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In today’s world, women are stressed, exhausted and waaaaayyyyy too busy.  Is it any surprise excess weight is the result?

When stress hormones run rampant within the body, the addrenal glands are overworked, affecting every gland and organ in the body… and the body is not able to efficiently deal with the toxicity created… fatigue and fat are natural results.

It’s time for a different perspective, especially if you want permanent weight loss.


Is this how you gather strength…





so you can take care of everyone else?


In the last forty years, women have made tremendous advances in the world, busting down boundaries, raising the glass ceiling, taking more responsibility and wielding more power – and don’t misunderstand me – those are all tremendous accomplishments.

But, there’s a problem.

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Looking for love is a quest that fuels endless drama, fills Amazon’s order queue, and funds dating service executives’ retirement accounts.

The drama plays out online, through texts and on Facebook.

Valentine’s Day drove a hornet’s nest of fury my way when I went on the NBC15 news to suggest (gasp!), most people have the quest backwards, and self-love comes first.


Valerie wrote to admonish me:  “LOVE IS ABOUT GIVING, NOT RECEIVING!” she yelled (yes, those are her caps).

“What are you going to give, if you can’t fill your own needs?” I asked.

“I understand self-love,” Adelaine wrote, “But I know I shouldn’t get too full of myself.”

“I bet the world would simply stop turning on its axis if that happened, Adelaine.

“I have heard that concept of loving yourself first a hundred times, and it is just baloney,” Cindy told me.  “I mean, what does that mean anyway?”

Cindy, I’m writing this blog for you.  And I will tell you what it means.

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What a year!

I will never forget 2013!

It was a year of huge transition, growth and learning for me.  Some years sweep by in a blurr, a flurry of activity, like when you are pregnant and anticipation is carrying you forward to an inevitable conclusion.






Some years crawl along like the slow, tortuous screeching sound on a blackboard, like the third year of weight loss when you’ve lost 55 pounds and know there’s more to go… but it’s just not happening.  Those are the years when a huge opportunity arises:  the opportunity to face yourself and refuse to do what you’ve always done before… which is give up.

But this year didn’t crawl or whirl.

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I have fallen. Deeper. Into my body. Into love.

I had to be shown the way, finally. I had forgotten. How to love. How to hold. How to honor. And worship.

Some days, I am in love with everything and everyone and myself too. But, the days I do not love everything and everyone, I am intensely aware I am out of balance and need to get back in love.


Once you know how to love, you cannot stop. You cannot forget. You must have it again. Once you love yourself, you know you will love and love again and because you have to.

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If you read my blog often, you know that I have lost substantial weight and kept it off since the year 2000.  In my seminars and workshops, where I teach the principles of permanent weight loss, I often talk about the two most important factors to lifestyle change that result in permanent weight loss:


That’s how you build lifestyle change.  It doesn’t come with a diet, or we’d all be thin.  Consistency is how you show up in your life, every day.  It’s about the quality of the effort.

Consistency is not about “cheat days” or accepting a binge because it’s been a rough week or we got rejected by someone or something.  Consistency is about integrity and owning our choices, for good.  It’s about busting up excess weight with good behavior with food and exercise executed on a daily basis.

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A friend of mine recently congratulated me on my Master Certified Coach credential.  He’s a coach and knows the ICF (International Coach Federation) credential represents a high bar in the coaching profession. Less than 700 coaches have achieved the credential worldwide.

I responded by telling him “it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life” and he challenged me to write about the Ten Hardest Things I’ve Done in Life.


I love challenge.  So, in no particular order, here they are:

1.  I Gave Birth – Not much explanation needed here, if you are a woman.  My experience giving birth to my son was traumatic, to say the least.  If you are a man, compare this to war.  Complications, emergency surgery with you awake, scapels, your life’s blood spewing out, rapidly, like a geyser.  Then you begin a series of seizures, black out and see your husband’s face fade, thinking you are dead.

2.  I Lost Weight Permanently – In order to do this , I had to say NO to our entire culture that promotes, supports and reinforces diet/regain to make money.  I had to go against the grain, to say the least – I had to say “no” to my doctors, family, friends, the medical profession, therapists, and the diet industry.

