I started this blog in 2007 to chronicle my weight loss journey. Of course when I started the blog I had no idea what it would become. For years it was my anchor, my weight-loss lifeline, repeatedly bringing me back to the question of what I wanted and what I needed to do to get it. Eventually it also became a way to inspire others, which now brings me a huge amount of personal satisfaction. The idea that anyone would read my story and believe that they too could achieve (what felt like) the impossible - it's one of the things that keeps me blogging. The other thing is the knowledge that I can regain the weight if I don't stay vigilant - my blog keeps my head out of the sand when it comes to relapse.
I'm a licensed psychotherapist and have a private practice specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for behavior change (including weight loss). My practice was born out of my own learning process during my journey and extensive clinical training in how to change habits. I bring much of what I learned working with clients and also recognize they are finding their way, which will likely be different from mine. I enjoy this work immensely.
My hobbies include reading, watching movies (I love foreign films, documentaries and dramas), music, thrift store shopping, cooking, and camping. Since getting in shape I've developed a whole new set of interests and hobbies - hiking, running, triathlon, swimming, cycling, weight lifting and learning all I can about the journey of weight loss and, more important, maintenance over the long term.
My general philosophy is that we each have to find the path that works for us. For me, I had to find a way that included all my favorite foods - I don't eliminate anything from my diet - but still allowed me to reach and maintain the weight that felt right for my body. I've learned that what works for one phase of the journey might not work for another and, from that, I've changed my position on certain topics over the years. A good example is weighing/the scale. I formerly believed the scale was a menace and we shouldn't weigh ourselves more than once a week. I'm now entirely on board and weigh myself almost every day. The catch is, I had to break my emotional relationship with the scale and begin seeing it only for what it is, one piece of data. A useful piece, but only one piece.
When it comes to food, I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't adopt any diet that we can't maintain for the long term. Extreme diets to lose weight quickly, only to gain it back when you return to your routine eating, are a waste of time and, worse, demoralizing. I'm a huge fan of exercise and physical fitness, it's been a transformational part of my journey. But it didn't happen right away for me and when it did, it started very slowly. Again, we each have to find the way that works for us and some people won't exercise at all, and that's ok.
Hopefully there's a theme here - find what works for you. And this idea is central - because you're doing this for YOU. My internal desire for a different life, a healthier body and a higher degree of life satisfaction is where I find my power. It's not about willpower or never-ending motivation - it's about never giving up - even in the absence of willpower or motivation. Even when I'm down (or up, in the case of the scale), I never stop thinking and focusing on my goals. I hope to never stop fighting the good fight, the one that leads me to being the best woman I can be.
For the history of my weight issues visit Where My Journey Began.