How Did I Let This Happen To Me?

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  • A recent tweet lead to a conversation, which in turn showed up today as a catalyst to change my life. The tweet was from my friend Dr. Leslie Romer.

    Dr. Leslie is the author of a book entitled, Getting Into Your Pants (meaning your own!). I interviewed her a year ago as a Luminary for Inspire Me Her message Saturday was an innocent invitation to get together.

    My mind instantly went to the failure I felt for not being able to get into my pants! She’s so thin and beautiful and I felt embarrassed at gaining weight since we last talked, not losing it as I’d planned. In the last two years I’ve gained more than 20 pounds. There, I said it! Wow, I did more than say it, I wrote it in a blog! Maybe admitting this is a problem for me is the first step to solving it!

    scalesSince I was a young girl I have had an issue with my weight. I can still remember an offhanded comment my mother made to me when I was just 17 about my being fat- when I was then only 114 pounds. Although I’m sure it was insignificant to her, I’ve carried that comment with me for 30 years!

    Other than when I was pregnant, I’ve never been more than 20 pounds overweight, but I’ve never been thin either. I have what most would describe as a curvy figure.

    The problem was, I was fat INSIDE! No matter what I weighed, I still felt overweight. When I look back at photos from 5 or 10 years ago when I thought I was “fat”, it’s almost insulting to people who are truly overweight. We all easily tire of skinny women who are always obsessing about their weight, when we’d give anything to look like that. But for me at only 5’3″, 20 pounds overweight is significant and I’m determined to lose it.

    For the past two years I’ve changed some of my habits, and not necessarily for the better. I could blame it on relocation (twice), traveling often, changes in pre-menopausal hormonal levels, getting married, starting a new business and not making the time to exercise, financial pressure, stress or one of many other things that I’ve gone through.

    Bottom line- this is my fault and mine alone, based on the choices that I’ve made. Therefore getting out of this place is going to be my choice too, and I’m making that choice today.

    Step one, Dr. Leslie and I talked for more than an hour yesterday. I know that the best way to do anything is to find a mentor, so I accepted her generous offer when she reached out to me. (Thank you Dr. Leslie!) I’m stepping forward to releasing these extra pounds. I feel like I should hear a drum roll when I write this.

    This is a really scary for me to be this transparent, but I felt it was important. Because of, the inspirational tweets I put out, and our mentoring program, many assume I have my life figured out completely. I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that I do. I’m still human and I’m still learning too and that’s why I wanted to be real with you. I’ll never forget how much more I respected Jamie Lee Curtis when she allowed photos of her body to be published without retouching or make up.

    I thought about not sharing my journey with anyone, let alone sharing it in a blog. But, there’s courage in numbers and you can help to hold me accountable. I also think that by sharing this, one of the most personal things in my life, our relationship becomes more real. Also, I’m guessing I’m not the only woman who feels this way, and in that vulnerability, we grow closer.

    When I go to the gym, I don’t want to work with some trainer who has never had an ounce of fat on his or her body. They can’t relate to the emotional component that goes along with losing weight. Likewise, I’m not the type to boast to you a month from now about how I lost a bunch of weight. I choose to be vulnerable and open with you daily, through the ups and downs so we can help each other through times like this.

    Yesterday when Dr. Leslie asked me to go weigh myself I felt such an inner panic for I knew that even though I hadn’t stepped on the scales in months, it wouldn’t be where I wanted it to be. It feels like this problem just sneaked up on me when I wasn’t looking. All of a sudden nothing fit. Even my big jeans wouldn’t fit and it sucks when you can’t get in your own pants!

    Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find the scale! No meaning in that either, right?

    When I finally did find it and gingerly stepped on it, the number was even worse than I feared. My first reaction was to sit down and cry. Seriously, how did I allow this to happen? jumping-woman-on-beach

    After a few deep breaths I decided right then and there to make a decision that would get me where I want to be, rather than beating myself up over where I am and how I got here. Instead of focusing on the size of my thighs, I’m choosing to focus instead on where I’m going.

