Our Lady of Losing It

With her weekly Kick in the Tush Club, weight-loss artist Janice Taylor provides a light-hearted romp through the fat cells, encouraging health and creativity along the way.

| January/February 2005

Janice Taylor doesn’t mind a bit if her readers are on a losing streak. In fact, she’ll do what she can to keep the streak going. Weight is the name, loss is the game.

Sometimes, despite all we know about maintaining a healthy weight, we slip, we slide, we backslide. Sometimes what we need is a kick in the tush and a large dollop of encouragement from someone with our best interests at heart. Enter New York City-based artist Janice Taylor and her fanciful, high-spirited weekly electronic newsletter.

Each Monday throughout the country, e-mail alerts go ding! and a few thousand fortunate subscribers know Our Lady of Weight Loss™ has sent them the latest installment of her Kick in the Tush Club™ newsletter. A weekly reminder for those who want to stay true to their weight loss or health goals, the free newsletter provides a quick hit of facts, recipes, art and inspiration. And Taylor knows from weight loss. Three years ago, she lost more than 50 pounds. It has stayed lost, but in the process of giving it the slip, Taylor found a calling.

Our Lady’s Beginnings

To get to the newsletter, however, we need to backtrack. Way back, as it turns out. “Most newborns initially lose a few ounces,” Taylor says. “Not me. I was the only baby in the hospital nursery to gain weight — and it was uphill from there.” By second grade, Taylor weighed more than 120 pounds. She leveled off in high school at 175 pounds, which she describes succinctly as “Not fun.” For the next 30 years or so, she was on the weight-loss yo-yo, a funhouse ride familiar to dieters everywhere.

A professional artist for many years, Taylor worked as an administrator for a public relations firm in Manhattan and created her artwork on the side. It wasn’t until she combined art with weight loss that a magical alchemy took place, she says.

At the time, she was outgrowing her XXL elastic-band pants, looking at herself in the mirror every morning and starting her day saying, “You look really puffy.” Her back hurt, she wore orthotics in her shoes and she huffed and puffed every time she climbed a set of stairs. Looking in the direction she was heading, she concluded the view wasn’t pretty.

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