Archive for the 'Introduction' Category


Whee! A Launch!

Welcome to this series of 40 profiles of people who have beat the yoyo diet cycle, lost 40 pounds or more, and kept it off. I decided to do these profiles because I talk to so many people who are stuck in the vicious cycle of weight loss: gritted teeth, deprivation and self-punishment followed by a rebound into overeating and then later shame and the rising number on the scale. 

I wanted to explore, for myself and for you, what makes it different for the few who get beyond the yoyo?  There are some themes that are already emerging.  One key difference is that they have connection, either to themselves, a community of support, or both.  Some of their difference is in their conviction, their own sense that they have come through this vicious cycle to a new place, a new destination.   They can feel a palpable difference between this chapter of their lives and the past.  Many of them have sustained their weight loss for a while – one year is a solid benchmark of sustainability.

I am not condoning a single approach and there are no guarantees here.  In fact, I’m looking beyond each approach to the patterns of what makes people successful.  I’ve been a coach for more than four years, specializing in emotional eating, and this project is an exploration.  It’s both personal and professional.  I want to explore success.  What paths have these people taken?  What are the common threads that weave through their stories?  Where are there overlaps and where are conflicting ideas?  What are the pearls of wisdom that shine within each of their stories?

I invite you to take this journey with me.  It’s a finite journey:  44 weeks.  When I turned 44 this year, I decided to celebrate with this project, and it’s evolved from conversations, inspiration and hunger, to reach beyond the chronological 40s.  I’m embracing age – the older I get, the more free I feel.  And this year, I want to celebrate my freedom – mainly from the constraints of the academic classroom – yes, I am a graduate school drop-out  – by creating this project that’s purely soul driven.  It doesn’t stem from an assignment.  I won’t get a grade.  I don’t have a deadline.  Ah, sweet liberation.

I’d like to pay homage to part of the inspiration for this idea: Brian Schwartz of 50 asks, “If you were going to reinvent yourself by interviewing 50 people, who would those people be?”  That’s the seed of the idea for this project.

I need names of more people to profile, and I’d really like to reach people from a broad spectrum:  people who have different approaches to reducing their weight as well as approaches I’ve already encountered.  I’ve profiled people who have used a 12-step program, Weight Watchers, and gastric bypass surgery.  Do you know someone who has done something else?  Please introduce us.  

And as we begin this journey together, a big smooch of gratitude to you.  Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing names of people you know whom I might interview, thanks for any comments you make on the blog, including those about your own journey and ways that this blog has contributed to it.  As you’re commenting, please recognize the vulnerability of the people who are profiled.  Treat with them with kindness and respect.  It’s fine to share your ideas and speak your truth, and it’s easy to do that in a way that honors everyone in the conversation. 

With reverence for the journey, Margaret Graham


A yummy blend of story, politics, and personal philosophy.

This blog is not currently active, but it's got some extraordinary content so I keep it going with a very occasional post. It's a series of stories from people who have successfully let go of 40 or more pounds using lots of different approaches. The stories are all here along with my editorials about the threads that run between them (click on the Stories and Tapestry tabs). Enjoy!

Margaret Graham, NCC, CPCC

Photo of Maggie Graham

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