Unfortunately, I have always had an unhealthy view about my weight. Mostly due to insecurity visited upon me at an elementary school age. However, I was never overweight. Looking back, I was in great shape and even a strong member of my high school gymnastics team. But weight is not about food, it’s about insecurities and pain. Food is the tool we use to cope—just like alcohol is the tool alcoholics use and drugs are the tools that drug addicts use.
My first major weight gain was as a teenager. I used to cut school frequently because I felt so out of place there. My local candy store sold Linden’s cookies and I would literally go there every Thursday when they got the new shipment in. The cookies came three in a pack for twenty cents and I would buy the whole shipment—about twenty-four packs. My favorite was chocolate chip and double chocolate chip. Sometimes I would go home with shipments of both. I gained twenty pounds very quickly. To people who didn’t know me, I wasn’t fat. However, those who did know me saw the rapid weight gain. I was always very active and obsessive about exercise so my weight gain pretty much stayed around twenty pounds for a long while. However, my mental weight battle continued throughout the rest of my twenties.
My weight spiraled out of control when I was purchasing my first home at the age of thirty. The constant phone calls from my real estate agent, lawyers, mortgage broker, etc. was overwhelming. The home I really wanted was being held up in probate…ahhhhh!!! I was also in a dead end job that I absolutely hated and totally felt suffocated because I wasn’t living my best life of creativity (writing/acting). I was miserable. Every day, multiple times a day I would run outside to one of the many Manhattan delis and grab “a quick snack.” This would be high calorie sugary sweets that satiated me for the moment but made me even hungrier.
First I gained about 20 pounds and honestly it was hard to even walk a city block. I also hadn’t been exercising so I was very out of shape. Then my weight gain went to thirty and next thing I knew a couple years later I was about seventy pounds overweight. I went from 140 to 215 pounds—a size 6 to a size 18. Oh gosh!! People in my past life didn’t even know who I was. I walked past an ex boyfriend at the bank—he didn’t even know me! The stares from friends were not judgmental but they were sort of like wow, or awwww….
Extended family members I hadn’t seen in a while were shocked. I mean, I almost can’t blame them. When ex gymnastics team members came together for a funeral one made a comment saying, “You know we look good. We all look exactly the…” She stopped, everybody glanced at me because I was the only one that had gained a bunch of weight.” AND three of them had kids!
How I lost the weight: I was working for a magazine and my boss had written a very successful fitness book. She was in the midst of writing a new one. I was in her office looking at pictures of the woman who had lost a lot of weight from her first diet book and said, gosh I want to be her. So when the Executive Editor working on the book sent out a company wide email asking people to be on the test panel for The Digest Diet, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a 21-day diet plan that focuses on flooding the body with nutrients and natural fat releasers. In the first four days I lost 7 pounds and after 21 days I had lost 18.5 pounds. I WAS STUNNED! I had NEVER lost that much weight so fast. Plus I realized I didn’t know how to eat healthy which is why I could never lose weight. I went for prepackaged foods, hundred calorie snacks, etc. That stuff is highly processed and doesn’t have any healthy ingredients in it. The Digest Diet is all about healthy non-processed foods that you prepare yourself.
I stayed on the diet and started exercising—I couldn’t do much at first so I started by dancing to music I burned on cd’s then in a few months I started doing workout dvd’s like Jillian Michaels and Jani Love. Within about ten months or so I lost 60 pounds! My body totally changed, I had definition, I was able to exercise, I had tons of energy. Mentally I was happier and people were staring at me now because they liked the way I looked! I remember once I had a date with this guy. I stopped to get a manicure for the date and realized I was wearing the same shirt I wore on our last date. I dipped into a store and was able to find something, right off the rack to change into! That was such a huge confidence boost for me. When I was overweight it would take sooooo long to find something that looked right on me. I probably would have canceled the date and went back home.
My life has changed for the better. I am so excited! What I would say to anyone trying to lose weight is:
- Don’t be a slave to the scale. Weigh once a week to see where you are but pay attention to how clothes fit you, your energy level and how your food choices have changed for the better.
- Exercise. Even if it’s just walking up the escalator instead of standing there, get some exercise in. Challenge yourself to go farther and if you think there is a particular workout you can’t do, try it. I NEVER thought I would get through a Jillian Michaels workout and now I’ve done it at least a hundred times!
- Do the mental work to figure out why you use food as a crutch/soothing mechanism. This is NOT normal and we need to get down to the bottom of what is really troubling us. Know that being a food addict is a life long battle. Just because you have lost the weight doesn’t mean you are cured. Continue to persevere and notice your triggers so you can find new ways to deal with them.
- Look for places of inspiration. I met Oprah and it changed my life! It gave me an extra boost of confidence about life in general. I also found inspiration in God, my family and in myself. I learned to love who I am.
God bless all of you. It’s not easy but it also is not impossible. You can do this.
DigestDiet.com – More info on the Digest Diet