Sandra Elia

I have lived two lives. One was as a morbidly obese woman, completely out of control, experiencing paralyzing depression. Food addiction ran my life. I experienced how the world treats large women and found that the way I related to myself was reflected back onto me. The disgust, hatred, and judgment I held for myself was exactly what I encountered in the world. I was on a path of self-destruction. This unnatural state was not my life’s purpose.

Today I live a different life. I am a Certified Food Addiction Counselor, a CTI-certified Wellness Coach, a radio show host, and the Vice Chair for the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Obesity Network. I rebuilt my life from the lowest point I could have ever imagined. I transformed from being morbidly obese to running a half marathon. I went from compulsively eating, to eating for sanity.  For me, this meant eliminating flour, sugar and alcohol from my diet. I went from compulsively weighing myself multiple times each day, to having my doctor weigh me once per year and choosing never to know the number. All I know is that I have lost over 100 pounds. I threw the scale in the trash and released myself from the bondage of the scale.

The number does not define me. Gone are the days of eating to appease the scale; gone are the days of total disappointment after working hard and not seeing the results I wanted, which were often unrealistic. The number on the scale is no longer the prize. The prize is feeling great about what I am doing and how I am feeling. My body isn’t perfect, but I am perfectly in love with me. But this was merely the external transformation. The real work has been an ongoing, daily commitment to spirituality, appreciating that my thoughts are powerful, and cultivating a loving connection with myself and the universe.