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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Nov 21, 2022

With Sarah Eldridge, Weight Watchers Coach


The holidays are such an exciting time of year. It’s a time for celebrating when we look forward to office parties, sharing family meals, and annual get-togethers. But the holidays can also be an especially difficult time if you have lost a loved one during the past year. It’s hard to feel happy and excited about the upcoming holidays when you’re mourning the loss of a beloved family member. After all, there’s an empty seat at the dinner table and that person’s absence can overshadow even the most enjoyable of occasions. Even though we may pretend we’re fine and put on a happy face for the kids, inside we’re grieving and just trying not to dissolve in a puddle of tears.


But instead of mourning, why not use the holiday this year as an opportunity to celebrate the life of your lost loved one? For example, light a candle in their memory and have everybody at the table share their favorite personal story about that beloved person or the most important life lesson they learned from that person. There may still be tears shed but it doesn’t have to be a time only for sadness and grief. By sharing something humorous or uniquely quirky about that person, you get everyone laughing through their tears and you will all feel better for it.


The start of a New Year is also the perfect opportunity to channel our grief into something positive and life-affirming by setting a new goal for ourselves or doing something in honor of that individual. What if everyone at the table could be inspired and pledge to do something beneficial in that person’s memory? You could encourage, lift each other, and promise to share success stories the following year.


For example, we might be inspired to honor our loved one by pledging to run a half marathon, take up a new hobby, or raise money for a good cause. Or, a school-age child could set a goal of improving their grades in a particular class or taking on a school project that reminded them of their lost relative. Whatever it is that inspires you and your family to do something good to benefit yourselves or the community, there’s no better way to show your lasting love and memorialize that individual.


Last year Florine interviewed Sarah Eldridge, a Weight Watchers Coach who was inspired to make positive changes in her own life after losing a loved one. The changes that Sarah made not only improved her life, but she was also able to channel her personal pain to accomplish something that her loved one wasn’t able to do in his lifetime. She shared similar challenges and found a way to turn them around so she didn’t suffer the same mistakes. If you want to learn how to channel grief into something positive and life-affirming, you’ll want to listen to Florine’s interview with Sarah.


What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • Sarah describes her father’s life and struggles.
  • How her Dad’s death inspired Sarah to make changes in her own life.
  • Did Sarah’s friends and family support her journey?
  • When did Sarah notice a change in herself?
  • What was Sarah’s biggest challenge?
  • What kind of self-care did Sarah do?
  • What does Sarah do differently now that she’s lost weight?
  • What is some advice Sarah would give to people struggling?


Today’s Takeaway:

When we experience a devastating loss, it’s only natural to want to give in to our pain. But remember that the best way to move forward through our grief is to use it as a motivation. We can learn from the mistakes of our grief and the mistakes of others. We can direct our pain to accomplish a meaningful goal. Just as Sarah demonstrated, sometimes an overwhelming emotion can provide the added strength and determination we need to succeed. When she committed to losing weight and beginning her wellness journey, she was honoring her father’s memory with every pound she lost. By channeling our grief in positive ways, we might also inspire others in their quest by providing education or awareness. Or perhaps, we can pay tribute and honor those we’ve lost. Out of great pain can sometimes come great beauty. Our losses don’t have to define us. Instead, we can choose to let them inspire us. Remember that every day is a gift, and yesterday’s loss just might be the start of tomorrow’s beginning. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • “My father was a man that, if you met him, you loved him.” — Sarah
  • “I did it for me. I did it for my health and I did it because I wanted to love myself more.” — Sarah
  • “It really gave me the courage to kind of branch out.” — Sarah
  • “I started to notice a change in my mindset as I saw a little success.” — Sarah
  • “I started being nicer to myself.” — Sarah
  • “Treat yourself like your own best friend.” — Sarah
  • “I always looked at self-care as something rich people do or other people do.” — Sarah
  • “Self-care is head to toe, including my mindset.” — Sarah
  • “I try to exercise every day even if it’s just something small like getting my steps in.” — Sarah


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