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    “No man is fit to command another who cannot command himself.”

    —William Penn, seventeenth century British religious leader and founder of Pennsylvania

    The advice contained in this book is provided for motivational purposes only. It is based on my extensive, personal (and sometimes painful) experience and research in diet, fitness, beauty, and fashion. I have the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Obesity, having lived a lifetime in chronic obesity’s shoes.

    The information in the book is not intended as a substitute for a medically supervised diet plan. The ideas and methods I put forth are my opinion, based on what has worked for me, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the doctors and health care providers who are part of my personal health and fitness team. I  include them here as personal references because they did what I feel health care professionals should do:

    They treated me like an individual and helped me develop diet, health, and fitness methods that work for me and can work for you, too. My incredible 150-pound weight loss is the result of intense self-motivation, developing discipline, daily fitness walking, and the careful contributions of all of these gifted professionals. Each has greatly impacted my well-being and physical and personal appearance, when so many others I consulted either could not or would not. I am where I am today in part because of them, and I am lucky to be able to call each of them a friend.

    If the diet, health, and fitness plan you currently follow is not working for you, please question every professional with whom you’re working. It is your responsibility to carefully consider what diet, medical, health, and fitness advice you choose to follow or reject. Find the right doctors and/or health care providers for you—the ones who will work with you on your terms. Tell them what’s working for you and what’s not, and go forward from there. When it comes to your health care and the professionals you choose to work with, remember: It’s your money. It’s your body. It’s your life.

    Keep searching until you get the positive results you desire. It has taken me a lifetime to achieve the healthy lifestyle I have now, and I feel compelled to share my success with everyone who is in need of a motivational best friend.

    I can certainly help make you over into the new person your old person only dreams of being, beginning with improving your health and losing  weight by finding the diet that’s right for you and by walking your way to wellness. I’m always here for you in any way I can be. Just call or e-mail me.

    James Hill, M.D.
    Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
    Department of Orthopedic Surgery
    Northwestern University
    675 N. St. Clair Street
    Suite 17-100
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Tel 312-695-6800
    Fax 312-695-0236

    This man is truly a god among men and one of the most gifted, brilliant, sincere, and unassuming human beings you’ll ever meet. He saved my right leg after a hideous skiing accident many years ago and today I walk daily largely because of him. (He was the eighth doctor I consulted within the week immediately following my ski accident. Doctor number seven and number eight concurred on the course of my treatment; I chose Dr. Hill.)

    Mark Stolar, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Division of Endocrinology
    Northwestern University
    Northwestern Internists, Ltd.
    676 N. St. Clair Street
    Suite 415
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Tel 312-335-1133
    Fax 312-335-9774

    Another god among men. He listened, he never prejudged, and he took steps to help me find myself where none other could or would. I am forever grateful. Dr. Stolar was probably the sixth doctor I went to over the course of several years for weight loss and wellness help. Second, third, and even fourth opinions do count; they help you find the right way to wellness for you.

    Julius Few, M.D.
    The Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
    875 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite #3850
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Tel 312-202-0882
    2013-Present: Health System Clinician, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    2008-Present: Clinical Associate, Division of Plastic Surgery

    2000-2008: Assistant and Associate Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine The third god in the triumvirate, Dr. Few has worked miracles with my body that I never thought possible: tummy tuck, new and improved belly button, breast lift, and underarm and inner thigh lifts—and it’s not over yet.

    Colleen M. Fitzgerald, MD, MS
    Associate Professor
    Loyola University Medical Center
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Division of Uro-gynecology, Pelvic Medicine
    2160 S. First Ave.
    Maywood, IL 60153
    Appts: 708-216-2180
    Assistant: Frankie Bailey 708-216-2170
    E-mail: cfitzgerald@lumc.edu

    Goddess of “Detective Medicine,” as I like to call her. She had the tenacity to get to the bottom of my chronic nerve pain and pinpoint arachnoiditis of the spine. If not for her, I’d still be pursuing every fad treatment in the book without knowing why none would work for me. She helped me channel my strength and fitness efforts to hang onto what physical abilities I have left and then build upon that, which I work on every single day.

