Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Life

Imagine, you’re at the relative beginning of your adult life and you’re told, “You are a prime candidate for heart attack, diabetes, even death.”

Daphne in 2000. I wasn’t even at my heaviest here!

I was moved when I read what Stuart Fish had to say for BlogFEST 2012 on the subject of the continued trend of obesity in the Western World. By the way, I’m clock watching as I write this post because I’m attending my weekly Weight Watchers meeting this morning and I don’t want to be late.

That person who was told all those grim things — the person Stuart was talking about — was me at one time. At my very heaviest, in 2002, I weighed 205 pounds. Yikes! To be honest, as Stuart said, others around me were overweight, too, so I’m not sure I fully noticed what was going on with me. Which is curious, because I was a newspaper reporter and was trained to be observant. In the course of my work, I was assigned to write part of a series on obesity. My piece was obesity and exercise.  In retrospect, I don’t think it was mere coincidence that I was given that piece. As a reporter, I did a lot of sitting at the computer and when I got home after a long day, I would eat and crash.  (Are you sensing a gaping hole where exercise/activity should have been, but wasn’t?)

In researching my article, I went to several gyms to get the low-down on what activity could do for you. At one gym, the staff ran a diagnostic test on me, as though I were the client. That was when those shocking words were delivered to me. For all intents and purposes, I was slowly killing myself.

I’d like you to take a moment and let those words sink in … .


The one saving grace in my research was that I visited a gym that was within walking distance of where I then lived.  Fast forward to later in the year. My weight issues were impacting my social life which depressed me — and made me eat more! I was in a really bad emotional state and and my behavior on the job was a reflection of that and ultimately it wound up getting me fired.

So there I was, obese, unemployed and single in the godforsaken climate/landscape of upstate NY, which was definitely not a singles haven. It was really depressing. The day I was fired, I decided I needed to soothe my soul with a little retail therapy. I went to my favorite clothing store and tried on a wonderful dress in the largest size I could find — size 16, if memory serves — and I couldn’t fit into it.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back… .

I had previously attended Weight Watchers (WW), but never stuck with it. Kind of ironic when you consider that one of the most-oft used WW slogans is, “It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.” That notion, I think, is key in the war we are waging against obesity. Many people diet and when they’ve lost the weight they sought to lose, they pronounce themselves “cured” and go back to the habits that led them to put the weight on in the first place.

Believe, I’ve been there more than once. In fact, I’m kinda there right now. Sometimes “life gets in the way” of taking care of ourselves.

But we can’t let it. We have to make ourselves a priority. I’ve learned that lesson over and over again.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been lower in life than I was when I was stood in that clothing store, having just lost my job, only to be slapped in the face with the fact that I was too fat to fit into anything and it was my own fault.

As I looked for work, I attended WW diligently and, using some savings, even joined that gym near my house. When I started there, I was nervous because I was so heavy and out of shape. But the gym was affiliated with a rehab hospital and there were lots of patients there on treadmills and other machines. Some were even hooked up to oxygen tanks, so I knew I was in good company.

I say that joining WW changed my life. It absolutely did.

Daphne in 2003, after losing 65 pounds on WW!

Remember where I started out:  Single, unemployed and FAT.

After 10 months, I’d lost 65 pounds and gotten to my goal weight. The same week I got to goal, I was offered a job. I took the job and moved from NY to Maryland — a state I’d wanted to live in for years (That’s the subject of another blog post…). Within six months or so of moving, I met a wonderful guy and 18 months later we got married.

I made my health and well being my top priority and it paid dividends. WW really wasn’t and still isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle and making that lifestyle change changed my life for the better.

I’m pleased to talk about WW at any time with anyone who’d like to know more. Wishing you all good health.

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  1. And you look very healthy and very fit! Kudos!

    I love that WW doesn’t eliminate the foods you love. It’s a program you can seriously live with. Not only do you lose the weight, but you learn to eat what keeps you healthy and you don’t walk around craving chocolate or chips or whatever your weakness might be.

    I’ve had many friends who have needed and taken advantage of this program and are living it still many years later. It’s a very healthy choice. Excellent post and again…you look marvelous!

    • Thanks so much, Jo. I’ve actually put a bit of the weight back on, but I’ve got the tools — that is the knowledge and that makes a big difference in the ongoing struggle. 🙂

  2. I think it is a lot easier to observe others and be critical of them than to take the microscope and zero in on yourself.


  3. What an inspiring post. I’m still working towards my goal. DIfferent approach this time…but I am thinking,slow and steady is going to win the race.


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