Kim Bensen, author of Finally fit, talks about how she struggled with her weight throughout her life.
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Juli Auclair: If you've ever struggled with your weight, trying one diet after another and feeling completely frustrated, you will be truly inspired by this story. She lost 212 pounds and 14 dress sizes and has kept off the weight for 5 years. Kim Bensen is sharing her success story in her new book, Finally Thin, and she's here today to tell us how she did it. So glad to have you in the studio. Kim Bensen: Thanks. It's really good to be here. It's like a dream come true for me. Juli Auclair: Your story is so inspiring and you say in your book that your weight problems really started when you were a little girl. First starting Weight Watchers when you were 9 years old. Kim Bensen: I know. I remember that day. My mom said would you like to try something new? A new way of eating and I was like, Sure. Juli Auclair: And then it continued, though. You dieted, it worked at times but by the age of 40, you were 350 pounds and you said life continued to be extremely difficult. Tell us about some of those painful times, what you remember. Kim Bensen: Well, some of the things I remember the most clearly, one of them was we were flying to Europe and we were sitting in a seat, my husband and I, and fortunately, the arm of the seat moved up because I was half into his seat, but the problem was I couldn't get the seatbelt to go around me and I didn't know about seatbelt extenders and I didn't want them to kick me out of the flight. I was really panicked. So, I had, of course, stretch waist pants that were the outfit, the uniform I wore everywhere, and they were the only thing that fit and I tucked the end of the seatbelt into my waist and hope to goodness she wouldn't asked me. Juli Auclair: Would notice. Kim Bensen: Yes. Juli Auclair: Speaking of stretch waists, you have these. Kim Bensen: I know. Oh. Juli Auclair: These were when you were at your biggest? Kim Bensen: These were at my biggest and they were the highest size in the store and I remember thinking, I knew I was still gaining daily. What am I going to do next? What's next for me, but this is about two months before I started my diet the last time, so. Juli Auclair: And you keep them as a constant reminder of the struggle-- Kim Bensen: I do. Juli Auclair: And what it was like for you. Was it difficult to write about some of the painful memories because you really were sort of re-living it? Kim Bensen: It wasn't difficult. It was very cathartic but right at the end, somebody offered to proofread my book. I wasn't thinking ahead and they offered to proofread my book and I said, Oh, no, then you'd know all the awful things, because it's a very honest book. Juli Auclair: Uh huh. Kim Bensen: There are some hard things in there and it didn't occur to me other people were, I mean, I know it sounds really dumb, but Mark said, You know, Kim, Random House has paid you to write a book and I think that they want more people than just you and I to buy-- Juli Auclair: You have to get over it. Kim Bensen: You've got to get over it. What do you want? Juli Auclair: So when people do read it, what do you hope they take away? Kim Bensen: I hope the whole reason I did this, I want people to know that it doesn't matter how long you've struggled, it doesn't matter how old you are, how much you weigh, you can still grab it and turn it completely around. There's always hope. You got to keep trying. Juli Auclair: You do have to keep trying and that's what you say throughout the book and it's not a weight loss program. Kim Bensen: No. Juli Auclair: It's actually a motivational book that's broken up into three sections. Tell everybody how it works. Kim Bensen: Well, the first section of the book is my story and I hope that that motivates people and encourages them. I wanted them to know that I knew what it was like to be grossly obese, morbidly obese. Three hundred fifty pounds. But, you know what, today, I still struggle, you know, I work at it and I struggle with those five pounds, I know what's it like