Several years ago, a girlfriend of mine had a birthday dinner. There were probably 12 of us ladies along a huge table in Houston, laughing, ordering more appetizers, and having a blast.

At the end of the meal, we asked our waiter if he would take a picture of us. We stood up from the table, lined up, like you do, one right after the other. The birthday girl was very, very short, so, naturally, she was the first in line. And then so on and so forth.

After the picture was taken, the waiter checked it to make sure he had gotten everyone in the frame. Without thinking, without a malicious bone in his body, he said, “Looks great! Everyone literally lined up least to….”

And then he stopped.

“Greatest.” That was the word he was looking for. Least to greatest. Smallest to largest. Guess who was the last woman in line? You guessed it.

You know that feeling though, don’t you? I write stories that resonate with you. I don’t say this to brag. I say this because you tell me that. You tell me in hundreds of emails that I read your mind, and I speak your words, and I tell your stories.

You know why that is? Because for those of us with a weight issue, WE FEEL ALONE, and when we realize that we are, in fact, NOT ALONE, it’s shocking. It’s surprising. It’s life-giving.

Listen to me, you are not alone. It feels that way. It feels that way when all your girlfriends are planning the beach vacation, and they aren’t one bit worried about what they’ll look like in all the pictures – but you are. It feels that way when everyone goes out for the graduation party, and no one worries about what they order or the slice of cake they eat – but you do. I know…me, too.

Here are the diet plans I have tried in the last 5 years: Keto, MediSlim, Low Carb and WW.

Here are the diet plans you have tried in the last 5 years because you’ve told me: Optavia, Noom, Keto, Low Carb, Paleo, Whole30, Nutri-System, and WW.

Do you have time for me to add up the apps we’ve joined?

The gyms we’ve paid for but never stepped foot inside?

The diet books we’ve started but never finished?

Do you have time for that? Of course, you don’t.


I cannot live this way another day or another moment or another second. I adopted two children, and I’ll be darned if I leave this world not having spent as many moments with them as I can.

What about you? Who’s counting on you? Who do you live for? And when I say “live,” I don’t mean “breathe”…I mean really, truly, LIVE? Who do you walk eight miles around Disney with? Who do you have swim parties with? Do you play ball with your grandbabies? Do you attend field trips with your 4th grader? Do you chaperone the dances and help decorate the senior floats? Do you truly LIVE?

Let me tell you a quote that I heard someone say once, and I loved it. It’s simple. Only two words:


See, Keto doesn’t totally work for me because, as much as I like meat (Hi! Texas girl! We eat meat!), I also enjoy a hot buttered roll sometimes. And WW didn’t work for me because I have to make the food obey, and I can barely get my kids to obey, so I sure as heck can’t get my food to. Optavia didn’t work for my girlfriend because, at some point, she decided paying her mortgage and keeping her lights one was more important than spending money on sawdust chips that she hated. MediSlim didn’t work for me because it was about pills and packages of food, and pills and packages of food are not my problem.

None of those programs helped me not eat at night when I was alone with my thoughts in the quiet house. None of those programs comforted me when my Granny passed away. None of those systems prepared me for a year-long quarantine. None of those systems answered the question, “What will I eat for dinner?” as I was currently eating my lunch! None of them!

Which leads me to why I’m writing you today…

Starting September 6th, for FIVE CONSECUTIVE DAYS, I am going to work on myself From the Inside Out. Why don’t you join me? It’s FREE. It requires nothing from you except the commitment and the want-to. I want to know why I do what I do. I want to know why my sugar cravings control my life. I want to know what my heart wants that my stomach thinks it can fill. I want to ask experts and do research and interview guests and talk openly and very, very honestly. Writing it all out in Stretch Marks has been nice. But it’s time to get therapeutic up in here.

I want you to do this with me. Please? Y’all know I hate doing things alone. But I’m doing it whether you come or not. I have to. I have way too much to live for. Do you remember, once, in one of my earliest Stretch Marks articles, that I referenced a quote, hung on my mirror, that I saw every day? It said:

The Spirit will not lead you to where the Father doesn’t want you to be

and where the Son wouldn’t get glory if you stayed. (Jackie Hill Perry)

I am here because I am supposed to be. This is the answer I am, at long last, supposed to find. And this is the time I am finally supposed to learn it. And when I do – when WE DO – we will give God the glory for it all. And if we don’t believe quite the same way, you’re still coming along. Because we need you! If you know me at all, then you know my table is big enough for everyone that believes in their way. As one reader wrote, “Each time I read about someone else’s adventure, it helps to better guide me on my own.”

Join the FREE 5 Day Inside Out Challenge: A Movement From The GAIN to The BRAIN.

I love you. And I cannot imagine doing this without you.


Join the 5 Day Inside Out Challenge