Last February, I was pretty upset with myself and feeling depressed and angry over the way I had allowed my health and well-being to so badly deteriorate. I had suffered several embarrassing moments as a result of my obesity at the end of 2017, and during a doctor visit last February, my doctor got right in my face and said, “You’re fat!” Yeah, that was some real “tough love” right there! But i needed to hear it (I went by and visited her months later to “thank” her, after I lost over 30 lbs).
I reached out to my sister, Rana, after seeing photos of her and her husband, Chris. The two of them looked amazing and I wanted to know what was their “secret.” They told me all about this system they were using, and they described it as a “lifestyle change, not a diet.” They told me what it had done for them, and there was no denying their results! So, I signed up myself and my daughter Julie. Best thing I ever did! Chris and Rana were the best coaches and mentors a person could ever ask for and they were extremely helpful. Chris lost 135 lbs on this system, and Rana lost over 50 lbs! They both have incredible stories to tell about their lives, their experiences using these products, and where they are today as a result of taking action to change their health situations.
Chris agreed to share his story here on my website. The story behind his transformation is very moving and inspirational. I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth reading:
“Why I Believe in You” – a lifetime of struggle overcome
I was severely picked on from 3rd grade (when we moved and I changed schools) to 8th grade. I felt like the only people in the world who did not know there was something inherently wrong with me, was my mom and dad. So I NEVER went to them with my problems, because I needed them to love me and I felt, if they knew who I was… who EVERYONE ELSE knew I was, then I would have no one. I remember meeting Scott McClendon in 7th grade and he became my best friend. In my mind at the time, I was so grateful for Scott, but also terrified he would find out that there was something wrong with me like all the others. Scott wanted to come over to my house after school, but I was terrified. All through 7th and 8th grade, I mostly took the bus to middle school. Where my stop was, the bus usually was full, with at least 1 person in every seat. No one would let me sit next to them and I was made fun of and laughed at the whole way to school. If I happened to get lucky and get to the bus after school quickly, I’d grab a seat. But more often than not, it was the same situation going home.
I remember begging my mom (without telling her why) to pick me and Scott up. Without being able to give her a good enough reason and resolved to not tell her the truth, I was declined. At some point, I pushed past my fear, and Scott and I rode the bus to my stop after school. I was utterly terrified, and sure enough, Scott got to experience what I experienced every day. I thought for sure, Scott would ditch me and join the others, but he never did. Scott became my brother that day.
Fast forward to 8th grade, end of the year when I got a call slip to go to the music room in the middle of my science class. Not knowing what was going on, but grateful to get to leave class, I walked over to the music room to find a high school kid standing outside. “You are about to go in and sing for Mr. Rogers,” the kid told me. He then added, “Don’t laugh when he introduces himself.”
I was terrified! I DID NOT want to sing for anyone! I just wanted to be invisible, and the best approach I had developed for myself, was hiding in plain view. When I walked in the room, Travis Rogers stood behind the piano. He asked me to match the notes he played on the piano with my voice. Like ANY kid back in that time, there was no argument. No amount of fear that made you insubordinate to an adult asking you to do something. So I sang to the best of my ability, whatever notes I heard him play, and then I burst out of that room as quickly as I could when he dismissed me.
I remember hearing that if you “made any of the high school choir,” a letter would come to your parents. So I checked the mail EVERY day! Not to happily bring a letter of acceptance to my parents, but to get it before they did and burn it! The day the letter came, I was at Scott’s house, hanging out. When I got home, my parents sat me down, smiles on their faces, and they read me the letter: (paraphrasing as I don’t have the letter but remember the gist) “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty, Chris has auditioned for and made the Napa High School Concert Choir, the very same choir that just took second place in a competition in Vienna, Austria…”
It went on, but I didn’t hear any more of it as they continued. I was both excited (that I might be good at something) and it felt ‘realistic’ to me (that this man just felt sorry for me). A major “son vs. parents” argument ensued, as I was absolutely sure that joining this program would reveal to even more people what a loser I was. Like almost all “son vs. parents” arguments back then, the son lost. So the first day of school, during third period, I walked into the Napa High Choir Room for the first time, along with a LOT of other people. I looked around nervously, as I found my seat in the first tenor section, just below Leo Hartmann (our section leader).
