Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Inspiring Weight Loss Example

Weight Loss—A Roller Coaster Ride
by: Dr. Leslie Van Romer

I can describe Jean Finman in a word — gorgeous. Well, actually that doesn’t quite do it. She’s not just gorgeous — she’s drop-dead gorgeous. The best part about Jean is that her outer beauty also exactly reflects her inner beauty, even in the middle of raising five small children. Other than her movie-star looks, Jean is like so many of us. She grew up struggling with weight.

As a child, she was always surrounded by sweets — they were just a part of her everyday life. Special Tupperware containers filled with cookies and goodies sat in the cupboard. Jean helped herself anytime she wanted. And her weight showed it. It wasn’t like Jean hadn’t tried to get her weight under control before. She had done the diet thing many times over in her lifetime but without permanent success. Pounds disappeared; pounds reappeared. Sound like a familiar ride that all of us want to hop off? When we first met, Jean told me that she felt “fat, ugly, and tired.”

As I looked at that face, I sort of got the fat and tired part, but ugly? How could a face like that ever feel ugly? I wondered if she ever looked in the mirror – no kidding! That was 9 months and 16 pounds ago. I would love to say it’s been easy for Jean. Quite the contrary, she lost 10 pounds the first month — yeah; gained back 10 pounds by the third month – ouch!

Can you feel Jean’s pain when those pounds boomeranged back? By the 5th month, she had gained another pound and the 7th month, she was down 2 pounds—a grand total of 2 pounds down from her original weight. Big sigh. Seven months, two pounds down. Who wouldn’t just give up after all that effort without any results? Most anyone, but not Jean. She just kept putting one foot in front of the other, even when it felt like slogging through quick sand with no end in sight. Such a lonely and demoralizing haul this weight loss struggle. Then something happened.

Only Jean could describe it well. I guess you could say something clicked in Jean’s brain. What is it that makes that magical switch flip in our brains, the light go on, and somehow we get on track? Who knows. At night, sometimes Jean would get this real sense that if she didn’t lose weight she was going to die of a heart attack. Her weight had crept back up, and she felt bloated, fat, and miserable.

Her pattern was the same most of her life — she would slip back to eating sweets, especially when stressed, hating herself with every bite. She asked herself, “Why am I doing this to myself? I don’t want to die. I want to be here for my kids.” Something clicked for Jean. Recharged and refocused, Jean lost 14 pounds in the last two months. She eats fruit for breakfast, salad or a veggie wrap for lunch with hummus, avocado, red pepper, lettuce, and tomato.

For dinner she starts with a salad first (fill-up on the best-for-you foods first) and eats cooked vegetables and sometimes beans. She makes sure she is full and satisfied. For snacks, she eats nuts and seeds. Mochas, an almost daily treat and extra calories for Jean, are now pleasant memories. She no longer eats any animal products, dairy products, sugar, or salty snacks — another temptation for her. Jean says she doesn’t feel hungry or deprived. In fact, she feels great.

Amazingly enough, her cravings for sugar are gone, even though the sugar stuff is still in the house. She loves the feeling of sugar not having power over her. Now when Jean is stressed, rather than over eating the bad stuff, she over eats the good stuff—like a veggie wrap! (Remember, eating vegetables is like eating air when it comes to calories.) Way better choice, don’t you think? As well as Jean is doing right now, do you think that Jean thinks she is home-free from the trap of conditioned taste buds and lifelong habits? Not at all. In fact, Jean just wrote me and “confessed” a slip-up. Big deal! So Jean “slipped-up.”

If you are a human being, you slip-up—it’s just part of being human. Just expect that to happen and go on from there. The only real slip-up is to give-up, and I know that is something that beautiful Jean would never do. Her body, her life, and her children mean too much to her. I don’t know about you, but it is not the rich, famous, and powerful people in the world that I find inspiring.

I draw inspiration from the Jean Finmans in the world—extraordinary, ordinary (yet not ordinary at all) individuals, who are perfectly themselves, with all their strengths, struggles, complexities and layers of being a human being. Jean’s inner strength, courage, and commitment, as well as her willingness and openness to share her heart, her soul, her victories, and her frustrations, give you and me the inner strength and courage to be perfectly ourselves in our own journeys through life.

Aren’t we so blessed to have one another to give a helping hand along the way?

Thank you, Jean, for your helping hand. Your beauty, inside and out, graces our lives with light and hope.

About The Author
Dr. Leslie Van Romer is a motivational health speaker, writer and lifestyle coach. Visit Dr. Leslie at Http://DrLeslieVanRomer.com for practical direction, hope and inspiration.