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Dana Palumbo

I’ve lost 20 pounds and kept it off without counting one single calorie

When I came to Jena I was 20 pounds overweight, lost and unhappy about it. I’d tried fad diet after fad diet, run hundreds of miles on the treadmill, but I had not lost a pound.

I knew something was off, but thought if I just had more willpower or made it to the gym more, the weight would come off.

It was a miserable approach. I was miserable because of it. That’s when I found Jena. She was thin, pretty and blond. I figured she must know something I didn’t.

During our second session she prescribed “connecting with a good friend without going out for a drink”. This, I did not understand. This was New York after all, what were we supposed to do? And what did this have to do with me getting skinny!?

I had vowed though, to fully invest myself in what she was teaching me, I had committed myself to following through, so I did. I invited a good friend over for dinner.

Jena had given me some quinoa and we cooked it, and we were going to do the belly dancing DVD she gave me as well. By the way, belly dancing was my worst nightmare. I hated my belly. My friend and I were terrible at it. It was actually hilarious. We wound up belly laughing at each other instead.

Afterwards we nibbled our quinoa and chatted about life. We hadn’t talked like that in years. Meeting at noisy restaurants or crowded New York bars just wasn’t conducive to that kind of connection. It was the best night I’d had in months.

After she left, I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I felt relaxed, sated and happy. I didn’t feel like snacking in front of the TV. I hadn’t actually even thought about food all night. This was strange for me, since I’d been obsessing about calories and weight loss for a very long time.

It was absolutely freeing. I remember smiling to myself before I went to sleep because I had finally gotten it. I realized what it was that Jena knew that I hadn’t.

Weight loss was about enjoying myself rather than depriving myself.

Connecting with a friend was far more effective than willpower. Enjoying a great night was more filling than any food. It was amazing. I started to look at my entire life differently. My career, my home, my relationships, my spiritual practice, everything was connected to losing the weight.

If I focused my energy on feeling amazing, on enjoying myself, on creating a fantastic life, the weight would disappear, effortlessly.

And disappear it did. I’ve lost 20 pounds and kept it off without counting one single calorie.

I remember the day I pulled on my jeans from high school again for the first time. I emailed Jena to say thank you. I told her that working with her was the best decision I’d ever made. I then went on to help other women do the same.

Dana Palumbo, Health Coach.

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