    I also know it takes inside work to get the outside result. I’ve always thought I was fat, and I manifested that exact thought. Now I get to use the same law in reverse and be grateful for my thin body- even before it is thin. For from that place of gratitude, I know the magic will appear.

    Dr. Leslie and I sat down and made a plan. I know from our mentoring program that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Eating is a habit just like anything else, and I can do anything for 21 days- anything! Knowing that in 21 days I’ll have a new habit, I question, why have I waited this long to do this? Seriously, how difficult can this be? And then I remember the ups and downs of “dieting” for the last 20 years. But, how many times have I missed out on part of the pleasure of life because I’ve felt too fat or because I couldn’t fit into any of my cool clothing? Enough!

    Yesterday was the first day on my journey to a new and improved me. If you’re still with me reading this, I’m inviting you to join me. If you need to tone up and become healthier, please consider joining me on this adventure. If you’re already fit then please join me with your support. I’ve decided to take the risk, and scary as it is, blog about this as we go. I’m also willing to share the information on what I’m doing and do a daily call with the team, if you’re interested in joining me.

    What I know is this- I will fit into my jeans in two months. I don’t have the patience for this to take forever. I like instant gratification.

    However, I’m realistic enough to know that this wasn’t created overnight, nor will it be solved overnight either. I’m staying focused on the benefits to self-esteem and health and celebrating it now. Dr. Leslie tells me that eating like this will give me boundless energy. So for those who thought it was too much already, watch out!

    Last night when I’d decided to blog about this, I talked with my husband, Darryl. He has been so supportive of me and never once said, “Hey Honey, you’re getting a little bit pudgy”, when he certainly could have. And while I’m incredibly grateful for his support, I’m not doing this for anyone else but me. I want to be the best me that I can be so that I can be of the highest good to the planet. I can’t be there to help others if I’m not operating at 100%.

    From this day on, I’m eating to live, not living to eat. I will follow Dr. Leslie’s suggestions and for the next 21 days, I will eat at least 10 fruits and 10 veggies each day before anything else. I will make exercise a regular part of my life again. And, I’ll blog each day for the next 21 days and keep you posted on my progress, frustration and success. I know the unwanted thoughts and pounds will fall off quickly.

    Thank you for listening, for sharing and for caring. Please let me know if you want to get healthier with me! I so welcome your participation and support!

    Day One Update:

    Sunday was awesome. After an emotional roller coaster ride from frustration and self-loathing to a realization of gratitude and self-love, I know I’m on the right path. I only ate fresh fruits and veggies all day and I feel great! I was only able to eat 6 pieces of fruit and 7 veggies. I wasn’t hungry one time all day! I already feel lighter and excited at the possibilities. Stay tuned. ☺

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Pam Archer
      Pam Archer says:

      I applaud you for your efforts and look forward to your updates.

      As a fitness pro/personal trainer with 20+ years experience, I still struggle with my weight. I am trying to get back on track, too, so this blog post was perfect timing for me. I ate right today and have already done my weights and cardio.

      It’s all about accountability for me. Maybe we could be accountable to each other??

    2. Sundi D. Hayes
      Sundi D. Hayes says:

      Wow! 10 fruits and 10 veggies a day seems like a lot. I think I’m doing good at 2 or 3 of each every day. You’ve inspired me to do better. I think I have the exercise down so maybe the diet adjustment is exactly what I need. I’m following along and wish you luck!

    3. Elizabeth Herzer
      Elizabeth Herzer says:

      Ok, so are you tired of me yet Gail????

      I applaud you for having the courage to write about this in your blog, and then make the commitment to take action! I love your generous offer to begin a support group – sign me up! I hope others will read this and participate as well, so we can all work together towards our personal goals and support each other along the way.

