In March of 2020 I was introduced to Dr. Stacy Kimmel, a SHAPE practitioner located in central Florida. Like many of us who have struggled with weight issues, I was a veteran of dozens of diets and weight loss programs over the years, none of which helped me maintain weight loss. I was skeptical that the SHAPE Program would be any different. I didn’t believe there was anything left for me to learn about dieting (been there, done that!) and in my first consultation with Dr. Stacy, I challenged him to tell me how SHAPE would be anything new for a veteran dieter like me.

Lucky for me, Dr. Stacy is a truly gifted practitioner who was up for the challenge. He helped me understand that SHAPE is a different approach. Rather than calorie-reduction, the goal is to maximize body chemistry and metabolism to release toxic fat and restore health. He also understood that a lifetime of being overweight comes with some emotional baggage that has to be discussed, which wasn’t something any of my medical doctors were prepared to get into despite years of telling me I needed to lose weight.

During my six-month SHAPE Program journey, I continued to challenge Dr. Stacy and he never failed to provide the help and support I needed. When I complained about feeling deprived and struggling with mouth hunger, he described the metabolic process going on in my body that created those feelings. He never failed to provide context for what I was experiencing which, for the first time, made me realize that other diets kept me focused on the wrong things. Success shouldn’t be about willpower and the number on the bathroom scale, but about giving myself unprocessed, natural foods and gaining back a lifetime of health.

I also realized that all the other diets I had tried were based on the promise of happiness at the end. Through the SHAPE Program, with Dr. Stacy’s support, I finally acknowledged being a healthy weight didn’t magically protect me from experiencing emotional discomfort. Life requires us to manage its ups and downs without using food to sooth uncomfortable feelings—something I’d never really learned to do before.

Fifty pounds lighter, I’m still learning that lesson. I’m not perfect, but none of us are, and each day is a chance to show up and be brave without the crutch of comfort foods. With the promise of 2021 coming soon, thanks to Dr. Stacy and SHAPE ReClaimed, I’m going forward with great health and every opportunity to live a life that’s genuinely my own.