Michelle Petties

I get it. I've been where you are.

For more than 40 years I struggled with my weight, losing and gaining more than 900 pounds. When hit I 260 pounds. I was devastated. At that point, I stopped even thinking about getting on a scale. I figured, it was just my lot in life, stuck in a body that did not bring me joy. I was high-flying and accomplished in my career and an absolute, abject failure at managing my weight. Pills, powders, protein bars all worked, but only for a while. Then months later I would find myself searching for another “fix.”

I beat myself up daily for what I thought was a lack of willpower, self-control and self-discipline. After all, I knew better. I thought I just loved food more than other people. And they were blessed with better metabolisms.

When you change your thoughts, your actions will follow...

Food is any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc. By now, I’m sure you’re saying, “I know what food is. It’s what I eat everyday.” You are absolutely right. It’s breakfast, snack; lunch, snack; then dinner, dessert, snack.

As I began sleuthing – investigating the mystery of why my food life was out of control for so many years, I discovered something so simple that it challenged my intellect. I realized that throughout my food life, I had gotten so far away from what food was it intended to do — buried underneath what I was using food for.

Nourishing. Sustains life. Provides energy. Promotes growth.

This definition of food is at the heart of my work today and at the foundation of a lifetime of issues that I’ve faced – all because I had created so many other purposes for food that it moved to the background.  Somehow, I’d lost sight of the fact that the purpose of food is nourishment, and the only immediate problem it solves is hunger.


But, when you think about it, food is at the center of so many of our activities that are far removed from hunger.

We eat and drink when we are happy and sad.

We eat to celebrate when people are born and to mourn when they die. For holidays, birthdays, and almost any other celebratory occasion, we use food as entertainment in substitute for joy and fun.

We use food pleasure to cover any discomfort, anger, stress, and fear, that we may be feeling instead of dealing with the discomfort head on.

So over the years, I’d honed my need of food for any occasion. And those occasions became experiences. Then I’d had a myriad of experiences attached to food. And food became the salve for every occasion.

What’s more? These experiences became my Food Stories.

If you let them, your Food Stories will change your life just like they did mine!

Our personal narratives around our experiences and memories of food shape our conscious and unconscious beliefs and habits about who we eat with, who we are when we eat, where we eat, when we eat, what we eat, how and how often we eat and most importantly, why we eat.

So our Food Stories make up our Food Identity. And we have allowed our Food Stories to define us. To tell us who we are. To influence how we eat and what we eat. To keep us in a vicious cycle on the food treadmill.

Until I changed the narrative.

It’s not about the food; it’s about the story behind the food.

Just a few short years ago, I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror because I had started gaining back weight I had worked like a fiend to lose.  I was stuck vicious decades old cycle that I couldn’t seem to stop. Armed with new hope, on September 15, 2018, I started on a journey to take charge of my body and mind. 

As my new smaller body began to emerge, friends, acquaintances, even strangers wanted to know. What’s Your Secret?  More specifically they want to know what I ate or what diet I went on.

While I am happy to share that information, the truth is, you have to have the right mental tools in your toolbox to be successful on any diet program. You have to find one that suits you. Even as you search for the miracle diet, there has to be a great revelation that takes place.

They don't want to hear about a miracle diet, they want to know what made the difference this time. And it was my Food Stories. 

Once you make peace with yourself, the scale will move in the right direction.