Getting Ready: Every Journey Needs a Guide

I had about 3 weeks until Tom and I would board the plane for Switzerland. Tom was overseeing the week’s itinerary, a mix of town and country, museums and mountains. Switzerland is a small place, the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, and like those 2 states it’s anything but flat. About 40% of Switzerland is mountains and the rest is hills and plateaus. I think of 3 C’s when I hear “Switzerland” – cows, cheese and chocolate – and if you add in precision watches, secret bank accounts and Heidi, that just about covers what I knew about this tiny country that sits at the crossroads of Europe.

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I had about 3 weeks until Tom and I would board the plane for Switzerland. Tom was overseeing the week’s itinerary, a mix of town and country, museums and mountains. Switzerland is a small place, the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, and like those 2 states it’s anything but flat. About 40% of Switzerland is mountains and the rest is hills and plateaus. I think of 3 C’s when I hear “Switzerland” – cows, cheese and chocolate – and if you add in precision watches, secret bank accounts and Heidi, that just about covers what I knew about this tiny country that sits at the crossroads of Europe.   

Tom decided to base our trip in two main cities, French-speaking Montreux and German-speaking Lucerne, with side trips out from each. (English is widely spoken as well.) Since the Swiss have one of the most efficient and reliable transportation systems on the planet, (and great travel passes for tourists) we’ll be traveling around the country on trains and buses. With that in mind, we need to pack light – 1 small suitcase each. Was I crazy or was the universe trying to tell me at every turn it’s time to shed the extra baggage?   

With just a few weeks to go, there was no time to waste, but I knew first-hand the dangers of the quick fix at my age – especially the crash diet. Although I’d love to drop a few pounds fast and look fabulous in my lederhosen (that’s a joke!) the truth is, if there’s such a thing as a diet merry- go-round, I’m afraid I’ve taken my last ride. Simply put – it’s not that diets don’t work; it’s that I can’t work a diet anymore. In fact, I’ve been harboring a deep desire to improve my relationship with food and let the weight loss follow.It’s a tall order – but I discover it’s at the heart of Geneen Roth’s new book: “Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.” Geneen says the way we eat is inseparable from being alive – that how you deal with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and yes, even God. Big stuff. If that makes sense to you, and it sure does to me, then you’ll understand why I knew that my success could not be gauged by a magic number on the scale in three weeks.  

Instead, I make a call to nutritionist, Theresa Wright, and ask her to be my guide as I explore the possibility of a kinder, gentler relationship with food – and maybe even still lose weight? I hear Dr. Oz’s words resonate: the enemy of good is perfect, and I notice a different attitude begins to unfold in my heart. More on that later. 

Blog written by Susan Wagner
Before coming to the Dr. Oz Show, Susan worked at ABC News as a health producer for more than 20 years. She co-created the first...