      Your story really resonates with me, and I feel like you could have been writing about me. I have really been struggling for the past year with my weight, and it has seriously impacted how I feel about myself, and the lack of having “a life.” I am not fitting into most of my clothes and I absolutely refuse to give in and buy larger sizes. I have even recently purchased clothes in the size I have always been and am supposed to be, so I will have some fun new clothes to wear when I get through this. It is so ironic that I find myself so miserable and wanting to expand my life and my social circle, yet due to the way I view myself in the mirror, I am missing out on so many opportunities to create a life. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent woman, so what is up with this? And, to make it even crazier, when I am eating healthy, getting exercise, and generally taking care of myself I feel soooooooo much better! So, why am I stuck in this pattern? I am under a lot of stress at the moment with my job search, but I was equally stressed out last year with a job that was completely wrong for me. Excuses begone! It is time to take responsibility in this important area of my life too, and get back to being the person I am meant to be.

      I would love to be a part of this with you and anyone else that would like to make the commitment. I am committing to lose 20 pounds also, and in addition to fitting into my clothes and getting my dream job I am going to look and feel HOT! I am committing to begin immediately. I have not committed any food sins yet 😉 so I might as well begin the journey right now.

    4. Dawn Herring
      Dawn Herring says:

      Thanks for being so transparent and courageous to share like you did. I’m glad you’ve already had one successful day with the change in your eating habits. When I read your ‘eating to live, not living to eat,’ it reminded me of an adage my husband shared with me months ago about working to live, not living to work. It’s approaching life positively and making choices in what you do that are healthy for you; things that bring joy and vitality, rather than self-defeating thoughts and actions. Waking up in the morning looking forward to all the day will bring and all you bring, positively, to your day.
      Thanks for bringing such great inspiration to your tweets; they are very encouraging!

      Dawn Herring
      JournalWriter Freelance
      Be Refreshed!
      writing in genres of memoir, essay, devotional, humor, fiction, and poetry.

    5. Jill, The Veggie Queen
      Jill, The Veggie Queen says:

      Congratulations for sharing this and for listening to Dr. Leslie (isn’t she great). Eating well is the best reward for your body and brain. I hope that you’ll be amazed at how you CAN do it.

      I try to eat well as often as I can and it makes a huge difference in my energy level. Just the other day I was feeling tired so I quickly made some kale with onions and garlic. I know that it sounds weird but I felt so much better.

      I’m rooting for you. And I am sure that Dr. Leslie will help you in her most encouraging way. Keep inspiring us.

    6. Julia Rogers Hamrick
      Julia Rogers Hamrick says:

      Dear Gail~

      I appreciate your transparency and know others will find courage in it as well.

      I hope you’ll let go of the “this is my FAULT” mindset. Lovingly accepting what is and being non-judgmental and fully embracing of yourself will surely be more productive. It’s hard to trust someone you consider has done you wrong, and right now, that’s what you’ve been thinking about yourself!

      Getting healthier means being whole, something that is not possible when you’re in conflict with yourself. This is something I’m working with myself, by the way, so me saying it to you is an affirmation for me. 🙂



    7. Christie
      Christie says:

      Hi Gail!

      This is great! Thank you for sharing with us all what you’re up to. I need this in my life. I have more than 20lbs to lose, so this will be a great start for me! I have had a horrible food day up to this point, but there’s no time like the present to start a new habit!

      Thanks so much!


    8. Kimberly Englot
      Kimberly Englot says:

      Great Post! I applaud your courage to share this with others. I have just finished writing an action guide for authentic weight loss (Eat, Shrink and Be Happy) where I talked about my journey to losing 25 lbs in 3 months eating what I wanted, when I wanted to.

      You’re so right when you say you’re fat on the inside! Until you deal with the “fat” in your head, you’re never going to be thin in body. Losing 20 – 30 lbs might be a temporary fix, but you’ll go back to feeling unhappy and the dis-ease that caused you to gain the weight in the first place is still there.

      It’s not about the food. I talk about learning to love yourself regardless of the outside, because when you can do that, you automatically (and effortlessly) take better care of yourself to prolong the good, happy feelings. I don’t want to get into it here, because this isn’t about me, but I study a lot of the Law of Attraction and it’s all there!

