Mary Smith is smiling today, but life hasn't always been so cheerful
Do you remember that People magazine story that hit newstands around the beginning of the new year featuring people who are now "Half Their Size?" Well, you may recall that the beautiful blonde-headed woman on the right-hand side of the front cover is low-carb weight loss success story Mary Smith. Mary's inspiring and dramatic 125-pound weight loss has made her a full-fledged celebrity in her community and across the country.
Mary credits the Atkins diet for her incredible accomplishment, but this Albuquerque (NM) Tribune column reveals the journey was a lot more difficult and tumultuous than simply learning how to eat right and exercise.
The forgotten part of obesity is that usually it is tied to some sort of pain that has happened in the past for so many of us. It could be physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual, but that hurt is at the very center of how we allowed our weight to become so out-of-control. For Mary Smith, it was no different.
But what she had to go through at such an early age is something NONE of us would ever want to wish upon our worst enemy because it is too cruel and inhumane to even think about. Nevertheless, Mary lived through it day-by-day, minute-by-minute, second-by-agonizing-second. This was the living nightmare of an adopted eight-year old girl who should have never had to go through what she did.
Mary's adopted father sexually abused her night after night, but nothing was done to stop it. When she attempted to tell her foster mother what was happening, the response she was given was just as life-shattering to this impressionable little girl.
"She looks at me and tells me he didn't do anything, it never happened, never talk about it again," Mary recalled her adopted mother saying. "Then she cuts my hair off, dresses me like a boy and chubs me up."
Robbed of the natural beauty of her youth, Mary eats and eats to medicate the deep dark secrets she was carrying inside of her like an undeserved curse she had been given. The albatross around her neck would haunt her into adulthood as she kept getting bigger and bigger from all the poor eating habits she had picked up from this experience.
Once she was able to move out on her own as an adult, the threat of high-cholesterol loomed large as she was pressing her luck with being in the high percentile for getting diabetes and heart disease which ran in her bloodline. Naturally, Mary attempted to diet like tens of millions of other Americans do every single year.
The plans she tried--Weight Watchers, low-fat, low-calorie, grapefruit diet (EWWW!), and more--did nothing to help her actually lose weight. They merely made her more frustrated than ever about her weight which caused her to eat even more. UGH!
As if her life wasn't already painful enough already with what she had to go through, Mary was in a bad marriage to her first husband and they had three kids who had to endure the divorce. Plus, her youngest son got brain cancer and she felt like life was tumbling in on her again.
Wouldn't you know it, though, Mary Smith was about to get an angel from God to come in and sweep her off her feet to give her the love, affection, and support she had undoubtedly prayed for a millions times before. This time that prayer had been answered encompassed in the man she nows calls husband--Richard.
"He was the first person in my life who loved me unconditionally," Mary asserted. "He was my saving grace."
Richard was Mary's shelter in the time of storm to get her life back on track and to give her something worth living for. The turning point in Mary's new lease on life happened on July 2, 2002. That was the day she confessed what all had happened in her life--the sexual abuse by her adopted father, the failure of her first marriage, the brain cancer of that precious child of hers, and even her ever-growing weight problem--so she could FINALLY move forward and out of the shadow of the skeletons from her past.
It was the first day of the rest of the storybook life she is now living.
"I've never looked back," Mary proclaimed. "If you think about it, this was that child, that little blond-haired girl, taken away from me. And now I've reclaimed her and get to live her again. I got that kid back."
Nearly five years removed from that fateful moment in her life, Mary Smith has lots of reasons to smile and live life to the fullest. Not the least of which is her weight loss imploring the concepts she learned from being on the Atkins diet. This former carbohydrate addict is religious about her commitment to eating healthy--which means no more sugar or anything that could turn into sugar inside of her body. She has since lost any desire to eat another unhealthy carb for the rest of her life.
In fact, Mary was so committed to livin' la vida low-carb that she ate yogurt and almonds instead of her wedding cake when she married Richard four years ago. Now THAT takes dedication. But Mary knows if she is going to keep her weight down, then she is going to have to eat this way for the rest of her life. It really has become a permanent lifestyle change for her.
What does she usually eat in a day?
BREAKFAST--Omelet with peppers and green onions
LUNCH--Grilled chicken and a side salad
SUPPER--Steak with a side salad
As most of us who have lost over 100 pounds can attest, just because you lose a bunch of weight doesn't mean those old habits can't somehow find a way to creep back inside of our heads every now and then.
"I don't want a 4-ounce steak, I want a 16-ounce steak," Mary admitted. "Going from a size 28 to size 4 doesn't change everything."
LOL! I TOTALLY understand, Mary. I fight that same battle and sometimes forget I'm not that morbidly obese man I once was. But then taking a quick look in the mirror or glancing at old "fat" pictures usually brings me back to reality again to keep me from going astray.
With all that she has gone through and with her newfound fame thanks to her cover story in People magazine, Mary has decided she wants to reach out and help people who want to know more about livin' la vida low-carb by organizing low-carb support groups all across the country to provide the emotional support for people following this lifestyle. Think of it as a Weight Watchers for people who are on the low-carb lifestyle (since THEY use a low-fat, low-calorie, portion control diet exclusively in their program!).
Additionally, with a heartbreaking story of tears to triumph (hey, that could make for a great title, Mary--From Tears To Triumph: Mary Smith's Miracle Low-Carb Weight Loss Story), Mary is now wanting to share it with the world in a book about her life. With all the pain she has been through for the majority of her life, there's no doubt others are going through many of the same kinds of struggles that Mary did. She wants them to experience the joy and happiness that has rejuvenated a life that many would have given up on a long time ago.
Like so many of us who have lost a lifechanging amount of weight, Mary has a heart and passion for helping others overcome their demons and get the weight off for good. If Mary Smith was able to come face-to-face with these evil giants from her childhood that held her back for so long, then so can the millions more who are still living in their real-life nightmare. It's a daunting challenge, but one that Mary is ready, willing, and able to take on to pay it forward for the miracle she has been given.
If you would like to be a part of Mary's mission to take the positive message of livin' la vida low-carb to the nation, then please e-mail her to let her know how you could help. Also, how about leaving a comment about Mary Smith's story in the comments section for this story at the Albuquerque Tribune site to share your thoughts. There are a few there right now (including one from ME!), but it would be great to push the comment total up to 25+!
Here's the comment I left about Mary's story:
THANK YOU for telling what is obviously an extremely painful story and I cannot wait to see the millions of lives you are going to impact with the book about your journey to get where you are today. What an amazing woman you are and I am so thrilled for the good things happening for you now. That's what I call God's grace!
As a fellow low-carb weight loss success story, I cannot be prouder of you at this moment in time. When you lose a lifechanging amount of weight--I went from 410 down to 220--it radically alters the direction your life was going in ways you can't even imagine yet! The best is yet to come!
While much of the media and the so-called health "experts" keep beating the drum of negativity and public scorn against plans like Atkins, South Beach and other healthy low-carb programs, people like you and me just keep on living our lives as an example of triumph over a lifetime of weight and health problems proving all the naysayers WRONG!
So, henceforth, shine on, Mary, for all the world to see. You are so very special and deserve the love and support you are getting for your remarkable turnaround--both inside and out!
Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can ever do to support you in your future endeavors. God bless you, my friend!
Do you have a message for this amazing woman? Feel free to also post it here at my blog and I'll make sure Mary sees it. :)