Janice Skaggs didn’t know when she woke up on Feb. 21, 2012 that her life would drastically change that day.
She knew she was overweight — how could she not know? That fact stared at her every day. But on Feb. 21 she found out she weighed more than 350 pounds. Despite all the evidence, she just couldn’t believe she could weigh that much.
The year before, she had discovered that she had endometrial cancer. She had to have a complete hysterectomy at 37 years old. After many years of trying to conceive, her journey to motherhood was over. With that devastating news, 2011 had been an especially bad year for her. Then came the news that her weight may have caused that cancer. Still, she did not make the changes necessary to lose weight. Instead, she ate even more to help relieve her pain.
But in that doctor’s office on Feb. 21, 2012, with 356 pounds staring in her disbelieving face, Janice had a revelation. What was she doing? She should have a long, active life to live, and instead she was doing nothing but eating herself to death. She thought about the surgeon telling her that her weight may have contributed to her cancer and she thought: “Never again!” She could not guarantee that cancer would not revisit her, but she could guarantee it wouldn’t come from her excess weight.
Janice already owned my book Think and Grow Thin. In fact, she owned every diet book, fad and trick available. But Janice soon discovered that something about this book was different. Her husband said he had heard that this book was not so much a diet but more a way to change your emotional eating habits. Once Janice started reading it, she couldn’t put it down. By the time she got to the actual diet section she thought: “I can do this!” And she did.
After so many years of trying every diet plan out there, Janice has finally achieved success. She is currently down 156 pounds after about one year, and her weight is still dropping. She estimates she will hit her goal weight by June 2013. And after years of being lazy and doing little but sitting and eating, Janice now loves to be active. She started by doing water aerobics, then graduated to water walking, then Zumba, and has now completed a 10k and a cave walk. She says: “I cannot believe I am about to say this, but I love to exercise! It finally does not hurt; it feels amazing!”
This does not mean Janice has never gone off track during her journey. She has had slip ups, but because her mindset has now changed, she has no trouble getting back on track again. What helps to keep her on the right path is that she gets so many compliments from her friends and family, who all tell her how great she looks and how proud they are of her. She barely recognizes herself in the mirror — in a good way!
Janice knows that she will continue to eat healthfully and exercise because she loves the way she feels now and wants to continue to feel this good. Her plan is to live a long, healthy life and inspire others. “I’m so happy now that it’s almost impossible for me to stop smiling,” she says.
She says Think and Grow Thin provided her with tools that made sense to her when she was at a sad, scared place in her life and on the verge of breakdown. “Charles inspired and helped me become the proud, motivated, inspiring, happy woman I am today,” she says. “I will continue to change, but I will never go back to the sad person I was before changing my life.”
I feel so blessed to be the vehicle God uses to reach out to people inspiring them to change. Janice is proof that when you step up, do what you can the best way you can, God takes care of the rest! Know that regardless of how insurmountable any challenge you face may seem, you don’t have to allow it to defeat you, but rather can use it to get stronger! Everything you experience in life isn’t by chance but rather to give you a chance to expand yourself and gifts. You can use your greatest challenge to propel you to your greatest success!