What We Still Don’t Know About Losing Weight
First clue: it’s not about the pounds
Janice Taylor is a weight loss coach and author of the book, Our Lady of Weight Loss (an Oprah Summer Reading 2009 pick), which manages to be both hilarious and wise. We recently caught up with Janice to discuss what she’s learned about weight loss.
How did you get involved in the weight loss game?
I lived it. One morning eight years ago, I woke up fat. I mean really fat. I rolled out of bed, looked in the mirror, and what I saw wasn’t pretty. I looked like Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you know, the one who blows up into an enormous blueberry and ultimately explodes.
I decided in that moment of despair that I would yet again make my way to one those meetings where everybody obsesses about food and weight. I dragged myself there, and I weighed in. It was my highest number ever. Tears came to my eye. I listened to the lecture thinking I’m never going to make it. I was so wallowing in self-pity. Then I heard a voice, which by the way, seemed to come from an external source: “If you think you’re never going to make it, you never will.” The voice further instructed. “Make weight loss an art project.”
In that moment, I shifted from the most depressed person east of the Mississippi to the most excited. Who would have ever thought that losing weight could be fun? I lost 50 pounds in less than a year, and I’ve kept it off for eight years now!
Sounds like there’s a lesson here for everybody. Is that true?
Absolutely. Women think it’s all about the food. It’s not. It’s about your life. Healthy living is the frame, the structure within which you work. The more workshops I lead, the more clients I work with, the clearer it becomes that it’s always about shifting your thinking away from food and toward life, while at the same time cultivating a healthy lifestyle. Essentially, you have to twist your head off, clear out the old way of looking at weight loss, and then put it back on. You have to let go of every bit of your story that is keeping you fat.