My Personal and Private Struggle with Weight, Body Image, and Self-Confidence

#1I beat myself up over my weight and how I look everyday. It starts in the morning when I tell myself, “Today is the day you change.” And I truly believe it…for about 10 minutes. I’ve been telling myself that exact same thing, every single day, for the past four years. And I’ve failed, every single day, for the past four years. Why is today going to be any different?

It’s scary and exciting to start over like I did when I moved 2,200 miles away from everything I’d ever known. But people in the Great Northwest never knew “the real me.” Thinner. For all they know, I’ve always been like this. A failure.

Station events have become the bane of my existence. Not because I don’t like interacting with our amazing listeners but because I can only imagine what they think when they see me. “She talks about losing weight but I haven’t noticed a difference. Is she lying?” But what will people say after I lose weight? I’m more scared of the attention that I’d get for being in shape than for being fat! I already shy away from the “fame” that comes along with my job. At least me carrying around a few extra pounds makes me relatable. (There I go trying to justify being overweight.)

The extra pounds I carry might as well be a neon lit sign shining brightly that screams, “I’m not in control!” Another thing I hate. Not being in control. More often times than not I can mask it with jokes and hide behind a smile. But how do I cover up my lack of control with it prominently displayed on my ass, hips, and around my waist. I’m embarrassed. I don’t know which I’m more embarrassed by. The actual fat or the nonverbal signal I give off that screams, “I can’t control my addiction!”

I’ve put off life experiences because I think I’ll be able to enjoy them more without this extra weight. I don’t want to look back on pictures and say, “Wow! I was fat!” Or even worse, gain more weight then look back and say, “Wow! I was skinny then!”

My weight is a physical barrier for the emotional wall I’ve put up, especially with men. Despite popular belief, I have gotten really hot guys. I’m ridiculously picky which I have no reason to be since I’m no catch (or at least I don’t feel like it). But it never lasts because of me. I push everyone away. Why would a hot guy ever want to be seen with a girl like me? My confidence shield is just a show. Yes, I have a lucrative job. Yes, I’m an independent woman. And yes, I’m funny from time to time. But don’t mistake any of that for confidence. I’m not confident at all. I need someone to handle me with kid gloves. But how will that happen if my pride prevents me from telling anyone that’s what I need?

The saying “You should like me for what’s on the inside” is crap. My outside, my fat exterior, screams that I’m scared, unhappy, and extremely self-conscious. That makes my inside ugly and weak and no one wants to be around that, including me. I justified gaining weight because I have a cute face. Then I got a pretty cool job and figured an extra 20 pounds wouldn’t be that big of a deal.


I thought it’d be easier. Easier to lose the weight that has consumed my mind, body, and soul. My co-host Tony and I were introduced to a fabulous group of people at Optimal 365. Simply by eating right, Tony lost 15 pounds in what seemed like a blink of an eye. He gets showered with compliments from everyone at the office, deservedly so because he looks great! Not only does it take me longer to lose weight because I’m a girl, I have a lot more of it to get rid of.

I’m so hard on myself when I cheat. I feel as if I’ve completely ruined the new healthy lifestyle and I quit. Game over. A cheat meal turns into a cheat day which leads to cheat week, month, and year. This can’t be an option anymore.

I know what needs to be done so with all due respect, spare me your sales pitch on the latest diet pill or weight loss energy drink. I have a great support team on my side and with their help, unwavering support and mentoring, I know I can lose this weight. But ultimately, I need to believe in myself. So if everyone else supports me, why can’t I?

Allow me to reiterate. There is not one day that goes by where these thoughts don’t run rampant through my head. Is this normal? Am I alone? If I am, I’ve publicly announced to everyone that I’m loony tunes. If there are others who read this that go through the same thing (and God I hope there is although I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy), then take comfort in knowing I’m right there with you.

I need to believe in myself. Allowing these thoughts to consume me is robbing years of my life. Like I said before, I know what needs to be done, I’m just scared to do it. Am I crazy for being scared to lose weight? Is THAT what the real problem is?

Someone much wiser than me once said, “Until you accept the struggle, you’ll never realize the accomplishment.” I’ve struggled for too long without acceptance. In making public what has been my most private thoughts and demons, I’m choosing to move forward. Choosing to embrace the difficult road filled with temptation that’s to come. And choosing to let go and be happy because dammit, I deserve it.


  1. Every small victory leads to a bigger one… Not having a donut when there are 50 of them on the table at work, passing on desert, choosing to drink water and not soda, working out and putting doing the actual 20 mins of cardio when you want to give up at 4 mins, those grow to the big one… I have gone to “food addiction” meetings, to get some insight about my eating habits. I emotionally eat a lot. It’s crazy how when I get upset, all I want is chocolate to soothe my soul, but really, it isn’t even making me feel better! Taking the first step and telling everyone that it’s a struggle, that is amazing! Forward…. move forward, who cares what you ate for breakfast or if you do cheat… make up for it when you do! If you need that donut, then you better take the stairs when you leave… Don’t settle for anything less than the best you. You are worth it.

  2. Ellen, thank you so, so much. What you just stated is how I have been feeling for YEARS and have never been able to express it. And thank you for opening yourself up like this. I’m sure I am not the only one who feels the same ways as you. Keep up the good fight, girl! You just have to be more stubborn than the fat 🙂

  3. Loosing weight is hard. It is a struggle every day. I do miss listening to you every morning here in GR, but Seattle is awesome. Thanks for being an inspiration. I fell kind of hard this week so this was a great reminder to pick myself back up.

  4. It makes sense to me to be afraid to loose weight. I’ve been obese for 42 of my 52 years. I try to loose it but don’t believe I’m worth it. I also have no concept of what I would look like, so it’s scary to make such major change. You are on the right track, and with your determination and support system, you can achieve what is right FOR YOU. Thank you for being open about your journey; you are inspirational!

  5. thank you for writing this! It’s nice to realize I’m not alone in my weight loss struggles. I too know what I need to do but easier said than done! Good luck! I’m pulling for you!

  6. Ellen, you might not be a size 4. I don’t care. You are a beautiful woman. Smart and successful. I’m a daily listener. Let it go…. Move on… at least on the air. I want to hear more of the positives in your life. More about you. Your new house. Charlie. Babysitting Nicks kid.. Your Dad…The happy times and joys………….

    1. Hi Karen. Thanks for the kind words. However, my weight is just as much a part of my life as the other things you mentioned. It took me many years to build the courage to talk about it openly and even joke about it. Life is about good and bad and I take pride in being brave enough to talk about both. 🙂