04/12/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Will You Ever Reach Your Goal?

I used to hate football season. Actually, I loved football, it was just what the sportscasters used to say that bothered me. I'd be driving along in my mini van listening and their conversation would eventually turn to the immense size of the players - (in my best newscaster voice) "This guy is massive. He weighs in at 250 pounds! This linebacker could take out a tank." I would sit there and cringe. I was a 5'6" female that outweighed these football players by more than a hundred pounds! Losing enough weight to even get down to a football player's size, let alone a recommended weight for a woman of my height seemed insurmountable to me. I thought to myself, "I will never make it to goal. It is impossible. I will never, ever be thin." (excerpt from Finally Thin, Random House 2009).

At 350 pounds, trying to imagine losing that much weigh was overwhelming to say the least. Many people hear my story and believe that I was "full of motivation and determination," "strong and ready to face any challenge that came my way," with "more willpower than they could ever have." In reality, the opposite is true. When I started my diet this last time, I was broken, scared, hurting beyond belief, and hoping to somehow reach the 300 pound mark before the inevitable falling off the wagon, again, gaining it all back and more. There was no strength. There was no fortitude. There was a deep longing mixed with a sad knowledge of what I thought to be the truth about myself.

Have you ever felt that way? Whether you're struggling with the same ten pounds over and over again. Whether you're facing a much larger challenge that almost appears insurmountable. Whether you are desperate to feel "hot" in the new season fashions or whether the hooded eyelids staring back at you simply mirror the inward aches and pains of a lifetime of excess body weight. Whatever your unique situation, wherever you're coming from ... are you ready to try again?

When I started again in 2001 for the "bajillionth" time, I didn't believe I would ever be thin. However, I did believe that I could lose one pound. And that's all I needed to get me started. Two years later I had lost 212 lbs, 14 dress sizes, 4 ring sizes, 1-1/2 shoe sizes and 200 points of cholesterol. I had lost a lot, but I had gained so much more. I was given the ability to breathe easily, move swiftly and crouch effortlessly. I could cross my legs, buckle up in a car and tie my own shoes. I stopped snoring and started playing with my children. My weight loss has saved me time, money, years of living and ... not for nothing ... room in my drawers as I now need only one clothing size. But most of all it has given me a joy, a purpose - and that is to share the hope with others. The hope and belief that after all the diets, all the weight losses and all the weight regained, there can be a one last time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and a victory dance to be danced. I've danced it and want more than anything to watch others dance it, too.

You can lose a pound. You can get to goal. You can stay there. Don't give up. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up."