In order to inspire you, I'd like to share with you a few stories of real people who have been on my "Joy of Weight Loss" program. Some have read my book, some my daily newsletter at Beliefnet, and others came to my workshops. They are ordinary people, and the names are real. They made small changes in their lives, put their faith into action, and have never given up trying-but they all gave up the problem of being overweight. You can, too. Start by asking God, or your Higher Power, for help. Then make an effort to learn healthy eating habits, and get up and go for a 10-minute walk. Don't forget, read Beliefnet's Weight Loss with Norris daily newsletter, too!
Norris J. Chumley
Lost: 75 pounds and has kept it off one and a half years
She had tried many diets and quick-fix interventions, and had lost weight-but it came back with a vengeance. This time was different. "It just clicked. This is what I needed all along. this is a truly new way," she says, now realizing that she can eat anything in moderation, and enjoy using her body again. For Nancy, losing weight wasn't so much about food or exercise; it was about joy. She discovered there were an infinite number of things that had joyful possibilities: Friendships, caring for others, getting in touch with your true mission in life. Sadly, her Mom passed away this year, but she got through it with help from God-and by sticking with her total program of well-being, she didn't gain a pound.
"Use the food and activity log in 'The Joy of Weight Loss' book-not just for a few days or a week-I did it for a whole year. That really helped."
Entertainer and Artist
Lost: 135 pounds; 60 on Norris' program
Mark found my Beliefnet "Weight Loss with Norris" daily newsletter on the Internet, then got a copy of my book.
He had already lost some weight through dieting, but reached a plateau and needed to lose more. A devoted Christian, Mark decided to ask Jesus for help with his weight. He does this through prayer, staying with a simple "Joy of Weight Loss" food plan, eating anything he likes in small amounts, and being aware of his eating. He walks for an hour every day, giving treats to the neighbor's dogs along the way! Later, he came to one of my five-day workshops, where he learned what was underneath his problem, and made several new lifelong friends.
"Make a little effort everyday, stay with a food plan; and get outside, walk, and have fun."
New York, New York
Lost: 62 pounds and has kept it off for three years
A Beliefnet "Weight Loss With Norris" reader, Millie, started to put on weight after she turned 40. She'd run to the bus at the last second, sit all day at work, then collapse at home-exhausted. She felt depressed and unhealthy. Her doctor urged her to diet and start walking, but she couldn't seem to get motivated.
Then Millie's brother, a runner, made a simple suggestion: Walk a little at lunchtime. Millie began to walk for a half-hour a day, 10 blocks downtown, and 10 blocks back-almost a mile. She went to a few support group meetings and began working with me. Learning how to eat a sensible, well-balanced food plan, and adding joyful movement, Millie's excess weight slowly came off. "Norris helped me see the importance of a really balanced diet. including some fats and some carbohydrates. Until this time, I was trying to forgo all carbohydrates, and wound-up feeling deprived or else ODing on protein." Now she belongs to a gym, loves dancing and Tai Chi, and walks all the time. "All the joy and pleasure I used to have in eating, I have now transferred to enjoying exercise and wearing pretty clothes. I find prayer really helpful, too."
"Be careful dining out; restaurants make food with a lot of fat, sugar, and salt. Bring meals and snacks to work such as fruit, multigrain bars, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt or cultured soy, and cottage cheese or peanut butter."
Crew Hyannis/Martha's Vineyard ferry
Lost: 20 pounds, keeping it off one year
Since coming to my Kripalu workshop last January, Brian Kelly has made major changes in his life by doing little things one at a time. He eats very healthy, nutritious foods and makes time for working-out and recreation daily.
Brian had prayed to God for help-and help
arrived in the form of a winning lottery ticket, which he used for
both of him and his new wife, Mary to come to the Joy of Weight Loss Workshop. Brian and Mary encourage each other to keep the weight off
and find joy in their lives anywhere and everywhere. Meeting each
other on a dating website, they fell in love and were married last
year, and could not be happier! I've always said, "Don't wait
until you're thinner to be happy, get happy and you'll be thinner"-and that certainly applies to the Kellys. Brian didn't lose weight to gain
Mary's affection; she saw a great man in him anyway. Getting healthier
and happier is their loving gift to each other.
real nutrition is: Eating from all food groups in balance and
moderation. Diets don't help; sound, safe nutrition is what works."
Lost: 70 pounds and has kept it off for five years
Linder came to one of my "Joy of Weight Loss" classes five years ago, and found true joy in taking great care of herself. "I'm not in this battle myself. I let go and let God. I gave up fighting and gave God the war!"
The overweight problem was due to Linder feeling like a dismal failure at yo-yo dieting. Now, she focuses on the positive things in her life and has found that the process of being healthy can be joyous. "I love God and I love myself. I'm a better person after turning my life over to God. I am a child of the King and I am His daughter, and He wants me to be healthy, prosperous and to serve Him," she says with a radiant smile. She is now conscious of what she eats, careful to enjoy a little of everything-even french fries once in a while, "but not the supersize." She stretches daily and dances with the TV on 10-25 minutes each day. "If I don't do it for a week, my arthritis hurts and I get stiff."
"Don't throw stuff down your throat. Eat slowly and savor everything. Drink lots of water all day."