After introductions, rules of how Travis Rogers operated, and the usual first day of class speeches, Travis started to play warm-ups on the piano and everyone started to sing. I looked around at all the kids and found athletes in Letterman jackets, kids I knew to be popular, and just about every other social group you could find represented in the John Hughes movie, “The Breakfast Club”.
“Sing louder, you sound great” was the first words spoken to me that day by my section leader, Leo Hartman. I was POSITIVE he was just being nice to this “loser” but he said it in a way that made me push past my fear and sing a little louder. Over the weeks that followed, Leo encouraged me every day. In fact, Leo encouraged his whole section. I didn’t know it then, but he was my first role model in leadership, next to this crazy choir director, Travis Rogers. When the year ended, Travis announced that Leo Hartman had been awarded a full out-of-state college scholarship to Northern Arizona University. I remember thinking how awesome that was to happen to such an amazing person and wishing that I was not so different from everyone else so that maybe I could do things like that. I also thought however, that “I had these guys fooled into thinking I was normal, even good at something,” and I pushed forward with the lessons I had learned from Travis and Leo over the year.
The next year I auditioned for Chamber Choir (made it) and over the next three years I got into every choir I auditioned for as well as won almost every solo I tried out for in the various choirs. I made many deep friendships even if I did think I was fooling my friends and hiding “the weirdo” that the people in elementary and middle school knew me to be. Even some of them became friends of mine, but I just chalked it up to them playing along since the others were.
In the spring of my senior year, we took a tour to Arizona where we visited Northern Arizona University. For whatever INSANE reason, when everyone else was at lunch, I walked over to the music department and found Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe. I remember him looking up from his desk and I asked him if he had any scholarships for an out of state student available. Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe smiled and said, “It’s a little late in the year don’t you think?” He continued, “But actually, I do have one student who just got residency and moved to an in-state scholarship, Leo Hartman.”
All of the sudden I was filled with excitement! Then came the question I dreaded…“What is your grade point average?” It wasn’t great, but I told him. He frowned a little, then followed up with, “How many deficiencies do you have?” I stood there confused, and he explained, “A deficiency is a D or an F in a class you need to get into college.” I froze in terror as I counted them… Spanish 2, some of my math classes, science… “About 4 or 5,” I replied. Dr. Scheibe smiled and said, “Well why don’t you sing for me and instead of talking about this scholarship, I will advise you if you should go to a JC, and then come back and audition next year.” I was defeated, but again, when an adult suggested you do something, you sucked it up and did it. So, I sang for him, and my future voice teacher Dr. Stone. The entire time I sang, they were talking back and forth. I totally took this as a sign that they were not interested in hearing me sing, but just going through the motions of being polite. When the song was over, I was asked to leave the room.
Disappointed in myself, I hung my head and walked out of the room where my other choir members were all gathering to perform as they finished their lunch. A few minutes later, Dr. Scheibe called me back into his office. There was a stack of papers on his desk. His next words I will never forget for as long as I live, “The scholarship is yours. We are going to need to move quickly because of the timing, but here is what you need to do to get into the school starting in the fall.” I remember filling out the forms, taking the offer letter for the scholarship out with me, and seeing Travis. I showed him the paper and the biggest smile formed on his face. Inside I still thought to myself “Dr. Scheibe feels sorry for me and is just being nice” but I took it!
At the final concert of every year, Travis says something about each of the seniors who are moving on into the real world. When he got to me, I wondered what he would say. What Travis said about me that night, I also will never forget. Because even though it did not fully register at the time the impact it would have on my life, passion, and leadership, it was not something I had expected at all. He said, “When Chris was in 8th grade, I needed tenors. So I did what I always do, and go to the middle schools. Let me tell you, Chris could not even match pitches when he sang for me. But you could tell he needed something, and I needed tenors. So I put him in the concert choir. Chris has been in every choir I direct, that a boy can be in, including sacrificing his lunch to help in the men’s choir. He has been a section leader and now is going off to NAU in the fall on a full out-of-state scholarship. I look forward to seeing what this young man continues to do in life.” I could not even move! I had gone from “Couldn’t even match pitches,” to a “Full out-of-state scholarship.” And with my grades and deficiencies?! From 1985 to 1989, my years in choir instilled in me the mechanisms and beliefs that have taken me to the age of 47 to fully realize. I am not saying I have not been executing and paying what I was given forward wherever I could before then, but REALLY UNDERSTANDING it, owning it, and believing it about myself hasn’t occurred until now.
