Thank you so much for participating in our 2010 Valentine’s Day Contest, we greatly appreciate all those who entered and submitted your thoughtful stories.
We received many wonderful entries. So many touching stories, about relationships, divorces, new brides, weight challenges, young moms, and it was hard to narrow it down to our finalists.
If you entered this year but were not a finalist, we would love for you to submit your special story again next year. If you didn’t enter this year, but are moved by the stories then we encourage you to submit your own story next year.
The finalists for this year are:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with just the name of the person you are voting for in the subject line. Feel free to include comments with your vote, comments may be posted to the blog. Also leave a comment below!
Voting ends on Sunday, February 14th at noon PST. The winner will be announced later on Valentine’s Day.
I am writing to share my story for my reason to complete a boudoir session. I have been wanting to do a session for a long time, however I always found some reason not to schedule — too busy with my children, my husband always gone both with a full-time job and being part of the D.C. National Guard. Then it was my idea that I had to be perfect — loose more weight, have hair/nails done, use our finances on me instead of my family. It was always easier to make an excuse then schedule a session. Last year, I made the decision to finally do it for me, and after going to Disney World where my daughter took part in the Christmas Parade. We came home with an unexpected blessing — so there went my session again. I was not going to try to get a sexy boudior with a pregnany belly. I figured I would wait. Now my new little man is 6 months. I am trying to once again avoid reasons why not to take the time to get some pictures where I can look and feel like a woman again. The reason in front of me now are; have I lost enough of my pregnancy weight? should I wait til I look better? After nursing my 3rd child how flattering could I look with 2 different sized breasts??? I see so much negative reason that I afraid I might put it off again until who knows when. I would really enjoy a session where I could have my hair/make up done and have a great professional photographer show my best qualities to make a homemaker mother of 3 look fantastic and beautiful. I have given up alot to be the best wife and mother that I can be. I hold 3 college degrees, but chose to be at home and sacrifice my finances and time on myself to take care of those around me. I would love to look forward to a day devoted to making me feel sexy and what a great gift to my husband. I just realized trying to find a picture to attach I really dont have any I like of me. The one attached is on me about 6 weeks before I had my son, I did my own hair and make up. The other is at home and the last of my beautiful daughter and I at disney with the ultimate beauty Cinderella, before she danced.
I am honored to be considered for this fantastic offer. I feel I qualify for this gift as it something that I would love to give my husband of twenty-five years of marriage. Then, I was a naive bride that slid into a size 6 wedding dress and to him I was the “best thing since sliced bread.” What followed I am not proud of and have promised myself never to return there. We had 2 great children, a daughter and a son. Together we have endured many hardships of miscarriages, failed business ventures, arson destroying our business, bankruptcy etc. I’m not making excuses, but during this time I did not make myself a priority and so told myself I didn’t care and soon I believed I didn’t care. Through all of this I ate, didn’t workout and frankly didn’t do anything to enhance myself at all. My husband stood by me, loved me, supported me and made me his top priority through this whole period of time. He never talked to me or others about my size, he always stated he was proud of me and genuinely cared for and about me. In March of 2007, after a medical scare,(high blood pressure and a diagnoses of Osteoarthritis) I was a size 26 at the time. I joined Weight Watchers and made myself the same priority that my husband had always made me. Through this weight loss adventure of almost 3 years, my husband”s love and support increased immeasurably! I have now lost 107 pounds and I’m sure that he’s prouder of me than I am of myself! I am back into size 6 and am not embarrassed to say that I have made myself that priority and I do care about myself. These photos would be for my husband’s eyes. He has put up with an overweight spouse and now has one that he is proud of not only on the inside but the outside too!
