I come from a family of fairly large people. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving dinner with my uncles looked like a room full of major appliances gathered around a turkey! Almost everyone present was overweight, and everything on our table seemed to be either fried or served with gravy. I ate what was on my plate and never thought much about it, but looking back I can see that food, love, and relationships were definitely intertwined in my development. The result was that by the time I was twenty-two, I’d managed to pack 210 pounds onto my five-foot-ten-inch frame.
I was ashamed of my body, and it hurt to know that others were laughing at me. I felt I was destined to be heavy all my life, because, after all, I came from a heavy family.
But the summer before my senior year in college, when I had my picture taken for the yearbook, I experienced a flashpoint that changed everything. When I received the proof, I was stunned to see the overweight, acne-pocked, oily-haired creature in the photograph. I was so ashamed of what I had become, until I realized I didn’t have to stay that way. In that flashpoint moment, I recognized that I was responsible for how I looked, and I could make myself look different. I had heard all the stories about people who lost weight only to regain it later. I was determined not to repeat that pattern because I knew that most people ended up heavier than they were when they started! Instead, I made gradual changes that caused me to see myself in a different light.
I began to walk every day. I changed my eating patterns. The flashpoint was instantaneous, but the resulting action took some time. With persistence, slowly but surely, the weight began to drop off, my waist narrowed, and the mirror stopped being my enemy.
First, I went down to 190 pounds and lived there for a while. A few years later I slimmed down to 175 and stayed at that weight for a few months. In my last stage of weight loss, I moved down to 160, the weight I maintain today.
Permanent weight loss occurs when you change your heart and mind before you attempt to change your body. The secret to weight loss, you see, isn’t following rules or a plan, any of those will work temporarily. Permanent weight loss occurs when you change your heart and mind before you attempt to change your body.
Thinking that others might benefit from what I had learned, I wrote a weight-loss book called Lose it for Life. Click here to view materials on weightloss.