Debbie Lazinsky – Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – Jan. 26, 2017

Book Journeys Author Interview – Jan. 26, 2017

 

Jenn McRobbie with Debbie Lazinsky, author of No Time to Lose: How I Lost 185 Pounds and Saved My Life.

 

”Once you get clear, the decisions are easy.” ~Debbie Lazinsky

 

Jenn:

Well, hello, everyone! Welcome back to Book Journeys Radio, where we speak to accomplished authors who have gone from just having an idea for a book to a finished book and ready to make a difference in the world. ‘M really excited to introduce you to today’s guest. Her name is Debbie Lazinsky and she is a life and weight coach, and her book is titled No Time to Lose, and I’m gonna let her tell you all about it because it is an incredible journey that brought Debbie to us, and now, as an author, so, welcome, Debbie. Thank you for being on the show.

 

Debbie:

Thank you, Jenn. It’s just such a pleasure to be here and to share my story with your listeners. ….

 

Jenn:

Thank you, ….

 

Debbie:

I – yeah, it – it’s just great, and I can give you a little bit of background as to what brought me wanting to write a book, and then we can take it from there, if you want.

 

Jenn:

That would be amazing, and let’s let everybody know, … wha – why – why did you even write it in the first place?

 

Debbie:

I was three hundred fifteen pounds at fifty-four years old when my doctor told me I wasn’t going to live to see sixty if I didn’t have gastric bypass surgery, and I decided –

 

Jenn:

Wow!

 

Debbie:

Yeah. It was pretty scary, and so, I decided I didn’t wanna have the surgery. I decided that I wanted to do it the old-fashioned way, my way, because I – I didn’t want to have to live with the lifestyle that came after the surgery.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

And so, I decided to really focus on attention the way I focused my attention on my job. I was – I had a very successful, busy career, I was really good at my job and what I did, and I decided to use those same skills on managing my lifestyle and my weight. ….

 

Jenn:

Wow, so what was your business before – … were you – … as an active life coach, then?

 

Debbie:

No! I was an executive in a large retail company, and I was the director of marketing and advertising.

 

Jenn:

Wow! How do those skills translate into weight loss skills?

 

Debbie:

Doll, it requires a focus on details, information gathering, making up judgements and – on the fly, being flexible, being committed to a deadline and a goal – … the thing that every busy executive woman knows how to do already.

 

Jenn:

You’re right!

 

Debbie:

And – but we never apply it to ourselves and never look at our lifestyle like a project, it just … happens, stuff.

 

Jenn:

Wow, so, you started applying these principles to your lifestyle, and then what happened?

 

Debbie:

Well, the first thing I did was, I set a goal for myself, and in the beginning it was really simple: I just wanted to live.

 

Jenn:

Yeah.

 

Debbie:

And when the doctor tells you, “Do this or you have five years to live,” and it’s not because of some incurable disease, it’s because of a situation I created myself –

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Debbie:

– I knew that I just had to face the facts and get real. And just like in business scenario, when you have something that goes wrong, you look to make course corrections. And you don’t do it overnight, you take careful, measured steps. And that’s exactly what I did.

 

Jenn:

I’m covered in goosebumps right now, because I – I think what you’re saying is so – it sounds so simple, Debbie, but it’s not that easy to apply to our lifestyle, right?

 

Debbie:

Exactly. Exactly. And that’s why, when I figured it out for myself – I – I knew nothing, I was an advertising executive, … six weeks to lose the first pound. Six weeks! To lose the first poun – and I just … a week!

 

Jenn:

First pound?

 

Debbie:

One pound! I – I promised myself, I was not gonna give up until I found a solution. When – when – when my boss handed me my paycheck, it wasn’t to “sort of” find the answer, it was to come up with answers to the problems. And I had no option to quit! I … to bail out. So, why would I do that on myself? Especially when I have a life sentence hanging over my head?

 

Jenn:

Mm-hmm.

 

Debbie:

And – and so, when getting your lifestyle under control becomes your major focus, everything else is really clear and simple, and that’s why I had to write this book. Because once I figured it out for myself, I realized a couple of things. It’s easier said than done, ….

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

So, once you’ve figured it out, and you can adopt things that you can live with long-term, it just becomes your new lifestyle! And so, I’m not on a diet! This is how I eat now in order to reach my goal, and my goal was to live. So, forget about the word “diet,” there’s no such thing as a diet. The – forget about restricting and punishing yourself for the mistakes that you made. Figure out what your body needs to thrive, right now, and start working toward that, and everything else is very clear.

