Friday, May 24, 2013

My Letter to Chris Powell

Dear Chris,

Webster defines legacy as something transmitted by or received from an ancestor. Through the years many things were transmitted to me. I was blessed growing up. I was surrounded by my parents, my brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins. This family shared Jesus with me, shared a love for music with me, taught me the importance of family, laughing, and loving. I have taken great pride in my family over the years. When one of us hurt all of us hurt.

I also received a love of food from this clan. Many of my fondest memories have food in them. In the earliest one, my grandfather took me to the county fair every year for corn on the cob. We had 3 years of this before he died. I celebrated his memory every year, with a buttery corn on the cob, until 1995 when I was unable to eat it, but that is another story.

I remember being smaller, but in my mind's eye its because I was younger. I always seemed to be bigger than my peers. I am not sure at what point I became fat, but I can recall being made fun of as early as 3rd grade. As I look back at pictures, it does not look like I am that different, bigger yes, but not necessarily fat. Maybe, just maybe my friends and I were harder on that little girl than we should have been.

The death of my grandfather changed my dad, changed my family. My parents began fighting. I think it was during this time I subconsciously began using food. I think that just like that corn on the cob comforted me after my grandfather died, that food began comforting me. I was as a young girl whose family dynamics were wavering. I don't blame my parents for this. I know how hard marriage is. I chose to eat.

My parents separated when I was in 6th grade. This is a vital time in a little girls life to be loved, acknowledged, and validated by her father. Mine was gone. There was no weekend or holiday visitation. Our time together was sporadic to say the least. My amazing mom raised my brother and I. The strength, hard work, and perseverance that she displayed is inspiring. She is my hero. She always told us “Your dad loves you the best he knows how.” I did not understand that then, but I do now. I fed my hurt, rejection, loneliness, and disappointment frequently. I can remember lying about a piece of candy and the spanking that resulted from that lie. My mom attempted to help me loose weight for the first time in elementary school thus beginning my yo-yo dieting career. She saw my unhappiness with my body and wanted to help. I love her for that. She passed down her passionate caring about others to me.

God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare of drama queen, these emotions were handled with food and still are to this day. As much as I showed emotions I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie. I could never figure out how to allow Christ to fill the space that I allowed food to stuff.

In 1995, I had to quit eating my memorable corn on the cob. I told you it was another story. I was a senior in high school, I finally had a boyfriend. Life was on the upswing for this plus size girl, until a beautiful March day, when I wrapped my Buick Skyhawk around a light pole. I had just washed my car and was on my way to get gas. I was driving on a curve when I looked over my left shoulder to change lanes and overturned my steering wheel, wrapping my car around a light pole. Thankfully no one was with me, they would have been killed instantly per the doctors. We took pictures of the car, however they did not develop. As the story goes, the front of the car was wrapped around the pole, the engine was in the passenger seat, the driver's seat was turned toward the passenger seat, the steering wheel was bent bottom to top from my face hitting it, the front tires and back tires were smashed together. Praise the Lord, I undid my seat belt and opened the car door. I can remember a tooth falling out of my mouth and blood pouring like a fountain. I was in surgery for about 13 hours. I lost 3.5 top teeth, one was shoved in the roof of my mouth, and some pierced through my bottom lip. Every bone in the roof of my mouth had to be pieced back together. I had an imprint from the seat belt across my body, this saved my life. If I had not been using it I would have been killed instantly. Seventeen years later, I can eat corn on the cob with my bridge, but I am reminded daily about this moment. My bridge is on the verge of needing to be replaced. I have a scar on my chin, people used to say “you have lipstick on your chin” and I would respond with a simple “thank you”. After the emotional and physical pain decreased, I ended up having some fun with my false teeth I had before my bridge. I had to wait a few months to get it so my mouth could heal. I hope to get the chance to make you laugh with my stories.

My boyfriend broke up with me roughly 2 weeks later, not due to the accident, but what another jab to my spirit.

After my parents divorced my mom had met a wonderful man who would become my step-dad, however I was a hurt, emotional teen who had a hard time adjusting to this, and I still only occasional saw my Dad.

Teenager, car wreck, blended families, break ups, insecurities add up to lot of eating.

The wreck matured me a bit and I went to college, got married, moved a way from home, bought my first house and had my first panic attack. Food helped, but I knew I needed more and told my husband I needed to get back in church.

Almost 12 years later, 2 kids, pets, and a lot of life. I have continued to use food instead of my faith. I have attempted many diets and OA.

There are many whys to me wanting your help. I have recurring ovarian cyst that would improve with weight loss. I have tried and failed too many times. I have found a love for running and I hope to run again one day. I ran and completed 2 5ks, but tore my meniscus training for another in September. My first one took my 59 minutes, my second 50 minutes. I found stress relief in running. My weight while running was too much for my knee. Losing weight will save my knees and provide me with an emotional outlet.

But my main reason is upstairs watching a movie. They are 9 and 5. I want to practice what I preach to them. I can see in my oldest daughter symptoms of a poor relationship with food. I have seen her cry over it. I have seen her eat to much and be sick from it. This is heart breaking. She got her love of all things sugar from me. I need your help learning what is best for my body, how to menu plan for busy families, and how to make those meals that benefit my body and the bodies of those I love.

My 9 year old is a vibrant, passionate, soccer playing young girl. My 5 year old is full of energy, songs, smiles, and is in gymnastics. I want to teach them to stay this way. I do not want to pass down a legacy of bad food choices, dependence on food, or an unhealthy body weight or image to these precious gifts. God chose me to be their mother and I need your help being the best mother I can be.

I have had healing in many areas in my life. I have broken free from many strongholds.

I have forgiven my real Dad and we have relationship, the best way he knows how. I also talk to my sisters that I have from his 2nd marriage. I have grown to love Richard, my Step-Dad. He is my Dad, I call him Dad and his daughter is my sister. How blessed am I.

There is freedom in forgiveness. I now need your help to break free from this stronghold of weight. Its time to get rid of the excess that is left after years of abusing food. There is a song and it says “You can't run if your holding suitcases.” I am ready to leave mine behind. Will you help me?

In one year, I want to sing “My chains are gone, I have been set free. My God, my Savior has rescued me.”

Help me leave a different legacy.

Thank you

Shelly Jones.


  1. You are doing an awesome job Shelly! Look at how much strength it takes to stop and ask for help! That in itself is a good lesson to teach your daughters! I'm still working on that one. I love reading your posts. :)

  2. Shelly its ur trainer Bryan! Doin great stay motivated and get to your goal we know you can so do it!!!

  3. Thanks Bryan!!!! Your awesome!

  4. Shelly you look great and I seen the pictures from start to now and you look fantastic. You are a amazing lady I just recently started talking to you and your a fun person. You have concord so much in such a short period of time in your life and im sure you will concur this as well. You have great kids stop beating yourself up. I am so glad I had the chance to meet someone like you. We can all learn a lesson by reading your statement thanks for giving me (us ) the opportunity. I hope you reach your goal and stay on track.


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