The Secret

The Secret

From Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul

The Secret

Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures.

Han Suyin

For years I searched for “The Secret” to weight loss. If I found “The Secret,” then I could pass it on to my daughter and share it with the world. She and I have lost a little more than fifty pounds each. Together we’ve lost the equivalent of one of those little Olympic gymnasts we saw on TV. We found “The Secret.”

My daughter is a wonderful example of the correct way to lose weight. She looked in the mirror one day and said to herself, “I like who I’ve become and what I’ve done with my life. I don’t like the way I look; I think I’ll do something about it.” She found what suited her: help on the Internet. The online source for weight-loss support helped her to establish guidelines for food intake and exercise and also offered a support group for tips and advice. She stayed within the calorie, carb and fat counts outlined for her. She joined a gym and faithfully exercised three to five times a week. From April to October she steadily lost weight, going from a size 18W to a 10 Misses. Her confidence and self-esteem zoomed through the roof.

I started last fall on what I had hoped would be my final effort to lose weight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful. Health problems and medications, especially the amount of insulin I was taking for diabetes, hindered my success. I finally started researching weight-loss surgery. I found a lot of information on the Internet, talked to people I knew who had had the surgery and started telling others what I was considering. People knew people who had had the surgery. I learned that weight-loss surgery is not a magic bullet but is another tool to use in a comprehensive weight-loss program. Three months ago, I decided to go for it.

I am fifty-six years old and have had problems with compulsive overeating all my adult life. My struggles with weight loss started at age six when I observed my older sister and aunt suffering as they tried to lose weight. I decided then that I never wanted to diet. When I was ten, my new stepmother let me know I was fat, and dieting became a constant in my life. Even as a teenager, when I swam and water-skied all the time, my father and stepmother kept after me to just not eat and to slim down. But nobody ever really helped me choose good foods or change my eating habits. Eventually every effort failed.

As an adult I regularly pursued whatever fad diet was popular at that time. I’d do what many do, the yo-yo thing, lose some, go off the diet, gain back more. Finally I decided to get serious help from doctors, therapists, nutritionists and God. With them in my corner, I was able to change some long-standing habits. I quit eating compulsively whenever I was feeling hurt, angry, happy or sad. I identified the roots of my feelings and learned to deal with emotions without food. The surgery has been a tool to help me complete the process. It has taken many years to get to this place. I still have 120 pounds to go to reach my goal weight. My energy level is way up; my use of medications is way down. I have gained what it takes to be successful at weight loss.

My daughter and I each, in our own way, have found “The Secret” to weight loss. “The Secret” is doing what works for you.

I would recommend her way first. Her way is the better way. My way works when diet efforts don’t work—but you still have to work to reach your goal. That is why I know we will succeed and the weight will stay off: because we were, each in our own way, ready.

I have every confidence that with God’s help and guidance we will both reach and maintain our goals.We are far too happy with today’s results not to succeed.

Marilyn Eudaly

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