Does it Pay to be an Angel?

Meet Angel Stevenson. Thirty-five years ago, just seconds after her birth–which happened after exactly 30 minutes of labor and two long pushes–Angel’s mother took one look at the swirl of fine curls on top of the newborn’s head and knew she had been blessed with the task of raising someone special.

In Pursuit of Perfection

Only the best would do for little Angel.  Private schools.  Fancy vacations (so what if the family survived mostly on Ramen noodles the remainder of the year).  A closet full of the latest fashion trends.  And lots of accessories to highlight Angel’s beautiful, bouncy curls.  Most other children might have fallen into the brat trap as a result of such maternal doting. But not Angel.  She gladly accepted the responsibility of being the pride and joy of her mother’s life and aims to live up to her name…even if it kills her.

So it’s no surprise that today Angel is a marketing director (teetering on the edge of a vice presidency) at a conservative corporation and she is happily married with two tween-aged children who are little angels in their own rights. Angel often includes her mother on her family’s fancy vacations (which she and hubby, Steve, can easily afford) as well as the many shopping sprees that keep her closet stocked with every season’s must have classic pieces.

“Staying in fashion and looking my best…that’s crucial to my livelihood. No one wants to trust the image of their brand to a marketing professional who isn’t able to promote themselves as a savvy, polished professional. In this field, what you see is usually what you get, so personal appearance is everything,” Angel says.

On the Plus Side

Lately, Angel’s shopping trips have been less fun.  The size of her fabulous fashions have been inching upward over the past year , and during her last trip to the mall (much to her own disappointment and in spite of efforts to maintain her weight) Angel realized that her body has graduated to the Plus sizes.

“To go from a size 10 to a 16 in the course of a year is an awful pill to swallow,” Angel says. “I’ve always been able to keep the weight off. I lost the baby weight after both of my children. But now, no matter how hard I try, I keep gaining weight.”

Of course, in Angel’s love-filled world, she’s the only person who seems to mind (or perhaps notice) that there’s much more of her to go around. Steven brings his Angel fresh flowers and Pixies to show appreciation for her six figure paycheck, her home cooked meals (prepared every Sunday for the week), her Saturday carpooling duties with their kids and her earnest interest in his work.  And while she knows the candies fuel her sugar addiction, which she desperately needs to break, she opts to enjoy the confections–usually in one sitting–instead of rejecting her hubby’s affectionate gesture.

Wake Up Call

And while Angel continues to master the art of pleasing most people in her universe, she continuously underwhelms one very important man in her life:  her physician, who seven months ago told Angel she has Diabetes.

Since her diagnosis, Angel has struggled with bringing her diet under control. She ordered the new Hip Hop Abs exercise program from a late-night television infomercial, but the package remains unopened and hidden in the back of her guest bedroom closet. Moreover, she hasn’t mentioned the D-word to anyone in her family.

“They don’t need to worry about my health drama,” Angel says. “I know I need to do better about exercising and eating right, but I don’t have time for that right now. As soon as I finish this major project for work and get the kids settled into their school year, I’ll be able to do better.”

What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Please share your tips for jumpstarting good eating habits and adding exercise into your busy schedule by replying below.

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