      You go girl! You’re an inspiration to me and anyone else who is struggling to lose the last 5, 10, or 40 lbs!

      Take Care!


    9. Jenny
      Jenny says:

      This is an excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing your struggle. I’m the same height with the same amount of weight to lose, so I can absolutely relate. I’ve been planning healthy meals for about 3 weeks and while the weight isn’t melting away like I hoped, I am feeling a thousand times better. I’m positive the energy and confidence gained will help with the weight loss.

      Thanks again and best of luck to you!

    10. Patrick Darling
      Patrick Darling says:

      Hi Gail,

      My thoughts will be with you as you move forward with this, and I look forward to hearing how it’s going. I’m not a woman, but at its core, your post trancends gender… in fact it applies not just to a desire to loose some weight (I’ve been there lately too) but really to healing of all forms of sickness. You are role-modeling both courage and the choice for healing for the rest of us, and I thank you for that. Your transparency is truly an inspiration.

      From this, you are already healed, so your gratitude is the perfect response. Bless you and do keep sharing that wonderful inspiration that flows so clearly from your being.

      Keep smiling! 🙂


    11. Tricia Molloy
      Tricia Molloy says:

      Thanks for sharing this. Your revelation resonated with me. I just subscribed to your blog and will join you on this journey.

      Lately, I’ve been led to resume my yoga practice–so good for body,mind and spirit. I also just read how visualizing yourself at your ideal weight and using old (slim) photos of you or photoshopping photos on a vision board can help you subconsciously do what you need to do to get there. Tonight, I’m heading for a family meal at a healthy salad bar. I’ll be focusing on those fruits and veggies!

    12. Elaine
      Elaine says:


      I love your openness and determination. Everything in life is a choice. Thank you for reaching out to us to inspire us all in this way. I’m joining you! My goal is to replace 37 pounds with energy, vitality, and enthusiasm. I’m excited about my sexy, powerful body and all the things it enables me to do. I look forward to celebrating your success and mine!

    13. Deb Erickson
      Deb Erickson says:

      Way to go girl. You are on your way! Don’t look back, it only keeps you stuck. You are an amazing woman with the power to accomplish EVERYTHING you give your focus and intention to.

      I too got myself out of balance with all the travel and pressure of everyday life. I lost 68 pounds last year and feel like I found a new me. I love that you are releasing the pounds, not losing them…you know what happens in the brain when we lose something – we go find it again. Can’t tell you how many times I have lost weight just to find it again. Smile. Release and let vitality come flooding back in. I can’t wait to see how your increased energy impacts your reach in the world.

    14. Gail
      Gail says:

      To all who wrote to me today and commented here- thank you for the outpouring of love and support. I am humbled and honored.

      It’s been a great day and I’m heading to bed. I promise to write more tomorrow on the blog, so please stay tuned.

      Who wants to get up and go hiking at 7am with me tomorrow morning? Okay, Koda (my dog) is raising his paw, but what about any of you? Write and let me know what YOU did to get moving in the morning.

      I’ll post my day two blog in the morning. Big hugs and thank you, thank you, thank you!


    15. Dr. Leslie
      Dr. Leslie says:

      Hey, Gail and all you magnificent women out there in InspireMe Land,

      You are all radiantly glowing!!!! I can see and feel the glow from all the way in this little corner of the Great Northwest. You warm my heart and touch my soul. I bow to you and honor all of you for being the unique, beautiful, brilliant women you are.

      It’s tough to look in the mirror and really SEE the person looking back at you. But it’s even tougher to turn around after and show yourself NAKED to all the world! And that is exactly what you are doing, Gail, and all of you! I’m awed by all of you. Truly touched and inspired by your willingness to shed the veil and be exactly YOU!

      And look at you – you’re gorgeous, simply gorgeous – inside and out!

