How I got happy, healthy and half my size | Handel Group

Insider Info!

From our mouth to your inbox

How I got happy, healthy and half my size

It was in the spring of 2005 when I hit rock bottom in my life. I was a married screenwriter/filmmaker living in Los Angeles. I had written a movie that was about to be released on 2,000 screens across the country. You would think my life would have been great. It wasn’t. I was 5’5″ and weighed 265 pounds. It was a typical Saturday for my husband and me. We went to get coffee and got into one of our lame arguments. This time we fought over a magazine headline. The argument continued most of the day and by the early evening, he was locked in our bedroom and I was lying on the living room floor amongst the rubble of our fight. Whenever we fought, something was always broken. I had just cancelled dinner plans with friends at the last minute AGAIN. I lay on the floor listening to the sounds of LA outside my living room window.

I was lost, hoping for someone to walk into my apartment and save me from this life.  I waited. No one came.

Finally, I got up and walked toward the kitchen to get a drink: Jagermeister, my favorite escape. As I passed the living room mirror, I caught my reflection, stopped suddenly and stared. I didn’t recognize the woman looking back at me. She was overweight and her face was lifeless and pale. I thought,

What happened to you?
Life wasn’t supposed to be this way.
This isn’t you.

Four days later, I told my husband I was going to the post office and walked away from my life.

I moved to Northern California to find myself and get healthy. I couldn’t think about the magnitude of how much weight I needed to lose (130 pounds). I’d been able to lose some weight in the past, but never this much and I’d always put it back on. I couldn’t even process it. I took basic steps. First, I changed my diet.

I decided to cut carbs. That jump started my weight loss, although I wasn’t working out and it was a slow process. After about 20 months, I had lost about 50 pounds, but hit a wall and started putting the weight back on again. It was the same issue I had struggled with my whole life. I started to get discouraged again. I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I needed help.

Then a friend introduced me to Lauren Zander, life coach and Co-Founder of Handel Group. And everything changed. On our first phone call together, Lauren told me that she could help me get thin and happy. She was so confident; I had to work with her. I wanted to know what she knew.

The first lesson that Lauren taught me was that diets work. People cheat and that’s what doesn’t work.

Lauren got me to see that I needed to change my whole way of thinking about food and diet. I felt like I didn’t have control over the food. It would talk to me. I had a bad day. I needed the pizza or the potato chips. It wasn’t my fault. My husband and I got into another fight – I needed some cake. Bullshit. Lauren taught me that no one was forcing me to eat. I controlled my hand and what I was putting in my mouth. I needed to tell the voices in my head to shut up, to stop reporting on my life like it was the weather and I had no say over it, and put the “cookie” down.

Get a feel for how The Handel Method® could benefit you.

This was a huge revelation for me. For the first time, I really got that I was the person who was making me overweight. I had been blaming everyone and everything around me for years. It was hormones or stress. My husband had done it. I had a slow metabolism. It was in my lineage.

But the truth was, I had done it.

Once I understood that I was the one in charge of my life, Lauren put me on the Handel Food Plan. The best part was I catered it toward what I liked so I didn’t feel deprived. I ate my favorite protein, fruits and veggies. Limited healthy fats. No sugar,  rice, pasta or bread. I also got on an exercise program where I started doing cardio four to five times a week. Then Lauren had me make food promises and implement consequences surrounding my diet. If I cheated on my diet, I had to walk the dog at 6am the next morning. Having a consequence helped me stay on my diet and I started losing weight immediately.

After starting my new eating and exercise program, Lauren and I began to tackle WHY I was overeating. We looked at my life from as far back as age five until the present and unravelled it.. I saw that I had been repeating the same mistakes over and over. I was letting a six-year-old brat run my life without even knowing it. It was time for me to grow up. After I sorted through the wreckage, I went back and cleaned up every mistake and lie in my life including addressing a big secret from my childhood. (I’ve written a book about that process which explains all the steps I took and reveals what happened to me.) At age thirty-nine, I was finally dealing with the issues that were holding me back in my life.

95% of people who lose weight, gain it back.

Getting healthy is not just about cutting calories, losing weight, and exercising. It’s about transforming your life: cleaning up the inside and the outside at the same time. Healing your mind and your body, together. It’s important to look at your life and understand why you’re overeating. What are your issues? If you don’t address the emotional baggage, you’ll never truly be healthy and free.

I am now happy and healthy. I have kept the weight off for over 8 ½ years.

To read more about my personal coaching experience with HG and Lauren, pre-order Lauren Zander’s book Maybe It’s You, and learn how Lauren, kindly and with a kick in the ass, coached me and three other clients with the Handel Method, getting us all to finally give a shift about our lives.

Katie Torpey
Find out more about my story at

Get the full story of Katie’s remarkable transformation when you pre-order Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life.