    Cynthia E. Caldarella, D.C.
    Chiropractic Physician
    The Wellness Studio
    1731 N. Marcey St., Suite 530
    Chicago, IL 60614
    Tel (312) 852-7850

    B.S. in psychology, University of Iowa
    B.S. in general science, National College of Chiropractic (Now known as National University of Health Sciences)
    Dr. of Chiropractic, National College of Chiropractic (Now known as National University of Health Sciences)

    Ten months ago, I had steroid shots in my cervical and lumbar spine for some of my chronic pain issues. I traditionally get these injections twice a year and had the last ones in June 2012, and they worked like the proverbial charm. This last series I received worked their magic for about a week. It was heaven being totally pain free. Then, for whatever reason, they backfired and I was left to deal with incredible pain that was off the charts. The shots aggravated instead of soothed my spinal condition. I was never more miserable in my life. Nothing, nothing, nothing I tried worked. A friend recommended I see chiropractor, Dr. Cynthia Caldarella, to help manage the pain and also get me on the road to a more holistic way of wellness. I have to say that Dr. C. worked her butt off to help me. My improvement was slow, but steady. Now she helps me manage my chronic pain without steroids or shots. Dr. C. is quite a wonderful addition to my medical support team and I am proud to also call her a friend.

    Jackie Detry, CMT
    Certified Pilates Trainer
    Certified Gyrokinesis/Gyrotonics Trainer
    East Bank Club
    500 N. Kingsbury Street
    Chicago, IL 60654

    While I was losing weight and developing my daily walking regimen, I knew I needed something more to help me get stronger and manage my chronic pain more effectively. The meager weight training I was doing at the time clearly wasn’t enough. Then I discovered Pilates and Jackie Detry. Jackie is a master of her craft; I like to call her my “Pilates Therapist” because of what she did for me. I took six years of weekly private lessons with Jackie, and we then added Gyrotonics, a vital addition to balance my weekly fitness routine. I can’t say enough about Pilates, Gyrotoncis, and Jackie Detry. They all help strengthen my core.

    Julie O’Connell, PT
    Performing Arts Medicine Manager
    Athletico Physical Therapy
    East Bank Club
    500 N. Kingsbury Street
    Chicago, IL 60654
    Tel 312-527-5801 ext.278

    Julie was athletic trainer for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team (Greece) and artistic trainer for The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, and many other top dance companies across the country. Dr. James Hill, my orthopedic surgeon, sent me to Julie, Supreme Goddess of the PT World, to stave off a total knee replacement for as long as possible. (See the following on Dr. Stulberg.) I scoffed. I whined. I moaned and dragged my feet because I didn’t understand what miracles and healing power physical therapy had until Julie got her hands on me—literally. She worked my bones, muscles, and frame like no one else ever did. She twisted, pulled, elbowed, yanked, and prodded my crooked leg and other structural issues to make me straighter and stronger in every way possible. When I remarked how much her ministrations had improved my walking and how much stronger I was, she replied, “You’re in command of the ground now, the ground is no longer in command of you.” She wasn’t kidding.

    Erin Weinhardt, PT, DPT
    Athletico Physical Therapy
    East Bank Club
    Assistant Facility Manager
    Physical Therapist
    500 N. Kingsbury St.
    Chicago, IL 60654
    Tel 312-527-5801 x 278
    Fax 312-644-4567

    During this last go-around with my spine pain flare, Erin stepped in to help me with more PT, under instruction and direction from Dr. Cynthia Calderella. It helps when your doctor and PT are on the same page. There are no excuses and these two gals really help me get through my days, enabling me to practice what I teach.

    Dr. S. David Stulberg
    Northwestern Orthopaedic Institute
    680 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite #924
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Tel 312-664-6848
    Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

    Founder and director of the Joint Reconstruction and Implant Service at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Dr. Stulberg is a member of the Hip Society and the Knee Society of America, a cofounder of the International Society for Technology in Arthoplasty, a founding member of the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, a member of the Board of Directors of Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and is on staff at Rush North Shore Medical Center. A pioneer in computer-assisted, minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr. S. David Stulberg is universally recognized as being one of the world’s top orthopaedic surgeons. He has taught, influenced, and inspired thousands of physicians and surgeons from all over the world.

    Dr. Stulberg is especially proud of his leadership role with “Operation Walk Chicago,” through which hundreds of total joint replacements are annually performed free of charge in disadvantaged areas throughout the world. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Stulberg holds several patents on surgical instruments and is also a coauthor of books and hundreds of professional publications. He lectures frequently in America and abroad. In June of 2009, I finally had to throw up the white flag and get a total right knee replacement. And, you know me, after doing all the research, and liking to go only to the best, I chose Dr. Stulberg to do the surgery. Boy, am I ever glad I did. I now have a straight right leg for the first time in the nearly twenty years since my hideous skiing accident, and I can walk better than I did the day before the surgery. On March 31, 2011, Dr. Stulberg replaced my left knee, which became the crooked one after the right knee was replaced. I couldn’t imagine what it was going to be like with two straight legs and about 150 pounds less of me to haul around on them. Now I know. The sky’s the limit! And for you, too!

