I have a lot of problems and desperately want to change. I need to lose 100 pounds, quit smoking, find a husband, and get a new job. I know God can help me, but where do I start? You’ve already started. You said you know God can help you, and I bet you’re asking regularly through prayer and meditation. I hope you are! Also, I want to congratulate you for being so committed to changing. That kind of resolve and determination will bring you success. Just take it one step at a time, go slow and sure, and all will be well again. The main point I want to share with you, though, is it sounds to me like you’re trying to do too much at once. I know when I try to do too many things at the same time, I don’t do any one of them as well as I might if I did them separately. I’d even go so far as to say that making so many life changes all at once sounds like a plan for potential failure and defeat. I suggest you pick the biggest, most pressing problem, and work on that first. I would say it’s the extra weight because obesity is behind the #1 health and mortality problem today--coronary heart disease. Sure, smoking contributes too and is a big concern, but I am afraid if you quit smoking first you may even gain some additional weight. Another reader, Sherry, wrote me recently and said she had a lot of problems and needed to change everything at once, and found that going to church helped her. She met a lot of new friends, "shared her problems with the Lord," and found church to be the first step she needed. I agree and would also add that 12-step groups are also a very good place to start: you can find friends and fellowship there, perhaps a new boyfriend, a job lead along with some good spiritual sharing. If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, by now you know that I believe in having a structured food plan which includes anything in moderation, daily enjoyable activities, putting your faith into action, and increasing the joy in your life in a big way. Get started now by visiting my Joy of Weight Loss program on Beliefnet. You may also find my book and videos helpful, available at www.NorrisChumley.com or at your local library. Keep the faith, remind yourself of your desire to change often, and give it to God. All will be well, especially YOU!

- Norris Chumley

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