?It?s not a chore, it?s a pleasure,? ABC news correspondent Mara Schiavocampo says of her new approach to healthy eating and healthy living.?
But this wasn?t always the case.
In her new book, ?Thinspired ? How I Lost 90 Pounds: My Plan For Lasting Weight Loss and Self-Acceptance,? the two-time Emmy award-winning journalist shares with readers the story of her lifelong struggle with weight dating back to her childhood days when she was actually weighed regularly and made to feel guilty if she had gained a few pounds.?
But after some soul searching and some ?small, incremental life changes,? it seems that the worst is behind her. She still struggles, but it?s a healthy struggle – a healthy journey.? The new mother and NYC resident found a way to embrace a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a nutritional diet and a positive attitude ? with emphasis on the positive attitude. ?Self-love is supremely important,? she writes.
So determined was she to get control of her weight situation, Schiavocampo gave up the things she loves the most in exchange for substitutes she deemed less problematic. ?If I could just purge my diet of those things I craved exclusively…? she explains. She came up with a list of items to eliminate from her diet – and she stuck to that list. She even reduced her intake of wine – and she?s half-Italian! Such discipline.?????
A fun, relatable read, the book comes with easy-to-make, delicious low-fat recipes, some of which, I immediately incorporated into my own selection of dinner options! A great motivator, Schiavocampo writes with honesty, humor and sincerity, yet a level of authority that tells you that she knows what she?s talking about. By the end of the book, you?ll wish you lived next door to her in the hopes of becoming her workout buddy.??????
We recently caught up with Schiavocampo to talk about the book. ??????
TNJ.com: So, how did you make the decision to write the book?
Mara Schiavocampo: It came about very organically. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. After I had my daughter, I gained 40 pounds after pregnancy and I was the heaviest I had ever been by far. So I was really focused on and determined to get that weight off. I wasn?t in a low place emotionally and I didn?t feel bad about myself. I was focused. I was not going to give myself any excuses or any outs. So I started making changes that worked and when I started losing a few pounds, it seemed like everybody started noticing it at the same time. You know how you have to lose a lot of weight before people actually notice! And everybody was asking me daily, ?What are you doing?!? I really wanted to answer that question honestly so I started putting together notes of what I was doing. I would send those notes to people, and that became the book.?????????
TNJ.com: What?s the single most important thing you want readers to walk away with after reading the book? What point do you most hope resonates with readers?
M.S.: It would be hard to choose one but I can probably choose three!
One is the mental journey. It?s important to choose small goals. I did not set out to lose 90 pounds. I set out to lose three pounds and then three more and three more because you want it to be a very sane journey. I would rather be overweight and sane than thin and tortured. And so if you?re torturing yourself over your weight loss efforts, you have to take a step back and re-set. Telling yourself you?re going to lose three pounds in the next two weeks is so pressure-free and relaxing. And then you can live your life and not be so stressed about the mission ahead of you. Small goals are the keys to victory.
Secondly, if you want to lose weight, you have to clean up your diet. It sounds so obvious but if it were that obvious, so many of us wouldn?t be struggling with this issue. We think that it?s about how much water we drink, whether we work out, whether we eat late at night or whether we eat breakfast?None of that matters. What matters is what kind of food you?re eating and how much of it you?re eating. And that?s going to determine all of your success of losing weight.
The third is that it?s a struggle and a journey. Three years into this I have been successful. For three years straight, I have been either losing weight or maintaining my weight. That?s success but it?s still a struggle for me every single day.? And I say that not to discourage people but to prepare people for the challenge. Because if food is something you struggle with, you will probably always struggle with it. Just walk in your strength in fighting it.?????
TNJ.com: What do you love the most about your new, healthy lifestyle?
M.S.: If you had asked me that question beforehand, I would have talked about shopping, bathing suits, fitting into a size 6…but those things aren?t the best stuff. The best stuff is really how I feel. I don?t get food hangovers anymore. I don?t binge on junk food and wake up in the morning feeling like I?m in a ditch. I wake up full of energy and ready to face the day and I love exercising because I love being in touch with my body. I love feeling strong. I love the feeling of my breath when my heart rate is going up and coming back down. So just the gifts of health have been so phenomenal and such an unexpected joy.?????
TNJ.com: As a new mom, have you given any thought to the advice you will give your daughter if she ever develops weight problems the way you did during your childhood?
M.S. It?s interesting that you ask that because I?ve thought about that a lot. I feel really sad for overweight children because I was an overweight child. And the reason I feel bad for them is because in a lot of cases, adults place way too much responsibility on the child. Children don?t have money, they don?t grocery shop, they don?t cook and they don?t plan their activities. So if a child is overweight, it probably has very little to do with them. If I saw that she was developing a weight problem, I would take it very seriously. I would look at myself, the household, the environment, and her activities first, second, third and fourth. Because if we have fresh, healthy food in the house and that?s all she?s eating and if I?m signing her up for soccer and swimming then I can?t see a problem like that persisting. What I can say for certain is that I will offer her unconditional love, support and encouragement in whatever her struggle is in life. But she will never feel shame for what she?s struggling with.