When it comes to losing weight, staying healthy or maintaining a healthy weight, I've always been someone that found my greatest inspiration in community. That's a pretty easy thing to find when your "diet" of choice is a national weight loss chain. That's a lot harder to find when what you are striving for goes against an entire way of living for almost an entire country of over 350 million people.
Welcome to the United States in 2015. Where "food" is everywhere, at all times, for any reason. Where 99 percent of it isn't healthy for anyone.
What's a person like me to do?
Thank God for Facebook.
Seriously, I thank God for Facebook. And the Internet. We live in a very special time, and yes it has it's gray clouds, but it's also got its silver linings.
Facebook is where I met Shayda. If I still lived in Los Angeles, I have no doubt that we'd be friends in real life. But these days, I'll have to settle for virtual friendship, and ours is just beginning.
We meet most days in a small but extremely busy coffee shop called "Chef AJ and John Pierre's Ultimate Weight Loss." It's very private, and you need to be a member of the club to get in. But that's where all of my daily inspiration and connection is coming from. The other members of the group aren't serving coffee as a stimulant, they're serving love, support, commitment, inspiration and occasionally a recipe.
But not too many recipes, and that's a good thing. Someday, I'll talk about that.
For now, I just want you to meet Shayda. You can meet her there, in the club. She's truly inspirational!
Here's her story, in her own words: