Believe it or not, it is still difficult for me to say the words “I once weighed nearly 350 pounds.” Not because I’m ashamed of the person I was, but because I no longer define myself–or others–by weight.
For most of my life, I focused on the number that appeared on the scale and how I appeared in the mirror. Winning my weight war was not quick or easy. Being overweight is a personal battle that makes you feel insecure and weak. Trust me, I tried diets and fads and trendy weight-loss programs, but I kept repeating the same cycle of losing and regaining. Simply put, diets don’t work. And it’s not always the program that’s at fault. If you have tried–and failed–to lose weight and keep it off, the reason you continue to struggle lies in your approach.
I’ll bet I’ve used every excuse you’ve ever thought of, maybe even several that you haven’t. There are plenty of excuses to go around. In fact, at the end of this introduction, I’ll list the top twenty excuses I have either used or heard.
You must get beyond all of them. Your only hope for success is to decide not to allow anything to stand in your way. Why do we allow our excuses to control our lives and damage our health and ultimate happiness? I could write a book about self-doubt, denial, and self-hatred. That’s where I lived for many years. But I finally reached the point where I was done with living that way. Success began after I made some hard decisions, and I will show you how to make the same decisions so you can tell your own success story.
NEVER SAY DIET AGAIN!
If you are ready to get serious about claiming optimal health and fitness, you are about to begin a life-altering journey. You can achieve much more than you ever dreamed. I know this because it happened to me. I was the woman who could barely squeeze into a seat at the movies and had to stop and rest while walking around Disney World with my kids. Today I’m a marathon runner. I don’t have anything special inside me that you don’t have. I just got tired of disappointment.
If my story doesn’t make you believe in yourself again, then perhaps nothing will. This is your time to start becoming the best you can be, to accept the challenge, and to make a personal commitment to never say diet again. It will require discipline and hard work, but the return is greater than you can imagine: a permanent life change. This time you will break the fat habit for good!
Over a period of nearly two years, I lost 200 pounds and got a job as a Spinning instructor. I later started running marathons, and I now work as a personal trainer and life coach. I’ve seen a great variety of people change their lives by doing the same things I did. In this book I’ll show you how to lose weight and keep it off–whether it’s 15 pounds or 50 or 150. But much more important than that, I’ll show you how to change your life for good. You can reclaim your health and achieve fitness and do it all while juggling the responsibilities of everyday life. Having a demanding job, being a wife and mother, or facing special challenges is no reason to sacrifice your well-being. Never Say Diet works in the midst of real life. We will walk through the program together, and you will begin a new life course.
We’ve all heard that to lose weight long term, you must have a lifestyle change. But that advice is incomplete. To achieve any life change, you must first experience a Brain Change. The good news is that it can happen in a moment, immediately, even though getting weight off takes time. Truthfully, if you don’t first change your brain, you will almost certainly fail to permanently change anything in your life. Before you can retrain your body, you must first retrain the way you think about the solutions.
This is not an ordinary fitness book, because it’s not simply a recipe for losing weight. Neither is it about physical beauty. The goal is health, fitness, and choosing to live a life of passion and achievement, with no more regret.
Therefore, being the best you can be each day is your primary focus. Once you make the Five Decisions and accomplish your Brain Change, you will discover that you automatically choose every day to do what it takes to live this new, exciting, and fulfilling life.
Along with the mental techniques that will get you started and keep you focused, you will learn how to make the best food choices and how to put a realistic system in place for regular exercise. Though I designed my own program when I lost 200 pounds, in this book I have worked closely with experts to make sure the program is as effective as possible for everyone. The nutrition portion is endorsed by Lon Ben-Asher, MS, RD, a clinical dietitian. The cardio and strength-training portion is one I designed with Dr. Joe Tedesco, a certified athletic trainer and physical therapist with a doctorate from Duke University. A medical doctor, Barry Ross, lent his expertise as well, to assure the soundness of the Never Say Diet approach. Still, you should consult your personal physician before beginning this or any other nutrition, exercise, and fitness program.
I am blessed to be able to share my story with you. As you begin to make a permanent life change, you can look forward to a lot of fun and the excitement of finding out what it feels like to believe in yourself and your abilities.
You will break the barriers that have held you back for too long. Be done with disappointment, and dare to be remarkable!
The Top Twenty Excuses Why You “Can’t” Get Fit:
It’s important to look at the excuses that have prevented you from succeeding in the past. Having been there for most of my life, I’m more than familiar with the leading reasons why people fail to change. These are the twenty excuses I hear most often, either from new clients or from women
I meet who say they admire what I’ve done but know it could never work for them. I used plenty of these myself before I decided to make a permanent change in my life.
See if you recognize some of these excuses–and if you agree with my reasons why they are lame!
1. I don’t have enough hours in the day.
The longer you put off addressing your weight and health issues, the more years of life you lose. The time you invest in exercise is returned with interest in extra years of healthy living.
2. I can’t afford a gym membership.
Great news: exercise is still free! This book includes workout options that don’t cost a cent.
3. I don’t want to be judged on my outer appearance.
Too late. We all are.
4. I’m addicted to sugar.
Good, because with this program you get to eat a lot of fruit–nature’s candy.
5. I don’t like to work out.
Do you love heart doctors and medication? Do you love looking in the mirror and hating yourself?
6. I don’t think this is the right timing.
Would it be better to wait until after your next nervous breakdown?
7. I’m too old to do this.
You’re still breathing on your own. The older you are, the more you need to do this.
8. I just want to use diet pills.
If there were any that worked, don’t you think Oprah would have done a show about them already?
9. I’ll get started as soon as I find a partner to do this with.
Right, so that when your partner lets you down, it won’t be your fault.
10. I have too much weight to lose.
That excuse kept me from getting started for years. Don’t think about what you have to lose. You have too much to gain not to start today.
11. I can’t stand being hungry when I try to diet.
Your body has not been truly hungry in years. You need to retrain your body to know what it needs.
12. Can’t I just get lipo instead?
Why use a short-term patch job when you haven’t fixed the problem– unless you can afford to keep a plastic surgeon on retainer?
13. I have the fat gene.
Yeah, so do I.
14. I always fail.
Nobody can maintain that perfect record forever. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!
15. Isn’t healthy food expensive?
Doctor visits are expensive. Lipitor prescriptions are expensive. Natural foods like eggs, apples, greens, and oatmeal are cheap.
16. I need to lose this weight as fast as possible.
Studies show that rapid weight loss leads to subsequent rapid weight gain. Put the time in to learn how to make weight loss last forever.
17. I hate paying attention to calories.
Bad news! Losing weight requires math. But we’ll keep it like kindergarten, not calculus.
18. I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.
The workouts in this program are designed to make you lean and fit, not bulky.
19. I might give this a shot. I have nothing to lose.
Wrong attitude. You’ve already got one foot out the door. When you’re ready to commit 100 percent to success, come back.
20. I have negative people around me.
Good. Let me bring them to my family reunion! They’ll feel right at home.
From the Hardcover edition.