled with our diets, our setbacks and our successes. One day, Esther was in a bad place. She hadn’t been feeling well and she was off her plan. She was going through some emotional stuff and was eating more than she usually did. She texted me, wanting some help.

We talked for awhile and processed her feelings and her fears. She sounded relieved and focused by the end of the conversation. She then said that I was an inspiration to her. That caught me off guard as she was MY inspiration, not the other way around.

I checked in with her a few weeks later. She was back on track but I was plateaued. I was frustrated and felt like I was hitting my head against a wall. We talked about my nutrition and exercise and she shared that I needed to focus more on lean proteins, veggies and fruits. I started to refocus, sending her pictures of my meals for a few days afterwards. I decreased some of my activity and the combination worked. I started to lose weight again.

Esther’s help has been invaluable to me. I cannot thank her enough for changing my life and giving me the inspiration to succeed on my own journey. Sometimes we need that extra encouragement or motivation to get us to where we need to be.

If you have a friend or a loved one that you can share this journey with, do it. It makes all the difference in the world.

Thank you Esther, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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