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Beverly Sills

Being general director of the New York opera took a toll on Beverly Sills; she ballooned into obesity. “It made me sick to look at myself. I’d reached the point where I didn’t want to have my clothes made anymore. It was too embarrassing. So I ordered everything from catalogues.”

Eventually Sills was forced to face the problem. “I woke up one day and realized I was really ill.” She went to see a specialist. “He put me on the scales. They read 215 pounds.

‘I cannot possibly weigh that much!’ I gasped.

And the doctor said, ‘Please look down. Are those two fat feet on the scale yours or mine?’”

Beverly smiles. “Once I accepted the problem, I was on my way.”

Phyllis Battelle in Ladies Home Journal, quoted in Reader’s Digest, June 1986