How I Got Real

by Christine Lusita | | Lifestyle

For starters, I was five-foot-three, small-boned, curvy. (Even at 98 pounds, I knew Voguemagazine was never going to come looking for me.)

I liked action. I liked control. I liked leading projects, running with my own ideas. (So why was I working as a secretary?)

I was Italian. I loved food. I ate for holidays, I ate for emotion, I ate because the sun came up. (Why was I torturing myself with Egg Beaters and fake butter?)

I was competitive. I loved the beach and outdoors, but I hated boot camps and team sports. (Why was I doing triple StairMaster sessions?)

Those were some tough “whys.” All my life I’d been hearing about workouts and diets that were supposed to be good for me. You can’t throw a dart at a newsstand without hitting yet another headline about some magic formula. But each time I “failed,” I felt as if I were the problem. I knew something had to change, and it wasn’t about finding the next gimmick. It was about finding what worked for me.

I began carefully listening to myself and, piece by piece, began letting go of yo-yo Christine. I let go of the food that left me feeling deprived. The hamster-wheel work- outs. The self-judgment for not being perfect. Even the job I hated. At each step, I worried (and that’s another of my traits: I worry!) that I would end up miserable and overweight. But surprisingly, each time I tried something that I kind of liked, that made sense to my mind and felt good to my body, I felt better.

I started my own business—and loved it. I ran on the beach—and loved it.

I ate my beloved steak and lobster but kept the portions reasonable. And without feel- ing miserable and deprived, I arrived at my best body size and bought clothes that flattered my body instead of hiding it.

Most important, I got happier. That was a new one! Yo-yo Christine was a wreck. When I weighed 100 pounds, I felt anxious and deprived, neurotically counting every calorie. When I weighed 140 pounds, I felt depressed and disgusting.

But eventually I learned that self-love didn’t come with a number. It came through honoring my uniqueness.

I learned to be brutally honest with myself on what I will or won’t do, and I learned to set reasonable goals that inspired me without comparing myself to others. I learned to tackle that tough inner critic that derails all dieters on their weight loss journey. I learned to carve out time for myself without guilt and celebrate my accomplishments. I learned to prioritize and, above all, to value who I am as I am.

Today as a diet and fitness coach, I’ve spent the past 15 years teaching what took me so long to learn: To manage food and fitness, you first have to manage yourself.My goal is not to introduce yet another magic formula. My goal is to help you become your best self—your fittest, most balanced, and happiest self. And my goal is to make iteasy, to make your success a sprint instead of the marathon I’ve gone through, along with millions of other long-term dieters. In fact, my philosophy for success today can be summed up in four words: Do what feels good!

I’ve made the mistakes and learned from them. And because I know how hard it is to change, I realized there had to be a system to streamline this process. It can’t be this hard.