How a believer lost 250lbs in 1day

* This is a true story and not a weight-loss testimonial.

Once upon a time there was a hard-working donkey who worked steadily at meeting deadlines, helping others and getting things done.  Over time, her skills got attention and she found herself recruited for special projects on a pretty regular basis. And her workload grew.

donkey with heavy load

But that was OK because she was a sturdy donkey who could carry a lot – and, when no one was looking, she dreamed of a day when things might be better for her and the others in her group.  When he, her supervisor (otherwise known as the rat), would pick up his share of the work, listen to her ideas, and appreciate her efforts.  But that was not to be.

donkey with load man beside

He liked leaving her places.. and laughing about it.

But her star shone steadily anyways.  And he didn’t like it. Didn’t like it one bit.  And then one day a miracle happened – an opportunity appeared.  He told that he was moving up.  What about his spot, she asked? Could it be for her?  No, not for you, he snorted.  She couldn’t stop thinking of all the work she’d done – covering his 300+ absences over 5 years – and she knew she had to try.  She would get the work, that’s for sure, ought to at least try for the money. Sadly he didn’t support her, in fact, he lobbied for another donkey.   Still .. 4 interviews later, and with an armful of recommendations, she triumphed, the job was hers. He moved out, she moved in and brought her team up with her.   For one glorious year he was … off in the distance somewhere. But, as sometimes happens, a reorganization brought him back  to her again.

Say what?

Say what?

It was perfect! For him.

He was used to taking her ideas and packaging them up as his own.  How he loved to bring her along to meetings, not prepare and then throw her in at the last-minute.  Once again. Once again. And every time a deadline approached he’d have yet another illness.  Some real. Some imagined. Yet again. Yet again.  And for a while, the donkey, well,  she felt defeated.  Betrayed.  Hopeless. She plodded along the circle, even when it made her sick.   She didn’t sleep, she barely ate, dark circles took up residence under her eyes.   She cried, she railed, she prayed. Oh, did she pray.


“all I want for Christmas … is a break”

Meanwhile the rat prospered.  He worked to convince others what a great rat he was. How he had all these great ideas (hers), he got projects completed (hers), and, from the surface, it appeared he was one good rat. And he was.  He was very good at being a rat.

warren t rat american tail

And soon, the load grew again.   But this time, it was different. Something had changed.  She had grown, too.   The yoke no longer fit!! No longer dangling in the air she righted herself and when a much more Sr. Donkey asked her “how are you doing?” she looked him in the eye and she answered.  She squared her shoulders, stood in her truth and saw his gasp of horror.  He listened and she spoke and she heard his words of understanding.  Time passed and she figured maybe he was just one more Sr. Donkey who’d allow a rat in his midst. But she was wrong.

donkey up in air

In time, she saw the rat’s unease.  She listened to him whine at being questioned why he always had to come to Donkey for answers.  And why was Donkey’s name on all the work? Who exactly was doing the work? The questions coming at him were rapid and direct and not easily dodged.  That wily rat found himself nailed like a fat kid in dodge ball.

warren t rat surprised

And then, one day, happy news came her way – delightful, happy, wonderful news!  Can you guess what it was?  The gig was up! The rat was out – leaving the company.  Secretly Loudly she danced. She danced, she cried, she smiled so much and so often her face hurt.  She slept. She finally slept.  And dreams returned, in just days. Dreams returned.

happy donkey

Is that the Karma bus I see in the distance?

One morning, as she finally put into words what she’d experienced in her years with the rat, she felt the weight of a 250lb yoke slipping off her shoulders.  No more shackles to his messes, his problems, him. No more cleaning up, fixing up, and covering for.  No more. No more. No more.

And as she said it, she saw it, and the tears ran down her face.  Tears of liberation.

“You own everything that happened to you. 

Tell your stories. 

If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” 

– Ann Lamott

I’m that donkey.  And between now and 5:00 today I’ll lose 250lbs. By His grace, I’m a believer.

Dance with me, will ya? 🙂



Can you relate to this?  Whose yoke have you become used to? What needs to happen before you can put it down?



Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Growth, Humor, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

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40 thoughts on “How a believer lost 250lbs in 1day

  1. Aaah MJ the story is as wonderful as you are … Great way to deal with such an emotionally charged situation … Congratulations

  2. Woo hoo! About time you got rid of that burden. My story was a little different. I worked with an exec who dislike me because he disliked every thing human resource related (seriously what’s not to love about me?). He tried to do illegal things (and I called him on it). He was unfair to employees (and I called him on it). I was in Vegas when I got a call from the Corporate Attorney telling me that he resigned. I damn near broke the bed from jumping on it. I hadn’t realized what a burden it was working with him or how I dreaded every top level meeting because I knew he would fight me. It made a significant difference in my work attitude. And I know that feeling when your face hurts from smiling to much!

