From fat to thin – a plan that worked!
I was slightly chubby as child but never embarrassed or particularly aware of how I looked. When I was twelve our family moved to Italy for 2 years. Six weeks before coming home from this fabulous European experience I caught sight of myself in a full length mirror. I was aghast to see how much weight I had gained from too many chocolate bars during my year at a Swiss boarding school and daily gelato from trendy cafes along the Via Veneto. I had always presumed I would return home as a sleek, sophisticated, worldly young woman. That’s not the image I saw in the mirror that day. What I saw, instead, was a fat fourteen year old. Yes, f.a.t.
On the spot I determined I would do whatever it took to attain my desired look. I quickly assessed my eating habits and created a food plan to transform myself: no more of the fresh pastas our cook, Rosa, made daily; no more gelato, no more cola, no more candy, no more pastries. I ate eggs and fruit for breakfast, picked through the school lunch, and ate extra vegetables and salad along with the meat course for dinner. In addition to wanting to return svelte and chic, I also wanted to be cool and fit in socially. So my BF sent some Elvis and Everly Brothers’ records and for 2 hours every night I practiced jitterbugging. And OMG guess what?? I lost 25 pounds over the next 35 days!!! I was able to return home, looking and feeling like who I wanted to be and it felt GREAT!
Enjoying, understanding, and sustaining THIN!
I loved my new thin. And I loved understanding the factors that drove my weight loss and have continued to sustain it through three pregnancies, a difficult divorce, and the many life challenges most of us go through.
The visible factors for my rapid weight loss were:
- Adhering to a no flour, no sugar, limited fat, no cheating and no eating between meals diet
- Doing lots of fun and easy aerobic exercise every day
- Having the favorable hormonal balance and metabolism of a fourteen year old
The invisible factors for my success were:
- Having a clear and strong intention. I knew how I wanted to look and was committed to my plan. This was my strongest success factor.
- Never feeling deprived. I never felt I was saying “no” to what I wanted; I was saying “yes” to what I truly wanted – a slender body.
- Being aware of my gremlins. I recognized the sneaky ways temptation would try to derail me. When I felt a clash of impulses, my clear and strong intention prevailed most of the time.
- A compelling feeling of lightness. I loved sensing a new spaciousness around my middle. At times I would find myself twisting and turning at the waist just to feel how thin and fluid I had become. This was my second strongest factor.
- Paying attention to my inner guardian. I developed a built in warning system that alerts me to even a 3-4 lb. weight gain. It doesn’t make me compulsive, it just keeps me on track.
When I went off to college I decided to lose a few more pounds so I could model. My first job was a full page editorial photo for Mademoiselle magazine. Seeing myself in print provided reinforcement to keep up the good work.
My mind and Universe Expand through meditation and Ayurveda
Skipping ahead several years; I met my Teacher in 1978 and in 1983 went to India to spend 6 months learning meditation in Her ashram. While I was there I had my first encounter with Ayurveda, India’s 5000 year old indigenous healing science. I had mysteriously started to experience intense leg pain while standing. An ashram friend advised me to see an Ayurvedic practitioner in Bombay. When I walked into Dr. Bhat’s office he sat me down and began reading my pulse without even asking me why I had come. He was focused and silent, lifting his middle three fingers up and down on my wrist as though he were playing a trumpet. When he finished his pulse examination he told me why I had come! He also discovered another problem in my system and described the deep seated, unresolved emotions that were causing it. I was awestruck at the depth and accuracy of his diagnosis. He sent me off with a packet of tiny herbal pills and practically overnight the pain in my legs disappeared. Wow!
Seven months after returning to Connecticut I noticed a growing lump on my thyroid. My doctor tried to get a biopsy, jabbing my neck 4 times without success and without novocaine! He didn’t get a fifth try; I excused myself, and drove home. I longed for the gentle and accurate diagnosis of an Ayurvedic doctor and even considered returning to India to see Dr. Bhat. That would prove unnecessary. Miraculously, the next day I walked into my rural Connecticut health food store just as the owner was unpacking a large shipment of books. One of them was, Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing by Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc. I bought the book and finished reading it within 24 hours. The back cover showed Vasant Lad’s photo, noting that he had recently established an Ayurvedic teaching institute in Albuquerque. Without hesitation I called to inquire if I could come to New Mexico for an. appointment. Miraculously he told me he would be in Philadelphia in 10 days and asked if it wouldn’t be easier to see him there! He read my pulse, again with three fingers, examined my tongue, and palpated the lump. Sweetly and reassuringly he told me not to worry about what he referred to as a 2 inch tumor and said he would help me. He suggested several diet and lifestyle changes, discussed best practices, and sent me several herbs to take. Miraculously, the tumor started shrinking. Within four and a half months it was completely gone! I am eternally grateful that this ancient system of wisdom and healing is still being practiced today and that its efficacy is gaining global recognition.
