When my shift at work ended, it was time to “get down to business” getting all “dolled-up.” The wardrobe consultant, Jennifer Grace Unger, got to work sorting through the bin full of heels, box of accessories, and nearly two dozen pieces of clothing. As she was putting some outfits together, ironing dresses, and prepping things, the hair and make-up person, Teresa Balogh (http://www.miamoreeventhairandmakeup.org/), was busy performing her magic. Other than some group demonstrations at a Mary Kay party more than 20 years ago, or one of those “let me do your make-up” sales pitches at a department store many years ago, I don’t recall ever having a full make-over done before. Even when I was on the TODAY Show a few years ago, the make-up crew just touched up my own make-up. Not this time! Teresa had her work cut out for her, but she was AWESOME and reassuring as she transformed this tired, aging small-town girl into someone I didn’t recognize in the mirror…at first!
So many emotions were going through my mind as I sat there while she primped...NEVER….EVER…would I have imagined an afternoon like I had yesterday before I started this journey. I couldn’t help but remember the words of the stylist that cut my hair just a week or so before I started this journey….the very day I got “stuck” in the chair of the salon because I was too large to fit in the chair. He said to me, “Theresa….just because you are heavy, ill, sad, etc….doesn’t mean that you are not worth the effort to take care of yourself and look your best.” Those words changed my life....and kept running through my mind as the make-up artist was covering up the dark circles, expertly placing false eyelashes (FIRST TIME for those) and even AIR-BRUSHING me! WOW…the secrets are all out now…no wonder those we see on TV and in magazines look so flawless….they have the service of the experts who make it all look so easy. The hair came next. Again…what an experience!
Throughout this shoot I kept thinking about what life USED to be like and I remembered a time a few years ago when I attended my cousins wedding (June 2010) and was “all-dolled up” but unable to walk. I’m posting that picture here as well. The wedding was outdoors and after the ceremony, the photographer wanted to take family photos, but I had already worked my way up the hill using my wheeled walker to the place where dinner was to be served. I was summoned back to the ceremony site for photos, but I was unable to go because I was just too worn out…literally exhausted, in severer pain, and it was too much effort to make the 200 yard jaunt back down to the lake….SO… I was the only family member not in the group photo. I just sat in my walker at the top of the hill……and watched from the sidelines. THAT…my friends….was the reality, the norm, for me. Sitting and watching….but NOT NOW! Again…to GOD be the glory!
As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning, feeling very sore from yesterday, I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my story with others, but mostly, I want to encourage you to keep believing in your miracle. Most of you probably can’t relate to the “getting stuck in the salon chair,” “unable to walk,” or “doing a photo shoot” experiences I’ve shared….but very likely there are many that can understand “being a spectator in life” or “sitting on the sidelines because you are unable to join in” moments in life. And likely, weight and immobility is some of the reasons why. Anxiety, depression, poverty, grief, addiction, grief, or abuse does the same thing: It robs us of life and energy and threatens to steal our joy and peace. It sucks to be there…..but the good news is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE!
What is holding you back? What is keeping you from enjoying life? What is weighing you down? And more important…..What can you do about it? What steps will you take TODAY to leave that old life behind? What can I do to help?
You may feel trapped; you may feel hopeless; you may feel discouraged and alone….but I assure you….your story DOES NOT have to be that way. GOD CAN and WILL help you change your life....and HE will give you what you need to do so. But you must first believe it is possible….and then you must be willing to take the first step…and keep taking steps….especially when you want to give up and quit. No doubt, I have been blessed beyond measure….but YOU, my friends, are blessed too! Never stop believing that YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!