Linda Misleh Wagner is waging a war on weight. She wants to encourage us to eat by choice, not by chance. Linda says that when we look in the mirror, instead of staring at our fat we need to stop and look inside our heads.
Despite the multi-billion dollar diet and exercise industry:
- 69% of Americans are overweight
- 35.1% of Americans are obese
- Obesity affects almost 20% of kids 6-19 years old
- More than 50% of people who lose weight gain at least some of it it back
AS IS: CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE FATTY
By Linda Misleh Wagner
This is not your typical diet book. In AS IS: CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE FATTY, Linda opens a discussion of why we overeat, candidly admitting to and exploring the habits and happenings that made and keep her – and so many of us – overweight. She delves into where those habits come from and why they are so difficult to break – and why diets alone ultimately don’t work. In sharing her journey and tapping into yours, Linda’s honesty encourages readers to:
- Explore and assess the habits that got them where they are
- Figure out why those habits took root
- Confront food addictions
- Beat the cheat, taking one manageable step at a time back to a healthier
Empowering and informative, AS IS: CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE FATTY may be just the catalyst you need to help you change your relationship with food and, as a result, your life!
Interview: Getting To Know Linda Misleh Wagner
Do you believe in destiny?
When I was eighteen years old, I remember a conversation with my best friend, Sandie, where we discussed our futures. I said to her that I knew I would finish college, get married, have four to six children, be a stay at home mom raising the most incredible kids to adulthood, and grow old with my husband.
I thought in my spare time I would write, do community theatre, and volunteer in my children’s school. The words divorce, death, obesity and binge eating never entered into my mind.
In my book “As Is Confessions of a True Fatty”, I write about meeting my first husband at a family convention. Against all odds, everything fell into place for us to marry. The challenges against us came from our church. His mother was my Godmother, and in our church, Godchildren could not marry the children of Godparents. The church considered us God brothers and sisters.
1977 the church changed this particular doctrine that had existed since the death of Christ. We were married in January 1978. When we met at the convention, I knew I knew him and would marry him from dreams about this man since my childhood. When we were told the church would not allow it, and we went our separate ways, only to find out six weeks later that the church had changed its views on marriage between God brothers and sisters; well if that’s not destiny, I don’t know what is.
Culturally, we believe in “il naseeb” or destiny. It is a very integral part of our belief systems. Life comes to us in the way we are supposed to have it come because no matter what plans we make; our destiny is planned for us.
If you could go back to any place and time in history, where would you go and why?
I would have to say the 1920s in America. I would have to come from a very wealthy family, of course. I love Art Deco, Erte’, and the 20s was pure feminine glamour. The clothes were sexy and slinky. Women donned pants without a care. Social mores were changing from the strict and staid Victorian era into an era of fearless exhibitionism in comparison, while still maintaining certain values.
In the 1920s, women had become empowered. They could vote, go out unescorted to certain establishments, and could get real jobs if they chose and could move up in some areas of the work world. In the 1920s women wore clothes that screamed glamor and confidence. Jazz became the rage, and dancing was fun, furious, as well as elegant. Movies and the industry were new and exciting and would change the course of the world. Movies would bring to our lives and to the lives of the world written stories of every genre to life.
In the 1920s, men were real men, and women reveled and took pride in their womanhood. Even though women throughout history would always be vulnerable to the whims and power of men, we were finally taking back some of our own power, standing up for ourselves as women with far more drive and ambition.
If your personality was a color, what would it be?
Definitely red. Red represents to me vibrancy, excitement, energy, strength, and it makes a statement. Red says I am confident, and I am beautiful.
Passion and love are red. Anger sees red. Red speaks of mystery sexiness.
Subtle shades of red evolving toward the pinks demonstrate my softer side. These shade still express confidence, yet, these shades are soft and speak of unconditional love. The softer side of Red represents sweet and kind, compassionate, and loving.
I might wear more black than red, but only because it makes me look thinner. Well, at least in my own mind.
