In 2012, at 42, and in the midst of a painful divorce, Christine Hyde, weighed 264 pounds. With a successful sex therapy practice in New Jersey, the doctor set about to get healthy and regain control over her eating and her life. And when you just over half your body weight in a year and maintain your weight loss for another, you get to know a thing or two about smart strategies for weight loss and the kind of mindset you need to have to do it right. Here are seven lessons she learned on her journey to a healthier life.


1. Compulsive overeating is a disease of needing more—never really being satisfied or full. It is often filled with shame, denial, self-doubt, fear, and most importantly, isolation.


2. For me, Overeaters Anonymous offered an opportunity to be surrounded by supportive people who themselves have walked in your shoes.


3. You have to dream big—set a longer-term goal. Imagine yourself doing what you think is nearly impossible, and then break it down into smaller steps.


4. Exercise with others, even if it is just regular group exercise classes. Smile, and don’t be afraid to say hi or strike up a conversation. Healthy friends help future healthy friends stay healthy.


5. Don’t make a number on the scale your goal. Make it a healthy percentage of body fat. Numbers on the scale don’t account for H2O weight or muscle vs. fat


6. Be kind to yourself. You are your biggest cheerleader. Dump the critics—they don’t want you to succeed.


7. I thought not eating certain foods would be deprivation, but it’s my freedom. Food was my shackles. It kept me from my kids. It kept me from my marriage.

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