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I received sad news today… a woman I first met on social media, asking for help to lose weight, has had serious complications from surgery intended to alter her stomach’s ability to hold nutrition (gastric bypass surgery).

After years of pretending she was concerned for her health, I watched her dip in and out of diets, always despondent when they didn’t work. She embraced (and had personal evidence) diets were never going to work, but she preferred to keep “trying”, rather than face herself.

Am I surprised? No. Not really.

This is the saddest part of my work as a professional weight loss coach.

Nurse and doctor examining xray

I’ve helped hundreds directly with coaching and thousands through my online programs, but not everyone wants to lose weight, and lose weight permanently.

Anne (a pseudonym) gave me permission to share her story with you.

She called me for help, but never quite signed on to begin a coaching relationship. Or a class.

She had a million excuses.

Actually, she was waiting for something to force her to act. (We usually wait for something ominous to force our hand – by then, it’s too late.)

Anne wanted someone else to take away her excuses. The rock-and-roll and in-and-out of diets seems comforting after a while, always living in the future, living in hope with no action.

Of course, hope with no action is fantasy.

Anne knows that now.

Really, she didn’t want to change. Most of us don’t!

Many people cling to the thinnest shred of any possible reason NOT to take charge. It’s a big step. They know there are no excuses available after they begin to work with me – they sense I teach an ultimate form of RESPONSIBILITY. (After all, I teach a class in responsibility called Own Every Bite!)

I get it.

I could not have seen my own weight rise to 242 lbs., if I didn’t have to work through the same shit everyone else has to work through to get to a point of change.

And I’ve had more than one potential client decide not to pursue coaching or healing their food addiction, clinging to their “safe” world of food-as-problem-solver and food-as-soothing-agent, and wind up right back in my office a few years later with a breast cancer diagnosis or diabetes (excess weight is a major contributing factor to both). Even then, they don’t quite see the connection of what they have created in their bodies, but their doctor told them to get their act together.

I don’t really want to see you in my enLIGHTen Your Life! Mastermind Class or as an individual coaching client when your doctor sends you… I want you to show up BEFORE that… when there’s still time for you to make positive change and ALTER the path you are traveling, a path that leads to poor health, body breakdown, and loss of power.

I want to see you when you recognize you have choices and are choosing health and self-care over your old martyrdom story of “everyone else comes first.”

No job, no relationship, and even the kids don’t come before your health. If you don’t put the oxygen mask on yourself first, you can’t help them. You won’t be there to help them.

And you’ll have given them a piss-poor example of how to manage life if you can only cope by stuffing your face.

No, you are not hiding that from the kids either. They know fat. Just like they know if you secretly drink, or drug, or cut yourself.

Believe me, I was once in your shoes. I walked that walk, until I got a new one.

 

Here’s what I think keeps most of us from receiving help: 

SHAME

It takes some real humble acceptance to recognize and admit we need help, or need to learn a new way to cope.

We often feel, if we avoid getting help, we’ll solve fat alone, and no one will be the wiser to what we’ve been doing or (worse!) what we’ve been thinking about ourselves. Because we feel a lot of shame about our physical condition.

Here’s what I think encourages us to move beyond addictions:

WORTHINESS

Somewhere, deep inside, you have to know you are worth more than the scraps you are getting in life. After all, if you were getting what you truly need, there would be no drive to augment life with excess food.

  • That boring job, with the stress and headaches? Yes, you can do better.
  • A terrible parent or relative who constantly judges and puts you down? Yes, you can find supportive, loving new “family.”
  • The ungrateful children or siblings, who don’t understand your needs? Yes, we all need to be understood and loved. It’s possible.
  • A spouse or partner who doesn’t hear, see or revere you? This costs a fortune in esteem.
  • The toxic relationship you’ve forged with yourself, where you berate or excuse (or both) yourself for your choices and habits… it’s time to release it.

Overeating is about making up for something, stuffing real feelings, hiding.

We all need to love ourselves enough to choose to live differently.

Thanks for all your emails and FB messages, but nothing in the new article in The New York Times, “After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight” is news to me.

The article details research showing how the Biggest Loser participants (and anyone rapidly losing weight) regains at an astonishing rate, destroys their metabolism, experiences great shame, and crushes their esteem. CountingLbs

Not only did I discover those truths in my own diet-and-regain merry-go-round of a life, I turned that vital information to my advantage in losing 92 lbs and sustaining the weight loss long-term. (74 lbs sustained since 2000 + another 18 lbs sustained since 2011).

Before that, shame was my middle name as I spent over 20 years losing and regaining.

What burns my butt is the disingenuous nature of the doctors and researchers in this article. You can’t tell me they didn’t understand these concepts, which I was able to learn as a layman in the medical school library. If it is news to them, we need to take a serious look at medical school training today.

Of course, I admit I had to explain it to my brother-in-law, a doctor, who claimed to have heard nothing of it in medical school.