 

Jenn:

This is such an important topic right now, particularly in the United States, when obesity is – is reaching … an all-time high. And what I hear you saying is that we all have within us already the skills to lead a healthier lifestyle, we’re just not employing them.

 

Debbie:

Yes, correct! Or, maybe we’re a little misguided by this – trends and the fads that the media … puts out in front of us, or maybe … your friend, your something, some way, was successful, so why doesn’t it work for me? There’s so many reasons and obstacles that we – we put in our way, that – but my favorite analogy is when my client finally gets it, and they realize they’re like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, … You just click your heels together, ‘cause you’ve got the power inside you, use this! We have to harness it and focus it, and you can get there!

 

Jenn:

Wow. That’s amazing. So, how much weight did you end up losing, and how long did it take you?

 

Debbie:

I lost – once I figured it out, after that first six weeks of total frustration, I … – I lost a hundred eighty-five pounds in eighteen months, and I’ve kept it off, now, since two thousand and, oh, let’s see – ten. August, 2010, I lost my last pound.

 

Jenn:

Wow! I – I wish we had video right now, because if you had seen my face I’m picking my jaw up off the floor. That is phenomenal, Debbie, and to – to top it off, you’ve saved your life, right?

 

Debbie:

I’ve saved my life, I got off of the blood pressure medicine and the water pills and the – I’m no longer pre-diabetic, my cholesterol’s fine. If you want to look at a “before” picture, Google “People magazine January 2014 half my size.”

 

Jenn:

Okay.

 

Debbie:

… featured in that issue, and you could see “before” and “current.”

 

Jenn:

Wow! How exciting, to be picked up by People, and then having a feature article on you!

 

Debbie:

It was a fairy tale, it’s wonderful.

 

Jenn:

How did that come about? Because that was before you wrote the book, right?

 

Debbie:

Yeah! Yeah. … well, what happened was, once I realized that I needed to share this message with women, that … you can do this, and it – and it doesn’t have to be … drinking nasty stuff, or – … really, really do this. And … I had to share it with the world. So, first, I figured I needed the credibility, credentials, so I became a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise, and then I became a health coach so I could teach nutrition education to people.

 

Jenn:

Makes sense.

 

Debbie:

And in the course of my business, I guess the PR firm for People magazine had reached out to the American Council on Exercise, and they sent a notice out to all their trainers, asking, “Do you know anyone who’s lost more than half their body weight through diet and exercise?”

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

And I said, “Well, I do!” And … started.

 

Jenn:

Wow! … what a wonderful … series of events that all just happened, from that one doctor’s appointment for you!

 

Debbie:

Right? And – and if I hadn’t made the decision to educate myself and then try to teach people what I had learned, People magazine never would have found me. ….

 

Jenn:

Right. Right. … it’s almost … you created this – this new universe for yourself, by just making that decision on your own, I love that. … what other aspects of your life have changed, you – you lost weight, you have a new job, did anything else change in your life?

 

Debbie:

Well, after the – the personal training and the Health Coach Organization, and I decided to become a life coach with a weight loss specialty, so I took that … training on, and obviously wrote the book, which is going to be in bookstores … actually January second, 2018, which is exactly nine years to the day that I started my weight loss, my book will be in bookstores.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

Yeah. Really, really cool. But – but you know what’s really nice? … you asked about … anything else had changed?

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

I – I’ve started keeping notes about the things I didn’t need to think about anymore, after I lost weight. What I teach my clients all the time is that carrying around this extra weight takes so much mental energy, because you’re constantly running that dialogue through your head, like, “Is that seat belt gonna fit me?” “Am I gonna fit in that … seat?” “Is there gonna be something here big enough that will – that will fit me?” “Do I have to buy it in every color in order to have more than one blouse to wear to work?”

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

… that goes away. And I started keeping a list of the things I no longer need to think about. “Is that chair gonna hold me?” because I – I collapsed a chair at my brother’s house, when I – having dinner.

 

Jenn:

Oh, my goodness.

 

Debbie:

And I used to fly without my seat belt on because I was too embarrassed to ask for seat belt extender.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

I don’t – I don’t – I don’t need to live my life like that. I don’t need to … edit that internal dialogue or spend any time or energy worrying about how to protect myself from ridicule. That’s gone!

 

Jenn:

Right. Right!