      The very best part – your shared transparency and willingness to take complete self-responsibility for your body, weight, thoughts, emotions, dreams, actions, non-actions, desires, hurts, pleasures, and everything that makes up you, will not only catapult you to the next level of health, joy, energy, and weight, but will profoundly impact the lives of everyone in your circle and beyond. You are the center of that ripple and have the power to change the world just by BEING you and all you were born to BE.

      You’re so right, Kimberly. In the end, this is not about food and weight at all, is it? It’s about getting your intentions clear and aligning your life with those intentions, your heart, and your soul’s higher purpose. It’s about doing what you know is right for you. That is exhilaration and freedom – freedom to BE all that you were born to BE.

      There are no coincidences. We are all here for a reason, and I believe that reason is to call forth the greatness in each other. May each of us go forward and call forth the greatness in ourselves, in each other, and others, because we are beyond great – we are extraordinary!

      The tears are silently gliding down my cheeks.

      In love and gratitude to you, Gail, and to all InspireMe Women Extrodinaire!

      Dr. Leslie Van Romer

    16. Christine Hohlbaum
      Christine Hohlbaum says:

      Gail ~ thank you so much for your courage to share what many women feel is a dark secret. It’s time to end our collective self-loathing and to begin the process of self-acceptance, gratitude and love. Working in television I see rail-thin women on a daily basis. Are they happier for their waif-like appearance? Chances are they are terrified.

      In closing, I’d like to share a link to my essay, “Forgiveness Pants” and about the decision to love myself, not the image of that which I should be, first.

    17. Dr. Leslie
      Dr. Leslie says:


      Just a little “two cents” from me re: 21-day habit!

      I have known about that “21-day habit” thing for years, like all of us. Just between you and me, I’d love to look the guy (was it Ben Franklin?) in the eye and say, “What! Are you kidding me???? That’s a bunch of crappola!” That means if you happen to be a chocoholic (or whatever) and you don’t eat chocolate for 21 days, the 22nd day you won’t want it or the 23rd or the 55th??? That means if you exercise 21 days in a row, on the 22nd day you’re going to pop out of bed – with no chatter in your brain.

      Don’t know about you but it literally took me 21 years (no kidding!) to FINALLY nix the mental tug-of-war every morning: Get up, go back to sleep, get up, go back to sleep, get up, go back to sleep…..

      And then one blessed day it happened – my body clicked into auto-pilot, the chatter ceased and getting up early to exercise magically transformed into a daily ritual – after 21 years!!!

      Changing eating habits is way tougher! We’re hooked on the foods we were raised to love and that are around us all the time. Shedding those deeply tatooed eating habits happens – one baby step at a time – but it takes time and that “P” word, Gail – patience and lots of it.

      So, be patient and very kind to yourself. 21 days is a great jump start, but it’s after that that the work really begins!

      Be prepared to dig deep and stay for the long haul – and this time it’s the long haul of your life!!!

      And when you get derailed yet again (and you will if you are a mere mortal on this planet), remember:

      “The only slip-up is to give up!” Just hop aboard one more time!

      Dr. Leslie

    18. Lorrie
      Lorrie says:

      Intuitive and highly sensitive people tend to use food to ground. Years ago I attended a kind of psychic convention at the A.R.E. and noticed that almost everyone was seriously overweight.

      I did not want to be an overweight psychic, and so learned new grounding techniques and prayed for the willingness to incorporate a 12-step program, if need be. It was incredibly helpful!

      Being willing to Not do things the way I’d always done them, actually contributed to my inner strength, well being and future working as a psychic. At the time, I just knew I didn’t want to be a fat psychic.

      I’m new at your blog so really enjoying your honesty!

    19. Jodie
      Jodie says:

      You know – it’s funny. I just watched the video you have on your home page for the first time and all the time I was thinking “OMG… she’s so photogenic!” and lamenting my own lack thereof just after I had tried to have some decent, current headshots done. This resonated with me – I HAD lost a lot of weight, then went and put it back on. The jeans mock me.

      I’m in 😉


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