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Lauren Zander's new book

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Success Magazine calls the new book from Lauren Zander "practical and inspiring."

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Big Gulp


I still can’t help but take a big gulp when I see the pictures of me at my heaviest. It’s as if a completely different person is staring back at me. What is more painful is thinking of the photos that were never taken, the life I missed because of the way I looked and felt. It is unbelievable that I let myself go like that. I remember being so overweight and feeling that I was in jail serving a life sentence. I didn’t know how to get out.

My weight was in the way of me being happy and living a full life. I could give hundreds of examples but  there are a few things that stand out:

  • I skipped my 15-year high school reunion due to embarrassment.
  • I wasn’t a bridesmaid in my step-brother’s wedding because the dress was very “unflattering.”
  • I missed countless dinners and parties.
  • And I absolutely refused to go to Long Island on the off chance I might bump into my ex-boyfriend.

Needless to say, I stopped dating all together.

On the positive side, I had a great and powerful executive job making tons of money with an abundance of friends. That mattered little to me, I was walking around sad most of the time, not feeling like myself and wishing my life was different.

Everything changed the moment I met my life coach. She asked me, “What happened to you? Why are you so sad and overweight?” I decided it was now or never. I either deal with the reasons I got into this situation or I stay the unfulfilled person I had become. I desperately wanted to have a body I loved, to be with the man of my dreams, create a great family, and be proud and inspired by myself. All of which felt totally unattainable.

Through my coaching experience, I learned three important lessons:

1) Personal Integrity®

Until coaching, I thought it was normal to maybe go the gym, maybe not (even though I said I would). My diet started every Monday but never lasted through the week. Though I meant well, I let myself down by not following through. I eventually just stopped believing my own words. I regained my Personal Integrity® by implementing promises and consequences into my life regarding my body, food, and exercise. I came up with the right rules for me and most importantly, the right consequences to have me keep my word. A few promises and consequences that I created were:

  • Promise to eat from my “clean” food list and if I do so, I would get a cheat meal on the weekends.  If I broke this promise with even one bite, I would not be able to watch my favorite television shows that week.
  • Promise to go to the gym four times a week. If I broke this promise, my consequence was that I wouldn’t be able to have wine that week.
  • Promise to not eat after 8pm. If I broke this promise, my consequence would be to throw $10 on the street for every bite I had after 8pm.

What was brilliant about this set up was that the consequences were annoying enough to stop me in my tracks and do what I originally said I would do, which was aligned with my commitment.

2) The Power of Truth

Coaching taught me to tell the full truth to myself and to others. Once I started telling the truth about why I gained the weight and why I wasn’t losing it, I was able to see the darkest parts of myself and figure out my “bad theories.” Getting to the bottom of my bad theories allowed me to finally start authoring my own life. Now, I do not step over anything or mumble excuses to myself. I catch myself before going down a bad path. A few bad theories or lies I would tell myself were:

  • I had a thyroid problem so I couldn’t help but be heavy.
  • Only cheeseburgers, fries, pizza and bagels would fill me up.
  • Salads and fruit would give me a stomach ache.
  • I deserved to eat what I wanted because I worked a zillion hours and it was a reward.

These examples along with many others were straight up lies that were just keeping me stuck.

3) Go for Everything

Getting back into integrity through promises and consequences, telling the truth, and ‘fessing up to bad theories gave me the courage I needed to dream big and go for everything. I had a feeling once I hit my goal weight I’d meet “the one”, not because I had to look a certain way, but because I wanted to get myself into alignment before calling in “the one” for me. Knowing I was winning with my body, gave me the confidence to date again. I met the man I married the same week I hit my goal weight. How wild is that?

Through coaching, I have become happy. I have lost 75 pounds and I met the man of my dreams and married him last December. I changed careers to align with my truest desires and now design every part of my life to exist in a way that makes me inspired and proud.

My own evolution inspired me to train as a Handel life coach and teach people how to be the best version of themselves through living their truth. I hope my story inspires you.

Love,
Samantha