 

Debbie:

And that frees me to teach other women how to do this. And then, they go on to start a business and get a promotion and … leave an abusive relationship or cook for their family and – and so, it’s like this pebble in a pond. And – and the ripple effects at that moment were – clarity came to me, and I decided I wanted to live. … I went all in on living. And – and like I said, once you get clear, the decisions are easy.

 

Jenn:

Wow. That’s – … you’re – you’re so right, you just have to make that first decision, right Debbie? That – that very first one, and then everything that follows is almost a reward for making that first call.

 

Debbie:

Right! And – and even before you make that decision, I think you have to realize that you’re worth it.

 

Jenn:

Oh, yes. Yes! I think you’re exactly right! That’s such a – another big topic, … that we are worthy of ourselves and our lives and what we want to produce and make on a daily basis.

 

Debbie:

Exactly. And – and – and …

 

Jenn:

So, … already … started on this path, … you decided to lose the weight, you lost … amount of weight, you … changed your career, what – what brought you to writing a book about it? You were already living it, why did you need a book?

 

Debbie:

Well, my mission, when I got to that sixty pounds off, which was about six months into it, was to share this message with every other woman that would – found herself in my position. And I wanted to find an – an effective way to communicate, now, remember, I was in marketing and advertising.

 

Jenn:

Right!

 

Debbie:

I … to sit at my desk in New York, write a radio script, send it over to the radio stations and then, within minutes, millions of people would hear the words that I wrote on a piece of paper.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

For my company, to drive sales, right? That’s what I do. That’s how I got paid.

 

Jenn:

Right! Right!

 

Debbie:

So, I’ve got that …, it’s … “Wait a second. My message is so much more important than the price of toothpaste,” which is what I was … holding. I need to find a way to shout this from the highest mountain! And – and – and so, that’s what brought me to writing a book.

 

Jenn:

Was it harder, though, to write this book than to write marketing materials, because this is a really personal journey, and I imagine it wasn’t all … roses.

 

Debbie:

It – it wasn’t, but key to writing a book – it was as if the message was more important than my personal ego.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

I – I had to get out of the way of the message, if that makes any sense.

 

Jenn:

It makes complete sense to me, because I also wrote a very personal book, but to anybody listening, what do you mean when you say, you had to get out of the way of your message? What do – what does that look like?

 

Debbie:

Well, to me … it involves taking a non-judgemental view of what came before and the lessons that I learned, and putting it out there so that people could somehow relate to it and draw their own conclusions and – and find their own inspiration in it.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

It … time for me to feel sorry for myself, to beat myself up or to apologize – I had done that already. … I was done with that, and that would not serve my reader. I – I’d wanted to give my reader the sparks of hope or inspiration that she would need to feel that “I am worthy of making this decision to change my life.”

 

Jenn:

It’s so powerful, and I think sometimes that, as writers, we forget – … because a lot of us, … – we write for ourselves, because we’ve – we find reward in it, but ultimately the hope is that someone will read it and be impacted by our message, and I think it’s so important to think about things from your reader’s perspective, like you just said.

 

Debbie:

Yes. Nothing thrills me more, when I get an e-mail from a reader who says, … “I felt like you were talking to me,” or “I know you know what it feels like.” That is just the biggest reward that I could ever get from that moment when my doctor said, “You’re gonna die” until now – … those worlds could not be further apart.

 

Jenn:

Oh, that’s – that – a – and you’re right, the feeling is – it’s … indescribable, knowing that – that you’ve had that kind of an impact on someone.

 

Debbie:

Yes! Yes! Especially ….Right? ….

 

Jenn:

Did you – no, no, no, go ahead.

 

Debbie:

… it just breaks my heart when I see these really brilliant women, … who diminish their brilliance because of the size of the clothing that they wear.

 

Jenn:

Uh. Yeah, that’s – that – that is probably one of the most unfortunate things that – that we can do to ourselves, as people, isn’t it?

 

Debbie:

Yes.

 

Jenn:

Yeah. Were there days when writing the book just felt too hard and you thought you weren’t gonna finish it?

 

Debbie:

Yes. Oh, yes. Yes. … I would try to force myself, bribe myself, trick myself and nothing would – nothing would flow out of my fingers, and I knew this was not the right time, and so – I tried everything, and I’d take a bubble bath,  I’d put … socks on, it just was not happening, so –

 

Jenn:

Right?

 

Debbie

I knew that my brain needed a rest, and I had to honor that. And – and I would take myself and I would do something physical, I’d go for a w – walk, or a bicycle ride, just – just not use that area of my brain for awhile.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

And when I – when I gave it a rest, then I would just be …, five thousand words just appeared out of nowhere, how did that happen?

