After years of struggling with obesity, Stacey has lost hundreds of pounds…but she said the hard work began after she lost the weight. In her book, Winning After Losing, she chronicles her struggle to keep off the pounds. "I'm proud of it because it tells you, 'Okay, you're here. How do you stay here?'" she says.
Stacey says she consulted physicians and nutritionists while writing the book, but she learned the most from former yo-yo dieters who've managed to stay slim for years. She calls this group "the winner's circle."
Stacey had put on 20 pounds after a knee surgery, but instead of allowing her weight to spiral out of control, she says she had a "normal moment."
"Overweight people never feel normal, and I never did," she says. "I gained 20 pounds, and normally that's my ticket back. When people gain weight they're, like, 'Oh, I blew it anyway.' And the most unbelievably normal thing happened. I turned to my mother one day, and I said, 'Ma, I put on some weight so I think I need to cut back on my food and move more.'"
In that moment, Stacey says she knew she'd never be 500 pounds again. "Normal people gain 10 and 20 pounds," she says. "It doesn't mean they have to keep going."
Stacey says people in "the winner's circle" share a weight loss secret that helps them keep the weight off. "If you wake up in the morning and you've been to a buffet breakfast or in my case, have a row of Oreos in the afternoon, I don't starve because I know by noon, I'm going to tilt back the fridge," she says. "What the winners do is they go to the exact next meal, and they start like it never happened."