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Beyond New Year's resolutions: Weight-loss coach, client discuss what leads to real lifestyle change

When Brian Frailey (at left) decided to sign up for a backpacking trip with his son and learned he was 114 pounds over the weight requirement to do so, he gave St. Louis-based coach Charles D'Angelo (at right) a call.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, an intention to lose weight continues to top the list for many Americans. All too often, those goals go unachieved – and another year goes by.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh started off 2019 by talking with two St. Louisans who offered listeners suggestions for making real progress toward a healthier lifestyle.

Joining the discussion were Charles D’Angelo, a weight loss and personal development coach, and one of D’Angelo’s clients, Brian Frailey, who lost 163 pounds in 2018. Frailey said he’d been overweight for about 15 years before he realized he “had to do something.” His decision to sign up for a backpacking trip with his son – which will take place in New Mexico this summer – precipitated that realization.

“I was 114 pounds above the maximum weight requirement to be able to go on the trip,” explained Frailey. He then called D’Angelo, who helped him put together a strategic plan for change.

“I needed something to help keep me going, keep me motivated, and that’s what Charles helped me do,” Frailey said.

D’Angelo, who weighed 360 pounds himself by the age of 16 and “could barely make it up a flight of four stairs,” said he eventually learned “how to disconnect from using food in an emotional way, reclaim [his] own power by developing inner trust and then set forth on a fundamentally sound, healthful approach to eating [and] exercise.”

Those are three of his focuses in his work with clients, along with generally “having a much better relationship with yourself.”

The conversation touched on a variety of tips and topics, with an emphasis on the connections between emotion and, so often, what humans eat and drink.

“In our culture today, we have a reluctance to let ourselves experience grief,” D’Angelo said. “We don’t let ourselves feel sad. We think that if something’s negative we shouldn’t feel it. We try to numb ourselves, we try to pacify ourselves – and we do it in a number of ways.”

Along with exercise and healthy eating, the coach emphasized “allow[ing] yourself to have the full range of emotion that every human should have – a certain room for sadness, a certain room for anger, and anger’s not abuse, a certain room for feeling afraid and a certain room for feeling happy and joyful” – as part of efforts to pursue lifestyle change.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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