Weighing in at more than 300 pounds, Eric Morff was very unhappy. He couldn’t sleep in the same bed as his wife because his weight-induced snoring kept her up at night. He always found an excuse to not exercise, and spent the weekend sleeping because he was so tired. And he never had the energy to chase his 4-year-old son or 2-year-old daughter around the house. Morff’s weight was disrupting many parts of his life, and through the encouragement of his wife and mother, he finally decided to seek help. Recalling information about weight-loss coach Charles D’Angelo from a previous Ladue News article, he made the call in September 2011 that would change his life. “Charles helped me understand that I was ready to lose the weight, why I was ready and what was important to me: my wife, my children and myself,” Morff says. “I needed to make this change for them and for myself.”
D’Angelo could relate to Morff’s pain and struggles. More than a decade ago, D’Angelo weighed 360 pounds and was a bullied and unhappy teenager. It wasn’t until he decided to change his perception of himself that he was able to lose the pounds. “I’ve been on the opposite side of the spectrum. Rather than to continue to use the very source of my pain—food—I realized that change was only going to come when I set a new expectation on my life; that I deserve more than this,” D’Angelo explains.
After losing 160 pounds on his own, D’Angelo made it his mission to help others like Morff reclaim their health. He combines healthy eating and proper exercise with the right mindset—an element that he says is missing from other weight loss plans. “I help people tap into their potential, to change the way they feel about themselves and the way they think about food and exercise, so they learn to disconnect from spontaneity and replace it with strategy.”
D’Angelo compares the concept to a puzzle with a missing box lid. “The pieces may all be there—the diet plan, the exercises—but the lid with the picture of how everything goes together is missing. I bring that box lid so people understand how to put this together in a simple, healthy way.”
For D’Angelo’s clients, every ‘box lid’ is different, and they appreciate that each approach is customized for their needs and goals. “The difference between Charles’ program and others is that it is totally personal,” says Fr. Ted Vitali, who lost 80 pounds and has kept it off for three years. “All of his sessions are one-on-one and tailored for each person. That is invaluable.”
D’Angelo’s program requires honesty and accountability from his clients and shifting the way they look at themselves. And that accountability was key for Morff in his journey to his weight-loss goal. “There was someone who was objectively watching and making sure I was following the program,” he says. And now that he has reached that goal, Morff has entered the maintenance phase and will continue to see D’Angelo for guidance. “Instead of talking about how to lose weight, we talk about what could potentially throw me off and strategies to deal with those situations. It helps me plan ahead and make smart choices.”
D’Angelo’s program has helped people across the country reach and maintain their weight-loss goals. He and his book, Think and Grow Thin, are endorsed by Bill Clinton, Sen. Claire McCaskill (who lost 50 pounds with his help), Tony Robbins and Richard Simmons. In addition, he was recently featured on the television show, The Doctors, alongside dozens of his clients who each lost more than 100 pounds, including Morff.
But it is the everyday results of the program that especially stand out. Morff no longer snores, looks forward to exercising, can easily chase his kids around the house, and just bought a new suit to impress his wife. It is those moments that reinforce D’Angelo’s plan and keep clients on track. “You can be happy the moment you decide to be happy. You can be healthy the moment you decide to be healthy,” D’Angelo says. “It’s about having the right mindset and making the right choices. Those choices are out there; you just have to make the decision to be committed.”