The founder of the comical Facebook page, “Laughing Yourself Lean,” Sharon Schramm, seems to have found the magic pill to overcoming traumatic, stressful and emotional experiences through laughter. At 5-foot-6, 41 years old and currently 158lbs, this mother entered the Mrs. Wyoming pageant and finished modestly in the Top Ten. The second year she hired a trainer, began weight training and learned about nutrition. In May 2012 she finished a successful 3rd runner up. At the height of her happiness she was training, competing and living a content life with her teenage daughter, husband and two Jack Russell dogs. That same year, in August 2012, her life changed forever.
“One day I walked in my house and saw mud all over. It was on the ceiling, the walls, my tile, there was no place it wasn’t splattered. There were broken picture frames and plants all over my floor and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what my pups had done. It was then a large black creature approached me from my kitchen and my heart stopped beating, everything slammed into my head and I realized it wasn’t mud but blood all over my home and amidst the plants and broken frames lie my sweet eldest pup, lifeless and cold. I slammed the door and ran outside and could hear my youngest Jack Russell girl barking from somewhere in the house. I ran outside to the sidewalk and fell to my knees shaking and crying, I tried to call 911 but my hands were trembling so bad I couldn’t do it. I managed to get through and wait for animal control. When she arrived she gasped and asked if we could please go outside and all I could do is fall to my knees at his side and sob. That’s all I remember.”
Sharon would discover that her neighbor’s dog had eaten through her fence and entered her yard, tore open the screen door and clawed his way into their home. Trails of her puppies running away from the dog were evident throughout the house. It was in this experience that Sharon delved into a deep depression and gave up on everything.
“I sat in a hotel room for days waiting for the renovation team to clean things up. I didn’t sleep for three days at the fear of closing my eyes and seeing it all again. I called room service and asked for the strongest drink imaginable. Then asked for another and another each night I was there. This became a pattern for me as I feared going outside and seeing any big dogs or succumbing to tears when people would question me about it as the news spread of what happened.”
She stopped going to the gym and began drinking regularly. Eventually she was placed on a couple antidepressents – the first round put 14 lbs on her in a couple months, the second prescription put 16 lbs on her in 2 months. She gained 40 lbs. in six months.
After quitting the anti-depressents and continuing her emotional journey back to normal life she decided to begin working out again. Her husband encouraged her to go to the gym and get out the house. After agreeing, she also began surfing the internet and discovered the Labrada Kelsey Byers 12 week challenge and Jamie Eason’s Live Fit and decided to give them both a try.
“The first few days were hard. I teared up when I couldn’t lift what I used to or when I felt uncomfortable, when I used to know it all like the back of my hand, but as the weeks went on I found comfort and serenity in the cold steel and iron of the gym. I was able to shut out the world, the thoughts and nightmares and with each lift, each grunt I became stronger both inside and out.”
As of 8 weeks she’s lost 11 lbs. 3” from her waist and 2.5” from her hips. The gym has become her therapy. After waking up at 5:30am and working full-time Monday-Friday, she makes is to the gym every day after work and has time to feed her family and get to bed by 10pm each night.
Her tips for the fitness challenged? “Taking care of cooking, cleaning, full time job, laundry, homework, teenager angst and on top of all that I have taken on a comic strip endeavor and working out. I balance it. I will write it all down. You have to remain flexible and not get overwhelmed if the schedule goes awry. I have been at the gym at 8:00 pm before and 4:30 a.m too. I have found that working out gives me more energy and I can get more things done, it’s like being gifted extra time.”
Like everyone, if it wasn’t for her support team – her husband and daughter – holding her hand and wiping her tears, she wouldn’t have the strength to overcome and share her story with others.
In her sorrow, she created her Facebook page, Laughing Myself Lean as an outlet to think positive when her days get dark or negativity overcomes her. “I wanted the humor to help others find their smiles and not be so hard on themselves with weight loss and thinking they have to be perfect. Fitness can be fun and comical if you allow it to be and for me it’s proven very entertaining.” – Sharon Schramm
Created by Sharon Schramm – follow her page, “Laughing Myself Lean” HERE>