“I made peace with food”
Jackie Halgash, 54,Warrington,PA
Pounds Lost: 100 Height: 5’7″ Weight Now: 145 Weight Then: 245
Church was one of the last places Jackie Halgash thought she’d go to lose weight. Though she was raised as a Catholic, she never considered herself overly religious. Still, when a friend suggested she try a faith-based diet program, she agreed. Her weight had reached 245 pounds; she felt like she had no other place to go. In 2002, Halgash signed up for a Catholic plan called the Light Weigh. Its message: Seek comfort in God, not food. That’s what hit home for Halgash: “I’d gorge on cookies when I was sad, and it didn’t help,” she recalls. Through Bible study classes and videos, she figured out that she needed something more profound to feel at peace. “It’s like I had a spiritual ‘hole’ in my heart,” explains Halgash. “I tried to fill it with food but never felt content. When I turned to prayer, I felt complete.” One basic lesson she learned: Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. “We were given hunger cues for a reason,” she says. If she’s tempted to eat more, Halgash thinks of giving up the excess food as a sacrifice for someone else–her children or the patients in the hospital where she works. “Cutting portions is easier when it’s an act of love,” she says. Within 18 months, Halgash lost 100 pounds–and maintained it since.
My Faith Helps Me… Stop judging foods “I used to think if I ate salad, I was being good; if I ate ice cream, I was bad. Now, food is simply food. There are no more moral consequences to eating.”
Expert Tips Follow hunger cues and control portions–both are key to losing weight, says Moloo. Tips to stay on track:
Take five When you have a craving, wait a few minutes before you eat. A change of pace or a couple of deep breaths may also help it pass.
Eat in slow motion Put your fork down after each bite and chew your food thoroughly (and swallow) before picking it up again. This makes you more conscious of when you’re full.
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