You can achieve anything in this life if you push past your fears, “fake it, till you make it,” and have a support system of people who believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself. ANYTHING! I’ve seen it in my career in technology. Since taking on the role of Sr. Manager, supporting one of my companies most profitable accounts, I have built up a leadership team that has put in processes to support over 23,000 servers with just over 62 technical resources, while meeting all of our service level agreements. Balancing work and life and showing the best monthly numbers in over 4 years. 4 years ago, we had over 300 staff and 14,000 servers.
Most notably, I have seen it in the last year as I took a leap of faith when I found out I was going to be a grandfather. You all know that story, so I won’t go into detail but quickly recap: ALL MY LIFE I struggled with weight and energy. I have not always been morbidly obese, but I have been big enough to be called “the coat guy,” because I was so uncomfortable with my body image that I’d wear my coat as a kid (and adult). Even in the summer. I tried exercise (consistently and over time), every diet system and plan under the sun, and I never got results, like the results I have received on this program! I will be on this program for the rest of my life! It’s not a diet, it’s weight and wellness improvement, done so through super nutrition, to get your body, energy and mind to its optimum state. I have lost 135lbs, put some back on in lean muscle, and I love to exercise for the first time in my life.
As I started this journey, several people have joined me. I was not at the time “advertising” that I could help them. It was simply a matter of them seeing Rana and my results in inch/weight reduction, in combination with our happiness and energy we started bringing to relationships, and they reached out to us. I happily shared our system with them, and when they made the decision to start the program, I made it priority number one to be the best coach I could for them. I made it my mission to believe in them, the way that Travis, Leo, and many others in my life, believed in me.
My brother-in-law, Dana Steele, lost 102 lbs, his daughter, Julie Steele, has lost almost 100 lbs. My wife, Rana, lost 55 lbs… My other brother-in-law, dean Steele, has lost 30 lbs., his daughter lost 20 lbs… Brad Byers, one of the best managers I have ever had work for me in IT has lost 41 lbs… Brad struggled to get some of that off the old-fashioned way before joining us with our program. The funny thing is, the weight loss for ALL of us (put me in check if it’s not true in the comments team) quickly became secondary to how the right nutrition made us feel. It’s the energy, the focus and clarity… It’s the overall dawn and sunrise we all began to experience after a long and dark winter. It’s being able to feel better than we have in years and for me personally better than I can ever remember feeling. It’s being part of a wellness program with no-compromise, science backed products and a community of people who share the same mindset: Believe in others.
After a little over a year with this health and wellness company and community, I have made the decision that I will spend my life trying to help anyone in need of what we have to offer and to build a team of like minded people who want to do the same. Please don’t think I am out to corner or pressure anyone, or that I am on some “get rich quick” scam or scheme… I know anything worth something in life is hard work, but I also know that if you find something you are passionate about and love, it’s not really work so I will do whatever I can to help the world become healthy and happy. I will shout from the rooftops that I have something special that I want to share with you, but I will never pressure you. Success with our program is not just willpower, a product or a community… It starts with you. It starts with your “Why” and that why goes beyond “I want to lose a few pounds to fit into my old jeans” … It requires you to take a step out of your comfort zone and at least allow me and others to “Believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself”. It requires that you are willing to “fake it till you make it” at times.
Looking back at my life, I know that everything that happened to me led me to this point. I WILL believe in you always, in all you want to achieve. Not just in health and wellness but whatever you passions and dreams are. I think we all could change ANYTHING in the world if we all focused on that more. I believe because others have believed in me, even when I did not believe in myself!