Q: Why do you think your weight loss efforts were successful this time?
A: I was successful this time because I did something that I think everyone who has struggled to lose weight should do. I went to therapy. For me, the trifecta of working out, eating a healthy diet, and going to therapy have has been the key to my success. Therapy helped me deal with the emotional aspect of my overeating as well as the emotional aspect of losing weight after being heavy for 20 years. I would not have succeeded (and continue to succeed) if I did not incorporate therapy into my treatment. I learned a lot about exercise, but the thing that truly helped me change my life was the mental work, which I continue to do today.
Q: Did you have a breakthrough moment?
A: I had several, but my most profound moment was in therapy. I was working with my therapist about being a "people pleaser." I knew that I had a tendency to put everything and everyone ahead of myself on my priority list, and I was expecting her to tell me that I should put myself first. But instead, she told me that it isn't about putting "me first" or "other people first," it's about loving your neighbors as you love yourself. That means putting yourself on par with everyone and everything else. Not before. Not after. But on par. That was really profound for me and helped me change the focus of my priorities without compromising who I am. Another breakthrough moment I had was when someone asked me how it felt to be the "new Jen." It was at that moment I realized the weight loss didn't make me feel a like a new person but rather it made me feel like the person I always knew I was. I'm not the new Jen, I'm the real Jen now.
Q: What advice do you have for those people with diabetes that need to lose weight, but are discouraged?
A: Realize that losing weight is not about willpower or being "good" or "bad" with food. Losing weight, or making any kind of significant change for that matter, is about being ready to change and asking for help. You have to dig down deep inside and be willing to do whatever it takes to make the change happen — for yourself. Going to therapy really helped me commit to making changes and taught me how to ask for help. I am a successful woman with a great, fulfilling life and never thought I needed to ask anyone for help. It turns out that I did and when I did, the people who I needed to help me showed up in my life.
Fat Chef on Food Network is on Thursday nights at 10 pm EST. Chef Jen's episode will air March 1.
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Here is a delicious recipe for Chicken Guacamole Salad. It's low carb and gluten-free!
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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