Making An Impact (or, My Challenge to YOU).

Hello, Wonderful Readers!

I come before you today, asking you for help with a big project.

As you all know, I was inspired to create this blog after coming across Michele Vicari, aka Eggface when I began reseaching my weight loss surgery. Her blog post today truly inspired me, and I want to be a part of what she is doing….but with a little twist, perhaps.

First and foremost, please go read her post here.

Now, I have lost a total of 94 lbs since surgery. I will be putting together my 94 food items this week, in addition to donating my clothing that no longer fits. The fight against hunger is just as important as the fight against obesity. As a matter of fact, sometimes, they go hand in hand.

As a kid, my mom didn’t have a lot of money. After my parents divorced, times were pretty hard, and my dad was usually pretty hard to track down. My mom did her best, but sometimes, I can honestly say we lived on Top Ramen, and my brother and I got pretty excited to have PB& J in two jars, rather than the weird stuff that’s mixed together in one. We spent our summers at rec centers and churches for free lunch, and always made a bee-line to the lunch line during school for free lunch. We also got to school early everyday to be there in time for free breakfast. When my mom finally was approved for food stamps (which was extremely difficult for her, because she had a job….), we were finally able to have a little more. But when you get something you haven’t had in awhile, it doesn’t last very long. Juice, cookies, candy, chips, ice cream….all those things you can’t buy on a Top Ramen budget, but look forward to as a kid.

My mom did a lot to make sure we never went hungry. In actuality, there are kids who don’t even get Top Ramen or the weird Pb & J.  But I always had a fear that we wouldn’t have anything to eat. I was also raised to eat everything on my plate, because we just didn’t waste food, coming from that life. As a result, I got older, and ate everything on my plate way after I was full. I hoarded food, for fear that I might need it later, and when I was sad, depressed, lonely, or angry….I’d eat it all.

I try not to remember those days. I try to just thank God that I didn’t end up with diabetes. That I got to a point in high school where I packed salads with grilled chicken for lunch everyday, and quit drinking soda, and eating red meat. I am thankful to my aunt, for intervening when she saw I was still hoarding sweets out of habit, and helping me realize that I will always have a home, a bed, and a meal. I finally broke the food dependence….but couldn’t shake the weight.

For some, my journey seems so out of the blue. But I have to look back every day at the little girl wearing juniors clothes, the middle school girl wearing womens clothes…the girl who wasn’t sure if she was going to get lunch or not today. And that drives me to see forward to the healthy woman without a dependence or fear tied to food.

And so, here we are.

Here is my challenge to you.

Clean out your cupboards. Donate any non-perishable items to the food bank, red cross, or other programs in your neighborhood. Maybe there is someone you know who could really use it, and you’ve been meaning to get it to them. DO IT.

Clean out your closet. If you love it, and it used to fit…that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t fit anymore. Donate it to the shelters, the Goodwill, Amvets…..anywhere where your unused clothing can help fund a great cause or clothe someone in need.

I can pick up any donations in the North County area if you cannot make the trip for whatever reason. Please email me if that is the case. I will see if I can enlist help in the South County region as well.

I really want to highlight the impact of this project. If you can, please send photos of your piles of items to:

I will be doing a follow-up post for this project, and will use the photos to help persuade larger business entities to help me make this a bigger movement. I would just like to start close to home and see what we come up with first. By using photo documentation, it’s a fun way for out-of-state and International readers to help, too!

I really hope you’ll all take the time to join me on this project. With each of us making a small donation together, we can create a HUGE impact.

Let’s start this year off with a bright beginning…..creating beginnings for others!

Your support, inspiration, motivation, and help mean the world to me!

‘Til Next Time!


6 thoughts on “Making An Impact (or, My Challenge to YOU).

  1. nikkimmascali says:

    Sondra, this was your most inspiring (and powerful) post yet – one that I read while I am about three days into a full-on off-the-wagon stress binge. I haven’t slept in days because when I lay down, I feel like I have the world in my stomach from eating so much and then, of course, there’s the guilt I feel for being off the wagon once again.

    While I had different circumstances growing up than you did, I am part of the Clean the Plate Club, something I learned from both of my parents, and something I know I will always struggle with not being.

    I am so behind the idea behind this post and will continue to look forward to your posts. As you get closer to the goal you’ve set for yourself, I’ll be on the path to mine, too.


  2. sondrajo says:


    It is truly a blessing for me to hear that this post helped you during one of the harder times. This may not be the last binge, but the fact that you are aware tells me that you have everything it takes to NOT be that person.

    When I used to get tempted to get food (even though I KNEW I wasn’t hungry), I would write in my journal. I had a real obsessive best friend crush in high school, so I had plenty of material. 😉

    I am so happy to see your journey unfold, and I am always here if you need someone to vent or talk to. My email is on the resources page! Here’s to a great weekend….and getting back on the wagon. You can do it!

    Love, Sondra


  3. Rolando Peralta says:

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and thought provoking post/blog. Almost a year ago i started my own journey to take my life and health back. I was overweight, at almost 300lbs, a cholesterol level of over 650, fatty tissue in my liver(cause of cirrhosis) and Diabetes running in my family(mom), i had to make a drastic change in my life or else i would be dead at a young age, diabetic and have a host of other health issues.
    Since then, I’ve changed the way i eat, what i eat, how i eat and why i eat. I exercise religiously, which was very hard in the beginning, because i was so out of shape. Since then i’ve dropped 50lbs, replaced fat with muscle. My cholesterol is now in the 150 range and my liver is healthy. I’m not where i want to be yet, but i’m still working on it and i’ve taken my life back. which is why i love to hear success stories such as yours and why i follow you and most importantly support you. Because i want you to succeed and achieve your goals. I encourage family and friends as much as possible to eat and live healthy lives and break the cycle of obesity and disease. Anytime i see anyone posting about their efforts to eat right, or that they are exercising i try to say something positive and encouraging, or even just a “like”. I took pics of myself when i first started and then 3mos later and so on. I just didn’t have the courage, like yourself to post them, because i was embarrassed at how i had let myself go. After seeing the positive impact you have made, i wish i had created a blog, so that i could have helped others more. Nevertheless, Sondra, you are amazing! I’ve always thought that, because the most beautiful part of you is your personality, heart and mind! You have always been beautiful on the outside as well. I’m just amazed at your drive and commitment.
    now, about the challenge to clean out our closets, i actually did that a couple months ago. I donated shirts, pants, and shoes. i didn’t take pics, sorry. had i known i would have. i did repost your post on my wall, so hopefully others will be inspired as well. Love ya much!!


    • sondrajo says:


      Your story is an amazing one, as well! And it’s NEVER too late to start a blog! 🙂 I really appreciate the support. You have always been wonderful, both before and after this endeavor, and I love you for that! And as far as the clothes go? No hard feelings! Lol.


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