Don’t let appearances be deceiving. Although weight-loss coach Charles D’Angelo doesn’t look like someone who can relate to the pains of being obese; at age 16, he weighed 360 pounds. “I could have been the king of excuses,” he says. “My family was plagued by obesity and its related illnesses.” Instead, he made the decision to change, losing 160 pounds in two years—and keeping it off.
Today, D’Angelo is helping hundreds of clients lose hundreds of pounds, and is taking it a step further with his new Show Me St. Louis segment, Transformation Tuesdays. The appearances will present a mix of weight-loss tips and strategies, as well as success stories of people who have worked with D’Angelo. “Sharing success stories can inspire others with what’s possible,” D’Angelo says, adding that defining where you want to go is one of the first steps to losing weight. “The first step is to get real about where you are. So few people are honest with themselves. People will come in and tell me, This weekend I had three drinks and some ice cream, but that’s better than I used to be. The reality is, they’re doing the same things they have always done, and it’s only going to get worse. If you own up and learn from the things that don’t work out, you’ll grow immensely.”
Being extremely overweight has impacts on every aspect of life, D’Angelo notes—from friendships and relationships to work. “I have clients who haven’t been in a picture in six or eight years because they don’t like how they look. Pictures and memories are what life is about.” He suggests people who are serious about weight loss think about their reasons for making a change—whether it’s to look and feel better, build confidence and have more energy at work, or to attract a partner in life. Who do I have to be to have what I want? is a good question to start with, he says.
Once your goals are set, there are three keys to reaching them: eating right, creating an exercise plan, and reconditioning your mindset, D’Angelo says. “With a strategic plan, you eliminate spontaneity. Eventually, eating the right foods and exercising becomes as habitual as basic hygiene, so that it doesn’t require all that thought every day.” One of the main reasons people don’t reach their weight-loss goals is that they allow life to get in the way, he adds. “Most people know what to do—they just have trouble doing it consistently.”
More often than not, it’s emotional concerns that get in the way, D’Angelo says. “A lot of people think they’re coming to me to deal with their weight, but really it’s emotional.” He adds that his strategy is not a diet—it’s much more than that. “When you talk to my clients, few of them talk about a diet and exercise plan. It’s more about an attitude and philosophy. So many people walk through the day and hope they’ll bump into opportunity. What separates successful people is that drive and burning desire. I think that when you’re doing everything in your power to change, God sends even more power to help.”
And don’t be disappointed if the results don’t appear right away, D’Angelo adds. “Everything is progress followed by opposition. You have to overcome that opposition, and then you make more progress.” Staying motivated can be the biggest challenge to achieving any long-term goal, so D’Angelo advocates always focusing on what’s next. “Make your life a magnificent masterpiece. You have to create the memories—seek them out. Don’t let yourself get satiated and bored.”