 

Jenn:

Yes!

 

Debbie:

And … I think the trick, really, is knowing that, to expect that, and allowing for it, and knowing that the urge to write will return once whatever else is going on is resolved, and give yourself the space to do it!

 

Jenn:

That’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve heard in – in weeks, just giving yourself the space to – to handle whatever is coming your way, whether it’s a crying child or … you’re hungry, or whatever, if we don’t make time for those urges, then we’re not gonna get things done, like write a book!

 

Debbie:

Right! And when I try to power through it, because I had a deadline, … I hated it, … I just – I didn’t want to do it, what I was writing didn’t make any sense, and this is a complete waste of time, stop it. Just … give your brain a rest, distract yourself a little, do something different, and – and you’ll be refreshed, and it will … for me.

 

Jenn:

It’s really hard to give yourself that permission to step away from it, though, when it feels so important to you.

 

Debbie:

Yes, yes.

 

Jenn:

Yeah. So, we were talking, before the show started, Debbie, and – and I want to hear more about this, so i’m going to bring it up, but you were telling me that you’ve developed a program for people who are looking to maybe lose weight, it – it doesn’t have to be half their body size, right?

 

Debbie:

Oh, absolutely correct.

 

Jenn:

Okay, good. But you were telling me it’s called a FRESH Approach program, can you tell me more about it?

 

Debbie:

Sure! The … letters f – from the word “FRESH” are – are an acronym for the five elements that are really, really critical to living a balanced, healthy life. And when a l – the people approach the thought of weight loss, immediately they’re brain goes to, “I have to eat less,” or “I have to exercise more.” And … yet, we need to talk about Food and Exercise. But what we also need to attack the – the three other elements that fall into that acronym. So, of course, first and foremost, it’s about Food, are you getting the right amount of food, the right foods at the right time, things that you enjoy, things that fuel your body, and – and serve a purpose. So, we do spend a lot of time talking about what foods, where to get them, how to cook ‘em, food is a big part of – of our discussion. R is for Rest. We need … our rest, and we can’t keep running around … until the job is done, we have to take measured breaks for rest. E is, obviously, for Exercise.

 

Jenn:

Of course.

 

Debbie:

… there’s movement that is required, your body needs to move, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a gym rat or commit to … seven days a week, five days a week. If you just do five steps more than you did yesterday, you’re making progress, and you keep doing that, day after day, and by compound interest, you’ll get to where you wanna go.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

So, just … turning your thought on exercise from something that, “Oh, I don’t do, I’ll never do that,” to “I’ll just do five more steps than I did yesterday, now, I’m exercising!”

 

Jenn:

That seems so doable, too.

 

Debbie:

Right? That’s all, … baby steps. …

 

Jenn:

Right. I like that.

 

Debbie:

Right? I – … I’m sorry, S is for Stress. We need to learn to manage our stress, and there’s another whole book just waiting, there’s many books that have been written about it, but once you understand the source of your stress, you can … get a control of it. Stress – the body at a disadvantage in terms of digestion. When your body’s under stress, … a fight-or-flight response come into play and non-essential systems shut down. So, digestion is not important as running away from whatever is chasing you. You – your body doesn’t understand the difference between a physical attack or the mental stress that you create because … your train is running late. It – your body, you’re under attack, and we need to ….

 

Jenn:

Makes so much sense!

 

Debbie:

Right? So, your pupils dilate, your – your heart starts racing and your blood rushes to your biggest muscles, which are your glutes and your hamstrings, so you can run! And what shuts down – it’s like you have a limited capacity, like your computer. Your digestion shuts down, maybe your thinking is not so clear, … and – and so, stress will show up in so many different ways.

 

Jenn:

Wow.

 

Debbie:

So, that’s the S in the FRESH acronym. And then, finally, H is for hydration, and it’s only at the bottom of the list because that’s how you spell the word, but hydration is so overlooked when people are trying to create this healthy lifestyle because, of course, hydration is important for your digestion. But … most of us don’t realize how tired you get when you’re not hydrated.

 

Jenn:

Wow, yeah!

 

Debbie:

And so, this – the natural inclination is, “I’ll grab a couple of M&M’s,” or a piece of fruit if you’re watching your weight when maybe all you need is water. F-R-E-S-H, it’s … not a diet, it’s a FRESH Approach to getting your life in balance with Food, Rest, Exercise, Stress management and Hydration.

