One evening in the spring of 2008, I was sitting at the kitchen table of my childhood home in Maryland, talking to my mom about life. I had lost more than 120 pounds and was wearing a size 6 (though I was still 10 pounds from my ultimate goal weight). I had left Maryland years before and was living in California at that time, working as a filmmaker and writer in Hollywood. This was the first time my parents had seen me thin, since I was a kid.
My mom and I had just finished eating dinner when she turned to me as she did the dishes and asked, “So, are you working on any new projects?”
My mom knew I was a bit of a workaholic and always working on at least three or four TV or movie projects at a time.
“Yes, actually,” I said, “I’m writing a book.”
“That’s great. What’s it about?”
“It’s my story. I’m writing about how I weighed over 265 pounds, walked away from my marriage and then turned it all around. I’m going to tell the truth about the mess I made of my life.”
My mom stopped what she was doing and looked at me, “Why would you do that, Katie? You look great now. Why would you tell everyone about all that stuff? No one has to know that you were that fat or about the divorce. It’s the past. Just let it go.”
I thought about it for a moment. She had a point. People always say put the past in the past. Move on. Why bring it all up again? The truth was there were a lot of people who didn’t know about my weight struggles or divorce or that I had hit rock bottom. I could keep it a secret. If you looked at me, you’d never have known that a few years earlier I had been obese and had given up on ever being happy or healthy.
“I get what you’re saying, Mom.” I said. “I mean it’d definitely be a lot easier to pretend none of that stuff ever happened, but my weight problem is a part of who I am.”
“I’m not saying you have to pretend it didn’t happened. You just don’t have to tell everyone about it,” my Mom said.
We were both quiet.
I exhaled, not knowing what to say. Why was I compelled to tell my story? Why did I want to share my weight loss experience with people? Most of my life I had been so secretive. I had never fully shared myself with anyone. I only shared parts of myself, and hid behind my weight. It had only been about six months earlier, when I had met my life coach, Lauren Zander (Co-Founder of Handel Group) that I had started to really open up with people. I wasn’t sure why I had been so scared for all these years to be the real me. It was like Lauren had woken me up after a long sleep, and I was alive again. And the person who had awakened wanted to share her story and help people who were overweight and felt trapped in their bodies.
I looked at my mom. “Mom, when I weighed 265 pounds, I felt so alone. Like no one understood what it was like to be that overweight. I thought there was no way out of the mess I had created. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I was embarrassed that I had put on the weight. I just wanted to disappear. Now I want to help people and let them know they are NOT alone in their situation. I want to tell them that if I could lose 130 pounds and turn my whole life around, so can they. And I’ll help them if I can.” I said quietly.
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“Okay.” My mom said as she looked at me, “I understand, Katie.”
“So, you’re cool about me telling everyone I was fat?” I asked her, smiling.
“Sure,” she said smiling back, “you’re braver than me. I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
I had that conversation with my mom four and a half years ago. Since that night, I have been sharing my story and helping people lose weight all over the country. I will admit that sometimes I periodically want to hide and just forget about that period in my life when I was overweight and unhappy.
As a matter of fact, I was at a party this past weekend and sat next to a woman who is a personal stylist. We started talking about clothes and I thought for a moment, “should I tell her that I used to be obese and hated clothes?“ It only took me a moment to know the answer to that question: of course I should tell her!
So I told her about my weight loss journey and how I had a very dysfunctional relationship with clothes and men. We had a deep conversation about life, journeys and lessons. Once we were done, we started talking to other people.
A while later, she turned to me and said, “Thank you for sharing your story with me. It was a great conversation.”
“You’re welcome,” I said with a smile. The next day we became friends on Facebook.
The truth is, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. Sometimes when I think back to 2005, when I was obese, going through a divorce and feeling stuck in my life, I want to go back in time and tell myself, “you’re not alone. You can get out of this mess. Go find help.”
As you know, I eventually did find help. In 2007, I was (seemingly) randomly introduced to Lauren Zander who became my life coach, helped me to lose weight and ultimately clean up my entire life, not just my body. I want people out there who are struggling with their weight to know that they are not alone. I’m here to let everyone know that you can hit rock bottom and turn it around. You can change your life at any moment. There is only one condition, you have to want it.
If you’re ready to lose weight and change your life, we’re here to help.