A holistic perspective of weight loss, balance, vibrant health, and happiness
In 1993 I left New York and a lucrative career as a faux finishes artist and moved to Albuquerque to study with Vasant Lad. My intention was to understand diet and nutrition though the lens of Ayurveda and create workshops to share the wisdom that was continuing to be so helpful to me. People were gaining weight in ever growing numbers. The market responded with meal replacement milkshakes, various programs of prepackaged foods, and a point-counting system to quantify every mouthful. None of these approaches provided adequate nourishment, true satiety, or the flexibility necessary to sustain weight loss. No wonder 97% of diets fail over the long haul! My vision was to create an experience-rich course combining my personal experience of sustaining optimum weight with Ayurveda’s focus on proper digestion, its detailed knowledge of the qualities of food and the importance of taste, and its profound understanding of the role the mind and emotions play. I wanted my program to be holistic and positive, observing that the dieters who focused primarily on every mouthful lost joyfulness and zest, not weight! It would focus on dietary choices based on knowing your particular body type, doable exercise routines tailored to each individual, and meditation techniques to promote greater self awareness, authenticity and joy. Smart dietary choices encompass more than knowing whether a particular food is fattening or not. Knowing your body and feeding it what it needs is perhaps the best expression of self love and social responsibility you can make. And it’s easy to master because you get to practice it three times a day!
To support my vision I decided to get a Master’s Degree in Training and Learning Technologies at the University of New Mexico. I loved designing and scripting my signature project, a 3 day workshop called, “The Once And For All Diet”. However, I never implemented my vision because while still in school I designed and patented a line of ergonomic meditation cushions and bed pillows which were sold wholesale and online. Customers wrote love letters thanking me for my products. The pillows even had a brief run on QVC. In the excitement of market acceptance, I got distracted and allowed my dream to get derailed as I slipped tail-backwards into a 10 year business that I liked but never loved.
Sharing the wisdom, the practices, and the fulfillment
Now I am returning to my dream by designing a weight loss /healthy eating/self-discovery program that works. I am not calling it The Once and For All Diet because the word “diet” has too much resistance and failure attached to it. I’m calling my program EMPOWERMENT EATING because I understand that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to engage and empower your whole being in the effort. Becoming who you were born to be requires an epic paradigm shift; a letting go of the false self-image that has eclipsed your true identity. It requires claiming and manifesting the magnificent qualities that have always been yours but that got hidden or numbed under the mix of childhood pain and social conditioning.
The traditional health perspective has evolved around a mechanistic model of the human being. Only recently has the body-mind-spirit connection been given scholarly study in the West. The science of yoga has always known that our bodies and minds form an integrated, intelligent network of cooperative information sharing. When we move intentionally and consistently towards balance and well-being in a key area, our whole being gets the message to “move with us” triggering and supporting a system-wide upgrade.
The information, exercises, and coaching that comprise the EMPOWERMENT EATING program will direct your intention and attention to feeding your body with foods that nourish your constitutional type, your mind with knowledge and practical guidance, and your spirit with determination and a clear vision. EMPOWERMENT EATING is an integrated, holistic system rooted in the ancient scientific and integrated systems of Ayurveda, Meditation, and Yoga. It also includes content from behavioral psychology and personal experience. These systems have been proven to help people achieve optimum weight, vibrant health, and strong inner direction. If you are ready to emerge from whatever has weighed you down, I want to help you rise up and grow strong by learning to
Feed Who You Were Born To Be
Tell Me About Yourself (link)
Please take a moment to answer a few questions, share your story, and and tell me what you’re looking for. When I receive your answers, I will send you:
- A checklist to help you assess your predominant Ayurvedic body type.
- A list of food guidelines to balance your dosha, prepare healthy meals and lose weight.
- Five of my favorite dosha balancing and slenderizing recipes.
- Two short meditations to help you get started