 

Jenn:

Now, do you talk about the FRESH Approach in your book, or is this – … if people pick up your book, are they gonna learn more about the FRESH Approach?

 

Debbie:

I talk about it in the book, and this is what I teach my clients in – in my ten-week program.

 

Jenn:

Perfect.

 

Debbie:

… Right? You start by getting a baseline of what exactly you’re doing, what your habits are, I ask lots of questions, do lots of research, and once we figure out what you’re currently doing, and we decide what your goals are, then we create strategies for you to reach those goals, and it always involves all of those five elements.

 

Jenn:

Okay.

 

Debbie:

And not everybody needs all the help in – in every aspect, … I’ve got – I’ve got some dedicated exercises that are not … on the floor, …?

 

Jenn:

Yes.

 

Debbie:

So, I – I meet my clients wherever they are on this path, and we just … get everything humming in – in sync.

 

Jenn:

Oh, I love that, and I love – I love that your – that everything that you’ve talked about, Debbie, is very much a simple approach to meeting people … where they exist now, what are their three hundred and fifteen pound or … hundred and twenty pounds, these are all principles that anyone can apply to lead a healthier life.

 

Debbie:

Yes. Yes. … it became apparent to me, in the very beginning, there are certain things that are not going to change. Number one, I need to eat, every day.

 

Jenn:

Right.

 

Debbie:

And I’m going to have to make a decision about what to eat every day. And so, as long as I know that that’s inevitable, if I could put a little bit of thought into what and how much, … that becomes my new lifestyle! I’m never gonna stop eating! So, why would I give up on making a – a better choice?

 

Jenn:

Wow. No –

 

Debbie:

… it’s mental energy, right? ….

 

Jenn:

Yes! That’s exactly right! That’s exactly right. Well, we are, unfortunately, drawing to a close, I feel like I could talk to you for hours about this, this is fascinating. So, before we close up, I’d like you to let – first, let everybody know where they can get your book. Where can they pick that up right now?

 

Debbie:

Amazon, right now, is the only place you can get my book, and so, if you go to amazon.com, it’s No Time to Lose, Debbie Lazinsky.

 

Jenn:

Perfect, and then, it will be in bookstores a year from now, right?

 

Debbie:

I’m so excited, yes. Yes.

 

Jenn:

That’s super exciting, so maybe I’ll have – we’ll have to have you on the show again, to talk about what it’s like to have your book in bookstores, because that just sounds amazing.

 

Debbie:

That’s outstanding. That would be great.

 

Jenn:

So, one last question. If there’s someone sitting here, listening to us right now, and feels like they have a message that they want to share with the world, but they just haven’t been able to figure out how to do that, what’s one piece of advice you could give them to get them started today?

 

Debbie:

… finding Angela Lauria and the Author Incubator was a stroke of luck and brilliance and genius, and honestly, that’s – that’s what I would sa – I would send everyone, write to Angela, where she will coddle you, allay your fears, pull the book out of you, literally, and … every step of the way. I … – I am planning to write more books, I would not do it without her, … I am just the biggest fan of Angela and the … process that she’s created, and –

 

Jenn:

Oh, that makes me so happy to hear, and we did not rehearse the answer, anyone! That is – that is Debbie’s true answer! ….

 

Debbie:

True! … I tell everyone all the time. I never ever could have done it, it was … a wishy-washy, ambiguous idea or dream or wish or desire, but actually making it happen did not start and would never have occurred if I hadn’t met Angela and subscribed … to the program.

 

Jenn:

Wow. Well, I – I feel … I have to … end on that note, because it’s saying, just come find us and get your message out in the world! I love it!

 

Debbie:

Absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely.

 

Jenn:

Debbie, thank you so much for joining me on the show today, this was a real thrill, talking to you about your journey and your book, and I cannot wait to see what more is in store for you.

 

Debbie:

Thank you so much, it was really, really a pleasure. Thank you.

 

Jenn:

Thank you. And if you are listening, and you think you have a book inside of you, then the – please, reach out, you can find us on the web at theauthorincubator.com, on Facebook or, more importantly, if you’re ready to make a big change in your life, look for Debbie Lazinsky and her book, No Time to Lose. You can find her on Amazon, and then, also, you can find her via her website, debbielazinsky.com. Thank you so much for listening in to another episode of Book Journeys Radio, I am excited for another episode next week, and we will talk to each other then! Thank you.

Enter your details below to get the case study now!

Get Access To Your Masterclass Now

Enter your details below to get access to the FREE video training

Get Access To Your Masterclass Now