I still want to lose ten pounds, though, maybe 12. I'm a size 10, 5'6½, and 163 pounds (the tabloids have said 140, but I haven't been that low since seventh grade, okay?). My goal is to get into the "safe zone"—where I'm not just a meal or vacation away from slipping to the other side and having to fight my way back. For me that's in the 150s. I don't have an exact number, but I'll know it when I get there.
To do this, I decided to start my own personal three-month boot camp. Riffing off my trainer, Bob Greene, and his new book, Total Body Makeover, I've put together an eating and exercise plan based on what I've found to work. And for extra motivation, I've asked four people at Harpo—all of whom I've seen struggling—to do it with me. I've been so psychologically shackled by my weight for most of my adult life, I view my ability to help others break free as a part of what I'm supposed to do. When you learn, you teach. Here's what I have to tell you: There's no easy way out. If there were, I would have bought it. And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!
The first thing I told my team was, "I want you to think about why you're overweight. But let me save you a lot of time: The reason you're fat is that you give more to other people than you give to yourself, because you don't feel you're worth it." The bottom line is, you cannot lose weight until you make yourself enough of a priority to do the things you need to do to make it happen. People always say, "I'm too busy to exercise," "I have to be there for the kids," "I've got too much work." You know what? These are little lies you're telling yourself, and they go against the laws of self-preservation, because the more whole and healthy you are, the more fully you can give to other people. And that's the truth. I'm not asking anyone to abandon her children. I'm just saying: Put yourself at the top of the list so you can treat your body with as much care and respect as you'd give to someone else's—and when anyone needs something from you, you will be operating from a full cup.
I'm so pleased to be living from a full cup instead of a half-empty one—and kicking it up as I go. As I celebrate my 51st birthday, I want to assure you, getting older is not the end. It's the beginning of my life deepening to a level I had never even imagined was there.
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