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Meet My ‘New’ Old Friend, Lisa Griffis

November 11th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Lisa Griffis

Lisa Griffis

I have a good friend, Lisa Griffis, formerly a co-worker at the paper, now in the web world. She’s got an amazingly great story — anyone into food who has ever struggled with their weight will want to keep up with her.

Lisa and I worked closely together at The Post back in the ’90s; as a graphic artist, she designed some of my coolest Food & Dining covers, and was the co-conspirator behind the Turkey Primer page that appears annually in The Post at Thanksgiving.

Lisa’s was one of the prettiest faces in the newsroom — her almost constant smile and laugh could pull all of us out of a funk. But she had a serious problem — she was obese.


This is what she looked like back then:

Lisa Griffis, in the mid '90s

Lisa Griffis, in the mid '90s


Her dating life was very limted — like it or not, the world discriminates against imperfect body images. Lisa left The Post to return to her native Ohio and has worked at The Cleveland Plain Dealer for eight years.
Years went by, but we kept in touch occasionally by email and phone.

After I left The Post this August, Lisa was in touch again after reading my blog. She emailed me that she wanted to begin a blog, too, to talk about her recent adventures. She attached this incredible photo:

The man behind Lisa represents her weight loss

The man behind Lisa weighs the pounds she lost, earlier this year

I was stunned! My old friend had become a brand new person! She is beautiful woman!
I immediately messaged back:

“OMG!!! You look incredibly beautiful! How did you do it?”

Here’s where I’ll turn it over to Lisa — to tell you all about it in her own words. She’s writing a book about this transformation, but until she does, I’ve asked her to give my readers a sneak peek.

There is nothing extraordinary about me. I am a middle-aged, Midwestern gal, but through patience and perseverance I accomplished the extraordinary feat of overcoming obesity. 

Like many people, I was defined by my addiction. When you weigh 340 pounds it is hard to deny that food isn’t a problem for you.  Unlike other addictions, food can’t be escaped from. In one form or the other, food has to be part of our daily lives. I had let food become too important for me, a comfort for bad days, bad jobs and lonely nights. My weight was defining my lot in life and I couldn’t ignore the words “morbidly obese” any longer — after all, I wasn’t ready to take my permanent dirt nap in a piano box.

Instead of marking a midlife crisis with a new sports car, I ended up giving myself a new body. A shiny new sports car would have cost less but my new body pointed me in the direction of many unexpected adventures.

My amazing transformation using diet and exercise included a healthy dose of self-assessment and self-discipline. It put me on a triumphant path that forever changed my life. This included recently being inducted in the Today Show’s Joy Fit Club for people that have lost over 100 pounds. When the phone call came to be on the show, I was down 177 pounds, but after five years, I still hadn’t reached my ultimate goal of losing 200 pounds.

Joy Bauer has a new LIFE diet plan coming out in December, so she asked if I would join her test group, and challenged me to once and for all lose the rest of the weight. I jumped at the chance, and within five weeks I have lost 12 pounds. I can now see the brass ring for the first time.

Now I’m telling my story on the web, and in a book I’m writing. I am planning on kicking off the New Year with a bang with many great new features on my site www.lisagriffis.com I welcome you to share my journey.

Great story, eh? You can go to Lisa’s blog at: www.lisagriffis.com and keep up with her life and cheer her on. You’ll also get a head’s up when her book is about to be published. And from time to time (when we need it most, I’ll ask Lisa to contribute some tips for healthy eating and staying focused for those who are trying to keep their weight in check.

Tags: Food People

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben // Nov 12, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Wow… this is amazing.

    God bless anyone who can reduce and keep it off. I admire the self discipline and determination.

  • 2 Jan Norris // Nov 13, 2008 at 5:26 am

    I’m thrilled for her — and hope she’s inspiring others as she’s inspiring me!

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