Fat people, he claimed, were weak willed. Oh, brother(in-law)!

Why should I, simply a fairly intelligent woman who conquered a food addiction, be telling the supposed professionals about permanent weight loss?

Much as been written about Oprah Winfrey buying Weight Watchers‘ stock for $40 million dollars and, in just a few days, tripling that investment, when stocks rose.

On the surface, like most media blitzes, the numbers look impressive.

And comics and cartoonists had fun with the idea that Oprah would make MORE money to add to her billions:

oprahcartoon

But beyond the media blitz and the jokes, there is something much more insidious and disappointing about this shoddy deal.

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Holidays are tough for many people but, if you are actively trying to lose weight, the extra stress can be a diet killer. What do successful weight loss survivors do? Here are some helpful weight loss tips from experts and coaches who’ve actually been successful losing weight themselves.

I specifically spoke with experts who understand the concept of sustained weight loss too. This is a big distinction, as permanent weight loss, defined by the medical community as weight loss sticking around over five years, is illusive to many.

10thAnniversary

Research shows permanent weight loss is more likely to result from lifestyle and attitude change. Diets just don’t do the trick for long-term change.

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As he sat across from me in my office, I could see the energy swirling around his head. (I am also an energy healer.)

My client was in a virtual tornado of thought patterns wreaking havoc on his life. As it pressed upon him, the mental rollercoaster of overthinking, worry and anxiety was obvious.FoodDecisions

Today, we live lives that are non-stop continuous pressure and stress for many people, and most of my clients. They are overworked, overscheduled, overbusy, overtired. The result is not just diminished enjoyment of life, but diminished intelligence, cognitive ability and resilience.

Why do we live this way?

To be blunt, we’re looking for validation, security and a feeling of adequacy. And, sadly, running around to please others (whether that’s the boss, the spouse, the parents, the family, the friends who work just as hard) will NEVER give us those things.

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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…

cinnamonrolls

 

 

 

so you can take care of everyone else?

MomSon

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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Part of my real-world research as I lost over 90 lbs involved following naturally thin people around.  Asking questions.  Posing challenges.  Discerning habits.  My merciless stalking, if you will, produced a wealth of information I had never learned in my food addicted upbringing.

Naturally thin people are not thin because they are smarter, stronger or have more willpower than other people.  They are thin because they have developed habits that serve THIN, instead of making FAT.  Here are the top six:

1.   Never Eat Unless Hungry – Naturally thin people know hunger cues, and see them as signals for action.  Without the green light, they don’t eat.

RefuseDessert

2.  Stop Before Full – Naturally thin people never feel stuffed or uncomfortable.  They feel a satiation cue which stops them right before they are completely full.  Their connection to their bodies is strong, and they honor the feedback they get from their physical body.

3.  Waste Food, Not Waist It – People who never struggle with their weight don’t worry about throwing food out when they are full, whether that means a to-go box, or the trash can.  They know that refusing to “waste food” means “waisting” it, which is just like carrying your garbage around on your body for everyone to see.

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Today, our culture is big on doing.

It’s also big on measuring, judging, denying and overindulging.

Research shows the incredible rate of weight regain after a diet resulting in a 30-lb. loss to be 97-99%.

Doctors are so desperate to make change, the American Medical Association has reclassified obesity as a disease, so they can justify highly invasive and expensive weight loss surgery which, by the way, causes complete regain in between 66-78% of patients, depending on the statistics you read.

Showshoes

Despite extremes taken to lose weight:

1. Via exercise:  injury ends roughly 65% of weight loss efforts made with exercise, usually because exercisers are going beyond their fitness levels to excessive amounts of exercise.

2. Via fad dieting:  look at cleanses – can you think of a more ridiculous idea ever suggested to a food addict, that they simply and suddenly STOP eating?

The fact remains YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

That’s because losing weight is not a DOING thing.  Witness the things we DO:

  • We adopt our employers’ idea of how much we should overwork and overstress.
  • We overfill our schedules when every sane person knows they should only book 60% of the calendar because STUFF HAPPENS.
  • We think we are more valuable or important when drama reigns in our lives, driving excessive eating, drinking and drugging.
  • We take prescription drugs instead of addressing WHY we are anxious, depressed or overweight.

So, losing weight isn’t about food, or calories, or the gym.

It’s about WHO you are BEING in your life.

Whether you’re being what (you think) society expects you to be, or being the important big wig at work, or even being the subdued wallflower who never voices her needs because she doesn’t want to bother anyone, or using all your precious energy taking care of everyone else… it’s the state of BEING that needs addressing.

  • Living truthfully about your needs means you don’t choke them down with a donut.
  • Expressing emotions clearly and truthfully means you don’t medicate them with a box of cookies.
  • Refusing to hide or pretend is a positive fat melter.

It’s time to stop DOING and start BEING thin.