The last time I lost a significant amount of weight was
fifteen years ago when I turned thirty. I did it to feel better about myself
and I was only successful by denying myself foods I loved. I made healthy food
choices, was hungry most of the time, exercised manically and yes the pounds
melted away. I never dealt with emotional eating or overeating—I kept control
with pure determination.

My vegetarian diet was strict and produced the desired
results—I looked good but didn’t feel
good. I craved comfort foods: chocolate, peanut butter, and ice cream! Knowing
I was a foodaholic I went cold turkey because I knew one bite could lead to a
binge. I didn’t trust myself—that was my hidden inauthenticity.

After this weight loss there was a six month period where I
suffered from agonizing stomach pains that mysteriously started and stopped without warning. They could last minutes, hours, and a few times all night
long without cease until I was desperate for relief. I truly believed my
radical diet was causing them but didn’t change anything. I thought I deserved
to suffer—this was my punishment for being over weight and not taking care of
my body. Shame, fear, and self loathing kept me from seeking help. Ah, but I
was successful, I was no longer a fat unhappy person—I was a thin miserable

One night the episode was unbearable and my husband drove me
unwillingly to a 24 hour clinic where I was quickly diagnosed with gallstones.
My gallbladder was removed within days, no holistic options for me; the
specialist severely reprimanded me for not seeking medical help sooner. My
gallbladder could have ruptured leading to death.

The mental damage was done though. Near the end any foods
triggered an episode but I learned that high fat foods are usually the culprit.
For weeks after the surgery I was afraid of fatty foods or food in general.
Food had become the enemy. At my final checkup at the Gastroenterologist I’d
been episode free for over a month and was given a clean bill of health. His
exact words were, “You can eat anything! Go eat whatever you want!”

I know he meant what he said as a celebration that I was
healed and pain free. But I took him literally and that’s exactly what I did. I
gained all the weight back that I had lost plus ten pounds or so. I had failed.
I overate because I was a failure and I was a failure because I overate. Once
the vicious cycle of food and self-worth are linked it takes conscious will to
separate them and stop the spiral.

My journey in 2008 began with completely different choices
and intentions. I chose to love and accept myself as I was—every one of the 194
pounds of me. I finally ‘got’ that my body and weight were not who I was. They
reflected how out of balance I was and I hid behind my weight using it as an
excuse for not reaching for my dreams. I chose ME and acknowledged that
I was worthy. Worthy of
accomplishing my dream of being thin and fit; worthy of success; worthy of
happiness; worthy of living a life I loved!

From this awareness I never doubted I could successfully change
my body. I hadn’t wanted to because I didn’t like who I thought I was, why
would I bother if I didn’t think I was worthwhile or believe I could do it. I
chose to treat myself like a cherished lover—I chose ME and put myself first. I
made myself a priority before family, friends, and work for the first time in
my life. It was an exhilarating experience! It didn’t make me selfish and
stingy—it made me generous and giving plus I had more to give.

These life altering choices enabled me to create these
intentions for my life:

  • to eat, exercise, and live consciously
  •  to make my health and well being my highest priority
  •  to be 100% committed to my physical transformation
    through joy and love

Take a look at my before and after photos. Now you can see
in my face the inner glow of transformation—I love who I am and it shows. I
want you to experience loving yourself, too, to be inspired to grow inside so
you can shrink outside, to know how precious and unique and amazing you are,
yes YOU! What are you worth? You're absolutely priceless.