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The Secret to Really Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

If your life feels unmanageable because you are gaining weight and don't know how to stop, there is hope. But you need a little bit of willingness to do things differently and do some inner work.
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2015-01-12-womanhatarmsupsilhouette.JPGWHAT'S EATING YOU?
For a good part of my early life I was obese. I ate for all the wrong reasons -- to celebrate, to get revenge, to placate my fears. Food was my confident, friend, and lover. I did not know how to express my feelings -- and most of the time was unaware of them.

I never learned that I didn't have to "pick-up" excess food. There was no such thing as pausing and processing what I was feeling. I didn't know how to do that, instead I put on an extra 3 pounds, that led to 10 pounds, that led to 20 pounds, and in the worst of times, 60 pounds. Yes I was 60 pounds over the normal weight for my petite body frame.

For me, it wasn't enough to find out what was "eating" me -- I actually needed more help than that. I needed to reach out for support, get "tough love" and honest feedback from others who were dealing with their food addiction. At first, I didn't believe it was possible for me. I had tried every diet, and failed time and time again. But I learned a few new things and had the willingness to give it a shot.

I learned to think in intervals of a day, sometimes an hour, sometimes a minute. I could stick to my food plan (daily food choices) for a day -- like Scarlett O'Hara -- I'd think about other things tomorrow!

At first, I had to reach out to my supportive new friends several times a day. I wasn't used to living life in a sober way. But when I reached out for support, I felt better. I started to handle those "tough situations" with their help: Saying NO, instead of being a "people-pleaser." Standing up to a friend or family member when I felt I wasn't treated right. I started to feel a sense of power and happiness.

I don't want to say that staying with this new behavior was easy, because it wasn't, but my self-esteem was growing -- and it felt worse to think that I would "eat over" something I was unhappy with, rather than try to assert myself in a healthy way.

For several decades now I have not resorted to food to quell my feelings. The support that I experienced from others has been the basis for all the work I do with women (my television programs, radio show, website WomenWorking.com, and our robust social media presence).

I am a successful businesswoman who has a deep desire to give back, because I have received so much.

If your life feels unmanageable because you are gaining weight and don't know how to stop, there is hope. But you need a little bit of willingness to do things differently and do some inner work. In return for giving up the "treats" that were killing me, I gained self-respect. If I can do it, anyone can and the New Year is a great time to start. You may take a step forward and one step backwards. Forgive yourself and get back on the horse.

All my good wishes....