If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I pretty much love the person I am with the exception of my addiction to food. I wish I did not have a food addiction problem. Instead, I wish I loved exercise with the same passion I have for cooking. My love for cooking comes from the fact that I love to eat. I love the creativity of cooking. And I love the socialization and coming together that good food brings. Exercise in many ways is the same. If you love to exercise, I think you would agree that exercise could be very creative and equally social just in a different way.
I don’t want an addiction to anything, but I would rather it be exercise than food. You never see anyone sneak exercising. And just like people whom binge eats can’t hide it because the effects of binge eating shows up on our bodies, well, the same goes for exercise. Exercising shows up on our bodies too in a terrific way.
Are you an introvert or extravert?
I am a pure extravert through and through. I come from a huge passionate family that was in and out of each other’s homes daily. I grew up working in my father and uncle’s grocery store. Making conversation with customers I hardly knew was a requirement, and it came very naturally to me.
As a child, I wrote, directed, and performed plays in our garage of our home. I would set up chairs on the driveway and invite the neighborhood kids to come watch for a nickel. I sold penny bubble gum and licorice for two cents, and my mom made lemonade and popcorn, which I sold for a dime. It was so much fun. I have always loved performing, and I have never really had any fear of standing up in front of people and speaking.
Are you spontaneous or are you a planner?
I’m predominately a planner. I am well organized and a huge list maker. I like things to run smoothly and on time. I have moments of spontaneity, but that usually comes out of boredom. I hate to be bored.
What is your favorite rainy day activity?
I love to stay home and watch old movies, read, bake cookies, and make comfort food on a rainy day. Usually my windows are open so I can listen to the rain. The best rainy day is when there is a chill in the air and I can light up the fireplace. Oh so relaxing.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Fly. I would love to see the world at any given moment I chose and be back to sleep in my own bed. I hate flying because airplane flights today aren’t much fun, and seats are too cramped. The cost of flying is high and so are the restrictions. If I could fly and be anywhere in minutes, I wouldn’t have to carry luggage, deal with security, and fit my big butt into an airline seat.
What personality traits do you most admire in others?
Integrity, Respectfulness, Kindness, Common Sense, Tenacity, Ability to laugh at self and life, Responsibility. I capitalize these traits because I sincerely believe in these traits.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Please share a bit of the lyrics and what they mean to you.
Ain’t No Stopping Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead. The lyrics begin with “Ain’t no stopping us now. Were on the move. Ain’t no stopping us now. We’ve got the groove”. These lyrics represent to me control and energy in my life. When I am in control of my life, my food, my health, I feel so much energy to achieve and accomplish anything I set my mind to doing. I use this song to motivate me and inspire me to keep pushing myself in the direction I need to go to set where I need to be. This song works for me in all areas of my life.
What is your favorite material possession?
My wedding ring is my most favorite and treasured possession. My husband is the love of my life and makes me immensely happy. I thank God for him every single day. My ring represents our love.
He generously allowed me to design my ring because he not only wanted me to love it and be happy, but he knew how much I did not like my first marriage wedding band. Every time I look at my ring I feel secure and fortunate in our love for one another.
Linda Misleh Wagner cannot remember a time when food, and her weight, were not topics of concern. The first to admit that she had and still has a problem with food, she has gained and lost over 1,000 pounds over the years.
Although athletic as a child, her battle with life events affected her eating decisions from age eleven and hounded her through failures with everything from Weight Watchers at age 14 to bariatric surgery at age 48, when she was over 400 pounds. The surgery helped her to get down to 160 at age 50. Her relationship with life and food caused her to put 150 of those pounds back on.
What Linda has refocused on is that she does not have a weight problem, she has a food relationship problem. As such, for the first time in her life, Linda is losing weight the same way she gained it…one ounce at a time! She is losing weight – based on reason, not rationing.
Learning to let go of old habits and changing our lifestyle to a healthier lifestyle is like learning a foreign language, a foreign body language.