Today I saw the September issue of Duluth Superior Magazine for the first time. The issue is focused on spirituality and health and it hit newsstands this past week. And, I am the cover girl!
Yes, indeed, the cover features a photo of Leif Anderson, my transformation coach, holding me at my celebration party on the North Shore. Inside the magazine, you can read the story of my transformation titled, “Changing the equation,” and a “how to” sidebar describing how I put myself in the center of the equation of my life and lost more than 200 pounds, 47.5% body fat, and became a fit, happy and active girl.
When Wendy Webb, the editor of Duluth Superior Magazine, saw the photo of Leif holding me she immediately suggested she wanted to run it with my personal essay. But it wasn’t until a week or two before printing that I learned the photo would appear on the cover of the magazine! When I first saw it, I had mixed feelings. Part of me was excited and happy — how fun to be a cover girl, right?! But another part of me was apprehensive…a bit self-conscious. Perhaps further proof that my head has not caught up with my transformation on the outside. Sometimes I still see the fat girl, not the newly transformed woman I am today. But I’m working on it!
Ironically, this cover photo almost didn’t happen. It was Leif’s idea to take the shot and I remember him trying to sell me on the idea. At the time, I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the moment. All I could think was that he wouldn’t be able to lift me or would hurt himself doing so.
It took a fair amount of coaxing from Leif (who reminded me that he knows exactly what I weigh) and some coaching from fellow Fitness North trainer Jay Grove to get the shot that now appears on the magazine cover. The truth is, it is the most fitting tribute to my transformation journey under Leif’s expert guidance. It shows both my transformation on the outside and our mutual happiness on the inside. It truly was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It’s not every day that a girl gets swept off her feet, right?! And if you are 350+ pounds, well, let’s just say “it ain’t gonna happen!”
So a special thank you to Leif Anderson for suggesting the photo and sharing in this special moment. To Jay Grove for the coaching to get the lift just right! And to both Leif and Jay for not letting my dress ride up! lol Finally, a big thank you to my friend and documentary photographer, Jean Voxland, for perfectly and beautifully capturing the moment. Jean also took my second favorite photo — the one of my mentor O’Neal Hampton and Leif hugging me — that appears inside the magazine. Another capstone shot on a perfect celebration party night.
Sharing my story…inspiring others
While appearing on the cover of the magazine is special, I am even more excited about the opportunity to tell the story of how I changed the equation, flipped my life upside down and, for the first time since I can remember, put myself and my health at the center of my life. In the process, I transformed my body and reignited my life. Duluth Superior Magazine gave me an opportunity to share my story to inspire others and to tell how I did it in a sidebar titled, “Five principles for putting yourself in the equation.”
I hope you will read the article here and let me know what you think. If you are someone who struggles to make time and space in your life to take care of you; feels things in your life are out of balance and your dreams are out of reach; or if you have significant weight to lose but can’t seem to get there on your own — to you, my message is simple: YOU CAN DO THIS! There is no question that if I can do it, YOU can do it too. It is within your grasp. And like O’Neal and Leif did for me, I am here to help. Connect with me here and let’s chat. Life on the other side of fear is a blast and you deserve true happiness. We all do.
P.S. You can read the full article and sidebar in PDF form here. The magazine can be purchased on major newsstands in Duluth and the North Shore region. As of now, I cannot find it in the Twin Cities but hope there will be a link online soon.
**Special thanks to my new friend Julie Slowiak from Duluth who purchased magazines and sent them to me! 🙂