Real People. Real Weight Loss.®

Helping Millions to Take Off Pounds Sensibly Since 1948.

Still on the road… Am I there yet?

Who do you want to be? And how do you know when you arrive? If you have ever taken a trip with children, you have undoubtedly heard at least once, “Are we there yet?”.


With school soon to be back in session, I find myself reflecting on that period of life when in front of me seemed to be an endless map of possibilities. The directions I chose led me through some interesting and amazing pathways. If you are like me, you have traveled quite a few, are still moving along on some, and will soon choose others. As life unfolds, take time to reflect on the directions and review the success of your various choices.

Some of my early choices seemed to have been more about what I wanted to do, and I evaluated my progress in dollars, cents, benefits, and things. As a teenager, my first job was at a 5 & 10 Cent store at below minimum wage. I measured success by being able to put gas in my old clunker car and driving around town with my friends. Not too long after that, as I prepared for college and then for marriage, I began to shift my thinking to make decisions concerning who I wanted to be. I wanted to be a good mother, and I wanted to be either a caring doctor or nurturing teacher. New pathways opened up, and I traveled down them. I particularly loved these roads that ran closely parallel to each other and grew with my sons and students through many super years.

While performing the “what” of teaching and mothering was incredible, it is the “who” I have become that is more important. As my mentors through the years, I have had many mothers, teachers, and accomplished people from all walks of life from whom to choose. Many have been talented, creative, focused, brilliant, organized, and dedicated to what they do. However, the person who helped me in my chosen path the most was my friend Evelyn. Though there was fifteen years difference in our ages, we were best buds. She came into my life when I was alone in a new town with three boys under six years of age.

It was who she was that powerfully informed my life! She was a brilliant accountant and a gourmet cook for a family of five. However, she always understood that those things where the “whats” of her life. It is who she was that was truly awe inspiring. Through her daily living, she demonstrated a deep concern for the less fortunate and a rich understanding of the social ills that plague all mankind. She loved her family and friends unconditionally and shared with them important life lessons which helped help them decide who they want to be. She lived a healthy, active, happy life.

Who she was became her calling! And who she was benefited all her knew her. While I am sure she could have moved on to greater opportunities within her vocation, I can’t help but think she chose her path based on this calling that reflected who she was.

Evelyn taught me that the best way to repay a kindness was to always pass it forward and to take advantage of every opportunity to do so. Her sons flourished, have overcome obstacles that are often a part of life, and are wonderful adults and good men. Each of them has helped my sons with life lessons through the years and my sons are better men for knowing that family. She taught me that the greatest gift we give is to empower others to identify and achieve their own callings. I learned that I grow by leaps and bounds and help myself when I help others.

I see this same support clearly within our TOPS chapters. We value so highly those in our groups who encourage us even when we are struggling and gently hold us accountable for our choices just as they hold themselves accountable. They truly help us travel the weight-loss path to better health that we have chosen! They have gone that huge step beyond reflecting on what they did. The helpful mentor, coach, and cheerleader who believes in us unconditionally keeps us going when the going is roughest and is there for us in challenging times. These mentors also value the unconditional support of their journeys that we offer to them.

Who you are lies at the intersection of your abilities and your calling and enriches the tapestry of your life beyond imagination. What we do in TOPS is work diligently at reaching our goal weights, but achieving the number is only a part of the task at hand. Is who we are serving as an example to others in our chapters? Are we happy, healthy, active, helpful, supportive, patient? Who do you want to be? Are you there yet?

I Care, Barb

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