    James R. Bailes, Jr., M.D., F.A.A.P.
    Pediatric Endocrinology
    Specializing in childhood obesity
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Marshall University School of Medicine
    1600 Medical Center Drive, Suite #3500
    Huntington, WV 25701
    Tel 304-691-1300

    Coauthor of No More Fat Kids: A Pediatrician’s Guide For Safe and Effective Weight Loss, Dr. Bailes specializes in childhood obesity and has developed an incredibly successful weight loss program for school-aged children in which they lose weight without feeling hungry. The program improves overall health, lipid profiles, and, most importantly, self-esteem, and has changed the lives of hundreds of children. Dr. Bailes’s straightforward, practical, and easy-to-follow approach will change the life of your child, too. I’m glad he’s now a friend and on my professional medical advisory team. The chapter on Insulin and the Carbohydrate Factor in this book is taken directly from Dr. Jamie’s book, No More Fat Kids: A Pediatrician’s Guide For Safe and Effective Weight Loss with his kind permission, because I wanted to give you the simplest, most comprehensive explanation about this subject that I had available and Dr. Jamie explains it in very simple, understandable terms. I told Jamie that his book should be titled No More Fat People because it’s written for kids but encompasses everyone’s health and fitness regardless of age and could help put an end to our country’s obesity epidemic.

    Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc.
    VP Nutrition & Education
    Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
    Center for Research and Development Quality
    370 E. Maple Avenue, Suite 301
    Langhorne, PA 19047
    Tel 303-395-0973

    A longtime supporter of my cause and the “Maven of Low-Carb Dieting,” Colette jokes that I know more about the Atkins Diet at “the street level,” than they do. And since I continue to live a modified Atkins lifestyle—to the best of my ability, even with constant temptation—to maintain my weight. For the first time in my entire life, I’ve managed to hang onto my 150-pound weight loss for ten years, when before I had zoomed right back up the scale. I’m proud to have Colette on my Professional Advisory Team, too.

    Myles Harston
    AquaRanch Industries
    PO Box 658
    Flannagan, IL 61740
    Tel 309-208-5230

    Myles is the country’s foremost authority and supplier of totally organic, hydroponic, and aquaponics systems, supplies, and equipment. He also grows and sells his incredible organic produce and farm-raised, hormonefree tilapia to restaurants and stores all around the Chicagoland area. Once you’ve tasted Myles’s fresh, organic produce and fish, it’s difficult to eat anything else. His lettuce tastes like lettuce used to taste back when we were kids, before all the pesticides, preservatives, and additives. Myles cultivates and raises the only hormone-free, organic tilapia in the country and once you taste his, you won’t even look at the fish raised in Thailand, China, or anywhere else. Myles is also on my Professional Advisory team because no one on earth knows more about aquaculture, hydroponics, organic farming, and organic fish farming, as well as ethanol and all of the other environmental hazards out there. He’s literally a walking encyclopedia on all things healthy, sustainable, organic, and environmentally sound.

    Dr. Clare M. Ollayos, DC
    30 N. Airlite Street, Suite C
    Elgin, IL 60123
    Tel 847-888-9988

    Dr. Clare took care of all my chiropractic needs when I had my talk radio show in Elgin, Illinois. She’s a terrific chiropractor and especially gifted with acupuncture, helping me manage my chronic pain in a very holistic, gentle way.

    Dr. Eleanor (Elly) Laser, Ph.D.
    Cell 312 961 7727

    Dr. Elly uses the hypnosis technique “Sweet Tooth Extraction” to help those of us who are hopelessly, chronically addicted to sweets, no matter how low-carb we eat. Once an addict, always an addict, I always say. It’s all in how you manage your addiction, isn’t it? Elly helped me manage my chocolate addiction by “extracting my sweet tooth.”

    Dr. Sergey Sokolov, DN
    NES & Bioresonance Professional
    Professional Track & Field Coach
    Cell 847-708-9562

    Sergey is my ultimate PT—the Physical Therapist & Personal Trainer I cannot live without. He and I work together every Thursday morning for forty-five minutes; part of that time he works on my soft tissue and using Thai massage, stretching, and other modalities, then we work on strength and balance techniques that I practice every single day right after my minimum of an hour’s cardio. If you have physical issues like I do and refuse to let them stop you in your tracks on your way to healthier weight loss and improved fitness, you have to see a very good, qualified physical therapist/personal trainer. Your health and well-being depend on it. And if you practice daily what they teach you in your sessions, you’ll move and groove much better.