Victoria Moran learned at an early age how to make things happen in her life. She became a writer at age 14, when with a $1 press card purchased from a teen magazine, she talked her way into a Beatles’ press conference. "That’s when I knew that even though I was just an ordinary girl from Kansas City with a recurrent weight problem and bad skin, I really did live a charmed life," she says. Since then, she has followed her goal of teaching others her secrets to living that charmed life.

Moran speaks about her newest book, "Fat, Broke & Lonely No More! Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places," on Wednesday, August 8, at 7 p.m. at the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health and Wellness in Mercerville. The event is sponsored by the Friends Health Connection. Cost: $15. To register call 800-483-7436.

On her website, www.victoriamoran.com, Moran calls herself "the foremost authority on the charmed life phenomenon." Her passion, she says, is telling others how they too, can lead a charmed life. The phenomenon," she says, "is not something that is just for the Rockefellers." Anyone can lead a charmed life if they learn a few secrets.

Looking at Moran’s life today, you would definitely consider it charmed. She is a successful author of 10 books, lives in New York City, and is a speaker who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show twice. Her daughter, Adair Moran, is starting an acting career, and her husband, William Melton, is an attorney and a screenwriter. But it hasn’t always been a picnic. At one time in her life, she says, she embodied the title of her book, "Fat, Broke & Lonely."

Moran grew up in Kansas City. Her father was a successful diet doctor and her mother ran a weight reducing salon, "the forerunner of today’s fitness centers," she says. For her parents, "a fat kid was bad for business," so she spent her adolescence and young adulthood dieting and binging. Finally at age 30, "it hit me that I didn’t care if I was ever thin," she says. That realization led her to change and improve her eating habits, and as a consequence, find and maintain her proper weight.

With a degree in comparative religion from North Central University in Naperville, Illinois, she set out to be a writer.

"I spent a lot of years with the starving artist mentality," she says. La Boheme and freezing in attics sounded romantic." She expected to receive an inheritance from her father, but late in life he married a younger woman, and Moran received almost nothing when he died.

"It was a terrible thing when it happened," she says, "but like so many things in life, it was really a blessing. If I had inherited money when I was 40, I would have stayed financially a 14-year-old for the rest of my life." Instead, "realizing that I was never going to be able to put heiress as my occupation on my tax form made me grow up financially."

Moran was widowed in her early 30s and spent the next several years certain that she would never find love again. "Finally, after nine years I looked at my life and said, `This is pretty good. I’ve got a great daughter and work I love and friends." She had come to terms with her life as a single mother, and was content.

The very next day she met the man who ended up becoming her husband. The moral, she says, is that "when you lose the desperation, you open yourself up to new relationships."

Recognize where it comes from. A charmed life, says Moran, is not about the things that come from the outside, such as money, but rather, from inside ourselves. Instead of emptiness on the inside, she asks people to "recognize that you are enough. You are worthy. If you don’t believe that you are worthy then why not have that milkshake or max out that credit card? Instead, you need to work on building a life that has meaning."

Don’t go it alone. Achieving your dreams takes work, says Moran, and it is easier if you have someone to work with. She recommends an "action partner," someone to touch base with on a daily basis to hold you accountable for taking the actions you need to take.

"Mohammed Ali didn’t need a coach in the ring with him every day to teach him to box. He needed a coach to help him focus," she says. A partner will help you stay focused when the going gets tough.

Eat three meals a day. Her best advice for people who want to lose weight is to "follow the wisdom of three meals a day." While there are a few people who, for health reasons, must eat more often, for most of us sticking to three meals makes sense for several reasons, says Moran.

"For people with a weight problem it is often difficult to stop eating once you’ve started. If you only start three times a day, you only have to stop three times a day." During those hours in between meals, "learn how to live. Devote your time to what you are here on earth for."

80/10/10. Moran advocates an old-fashioned formula for learning to live within your means: 10 percent of your income to charity, 10 percent saved for yourself, and 80 percent for your daily living needs.

"Find a charity that is trying to make the world a better place and give money to it. If you are giving money to others, you immediately feel more prosperous yourself," says Moran. And if you know that you are saving money you will feel less worried and frustrated."

Love your life. The first step to not being lonely, says Moran, is to fall in love with your life. "Create a life for yourself that is rich and full and interesting, and you will never be lonely, no matter who is around you." If you have hobbies, volunteer work, or other commitments that keep you busy and interested, you will be a more interesting person, and you will immediately attract other interesting people to you.

"Don’t be cool to your dreams," says Moran. "Look at your dreams and see what is feasible. Then, begin working every day to achieve them."

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