I was 13, loving life growing up in a middle class family in Maggie Valley, NC. I lived with my parents and two older brothers. One sunny Saturday afternoon I was watching an Atlanta Braves baseball game when the news came. My dad was dead at age 48 from a massive heart attack. He was 30 pounds overweight and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day but he had never been diagnosed with any heart disease so it was a shock. It was June 11, 1983 and it was the end of life as I knew it. I had no idea how to deal with my emotions. I unknowingly turned to the only drug I could get my hands on – food.
During the next several years I developed a love/hate relationship with food. I found a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream quite comforting. On the other hand I abhorred what it did to my thighs. I wanted to put the brownie down but seemed powerless to do so. When I was 16, my best friend died in a car accident. By now I had unknowingly laid down a habit. Food equaled comfort. Food equaled love. I was so in control of every area of my life, except food. Not until I went to college and saw a therapist and a Dietitian was I able to understand my actions and chart a course to change the path I was on. I had to relive my father’s death and mourn him, which I had never done. I had to learn new coping skills so that when stress came my way again I did not turn to food. It was hard work – mentally and physically but I made a decision to change my life. Overweight people think food is their problem. It’s not the problem. It’s what they have chosen to be their solution. It’s just a really, really bad solution.
As I progressed through my life I wondered why weight loss is so focused on telling people how much and what to eat but it’s rare to find a place that addresses WHY someone eats. Society tells us that overweight people are lazy and lack willpower. Willpower had very little to do with why I was overweight. My senior year in high school I was all-conference in basketball and the female athlete of the year. I graduated 16th out of 330 students and was the female scholar athlete of the year. I was President of my high school chorus. I was not lazy and I did not lack willpower. My problem was that food served a much bigger role than providing my body fuel. That had to change.
I created Lifexcel for people who struggle like I did. I want to help people identify why they are resistant to the very changes they say they want to make. I want to help people transform their lives. Life is too short to spend one more day tortured by your eating behavior.
Lifexcel Carolina is a unique environment that I hope you will find inspirational, supportive and non-judgmental. Our aim is to surround you with a team of professionals who meet you were you are and give you the tools you need to change your life forever.