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I grew up in a fat family. My mother was the worst of all of us (perhaps you’ve heard of her?)

Friday night was “family snack-dinner” night. Mozzarella sticks, pizza bagels, potato skins, chicken nuggets, and tater tots made up the foundation of my diet. A frozen pizza or two for lunch, two boxes of mac ‘n cheese for dinner, breakfast at midnight (I called it breakfast because it normally consisted of three bowls of cereal). The only way I perceived food was as a bringer of pleasure -- not fuel for my body.

I wasn’t taught to think about my food. I just ate. And ate.

Eventually, I went from “husky” to “fat.” I started hiding my body more and more. Luckily, baggy clothes were cool for a kid my age. Thank golly the “skinny jean” trend came later!

I was very aware of my weight. I would lock my bedroom door just to change my shirt. I didn’t want anyone to see what I was hiding. My father took notice of the new, more self-conscious Adam. When I was around 12, he asked me why I was seeking more privacy. I answered sheepishly, “Because I look like a pregnant woman when I take my shirt off.” LOL. I was hilarious.

I’d keep my shirt on at the beach. At pool parties, I’d make it my mission to fall into the pool with my clothes on. It would get a good laugh out of everyone (I was a clown), but more importantly it would give me an excuse to stay covered.

I joined Weight Watchers® when I was 12 or 13. I probably lost a few pounds. I can’t really remember though. I do remember my sister telling all of her friends that I was dieting. Mortifying for a 13 year old boy, you can imagine.

It didn’t help that I was an artsy kid, not an athlete. I lived a sedentary life. The most exercise I got was sitting at my drum set. I’d break a sweat once a day (seriously, playing drums can be a decent workout), but I certainly wasn’t outrunning what I ate.

I remained overweight through high school and most of college. I figured it would stay that way forever. Dieting was too hard. I couldn’t make it stick. My bad eating habits were going stay with me forever . . .

I was wrong! Hallelujah! Of course, I didn’t change overnight. It started right around my 22nd birthday, and it all began with exercise. I wanted to get some peace and quiet from the small college I attended. I started walking around the neighborhood with my headphones in. As a drummer, I couldn’t help myself from walking to the beat. Sometimes that meant speedwalking.

Speedwalking became jogging, jogging became running, until I eventually was running 3 miles a day. I even ran a half-marathon a few years ago.

I also made new eating habits. That began with broadening my pallet. I knew I couldn’t just eat pizza and nachos for the rest of my life and expect to lose weight. So in 2010, I made a New Year’s resolution: whenever I went out to eat, I had to eat whatever I ordered as it appeared on the menu. I couldn’t say “no tomatoes,” or “no broccoli.” I had to eat it as it was, veggies and all.

Today, I’ll eat almost anything! Roasted broccoli is one of my favorite snacks. Eventually I learned to limit my portions and eat only until I was satisfied, not stuffed. Vegetables truly saved my life. I can get all the volume I desire, and still maintain my weight.

Long story short, I lost over 80 pounds!

Today, I follow my mother’s Options® program. I also write the daily motivational emails for Kim Bensen Weight Loss. It really is an honor, a priviledge, and an absolute joy being a part of peoples' journeys on a daily basis. (ps. I do read all of the responses to those emails. Unfortunately I can't reply to all of them. But please, keep 'em coming!)

Pre-plan, people. Pre-plan. I’m sure you’ll hear me saying that adnauseum for as long as I’m here. Seriously, it makes all the difference. Weight loss is always going to come down to food-choice and portion control. Pre-planning makes that much easier. Decide everything you will eat for the day ahead of time, and won't have to make all those tough decisions throughout the day. It also helps if you know someone inspirational who lost over 200 pounds (and if you’re reading this, you do)!

Here’s the real secret to weight loss: you have to want it. If you’re really looking to lose weight, nothing is going to get in your way unless you let it. That’s not to say it will be easy. That’s not to say you won’t struggle (because you definitely will). All I’m saying is that if you want it, you can freaking do it.

How do I know that? Because I did it.


So get moving! Now is always the right time.



Note from Kim: Statistics prove that a child with one obese parent has a 50% chance of being obese and a child of two obese parents has an 80% chance of being obese.* The environment our kids are raised in plays a huge part of how they view food, what they think of as portion sizes, the recipes and ways they celebrate times together ... it plays a huge part in who they are. With a 350 pound food-addicted mom, Adam never had a chance.


While 'mother guilt' is always present if you've raised a child who struggles with obesity, please remember that it is never too late to positively affect your children. At any stage in life, we can still set a great example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like.


I'm so proud of you Addy. Always have been, always will be. NNBILYM





THE BENSEN FAMILY IN 2009                               THE BENSEN FAMILY IN MAINE IN 2013




Come on ... it's YOUR turn now!