Hi, I'm Diana. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight by completely changing my attitude toward food and exercise. Since then I've learned a few things about keeping it off and I'm still learning. Even if I'm constantly fighting off a few pounds, I can't imagine where my weight would be now if I hadn't made such a drastic life change. I'm a health coach for the Prevent program by Omada Health, and previously I was a Weight Watchers leader. Hopefully my silliness will help make your journey to health a little more fun. More about me here.

Photo by Karl Ko

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About the sandwich eater...

Food is a drug. At least it always felt that way to me. A way to wind down, relax, stamp out the craziness of life, turn the volume down. And when your favorite things to do are eat, sleep, and bake, the scale isn’t always your best friend. I was I-don’t-know-how-old in a gymnastics leotard when I first decided that I took up too much space in this world. Ever since then I’ve obsessed and drifted from overweight to not-so overweight to so overweight that my doctor felt the need to advise me to be otherwise. My reaction was a sad nod while the inside of my head exploded with the fire of a thousand suns at her insinuation that I had been doing anything besides trying to be thinner for my entire life.

It was only when I finally headed into the plus size clothing store that I had the realization that I needed help or things were only going to keep getting worse. Luckily a friend had introduced me to Weight Watchers and I found the education I needed to figure out what was required to lose the weight and keep it off. What was required, apparently, was a completely new understanding of what it means to eat for fuel, keep recreational eating contained, and move my body all the time. But most of all, relizing that I have to keep myself happy or I'll never keep up with being healthy. Some days I’m better at it than others, and the journey isn't easy. I battled through emotional eating and chronic back pain. In two years I lost 35 pounds, sometimes 40, and I've kept it off for over six years now. I can only guess at how heavy I would be if I hadn’t changed my mind and my life. I'm still a little bit all over the place, but I'm trying to harness my passions into worthwhile pursuits, like lifting heavy things or finding my sunglasses.

This is a story of how I’ve managed to mostly maintain my sanity while balancing a food obsession and a scale obsession. My answer has been to attempt to generate a health obsession. Things I now love include parkour, healthy cooking, snowboarding, my vegetable garden, learning about physiology and the psychology of motivation, and the serenity of mind that comes with taking time out of the day to exercise and not worry about anything else.

Other things I love are my amazing family, many of whom struggle with their own weight issues, my silly and supportive friends, my husband, who is my biggest fan and who makes my want to live a healthier life if it means I can share one more day with him (ideally screaming at the TV while watching a Formula One race), and my codependent cat who thinks she’s a dog and comes running to the door every time I come home. I’m also especially fond of grilled cheese sandwiches, baking, sleeping, backpacking, tea, anything pumpkin flavored, french things, photography, flannel sheets, and daydreaming about which movie I would most like to have with me on a desert island.

The only thing I know for sure is that I can’t fail if I don’t quit. And I’m never going to quit, it’s just not an option. My life is here now, where I’m constantly working at resisting the couch and becoming a better me, and I love it.

In my happy place with my camera and adorable feathered friends, the puffins.