One thing I know for sure now is that you've got to ask yourself: What kind of life do you want and how close are you to living it? You cannot ever live the life of your dreams without coming face-to-face with the truth. Every unwanted pound creates another layer of lies. It's only when you peel back those layers that you will be set free—free to work out, free to eat responsibly, free to live the life you want and deserve to live. Tell the truth and you'll learn to stop eating to satisfy emotional hunger and to stop burying your hopes and dreams beneath layers of fat.

The Best Life Diet plan mirrors the way I eat and live now. I lost weight in stages. First, I became active. I still work out, even though I really hate it. But I know if I don't, I will end up 200 pounds again. Then I started working on my eating. I stopped eating past 7:30 at night. When Bob told me it would make a big difference in my weight, I resisted. I thought it was going to be too hard. It was at first, but it gradually got easier and turned out to be one of the most effective changes I made.

I've now taken most of the unhealthy foods out of my diet and replaced them with better choices. I eat smaller portions and healthful foods as a way of life, not as a diet to go on and off.

I still work constantly at not repressing my feelings with food. If you turn on the TV and see that I've picked up a few pounds, you'll know that I'm not managing and balancing my life as well as I should.

I pray or meditate—or do both—every day. I pray to be used by a power greater than myself. It takes consistent effort to live my best life. The mistake I've made in the past is not realizing how constant a struggle it really is not to turn to food for comfort. It all comes down to another question Bob asked me years ago. "How much do you love yourself?"

"Of course I love myself," I'd snapped. "It's the first law of self-preservation. I firmly believe in it."

"You may believe in it, but you don't practice it," he said. "Otherwise you couldn't let yourself be 237 pounds."

I wanted to cry, and later I did. He was so right. I cared more about everyone else's feelings than my own. I'd overextend myself to do anything anyone asked, to honor his or her feelings. I didn't want anyone to think I wasn't "nice," or worse, that "the money has gone to her head."

This, too, I know for sure…loving yourself means honoring yourself and your own feelings first.

My hope is that you can learn from my mistakes and liberate yourself from this struggle. I finally know it doesn't have to be so hard. Make a decision. Know that you deserve the best life possible. It's there for the asking, the answering, the taking. Go out and get it!

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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