    • I would’ve broke the bed, too. Like you pointed out, I hadn’t really realized the weight of the burden until it was jettisoned … once I verbalized it, earlier this week, the tears came. I still have to pinch myself. I’m looking forward to Monday when I can do MY job and run MY team and not have to do HIS work, too — the position is posted somewhere else, that takes the pressure off, and I will probably get some components of it, and that’s fine. But I no longer have a 250lb sloth in the way – Yippee Skippy!! MJ

  3. I’m sure you can barely contain your excitement and happiness. Good for you!

    • You’re right, it is not to be contained. Saw my Dr. yesterday and he said “wow you look great! What’s changed” so I told him – he gave me a huge hug b/c he gets it – the effect that chronic long-term stress can take on a person. I feel like a whole new person today, not kidding. Smiles abound!!! Xo MJ

  4. I was moved to tears because this hits home with me on so many levels from past experiences. All I can say is congratulations my dear, you have been liberation and your official Rebirth begins today. Side note, this story should be made into a children’s book! I love the donkey analogy. You are indeed a thoroughbred, time to put on your shiny coat…Triple Crown baby all the way! My money will always be bet on you. I’m so proud of you. xoxo

    • thank you Beth, you have always been a loyal Cheerleader and I appreciate you. Re a book – The Animal Rights people would probably protest how “unfairly” I portrayed the rat but, all I know is, a rat is a rat is a rat. And, as of today, I am living in the “rat-free” zone. Whee! Are there others around? Yes, but not like this.

      Cartwheels in West MI today 🙂 MJ

  5. So glad that you’re free and clear of that rat!! Obviously you’ve shined for some time and now you’re being recognized. 😄. Thank you for sharing!!

    • I am a pretty faithful person but I have to admit that, along the way, I really had my doubts that this would ever come to pass. Just when the Rat had been in prior traps reorganizations had given him new mgt so it seemed his gnarly ways would never catch up to him. It was gratifying to not only be heard but to witness the Karma bus (with chain/snow tires) run right over him. HA! Thank you for your kind words, MJ

  6. All I can say is: 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉👏👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉👏👏👏🎉🎉🎉

  7. Diane Helminiak

    Loved the story, Marilyn. My new job is a miracle compared to what I came from. When we get called into the boss’ office now, it’s to express ourselves, get praise and feel wanted. The old burden was like going to the Principal’s office. There was ALWAYS tears. The old burden eventually sold the company but instead of making big money, she got the shaft. Too bad…so sad… I am living happily ever after. Congratulations on your weight loss.

    • I just love happy endings Diane!! So glad you are where you were meant to be and being treated well – that just makes me grin!! 🙂 MJ

  8. love love love this update!!! did I say I loved reading this update 🙂 Makes me too want to do the happy dance. Congrat’s to you MJ!

    • Thank you; so many of us have been through this and it’s gratifying to see a happy ending once in a while isn’t it? 🙂 MJ

  9. Welcome to the “free world” MJ! I am so happy for you and that the rat has got his come-uppance! And I love the way you have told us your story. I don’t dance well, but I would join your friend, DM, in his “happy dance.” 🙂 You ROCK!

    • Makes me think of that song by Neil Young … “Keep on rocking in the free world” 🙂

      I am so happy, too, and if you were here with me we’d join hands, dance in a circle and giggle till we couldn’t anymore — Whee!!

      The moral of this story is this: KARMA IS ONLY BAD IF YOU ARE! (( as she tilts her head back like a muppet and laughs outrageously )) MJ

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  11. I love that as you changed, the universe conspired to support you in it. Yee haw! And Congratulations!!

  12. MJ, I’m so happy for you! This is such a victory for you in every way! Your hard work, your patience, your grace in dealing with the situation, and finally, the vindication and right end to the story…because of course the only end that could be “right” is that the good guy wins and the rat gets the boot…is an example to me and everyone else finding our voices and learning to stand up. Thank you for sharing, and for being a leader! ~ Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila. This one is a long time coming and I told my story to give others assurance that sometimes justice prevails. YAH!

      Thank you for your kind words; MJ

    • You are so kind with your generous words of support. I wanted to share the story not just because of my happy ending but to inspire others dealing with rats that the rats don’t always win. In the end, they’re still a rat!!

      Hope you have a wonderful week! MJ

  13. Good for you! And that Anne Lamott quote is one of my faves 🙂

  14. Oh my gosh! It’s crazy to think people like that think they can get away with … well … being people like that. Sometimes you have to be bold to make things right. Aren’t you glad you were bold? You did the right thing, and it took some time, but he got what he deserved. SO happy for you, MJ!

    • Yes it is. I’m glad I answered truthfully when asked but he did himself in – the new leader is way too sharp to be fooled. I’m still pinching myself at how things turned out, it’s not often the ending goes like this. Of course he got $$ to go, you know that, right? But still … 😀 MJ

  15. Jude

    I know how much you love music. I think this is a beautiful and inspiring song.

    • Love it, thanks Jude! This would be great headphone music – I’ll save it to my treadmill playlist (fist pump, rebel yell, yeah!) MJ

  16. Now that’s a diet plan! Congrats, MJ!

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