*UPDATED WITH VOTER COMMENTS:
“I truly hope Carolyn is your winner. Her commitment and dedication to pursuing and achieving her weight loss goals have been second to none. She has worked hard to get back to her former size and she looks amazing. So much to be proud of with this girl! I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this prize. Carolyn, you’ve come a long way, baby! You’re a terrific person and friend, and now your outsides truly match your insides.” ~ Paulette
“I am voting for Carolyn. She is awesome!” ~ Karla
“Awesome story….very inspiring for me!” ~ Sonya
“In addition to her inspiring weight loss story, Carolyn is just a wonderful person. I have a special needs son and she was his teacher’s assistant for one year…and was the best teacher’s aid he’s ever had!!” ~ Teresa
“Carolyn is an inspiration to all women struggling with weight issues. Well done” ~ Sheila
“Fabulous lady and an inspiration to myself and a lot of us @ Weight Watchers Cochrane. Good luck.” ~ Kelly
“I vote for Carolyn, as per her story, she is a worthy recipient. I have known Carolyn for almost thirty years and I would love to see her win this. She is truly an example to others.” ~ M. Walker
“My vote is for Carolyn. She has won a long, hard and well deserved battle and is an inspiration to all her Weight Watchers co-workers. Great work, Carolyn!” ~ Nancy
“I have been married to this wonderful woman for 25 years. I have been with her through her many struggles and she with me through mine. There are only a very few women that have the caliber of character that Carolyn has. She has pushed through with her challenges and has gone from being over weight and unhealthy to getting compliments from her trainers and doctors on how fit she is! As a current Leader at Weight Watchers she encourages many and when others have succeeded they give Carolyn credit for being their inspiration. A more deserving person will be difficult to find. She is unselfish in many of her efforts and that actually was a challenge for her because it was a difficult thing for her to put herself 1st long enough to get this job done. But with much prayer and effort, she realized that she couldn’t help others if she was on her back in a bed sick. So after many years of putting all of us before herself to her own detriment, (she was on her back and couldn’t walk and could hardly move for over a month!) She was a stroke waiting for a place to happen. Carolyn saw that the only way she could continue was to put herself 1st long enough to stay healthy! Without much effort I even managed to lose 45 lbs! I love this women with all of my heart and she has been a major life blood of the last 25 years of my life!” ~Tim
Like many women, I’ve been trying to lose those last 5 pounds. Well actually, it’s more like 8, if we’re being honest. Maybe even 10 on a bad day.
For the last 12 years.
Oh, there have been a few times when I got to that mythical “perfect weight,” but they never lasted very long, and I would rebound back with a vengeance. My weight wasn’t always an issue. In fact, until I hit university, I was, if anything, on the thinner side. I ate healthily, I didn’t have issues with food, and I didn’t think too much about my body at all. I gained a few pounds in freshman year, but who doesn’t? And then somewhere along the line, I learned to use food as a crutch. Feeling sad? I ate. Feeling happy? I ate. Feeling stressed? You got it. Along the way, I entered medical school. See above, rinse, and repeat. My weight ballooned over 20 pounds, which on a 5’2” frame is not insignificant. I shed most of it, but the stubborn last several pounds seemed irresistibly drawn to me like a magnet: I could pry them away by sheer dint of hard work and dieting, but then they would snap back as soon as I lowered my guard. I spent countless hours mourning the fact that my skinny clothes no longer fit, and gazed longingly at the cute outfits I wished I could pull off. I spent even longer gazing at myself in the mirror, cataloguing my imperfections, hating the way I looked: thighs too big, belly pudge, chipmunk cheeks, back fat, flabby arms. The squishy bits, the jiggly bits, the pudgy bits—it was all I could see of myself. While I was busy hating my body, I graduated from medical school (with a 6-figure debt), did my residency in Emergency Medicine, played violin, did my first ever 10K run, learned to tango, and began to cook. The body that I so despised got me through 32-hour stints of in-hospital call, allowed me to perform music, let me sprint 200 metres and up 5 flights of stairs in response to a Code Blue, and never uttered a word of reproach. I finished my training, moved to Vancouver, and started my new life as a full-fledged attending physician. And I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I haven’t been quite fair towards my body. My body—my imperfect, not-skinny, jelly-bellied body—has let me reset broken bones, provide comfort, love with abandon, and experience unalloyed pleasure. I’ve started to treat it a little better now. And I think it’s high time that I started learning to love my body, appreciate it for all its hard work. Instead of seeing flabby, squishy, and too big, I want to see sensual, curvy, and strong. I wasted my twenties hating what I saw; now that I’m in my thirties, I want to see my body in a new light. I want to see it through another’s lens, and see it as beautiful. And that’s why I would love to win a boudoir photography experience.
*UPDATED WITH VOTER COMMENTS:
“Hooray for a woman taking pride in who she is and how she looks!” ~ Douglas
“Christine Choi Rocks this contest. She should win!” ~ Shelly
“I would like to nominate Christine as the winner of your competition. I read Christine`s entry blog and I was really touched by what she shared. This is someone that has given so much to others unconditionally and deserves to have beautiful pictures taken of her by TAIT for the beautiful person that she is inside.” ~CP