I used to think the key to successful weight loss was to eat right and exercise. But I was wrong. I loved comfort eating and I hated to sweat.

Then I thought the key to successful weight loss was to do my family-of-origin therapy, while eating right and exercising.

But I was wrong.

The therapy was helpful, but in short order I fell prey again to my stress eating and aversion to exercise.

Admitting I had failed again, I decided the key to weight loss was to do my family-of-origin therapy, eat right and exercise, and treat my problem by admitting myself to a month-long, inpatient eating disorder treatment program.

But I was wrong.

The inpatient program was somewhat useful because they put me on an antidepressant, but when I was discharged I promptly bought a candy bar in the airport terminal, rode the trolley to the departure gate, and boarded the plane to go home.

For a while I rested in my defeat and fed my ‘hunger for well-being’ with chocolate.

Okay, I didn’t totally rest. I tried overeaters anonymous, the all-egg diet, a personal trainer, and other valiant attempts to eat right and exercise. But I didn’t succeed with those, either.

I was so stressed out in my life, I told myself, I needed my food to keep me numbed out. And besides – NOTHING had really worked in the past, so why should anything now?

In hindsight, I understand why I struggled, and I know I did the best I could. But at the time all I knew was I was trying and failing. I begged the doctors for help, but they told me to go home, eat right, and exercise. I explained I had tried that before.

I’ll never forget the condescending doctor who rolled her eyes at me as I begged for help.

It was a defeated, obese me who was wheeled into the operating room for bariatric surgery. I knew, statistically, the surgery was my only hope. But I was terrified by my track record.

After surgery, the dietitian gave me strict orders to eat right and exercise.

I was grateful for my wonderful tool – my pouch. But after my honeymoon period when the weight practically melted away, I got hungry again.

My eating disorder reared its ugly head. When that happened, I pulled out my old toolkit. I started therapy yet again, went to support groups, made every effort to eat right, and yes, I exercised.

When I look back at my life, I see the one thing that has gotten me to a place where I don’t feel
so out of control with my eating, and where I have a real chance at keeping off the extra pounds.

That one thing is persistence.

Because despite all of my mistakes, missteps, and hardship, I’ve persisted.

Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, offers great advice about how to make a dream come true – he calls it How to Develop Persistence.

Persistence, as Hill defines it, includes a purpose with a burning desire to fulfill it, a plan with continuous action to achieve it, a mind closed to negative influences, and good support from like-minded people.


(He doesn’t even hint at eating right and exercising, haha!)

NEVER give up.