It’s true: the inner determines the outer. And Jamie Mendell’s success story of extreme weight loss (losing 40 pounds) this way proves it.
As a teenager, she started her first diet at 17 and changes began happening after that. She had a fine, athletic body at the time but wanted to lose a few pounds. And behold, her body began to change. Her arms got larger, her breasts got larger. Excess weight blanketed her entire body. And this was the beginning of 10 years of up and down dieting, gaining and losing weight. followed by binge eating.
She became obsessed with food and counted calories incessantly. She was also miserable and realized she used eating and food as an emotional safety valve, and a not so safe one at that, for her emotions. Things got out of control. At 26 and the height of her eating, she weighed 160 pounds.
She was also miserable with her friends, counting every calorie she consumed in their outings. She stopped dating because she was ashamed of her body, and she carried the constant secret shame of her binge eating habit. A successful professional in every other way, she wondered why couldn’t she get control of this eating thing? Something had to be done.
So she took charge, inwardly. She gave up dieting because it obviously wasn’t working, and the deprivation only made the binge eating worse. She began examining how she used food. Was it because she was lonely? Was it for love? Was it out of boredom? She threw away the diet idea entirely and filled her life with wonderful things, things she loved to do. She did things she’d always wanted to do. She took trips she wanted to take. When she was with friends, she didn’t obsess about the calories in every beer. Instead, she enjoyed being with them. She even began dating again and felt good about her body, regardless of the weight.
As a result of her new happy, healthy lifestyle, she noticed an extreme weight loss with the pounds melting away, naturally. She lost 40 pounds, and they disappeared without a diet, without a struggle, and without negative self-talk. Now, at 26, she weighs what she weighed in high school. And she even changed careers, leaving the world of finance to become a holistic health and lifestyle coach.
The realization that she can be happy at any size is Jamie’s biggest victory. Her self-esteem and self-worth are not tied up with her body.
Her advice to you? If dieting doesn’t work for you, give it up. Focus instead on what you use food for as a substitute. Is it Love? Excitement? Get to the bottom of it, as Jamie did, and then build a life full of those needs met in other positive, creative ways. Watch your body blossom into a happier and natural version of you, from the inside out.