The Weight-Loss Secret That Saved My Life


woman standing on scale to check her weight
A woman ditches her toxic relationships—with food and men—after learning to love herself.

I found out about a program that forced me to break the emotional connection that I have with food because the bottom line was that food and I had to break up. We were in a toxic relationship.

I started a regimen called the Ideal Protein Diet, and in 15 weeks, dropped 53 pounds (from 265 lbs to 212 lbs) and 10 inches from my waist. I recognize that I still have a long way to go, but this weight loss has absolutely changed my life forever.


In addition to losing the weight, I started to rewrite my "self-worth" list. Thinking back, in my teens I wanted to be like everybody else; truth is that I wasn't. My inability to look like others lead me to hate myself all through my 20s. Now that I'm in my mid-30s, remarried and a heck of a lot wiser, I made a pledge to myself that I would change. I decided to make a personal contract with me—the real me.

Every day I follow these Self-Love Rules:

  • There is no one on this earth like me.
  • Be my own best friend.
  • I am more than what the scale says.
  • Sexy is an attitude, not a dress size. (You can find shoes that scream "sexy," however. Just sayin'.)
  • There are pretty people out there who have very ugly spirits—don't be them or want to be them.
  • Feel whatever emotion you are feeling; eating through it will only make you hate yourself later.
  • Try and be as honest as you can as often as you can.
  • Surround yourselves with friends who love you even at your worst hour.
  • Don't live your life afraid—you will regret it when you look back.
  • Boundaries are your best friends—establish some.
  • You are worthy of massages, pedicures and cute shoes.
  • If any man doesn't support or enhance these commandments, find another man.

And, I did, indeed, find another man—a wonderful one. The reality of a functional relationship is freeing. I can finally take a deep breath because I know that he is there no matter what, and I am not in this life or marriage alone. Jamie is different in many ways from my first husband. His love and dedication to our life together is something that I can count on. Our relationship is one that betters the both of us. This is most evident in his extraordinary support of my decision to take control of my life, and get my body and mind healthier. His support helps drive me to stay the course even when I hit a temporary low in my motivation. I can honestly say that he is the love of my life and that is a remarkable thing.

Today I feel free to be as sexy and pretty as I want to be because I see more than an overweight girl in the mirror. In fact, I see less and less of her every day. I can walk up the stairs and not be completely out of breath. I can respond to emergencies at the hospital, run down the hall, and not feel like I need oxygen. I can go to an amusement park and not worry that I will not be able to fit into the rides. I can reach something on the floor of the car without having to take my seat belt off and grunt or groan to reach it. I can fly on a plane and not need an extender or be worried that I am encroaching into the seat next to me. I weigh less than my new husband. It's the little things. Oh, and I'm still pretty damn funny, too.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elizabeth Cariaga


Health and Wellness begins when you remember to love yourself.

Location: Bowie, MD
Credentials: RN
Specialties: Empowering Women, Wellness, Health Coach
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