Maybe you have no idea who I am, but you’re in the habit of doing anything you read on the Internet 1.
Maybe you know I once weighed over 300 pounds, but have watched me maintain a healthy weight for over a decade (with one notable exception, my first pregnancy, which I’ll discuss in another post).
Maybe you know that I’ve had two kids in two years and I’m healthier, happier, and in better shape than ever.
Maybe you lost a bet.
Whatever the case, you’re here, and I’m thrilled.
I hope you’ve read my previous posts about food, craving, and self-sabotage. Only you can know if certain foods and behaviors trigger cravings for you. Whether or not you’re considered “overweight” or “obese” is less subjective.
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is the government’s tool for qualifying weight. A BMI > 25 is considered overweight, > 30, obese. I was in fair shape with a BMI of 48, while some with a BMI of 24 suffer from ailments brought on by poor nutrition and inactivity. The BMI chart doesn’t take body type, muscle mass or health conditions into consideration, and is therefore a flawed system. It can work as a point of reference provided we don’t lean too heavily on it.
What’s more important than your BMI is whether you you feel like you relate to food and your body in a healthy way. If you don’t, WELCOME! You and I know how it feels to be propelled by craving. We have made a million resolutions and managed to keep none. We’re tight with shame and regret and embarrassment. We’re boggled that we can be capable in every other facet of our lives, but that diets, sooner or later, always fail us. We manage to justify a little more here, a little there, until the tidal wave of craving takes us under. This is insanity. Whatever we label the problem, it’s a life-corroding condition. But this condition is forced into remission, and the body quickly brings itself to a healthy weight, with a practice I’ve spent the past 10 years perfecting. If you struggle like I did, they can free you from the loss/gain cycle (and make it so you never waste another day or another dollar on false promises).
My practice, Pleasure Principles, is what this blog will be about. That, and the life I lived that made the Principles possible and critical for my survival. The Principles is the same practice I offer my clients when they’re serious about getting to and staying at a more comfortable weight.
When I originally conceived of this blog, I wrestled with how to present my practice. Should they be laid out like a buffet, so folks can pick and choose which suggestions feel “right” for them? Maybe the practice should be presented as steps to be taken one at a time to allow periods of “adjustment”? These ideas made the practice more appealing, marketable, and easier on the eyes. Sadly, both would also make the plan ineffective 2.
Like marriage, the practice is most effective when it’s jumped into with both feet. 3
My practice is for you if your weight makes you feel uncomfortable, angry, self-conscious, or out of control. For us, obesity can feel even more deadly and more devastating than cancer, since society has a tendency to shun us and mock us rather than rally behind us. If this is you, I beg you to take on my practice with the same eagerness and fervor with which any terminally ill person begins a heavily-vetted and effective treatment, because that’s exactly what it is.
I am not offering a fad or a quick fix. If that’s what you’re after you can call Jenny Craig, hop on the weekly weigh-in bandwagon, or consume nothing grapefruit. If that’s the choice you make, in a few weeks – maybe months – you’ll be heavier than you are now, and even angrier at yourself. The practice I’m offering is something you can and will fall back for the rest of your life. With it you can hit, and maintain, your most comfortable, healthiest weight.
You may be reading this in what feels like the most miserable and out-of-control moment in your life. You might be wondering if you’re not insane based on the way you behave around food. Perhaps, as often happens, those treats in which you used to take the greatest pleasure have lost their magic, yet you still find yourself craving them, wholly incapable of eating reasonably once you have them in your grasp. Maybe you feel disgusted with yourself and your body and you feel lost. Congratulations! You’re in the sweet spot! (I’ll duck down for a sec to avoid getting pelted by rotten tomatoes.)
Listen: The greatest moments in my life have followed periods of practically incomprehensible demoralization. Raw, beaten and exhausted, in those moments I was vulnerable enough to be open to new ideas, and to receive a solution. Today I’m grateful for every bottom I’ve ever hit, especially around food. Those experiences have shaped the person writing to you now: joyful, healthy, happy, and sincere in my desire to bring you with me.
I’m so excited for you. Let’s do this.
PS: You are ACHINGLY beautiful no matter what you weigh. What’s important is that you feel as good in your body as possible. I’ve done it for myself. Now it’s your turn.