3.  I Buried My Little Sister – I have buried my parents, even my best friend.  But my little sister was always in my life.  I was the only person alive who knew her every day of her life.  Sisterhood is a different sort of bond than any other.  She was 37, the only thin person in our family.  How was she thin in a family of addicted eaters?  She drank diet coke and smoked cigarettes all day, avoiding eating.  This ripped me apart, worse than those scapels in childbirth.

4.  I Sent a Husband to War – Activated into the air force on 9.11, my husband was part of the Enduring Freedom campaign.  Suddenly, any illusion of control in life was rendered.  No one knows what will happen, and you’ve got every single task at home to handle, plus a small child who’s terrified.

5.  I’ve Said Goodbye to Friends Who Didn’t Support Me – When I lived in a diminished place in life, I accumulated friends who liked me diminished.  When I grew beyond that, they became judgmental and negative about my accomplishments.  It was truly surprising to me, but they were not going where I was going in life.  It was time to part ways.  I thought I would have regrets; I have not.  My friends today are a thousand times more supportive and these relationships are based on real connection.

6.  I Left “Safety” for My True Work – I’ve had a lot of safe jobs in my life, but none of them fed me.  When I decided to start my own business and help others lose weight permanently and fulfill their potential, it took a huge leap of faith and trust.  It was scary, exhilarating, and ultimately very fulfilling to chart my own destiny.  But, I’m a cowgirl from Texas and nobody’s the boss of me.

7.  I Raised Myself to Adulthood – I could also call this “I raised myself out of addiction.”  I didn’t have parents who were mature enough to raise me.  One of them was an alcoholic, the other an addictive eater.  I finally realized I had to raise myself to maturity; there was no one else to do it.  Now, I think, who better for that task?

8. I Achieved my Master Certified Coach Credential – The ICF credential is coveted, because it is very hard to achieve.  The bar is high, the testing process grueling.  The passing rate is miniscule.  Other coaches told me “It’s impassable.  Don’t bother.”  But I had amazing experiences with other Master Certified Coaches in my life and I knew the power of their excellence.  I wanted to be that good for my clients.

9.  I Found My Home – My body was always a revolving door.  I rotated in and out of it, at will.  Accepting it and supporting it, despite its many challenges, helped me understand love in a whole new way.  Now, I see it is the only home I will ever have and I accept complete responsibility for it.

10.  I Designed the enLIGHTen Your Life! Permanent Weight Loss Course – In order to do this, I had to take all the lessons I had learned and translate them into lessons, augmenting them with research and scientific data.  I had to design them in a way that served class participants and “grew them” along the process of leaving diet mentality behind and truly taking charge of their lives and weight.  It’s a work of art.  People all over the world have taken the course and I’m very proud of it.

Has my life had challenges?  Yes, I would say so.  But, a friend of mine once remarked to me, “You’ve had such a tragic life.”

I was completely shocked.  I don’t see it that way at all.

I have had a blessed and amazing life.  I love my life and all life.  I don’t judge the pain differently than the joy.  We need both.

Every challenge gave me an amazing experience, a great lesson, a chance to show life who I am.  I know there’s a lot in life I can’t control, and I don’t even try.

What interests me now is showing up, fully, every day.

This week has seen a lot of discussion about a new diet book which targets girls ages 6-12.  After the initial outbreak of criticism, the author appeared on several talk shows defending his book as “empowering.”  I spoke on the news about it Thursday.

I have to admit I’ve been wrestling with conflicting feelings about this.  On one hand, I want to have the guy banned from Amazon and every other bookseller.  His complete ignorance of the damaging and diminishing effect of diets on young women is simply deplorable.

On the other hand, we live in a country where we enjoy freedom of speech.

And yet, we have laws and policies that protect children from harm.  And this is harmful.

To complicate matters further, as a blogger, do I speak up and risk giving him more exposure, or do I remain silent?

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I just loved this story about the tiniest member of our family, Nadia. She’s three and you might remember her from this post:

“Nadia, Monuments that Matter”


Nadia’s mom recently reported on facebook that, after reading a bedtime book with Nadia, she told her daughter, “Goodnight. I love you.”

Nadia replied:

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