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      Casey White: Staying positive

      Casey White is our weight loss contestant from Munson's Healthy Weight Center.

      There are some people who inspire me to be a better person. Anyone who knows me even a little knows that my son takes on the largest role in this story. He inspires me to want to be a better person, in many aspects in my life. My husband, of course, who stands on the sidelines with continuous words of encouragement, takes on another role. My parents, who have always been there for me. My extended family and friends, who are always giving me boosts of confidence whenever they see me. Even strangers, who have come up to me lately with â??Hey, youâ??re that young lady I saw on the news! Great Job!â?? I canâ??t say that doesnâ??t feel good. I love when I read about people in the media who may be going through a tough time, but still have an optimistic outlook, or those who are trying to make a difference in this world. Of course, I have to inspire myself, because if I decided to make any sort of change in my life, I need to be the first one to say â??I can do it.â?? But there are other people in this world that inspire me too. One group if people most of us donâ??t think about are the ones that have come and gone in my lifetime that have tried to get me to fail. The ones who would purposely make my life miserable simply because they wanted to. Unfortunately in my lifetime Iâ??ve had a number of those people; some were simply irritating like buzzing mosquitos, while others were what I would consider roadblocks in my life.

      I donâ??t mean to drag any negativity in my writing. But the fact of the matter is a lot of us have these types of people in our lives, whether it was back in middle school, high school, at home, work, or anywhere else we have ever been. Some weâ??ve known for a long time, some we met once and never spoke to again. A sad fact is a lot of us still carry the burden of these types of people with us. Just because we graduated high school doesnâ??t mean we automatically changed personalities as soon as we were handed our diplomas. I wish that were true. Unfortunately itâ??s not reality.

      So, why would I consider those types of people an inspiration? It sounds strange, possibly even slightly childish in a way, but whenever I feel myself struggling a bit, (face it, Iâ??m human, and Iâ??m going to struggle at times) I think of these people in my life, and it just makes me want to work harder. I want to prove them wrong. While the positive energies in my life are what fuel my fire, so to speak, I guess you could consider the few negative experiences I have had the bits of newspaper you would throw in the fire. They arenâ??t going to keep the fire going for very long, but they make my flames fly higher for a few seconds. Then they burn away and the positive energies are back to maintain my flame.

      When youâ??ve had these negative experiences in your life, theyâ??re hard to forget. Donâ??t get me wrong, you have to move on, but when they are such a big part of your past, you remember them. As I get older, though, and (ahem) wiser, you learn to not let them rule your life. Instead, at least for me, not only did I learn from those experiences, I learned to feel sympathy for those that chose to make my life as gloomy as possible. I think, why did they feel like they had to knock me down to make themselves feel better? Well, the only thing I could possible think of to say to those people today is simply: Thank-you. You have contributed in your own subtle way to the person I am today. Without you I would not appreciate the small things, and with those small things I have taken them and learned to love what I have in my life already, instead of trying to simply obtain more.

      Itâ??s taken me a long time to forgive things in my past, but in order for me to move on and learn to love myself even more, I have to purge the dark in my life, and allow the light in. After a while, the light takes over, while the darkness simply becomes shadows in the corners. You know theyâ??re there, and you can still see them, but you donâ??t really pay attention to them anymore. Theyâ??re just shapes on the walls, and they canâ??t stop you from getting to where youâ??re going.

      Stay positive everyone!