Friday, February 22, 2008

Please support my body transformation through the AIDS Lifecycle ride!

Please support my body transformation while I ride to end AIDS.

When I was 22 years old, I graduated from college. I was a fairly miserable person at the time -- I hated my life, my family and most of all, myself.

As I came home from a shopping excursion to buy clothes to wear for interviews for my new ventures into corporate America, I discovered just how big I was. I was directed by a very helpful sales person to a store for Plus Sizes. Plus Sizes? How the hell did I wake up one day and find I had gained 144 pounds and was nearly 300 pounds? I had gained a person sleeping in my body in 22 months.

I woke up when I walked up the stairs with the bag of clothes and was huffing and puffing at the top of it. As I put my key into the lock, I knew I would be dead by the time I was 30 if I didn't make some massive changes.

I know it sounds unbelievable... I often cry, wondering how it happened and how I can prevent it from happening again. All the same, I've clearly made many changes, and, in total, I am, at my current weight, 130+ pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest.

In 2008 I will be 39 years old. Before I turn 40, I want to do a crazy physical challenge... Something to really prove to myself I have done the work, I have really changed, and I will never be that half asleep fat girl walking around without a clue I am even overweight.

Meanwhile, over the recent years I have been deeply impacted by HIV and AIDS, having known several people who are positive. In 2007, a dear friend was diagnosed positive with AIDS and that experience left me in a state of disbelief of the frailty of life.

Combine these factors together and 2008 has me signed up for the Aids LifeCycle ride. For those who do not know about this event, From June 1-7, 2008, I'm bicycling in AIDS/LifeCycle. It's a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS. Those who ride in the event are supported by a group of Roadies who set up rest areas, food stops and do all sorts of wonderful things to support the 3,000 riders participating in this event. I first heard about this ride from my dear friend and Director of Poi Instruction for my school, Temple of Poi, Jim Rudoff. He has been on the support team for this ride for years.

My personal goal is to raise $10,000 for the cause -- any donation helps... even $5 or $10. Please consider giving what you can to both support me in my personal transformation as well as helping me support the HIV/AIDS-related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.