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Talking About Weight, A Diet Problem, and Weight-Loss Failure

Posted Jun 16 2012 6:39am

Eloise, when she finally showed up was an overweight thirty-something. No different in weight than sixty percent of American women in the United States. Eloise knew about Maria’s weight-loss book, had read it, and tried to put it into practice. One of the first things Eloise said to Maria was Maria could probably help her with weight as well as writing. It was a throwaway line, said jokingly, but out of some embarrassment for her rotund appearance; and our Maria didn’t give it any thought. Neither did Eloise. She was quickly swept up in Maria’s graciousness—tea or coffee, comfy chair, the two women sitting together like old friends; all in less than ten minutes. The issue of weight was disposed of—for now.

There came a time, after Maria and Eloise had gone over the manuscript for what seemed like a hundred times, making first sentences stronger, giving more meaning to whole sections, sharpening dialog, changing the emphasis on characters and their relationships; after all of this, Eloise reopened the topic of weight.

“I’ve always been fat. In grade school. In high school. In college. And I’m still fat. Well, maybe not fat fat, but not simply plump either. Diets always fail me. I have this false sense of hope each time I go on a diet, like this time will be the time. It hasn’t, and I don’t think it will. Reading Escape to Thin, I could tell why. I always knew that I had to pay more attention to the emotional reasons for being overweight and eating, but I fooled myself into thinking that my weight was genetic; and my parents, my mother especially, didn’t tell me otherwise.”

Maria spoke up so Eloise wouldn’t go into a whole long dissertation about her weight. Lots of women do this, give dissertations, that is, but giving a dissertation about their weight doesn’t get them any closer to successfully losing weight, and Maria was well aware of this. “I can hear it’s been hard for you, and it’s not over yet. It’s murder when diets don’t work for you. You should be able to count on them.”


excerpt from a new book to be published as part of the Symmetry Press series — Women’s Weight-Loss Books ~ Using Psychology to Lose Weight.


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