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Health and Wealth: Fat, Weight Loss, Love, and Money

When I was 7 years old my mother told me I would be easier to love if I wasn’t fat.

By the way, if you want to stack the odds your child is going to grow up with an eating disorder, this is EXACTLY how to do it.

I was put on my first diet. And then I was put into ballet class, with a lot of pressure to become a professional ballerina. (Another primo strategy to invoke an eating disorder, FYI.)  By the time I was 15 I was dancing with the Boston Ballet Company’s summer program and being sent by the company to see a therapist for possible Anorexia.

Let me pause for a moment and say a little something about Anorexia, Bulimia, and all other disorders related to fat shaming… eating disorders are the MOST LETHAL psychiatric disorders. The highest death rate. And that’s not an accident. I can say from first-hand experience that the desire to “lose weight” was a symptom of feeling that I was not acceptable or worthy of love as I was, and I wanted to annihilate at least part of myself. Pure self-hatred and self-negation.

By 17 I hospitalized myself because I was suicidal over night eating that was triggered by a traumatic brain injury.


Health and Wealth for Women

I share all this because it is universal truth acknowledged by all women that our worth as human beings is frequently measured by our appearance. Our size. Our color. Our hair texture. Our Features. Our proximity to someone else’s notion of “normal.” All of which has zilch to do with our character or talent or anything that matters.

It’s very hard to NOT get the message that love will be withheld if we don’t live up to external standards that may be totally wrong for what OUR bodies–our dear partners for life–want and need.

When we hate our bodies we hate ourselves, and that struggle with self blocks the flow of what we truly desire. Nothing repulses money, love, and happiness like a desire to die, to not exist or exist less…

THAT is the hidden connection between health and wealth, especially for women. Yes, sickness is expensive. Both in medical bills and lost income and vitality. But even if you’re not sick… if you are hating on your body, what you weigh matters far less than you how you feel about your body.


Which brings us to the present…

Through a combination of time, maturity, and slaying money monsters, I have not had an active eating disorder in many decades. (By the way, I’ve also seen a lot of success helping clients with eating disorders rid themselves of that condition by pouring that underlying death wish into their “Money” Monsters.) I channeled just enough of my neurosis into maintaining a comfortable weight without obsession or self-abuse.

And then I met my husband…

The man has never met a stick of butter he didn’t like. And he likes to cook. And he likes to cook rich pasta dishes, double chocolate chip pecan cookies… you get the picture.

I started gaining weight. In six years I’d gained 25 pounds (which looked closer to 50 pounds on my small frame).

I’m really grateful this happened, because:

  1. My husband treated me no differently. I got to discover I can be loved and lovable without being skinny. This is huge. My eating disorder had ALWAYS been about love.
  2. I got to see myself as beautiful far outside of my comfort zone.
  3. I discovered the JOY of going to the beach in a bikini and not caring a hoot what anybody thinks. Amazing!

When I called the extra weight “happy fat” I meant it 100%.

But I was also experiencing some physical realities I didn’t like: my sluggish thyroid has often made me feel weak and tired. And then I was getting brain fog, too. Ugh!

I was also concerned about family histories of diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

And then I saw a photo of myself and I didn’t even recognize me. I looked like my mother before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

So I made a dramatic decision to get healthier based on SELF-LOVE.  I have only one body and I want to keep her happy and well for a very, very long time.

This is a total 180 from the self-annihilation impulses that had motivated me when I was young.


Starting Small…

To get healthier and more active I started really, really small: for months my accomplishment was to get my bare feet outside on the earth–on soil or grass or gravel. It’s called “earthing,” and it’s supposed to be healthy. It could be total bullshit, but it was my action.

Then I started walking on the beach with Devin. Then I started swimming a little in the ocean. Then a little more. And more. And more.

Then when it got too cold for that I started yoga and I was TERRIBLE. Weak. Stiff. Heavy. I dropped into “child pose” whenever I started to get overwhelmed INSTEAD of pushing through. And because I was gentle with myself I kept going back… gradually getting stronger and more flexible and healthier until I started craving yoga class.

Same with dance class. West Coast Swing. Terrible at it for months. Missed some weeks. Kept going back. Started getting better and then it became fun. Then it became addictive and we started to get good at it! So we added Argentine Tango classes, just for the opportunity to be really terrible at something all over again.

And with the eating… I found a weight loss plan that didn’t seem too extreme or unhealthy or difficult. (Really important given my history with eating disorders.)  I discovered I’m a terrible loser. (Sluggish Thyroid.) I lost slower than anybody else I saw online. Slow AF!  Didn’t matter. Progress not perfection. I very, very slowly dropped 22 pounds and went from a size 12 to a size 2. I’m no longer seeking to lose more.

Even more important, my blood sugar is back to normal range. My cholesterol has come down. My risk factors for other diseases have come way down. And the dancing and yoga make me happy. Because that’s what this is really about!

And in seemingly unrelated news, my financial wealth has recently gone up dramatically. More than ever before.

Coincidence?  Nothing is more attractive to money than self-love.

And because body weight is one of the most common ways women (and increasingly men, too) punish ourselves and make ourselves feel unworthy of the love and wealth and lives we desire, I thought it was worth sharing my own journey on this subject.


To wrap this up, here are

My Top 5 Self-Love Weight Loss Secrets:

  1. Every action I take is from love, not punishment. I changed my behavior from a desire to be healthier for health’s sake.
  2. I change my eating to bring back my sharp thinking and energy.
  3. I say loving things to my body while I’m doing yoga, dancing, walking, bathing.
  4. I marvel at how happy my body is to be used.
  5. I’m not a child who is “bad” if I don’t stick to the program, but I’m really proud of myself for every nice thing I do for my body.


And finally:

Your relationship with your body, like your relationship with money, perfectly mirrors your relationship with yourself. Bring more love to these relationships to produce more health, wealth, and happiness in your life!




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