How I Lost 35 Pounds Eating BLTs and Drinking Moscato

“So what did you do?”

At least a few times a week, I get that question from people who want to know how I lost weight. I give a different version of the same answer each time: I changed the way I ate and took better care of myself. That’s my short, social answer for what has been a revolution in how I live every facet of my life; not just how I inhabit my body.

Maybe I wasn’t what some people might judge as visibly overweight; in fact, I hear “well, I thought you looked just fine” quite a lot. I may have looked “just fine” but I didn’t feel that way. Over a span of almost four years, I adopted a baby, bought and sold a house, entered a second round of graduate school and a road to clinical licensure.

In June 2011, I was approaching 40, exhausted, kind of pissed off, and generally disconnected from myself and my body. I knew I was about 25 lbs. above my “feel good” weight and I couldn’t figure out how I got there. I was a smart woman: I knew what good food choices were and I tried to exercise consistently, but I was continually stuck.

So what did I do?

I didn’t do it alone. I asked for help and and I found her in Evansville, Indiana. Susan Hyatt is weight loss coach I began following online in early 2011 and by the late spring, I knew I wanted to enlist her help.

We entered a coaching relationship for four months and my body and mind woke up in ways I never imagined. What did it come down to? We examined the inhibiting thoughts I had and how those informed behaviors that lead to my weight gain. She had very little interest in my calorie consumption or food choices; it was all about the power of my mind.

And to borrow a phrase from Susan, learning this was like winning the lottery. The weight was a distraction that kept me from setting other areas of my life on fire with my energy and passion.

As time passed and I shed four or five pounds each month, my relationships changed in a beautiful way. There was a deeper sense of connection to my husband and my children. I became more clear on what the mission of my work was. A steady relationship with a girlfriend completely blossomed into one of the most significant friendships of my life.

Most of all, I entered a very loving relationship with myself. I decided how I wanted to feel every day and what I needed to think to get there. I learned to really lean in and listen to what my body needed for energy and made choices accordingly. I found exercise that I loved and couldn’t wait to get to throughout the week. I didn’t “give up” any foods, but I did change when, how much and why I ate them. They weren’t rewards for a day of dealing with distressed clients. I didn’t eat because I was bored.

I stopped telling myself the lie that I ate because I was hungry. I was hungry, alright, but it wasn’t for food. And hear this: when I did have days where I turned to food as a salve for stress or boredom, I didn’t self-flagellate and say I’d failed or I would never get it right. I became a scientist in my life and was more curious about my actions and less punitive.

I still go to Stevens and Stevens and get a BLT (no mayo) and don’t label it as “good” or “bad.” I don’t eat them every single day, but I make sure I know why I want it (I’m hungry and I love bacon) and then I enjoy it. I shared a bottle of Moscato with my best friend at dinner when we were out of town last month and enjoyed every bit of it. It was to celebrate one another and enjoy our time together; I wasn’t hoping it would drown out pain or wash uncomfortable feelings away.

Everything has changed. And I can’t help but let that spill over onto everyone I touch who wants to know how or why because they — you — need to know it’s not too good to be true. It is accessible, healthy and joyful; there is no punishment. There are no “bad” foods; there are only painful thoughts to question.

Want to know more or how I could help you on that journey back to yourself? There’s so much more to tell than these 800 words. I’d be overjoyed to be a partner in that work. You know where to find me.

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18 thoughts on “How I Lost 35 Pounds Eating BLTs and Drinking Moscato

  1. Susan Ribar

    Very well said. After 14.5 years at Lifetime at Weight Watchers, it’s not about the food. It is so important to understand why we eat and the emotions driving that. It always amazes me how people punish themselves over what they ate. We say things to ourselves that we would never think to say to anyone else. Keep on reminding us to be gentle with ourselves in all things. Great job! Susan

    1. I love what you say so much, Susan. Thank you for keeping up with me each week and for being one of the many people in my life who raised me right : )

    2. Susan Ribar

      You’re welcome! Happy Mothers’ Day!

  2. You are amazing. And, I love me some bacon too. Isn’t it awesome to let your body lead? Thanks for the shout out sister!


    1. “This is howww we do it…” Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it, Susan. We’ve got lots of good work to do in the world.

  3. Amazing story!

  4. Donna Heil

    Very nice Laura. Can’t wait to follow your blog and be inspired by your words.

  5. Laura Grinstead

    So inspired by your words. Love you… and bacon… and Moscato.

    1. So many adventures ahead, my girl.

  6. This is something that has plagued me for years and years. What is it that compels me to eat when I have had enough? And to eat food that doesn’t give me energy? Or real nutrition? I have not been able to crack this code. I don’t have the money to hire a life coach….is there something I can read about this problem?

    1. Laura May 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm
      Hi Donna – Great question. The coach who trained me (and she also trained my coach, Susan Hyatt) is Brooke Castillo.

      One of Brooke’s books drew me to this work and I think it could be of great help to you, as well. It is called If I Am So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? It’s available on Amazon and has all of the tools I’ve written about. I think you can crack the code, lady : )

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. Laura~
    This post was so powerful to hear your personal story and struggles. Thank you for being such an inspiration for so many!

    1. Thank you so much, Stacey. I just can’t wait to see you on Friday.

  8. LOVED this and it makes me even more excited to start your group next week. You have used words beautifully here…Thank you <3

  9. Pingback Georgia on my mind…

  10. Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who truly understands
    what they are talking about online. You actually understand how to bring an issue to
    light and make it important. A lot more people need to read this and
    understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because
    you surely have the gift.

  11. Pingback 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Come To My Workshop — Laura Wagner

  12. King marinO

    This was really INSPIRATIONAL. This morning i made a really good breakfast for my kids aNd it got me to thinking aboUt a blt diet. My journey is not a matter of weight. I just want to CoNsume better food. Thanks for sharing

    -king marino