Sharing & Caring With Friends

Finding Joy – Part 5

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Welcome back for the continuing true story of “Joy’s Journey”(provided in a weekly 8 part series.)  If you have missed any of her journey, you can catch up on the website at “A Healthier You” (Testimonies):



In the fall of 1976, I began my 10th grade year.  High school was going to be fun because my cousin Jeanne and I were going to get to attend the same school for the first time together.  We were only 14 days apart in age and had grown up like sisters.  She was awkward around boys, but not me because I had a brother.  She had a sister 14 years her senior and a very overbearing mother, complete opposite of mine.

It was in our 10th grade year that I went on my first diet.  I can remember it as if it were yesterday!  We went to a place called “The Diet Center”, and it was located at our local mall.  Luckily the entrance was from outside the mall so no one need know we were there.  I already felt the shame. Jeanne’s mom was making her go and I just went to comfort her.  Neither one of us was overweight by more than 5-10 lbs.  It was similar to Weight Watchers with calorie restriction and exercise.  The biggest problem was the fact that we were 15 years old and the class was full of moms in their 30’s, old ladies in our eyes!  I clearly remember eating plain tuna fish on one slice of white bread for lunch.  We figured out that if we ate less than they allowed, we could lose weight faster and not have to go anymore. We were right, and Jeanne’s mom said she could quit attending the meetings, whew.

That was all fine and dandy, but now because we’d lost a little chubbiness, we were getting all kinds of attention.  By “we”, I mean “me”.  Boys were noticing me right and left.  Looking back, were they really or did it just seem that way because I had a new found confidence?!  Remember, I had been put on a pedestal by my loving father.  Then I saw my brother as my hero and idolized him because of the way he loved and protected me.  Now I was seeking the attention of adolescent boys to validate me.

I always had a boyfriend, and I had some really nice ones. By my junior year, I was dating seniors from the football team.  Now these boys wanted more than my offering of “candy”, i.e. hand holding and a few kisses.  I was not that kind of girl, so they could just forget anything else.  After several failed attempts at securing one of these boyfriends, the self-doubt began.  What was wrong with me?  Was I not sweet enough?  Not pretty enough?  “Why am I not good enough?”!  Well I knew the answer … “because you’re FAT, and FAT girls don’t get the cool guys!”  That must be it.  Since over the summer I’d had a few too many McDonald’s fries and Hardees sweet ice teas at the beach, I’d gained back the weight I’d lost when dieting during school.  And just like Donny Osmond belts out in The Osmond’s 1971 hit Yo-Yo:

Ho, ho, ho, just like a yo-yo
Ho, ho, ho, just like a yo-yo

Well it’s hard for me to see
How you got such a hold on me
First I’m up, and then I’m down
Then my heart goes around and around
Well, I’ll bet you five dollars I’m the only fool
Who’ll climb up a string for you
And need I say I can’t break away
You control every little thing I do.

More to come next Monday, (date).  See you then!



Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Jenn Slavich says:

    I cannot believe that her mother made her go on a diet over 5-10 pounds. Boy times have changed, haven’t they! High school is such a hard time for girls. Self doubt is really all that we do! Thank you for sharing your journey!

    • Clare says:

      Times have changed…. but most parents are doing the best they can. High school is definitely such a difficult time with self-esteem and all those issues! I appreciate your stopping by and hope to see you here next Monday!

  • This story is so honest and soul baring. It’s also very representative of the self-doubt and body-image issues felt by a generation during adolescence. I look forward to reading the next installment and learning how the story evolves from here…

    • Clare says:

      Yes, Joy is sharing a very honest and emotional journey… and I and all her readers truly appreciate it! Thanks and see you back here next Monday!

  • You have a great memory of your life. I look forward to reading more.

  • Joy! Your story is incredible! Thank you for sharing in such a pure and beautiful way.

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