Thank you for attending and supporting my Book Signing and Beauty & Wellness Expo. It was a success!

Now that it’s over, I’ve had time to reflect on the weeks, days, and even moments leading up to that very special event. I’ve blogged about the amount of stress I had been feeling from work and trying to juggle it all. Even though I had the dream team behind me to manage the logistics, big and small details (Thank you Krystal Pleasant PR Firm) I still felt this amazing weight of responsibility–I was actually going to tell my story.

You may not know this, but I questioned whether or not to go public with this book altogether. I wrote Weight Loss DIVA to help people like me who had struggled with weight and body image issues for much of their lives. Unfortunately, I did not feel like I had the right or credibility to help anyone since I was, well, not the poster child for overcoming in the area of my weight. I’ll never forget my husband saying to me, “You wrote this book to help people, right? You didn’t just write it for you, did you?” That push was what I needed to move beyond the fear.

Yet, right up until the morning of the event I was feeling everything but inspirational. I didn’t find my outfit until 6:30 p.m. the night before and I almost missed my hair appointment. I just wasn’t excited. I didn’t sleep much the night before either. I woke up very early the morning of the event and knew I had to get my mind right. Mike was still asleep and it was quiet in the house. Instead of reviewing my speech notes or running through the event outline, the first thing I did was check my bank account of all things. “Wow, that’s all I have left? I have to cut something from this event.” I started texting, calling, and emailing anyone who would listen including my caterer (who just so happens to be my brother).

He was prepping the food for the event of course. I verified the number of guests with him, asked him to make sure he didn’t over-purchase anything, and asked him to explain the menu again. He was patient, but could hear the frantic undertone in my voice. He said, “Why do you sound like that?” Oh no, where was he going with this? I tried my best to cover up what was really happening with me, but despite all of my effort I gave in to the madness. I broke down. Crying. In the bathroom (yes, on the toilet LOL shhh he doesn’t know). It was uncontrollable. I had spent so much time going through the motions that I didn’t allow myself to feel what was happening. I was nervous. I mean, really nervous. Usually, I am not one to shy away from public speaking. But, this was my story. My journey. What if people judged me? What if no one showed up? What if I embarrassed myself?

In this moment, I realized I had a huge obstacle in front of me….ME. I was in the way. After a much needed “get it together sis” kind of pep talk, I headed to the basement where I stored my books. I knew I needed God’s help. I played a song from one of my favorite artists Israel Houghton and just cried. I prayed. I asked God for His strength. I prayed over the many boxes of books. I felt God showing me that I had it all wrong. In fact, I was being a bit selfish. This was not about me at all. I had taken my eyes off of the real reason why I wrote this book. It was about them–anyone who needs a little encouragement, a reminder that they are amazing just the way that they are, anyone who needs some inspiration to follow their dreams or stay on the path to pursue them.

I was honored to have a panel of people who I greatly admire including Angela Brown, co-author of Reslience: Living Life by Design speak at the event. In this book and at the launch she talked about turning obstacles into opportunities. Looking back on the moments leading up to my launch, I see how I was the obstacle in the way. I had a choice to make. Stay focused on me and all of the reasons why I was not qualified to deliver a message of hope and inspiration to get healthy. Or, focus on why I had to share. For those who attended, I think you would agree that everything turned out very well. I believe that most people left feeling energized and inspired around their health or personal goals. Mission accomplished.

The lesson I learned on how to turn obstacles into opportunities was this: don’t be selfish, it is not about you. Take your eyes off of yourself for just a moment. You may remember what’s really important.

If you missed the book signing here are a few pictures. Enjoy!