The short version:
I was a chubby kid starting at about five years old. By age ten, I was dieting. I ended up with an eating disorder by the time I was thirteen.
I suffered for nearly 20 years with bulimia and spent more than two decades on what I call the diet-go-round, jumping off one diet only to start another, hoping this next one would be the answer that actually kept the weight off. It never was. So around and around and around in circles I went. I could never keep the weight off for long and always gained it all back plus more.
I lost and gained and lost and gained . . . all the way up to 304 pounds and a size 26 at my heaviest.
Now, as of this writing, I weigh 128 pounds and wear a size 0-2, depending on the designer. It took me two years to lose all the weight. I’ve kept the weight off for eight years and counting. I fluctuate between 128-140 pounds (and that’s okay!).
The long version:
I’ve done nearly every major diet program that you’ve seen advertised on television. I’ve sent away for questionable diets you find in the back of magazines. I have, at different points in my life and because someone told me it would work, stopped eating: sugar, white flour, meat, processed foods, and/or anything that tasted halfway decent.
I have weighed and measured down to the ounce. I have special-ordered food at restaurants with so many specifics that the waiter nearly threw his hands into the air in exasperation. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours going to weight-loss related meetings. I have exercised to exhaustion and purged with my index finger crammed down my throat.
But still, I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off.
Losing the weight was never my issue. I could lose the weight, often over a hundred pounds at a time. My problem was that I could never keep it off for long and usually within a year or less, I gained back all the weight and then some. For decades, I kept believing that a diet would work even while dieting damaged my mental state, leaving me feeling shamed, humiliated, and like a failure.
Then finally, in exasperation, I wrote in my journal: If it’s not about food, then what is it?
That’s when I started exploring the reasons behind why I was eating and learning what I needed to do to help heal myself. That’s also when I decided to stop listening to all this advice that I’d been getting from everyone else and to start listening to my own body and my own wisdom. That exploration eventually turned into a book I wrote called, Start Where You Are Weight Loss.
What I do now
Now I practice intuitive eating, which is eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re comfortably full. I eat, without judgment, whatever my body is craving (as long as I’m not allergic to it). If I want a doughnut, I eat a doughnut. If I want bread or pasta or cake or whatever, I simply eat it. When I screw up and eat too much (because I’m human, so of course I still screw up), I simply wait until I’m hungry again. No worries and no beating myself up. Ever.
I lost 174 pounds naturally without pills, supplements, surgery, excessive exercise, and/or disordered eating. I don’t count calories, carbs, fat grams, or anything else. I don’t have a list of “unhealthy/bad” foods. I don’t have a list of “healthy/good” foods either. I no longer have a raging eating disorder. I am no longer afraid of food. I no longer live trapped in a body that doesn’t feel like me. I am finally (finally!) comfortable in my own skin.
- I don’t live in fear that the weight is going to come back and I won’t know what to do about it.
- I don’t live in confusion and desperation and frustration and panic and humiliation and shame.
- Food is no longer the focus of my life.
- I am no longer trapped in a dieting mentality.
- I no longer have a fear of being seen.
I got free. Your life can be that way too.
I started down this path because I needed to get myself out of the crazy-making behavior I was having around food. I needed no restrictions, no weighing and measuring food, no off-limit foods, no more judging my self-worth based on the scale, no more rules that were only fueling my constant-thinking about and obsession with food.
Intuitive eating, by itself, is not the answer
Intuitive eating is the starting place of what healed me. But intuitive eating, by itself, doesn’t address everything you need to know about effective and permanent weight loss. To have lasting results, I needed to:
- delve deeper into who I was as a person.
- explore the reasons behind why I was doing what I was doing.
- work through what had me challenged in my life.
- discover what would nourish and heal me.
- create a life that deeply mattered to me.
- among other things.
Just imagine what you could be doing with your life, following your own dreams and reaching your own goals, cultivating your own passions, making both your inner and outer worlds a more blissful and peaceful place, if you weren’t running in circles on the diet-go-round.
I got that for my life. I want it for yours. Let me show you how.
My weight-loss journey & how it can help you on yours
If you want to read more about my weight-loss journey and all the miraculous, heart-pounding things that have happened since I said yes — and how that can happen in your life too—pick up my books:
Let 2020 be the year you make peace with your body and with food.
For more information, check out the Start Where You Are Weight Loss page.