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Weight-Loss Failure and What You Might Be Doing Wrong

Posted May 17 2013 5:00am
Dear Maria

I must confess that I’ve failed miserably at losing a lot of weight. I’ve tried too many times in my life and I think I’m finished. I’m writing to you as my last hope. I need your help because my weight-loss efforts are always filled with such emotion. Here’s what just happened.

I was on the South Beach Diet. I tried it before, lost some weight, but couldn’t keep it going. The same was true for Weight Watchers, which I’ve been on and off I can’t tell you how many times over the years. In fact, the same was true for all the other diets I was on since I was twelve years old. I’m now thirty-eight, and much to my surprise, I’ve been dieting for twenty-six years of my life.

I know I got off track and started giving you my diet history when I wanted to only focus on my most recent experience. That’s the thing; I go off track—with dieting too.

I was sticking to the diet this last time come hell or high water. I was good: I woke to the diet, stayed true to it throughout the day, and went to sleep to the diet. The diet was always on my mind. I talked to my friends and to my family about the diet. They were all aware of how hard I was working to stay on it. Diet tension was in the air all the time at my house and at work too.

Everyone could see the pounds coming off me like it usually happens at first and all the way to the mid-point. But that is where it stops. And that is where it stopped this time too.

Do you have any idea what I’m doing that is making it impossible for me to have successful weight loss?


Dear Liza

I’m sorry you’ve had so many dieting tragedies. If they all went the way of this last one, I would say maybe you’re holding yourself much too tightly when it comes to losing your unwanted weight.

Living and breathing the diet you’re on minute by minute each day like you described could mean that when you’re on the diet, you are not only limiting the kind and amount of food you eat, you may also be limiting your life in general. Of course, you can’t keep up that kind of overall deprivation past a certain point. It’s just much too personally destructive.

Try holding yourself (and your diet) more loosely and more in harmony with all else that is going on in your life. Don’t curtail your life in any way; make your diet fit into your life so it’s not a tension producer.

I don’t think you will be able to shift those old diet gears from full speed ahead to a more easy going approach right away. It may take some time and some doing on your part. But give it a try and let me know how it goes.

All the best,
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