Inspirational Story of the Week – Becoming Your Best Self Again


Many of you have shared your amazing, honest and heart-warming journeys with me through “one year later” letters. These letters are a written one year after starting the 8 Week Run plan featured in our best-selling book Why Kids Make You Fat …and How to Get Your Body Back. And these letters are powerful because they inspire each of us to take our dreams head on and follow through to come out the other side stronger, happier and better than ever! Each week, I want to feature a new story to show others what is possible with the 8 Week Run plan.

This week, I’d like to share the story of 8 Week Run Super Star, Mary Messer. Here is Mary’s letter that she wrote to herself one year after beginning her 8 Week Run.

May 26, 2015

Dear self,

This is one of the hardest letters to write because it’s to myself and looking back.

Going back in time to a year ago, seeing my before pictures makes me sad. I see a very unhappy, depressed, lost soul. I see a belly filled with sorrow, many emotions and loneliness. Today I am not the same person. As I look at my pictures today, I see a happier, healthier me inside which now shows on the outside. I can’t say enough about what I have not only learned, but gotten from this incredible year of change and the 8 Week Run. I found me again! I have a lot to be thankful for in life, I am thankful for my LIFE! The past 5 years were very hard for me and through that time I did a lot of damage to myself inside and it truly showed on the outside.

I was struggling with the loss of my best friend, my husband having a stroke and learning about MS because my husband was diagnosed with that shortly after the stroke. Losing my best friend was overwhelming, she was always there and to not have her with me anymore sent me into a sad depression. Then my husband has his stroke along with his MS, again, overwhelming and here came the weight! I had loved ones around me, but it was up to me to break through. I got word of the 8 week run, drew my line in the sand, looked up to the lord and said this is it!

Today I am in a better place with my health, my heart, and my self-esteem along with body confidence and all because of making a decision to take that step and do this 8 week run. Who knew that you all were who I needed to get myself back? This wonderful community helped me to dig deep inside and face more than just my weight, it helped me face myself and WHY I wanted to live. I found many friends with a life filled with craziness too, and many have inspired me to move on to another day.

Thank you all for sharing your life and this journey with me, all of you hold a special place in my heart. Christine Forlano Tawil, Robin Swain, Jennifer Long, and Jody Stevens words cannot express how much you all inspired me even more with your journeys, and Mr. Mark Macdonald, no words can express what you have given, the education and love is priceless, not to mention the many HUGS!

I learned that I can change my health by eating in 3’s, that 1% is GREAT, everything is a day at a time, that I can make the Dr. realize that you can be healthy without taking drugs and that we all have to eat, but it’s how we eat. I fed my emotions, fears, and depression. Now I feed my heart, mind, soul and body with the right foods they need.

Sometimes it’s not always about the weight we carry on our bodies, but the weight we carry in our entire being and you have to lose it all to become whole again. If there is something that I would say to myself, it would be that you are a stronger woman than a year ago with confidence and understanding of your body. That looking in the mirror is now great, because I like who I see looking back. I am proud of who I am today and this is just the beginning of the best years of our life!

Happy 1 year Anniversary my friends and here’s to another great year! BIG HUGS to you Mark and Abbi!



Mary Messner - After Front ThriveMary Messner - AfterMary Messner - Before

Mary lost 17 lbs. and 11 inches during her 8 Week Run!

Mary went through heartache and found the strength, education, tools and support she needed through the 8 Week Run Plan and our book Why Kids Make You Fat …and How to Get Your Body Back. Most importantly, Mary found the inner strength she needed to become whole again. We couldn’t be more proud.

Why Kids Make You Fat

Want to be your best self again? Start your transformation and get the plan, recipes, success stories and powerful health strategies in our new best selling book Why Kids Make You Fat …and How To Get Your Body Back, available @ And please take advantage of my 9 free coaching videos that fully support the plan and help you optimize your results. To get this exclusive content Click Here.

Want to inspire others and be featured? Please send your one year later letter to along with your current picture.

Always remember the Transformation Starts With You!

See Jody Steven’s “Letter to Myself” HERE

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