Janice Taylor, "Our Lady of Weight Loss," shares her battle with weight and how she overcame it.
Hi, I am Janice Taylor. I am a life and wellness coach, a certified hypnotist (yes, you’re already hypnotized), a neural linguistic practitioner and author of two books and a columnist and a seminar leader.
Well, I was born fat. I was the only baby in the hospital nursery that gained weight, and I don't know if you know that, but babies traditionally lose weight the first week that they are born, but I didn’t. I took to that bottle instantly, and I gained weight and it was uphill or downhill from there.
So by the time I was in second grade I weighed 112 pounds, and then I was just kind of yo-yoed from, I think the first real diet I went on was like I was in sixth grade and just up and down and up and down, and until one day, so I lost over 50 pounds seven years ago.
So that’s the miracle, is that after a lifetime of yo-yoing, I lost all that weight and here’s what happened – I woke up one morning and I headed off to one of those places where people obsess about food and weight, you know those places, and I think we’ve all been there once, twice, three times, four times, I know I had, and it was really such a dark moment. I was so depressed; I went in and I weighed in, and it was my highest number ever, and I was completely defeated before I even began.
Nevertheless, I went in to join the lecture, and I sat down and I looked around the room, and I had tears in my eyes, and I just thought to myself, “You’re never going to make it,” and then I heard a voice and the voice said to me, “If you think you're never going to make it, you never will,” and I know that we all know that our actions follow our thoughts, but it was experiential, and that moment I got it.
I got that if I am going to walk around being defeated before I even begin, I have no hope, no chance, and in that other moment, the voice said to me, “You’re an artist; make weight loss an art project,” and I swear I went from being so depressed to being so alive. My energy completely shifted, I looked around the room and you know, I live in New York and this particular meeting is filled with people from Queens.
I love Queens and someone said, “Red peppers, juicy red peppers,” and I said, “I am going to make sexy vegetable collages, and I’ll use these meetings as inspiration for my art and if I happen to lose weight, great, and if not, I have an art show and I’ll have sexy vegetable collages."
And I went home and I started collaging like crazy, and I made one sexy vegetable after another: cucumbers, red peppers, you name it, carrots. It was very sexy, and it was a lot of fun, and I realized that another big lesson was that if I was focused on the rest of my life on something else that I was interested in, I would stop obsessing about food.
At the same time, of course I ate less and I was eating in a healthy way, and I was counting calories, but the real change, I know how to lose weight. I also know how to find it. The real change was that instead of focusing only on the diet I was looking at every other part of my life, and that’s really what you really want to look at the rest of your life. It’s a whole life.
It’s like you go on the streets and there’s one town, and then there’s a sign that says, "You’re out of Oceanside, you’re in Long Beach now." That’s not real, we made that sign, and that’s the same thing with life. There’s no boundary really between one part of life and another. It’s this fluid thing that’s happening, and if you’re in a bad relationship it’s going to affect how you eat, and if you’re eating unhealthily it’s going to affect your energy, and it’s just this flow.
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