Monday, October 21, 2013

4 Out of 10 Americans May Be Obese-What 2 of Them Did About It.

Justin & Lauren, Sept. 2011
Not long ago I wrote about obesity rates and how our world is getting wider. 4 out of 10 Americans are overweight and since 1980 worldwide obesity rates have doubled.  Overweight & obesity are the 5th highest cause of death in the world.
Medical emergencies related to weight served as the wake up call for Justin & Lauren Shelton-two young Americans who decided to solve the problem of their own obesity. This is their story from an interview I did with Lauren.

"Both Justin and I were always bigger than the other kids. We each faced different challenges. It’s easy to be in denial and not realize that you are getting bigger that it’s actually happening. And then one day you say “wow-how did I get this way?” When we faced the medical emergencies we realized we had to take responsibility and the only way for us to lose weight was to do it for ourselves.

Everyone has to find what works for them. Anyone can do it. Stay positive and keep at it. You may make slips or mistakes or sometimes eat that donut. Justin can set his mind to not eating unhealthy things and just not eat them. For me it was a mental battle. I was a stress eater and needed more motivation. We had each other to help with the hard times. We understood each other and never judged one another as a failure.

Many have never struggled with looking sloppy in clothes no matter what you wear or the seat belts that don’t fit around you. Not being able to sit in regular chairs. All of this makes you feel bad about yourself and can even make you eat more. I used to be afraid to say no."

How they did it: Justin and Lauren got help from a supervised weight loss program. They began to follow healthy eating guidelines and started walking around the park and swimming. They kept track of everything they ate with a smart phone program and learned new recipes for healtier versions of foods they loved. The first month Justin lost 25 pounds and Lauren lost 30. Soon they were able to join a gym and began exercising 5-6 days a week at the gym. They used their weekend time for fun activities like hiking or swimming. Their food plan consisted of vegetables, fruits and lean meats. They still follow this diet and keep a record of all that they eat. Weekly weigh ins and keeping track of their progress on a graph helped them stay motivated and get through the hard times.

"Neither of us ever saw ourselves as small people-by doing this together we were able to support each other…learning about healthy foods and learning how to say no to the unhealthy foods and all the hard work. Sometimes there are psychological issues that come up when you go through a big physical change like this."
What is the greatest gift you received from this journey?

"My greatest gift is happiness and learning to love myself. No matter how many times bad things have happened. You can turn it around. Even if you are unhappy with yourself you can learn to love yourself no matter what size you are-you don’t need to hate yourself. If I can do it-you can."

Justin & Lauren Shelton, Septeber 2013-together they lost 572 pounds.

Justin & Lauren are happy to share what they have learned:
Or email Lauren at:

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You might also enjoy: What Does Healing Mean?
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  1. So beautiful to see two people raise each other up! A very poignant story.

    1. Yes it is deeply moving to see their love for each other and their love for themselves. Good to hear your thoughts!

  2. What an achievement! I imagine it was made easier by having each other for support as they hit the rough spots and to celebrate the success milestones together.

    Those psychological issues around self worth can be huge stumbling blocks on the weight loss journey. So glad there are therapies like Energy Psychology that can eliminate the limiting beliefs and negative self-talk that get in the way.


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