I wonder do miracles happen?

Today, I was on Facebook and saw the following update from Paddy Cunningham:

Dumbfounded... I just sat there and just let his words resonate inside me. His words bounced around inside me before resting heavy on my heart. I could identify with each and every single line Paddy had written from different times in my life. I understood every single emotion Paddy must have felt writing that in his journal over 3 years ago as if I had written them myself. For those who don't know who Paddy Cunningham is, he was the 2011 Runner Up on the UK version of The Biggest Loser. He lost over 8st in 9 months and now works as a Personal Trainer in Sligo/Dublin. 

Thinking back, I can remember two of the lowest (i.e. highest weight) points in my life. The first was about 8 & a half years ago. That was when I joined WW for the first time. Back then, I was a fresh-faced 21 year old with the self confidence of a bruised potato. I lost just under 50lbs (I quit WW because I was cocky and 'knew it all' - Disaster!). At the same time (when I was my lightest) - the most wonderful man came into my life. 

I fell in love (aw!) and as the time passed... the weight crept back on! I went up to over 18st, back down to 15st 7lbs, back up to over 19st. The one thing that never changed was his love for me or my love for him. Anyway, I am digressing but only because I feel this is the only difference between Paddy's story above and my own.

I've always been an extroverted person - I feed off other people's energy, I love being out & about and love spending time with other people. I'm pretty sure people have always though that I was happy but really, my weight has been something that I have struggled with internally my entire life. 

A friend of mine found a box of old photos and sent me this photo today from years ago when we were both still in school (around 1999):

Disclaimer: That's the shine off the flash not a gammy design on my shirt

It kind of brought back a flood of memories - probably sparked by Paddy's post above but it really got me thinking about my weight. Eight years ago (2005), I looked like this:

Three years years ago (2010), the weight had come back on and I looked like this:

I went globetrotting for a few months and came back 2st lighter thanks to the backpacker diet of beans on toast for breakfast/lunch/dinner looking like this (Same shirt for comparison):

Fast-forward to 2012 and I'm back up past my previous heaviest (18st) to 19st 2lbs:

I'm 28 weeks into my weight-loss journey and have ditched over 4 & a half stone and now look like this:

Reading Paddy's letter to himself stirred a lot of emotions within me as I can identify with the struggle, I've been there. I was in denial for so long about my weight - but I know miracles can happen. They don't happen overnight, or with the flick of magic wand - but they can and do happen when we take control of our own lives.

I don't have a letter to myself from when I started on my weight-loss journey, but I have written a letter to myself which I will publish on this blog in 28 weeks time. It's a promise to myself - a promise that I will never ever be the weight I currently am today. It's a promise to myself that I will be fitter & healthier. I am the only person responsible for the direction my weight loss goes. Yes of course support from loved ones and attending Weight Watchers is helping me massively - but no one is driving me to the door of those WW classes and forcing me to go in. No one is watching everything I put in my mouth and telling me off for any biscuit/takeaway/chocolate I am eating.

My friends and family really are so so great - they are the ones that encourage & motivate me, the ones who listen to me, talk to me & help me - but if I am truly honest with myself, the only person I have to thank for giving me this new lease of life... is myself!

So to answer the question 'Do miracles happen?' - They do, but your make them happen!


  1. JQ-
    WE'VE ALL been there. Stories are all different but the same result. You hafta move into the pic that you are trying to be. 15 yrs ago, I had 2 massive strokes that confined me to a wheelchair. Half my body was gone. I was told not to expect too much, damage was too great. But I told myself something else. Less that 2 yrs later I ran with the Olympic Torch thru the streets of Chicago. I COULDN'T RUN but in my mind I saw myself running. You can do this, I'm sure. Let me know if I can be of any help.
    Blessings. ML Proko

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