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* Special thanks to Mike Fielding for the Operation "Caryn's Smiles" logo design!!
What Operation "Caryn's Smiles" means to us... I asked Caryn, the person who inspired Operation "Caryn's Smiles", to write what it means to her. As you think about whether to step up and take the pledge think of the difference you can make in the lives of others like Caryn.
"I loved the idea of Operation Caryn's Smiles as soon as I heard it. I am 35 years old and I have struggled with my weight for all of my adult life. As a kid and teenager, I was involved with sports year round, so I always got plenty of exercise. When I entered college, I went through spells where I would exercise and I played intramural ball, but my eating habits were garbage! After college, exercise was no longer a priority and the eating habits didn't change, so I began to pack on the pounds. Sadly those pounds are much easier to pack on than they are to come off.
I have been embarrassed to exercise in public because I feel like everyone is looking at the "fat girl" and wondering what she is thinking being out here. I would love to be a runner again, but at 260 lbs, with two knee surgeries and 3 herniated discs in my back, running may not be an option. I love to walk and I love to swim, even though I have to pause between each lap to catch my breath. I look at all these "skinny people" and I am jealous of them, but I also felt like they were secretly laughing in their head, wondering why in the world I was at the pool in my bathing suit.
When the subject came up about encouraging newbie's in the exercise world, I was all for it. I found out that mostly all "fit people" were not judging me like I had always thought. I found out that most were happy to see me trying.
I love the idea of Operation Caryn's Smiles because it actually gives the encouragement that we all need to hear. It makes me excited to try this whole exercise thing again. It makes me want to high five others as they jog past me. It inspires me not to give up this time. I currently weigh more now than I ever have in my entire life. Operation Caryn's Smiles makes me want to jump right in to an exercise program and not give up because I know that there are people out there cheering me on and are happy to see me join their crowd, even if it is at a slower pace.
June 8, 2014