Being a Role Model

File_000 (24)Thank you for reading this site. Seriously. All of you who read this site, comment, send me messages and emails, or talk to me in person: you’ve changed my life.

Through my posting, website, Twitter, and Facebook posts, I’ve become sort of a role model for people who are no longer content with being overweight, unhealthy, or are looking for a way to eat healthy foods without starving or sacrificing flavor and variety. It’s humbling, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time.

I make every effort to point out to people, whether in person or here online, that I’m not a nutritionist, a doctor, or medical professional and that I’m not saying that my experience and results will be the same results anyone else will get. I do say, however, that my results are pretty typical for people who are as strict about sticking to the lifestyle as I have been, and that it has worked for me and very well might work for them, too. I know that it’s not easy, and I don’t judge anyone who is unable to follow my lead. It’s okay. We’re all different, and I know first-hand it’s not easy. I will do what I can to help you if you ask.

As someone who struggled with weight for so long, I’m humbled when people congratulate me or celebrate my loss. When they tell me their stories, of how they struggle or the challenges they’ve faced, I remember my own challenges and struggles. When they tell me they look to me for inspiration and courage, I can’t help but step up to the challenge and help. Some awesome people did that for me (Matt and Sarah) and I feel it’s my responsibility to carry that torch that’s been passed to me through my success.

I do enjoy talking about the journey and the process; sometimes a little too much. It’s easy to get excited about success, especially in something that is perceived as being so difficult. I am excited when someone reaches out to me for information: it’s as if you’re seeing someone finally get the blinders lifted off their faces and they finally realize that a healthy life is not difficult at all!

There are times when it’s terrifying in ways I never would have expected. I feel the pressure to be a perfect role model, which is a good thing, but I worry a little too much about foods with ingredients that are non-Paleo or treats. I know they won’t kill me or derail me, but I worry about the slippery slope of allowing treats into my lifestyle. I am also terrified of backsliding into the life I led before. Pizza, hamburgers, and cake aren’t any less delicious today than they were for me a year ago. They are every bit as enticing now as they used to be. It’s for that reason I need to stay away from them. Thankfully, there are many Paleo analogues for these foods so I can sate my desire for them, but that fear remains. I’m also terrified of letting people down by not being understanding or patient enough. I try hard to be both.

This post may seem silly to some folks, but it’s all from the heart. I am sincerely honored to be someone people look to for inspiration in losing weight and getting healthy. I take that responsibility very seriously, and I strive to always be the example people can respect and look up to. I’m not perfect, and my way isn’t necessarily the best way for everyone, but it’s the best way for me, and I’ve been fortunate to have friends and family who have done the same and achieved the same results I have.

So, once again, I thank you.

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