Monday, November 01, 2010
This is a story about people who lived in Unhappy Land and were very unhappy.
Their unhappiness dominated their lives and kept them from being able to walk or bend over to put on their socks and shoes. They were unhappy because they couldn't climb stairs without breathing hard and having their knees hurt. They were unhappy because they couldn't fit into seats on airplanes or at the movie theater. They were unhappy because they had to use a wheelchair to get around when they visited a theme park and other attractions.
They were unhappy because they were all overweight.
Some slightly, some grossly obese. All of their extra weight caused them health difficulties such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure. But no one knew what to do about their situation.
Until one day when several slim, in-shape visitors came into town promoting a fitness and weight loss program called SparkPeople. They educated the Unhappies about nutrition, exercise and healthy living. Their enthusiasm and especially their own fat "before" pictures showed the residents of Unhappy Land that there truly was a way out of their unhappiness.
The visitors explained that the Unhappies' weight did not accumulate overnight and so it would not evaporate overnight and told them if the Unhappies would simply focus on one healthy meal, one exercise, one positive day at a time, then they, too, could become fit and healthy and in shape.
This news excited the residents who asked the visitors to create eating and workout programs for them. The next day everyone gathered in the town square and began walking around the block.
Some made it only half way down the street, others made it most of the way around. Along the way they all cheered for and rooted for the others, urging them on, encouraging them to stay positive and take baby steps.
As the months passed from spring into fall the Unhappies began to realize they enjoyed eating healthy food and that they could exercise longer and with more intensity. Bending over, climbing stairs and other daily activities became easier to do. They noticed, too, that they all lost weight and were feeling, for the first time in their lives, HAPPY!
In celebration of their new lives the residents voted to rename their town Happy Land and started wearing t-shirts and buttons that had smiley faces on them. Signs appeared around town bearing messages such as, "You CAN do it!" and "NEVER give up!" and "Stay positive!" and other inspiring sayings.
The now Happies were surprised when reporters came to town after hearing of the residents' magical change. They were from "People" magazine, "Woman's World" magazine and radio and television stations and scrambled to interview and profile the successful transformation of Unhappy Land. The reporters all asked the same question: "How did you all change from being overweight and out of shape to being fit and healthy and happy?"
To a person the residents of Happy Land shouted in reply, "SparkPeople." Now they all tell strangers that they, too, can become a new person living emoticon lives if they will only try to change, if they will only take that first baby step
to a more fulfilling and exciting life, a step all who are unhappy can take IF they try.
It was a message that passed around the world and changed scores and scores of people from being Unhappies to Happies.
Will you be one of them?