“I’m smart, and I’ve been successful at so many things, but with diets the weight has always come back! If it’s so simple, why haven’t I figured it out myself?”

We don’t think to look within ourselves for answers when there are so many solutions out there already– This Diet, That Plan, This Cleanse, That Superfood. It’s not just the 63 Billion Dollar Diet Industry, it’s almost everyone we know. Everybody seems to have an answer to the question “How do I lose this extra weight?”.

Each time the weight comes back, or we give up on a diet, it feels like failure–WHY WOULD WE PUT TRUST IN OURSELVES WHEN WE’VE FAILED BEFORE? It’s radical, and it goes against the common belief that the answer is “out there”. I’m inviting you to be radical, to go against the grain, to ignore common knowledge.

There are two reasons:

  1. Diets almost always fail in the long run. 85-95% of people who diet gain back every pound within two years and 40% gain back more than they lost. Does it make sense to keep doing this over and over?
  2. Diets manipulate what, when, and/or how much we eat, but they ignore the biggest variable of all: WHY.  If I’m eating more than I need to, there’s a high probability that a habit, a feeling, or a need is driving that extra eating. Chances are that it won’t go away by itself, and that the dieting will make things even worse in the long run. We can use willpower for awhile to fight feelings, needs and hunger, but it doesn’t last forever. They always win out in the end. And the weight comes back…

The radical solution? Shed some of the “Whys” and the pounds will follow. There is no “done-for-you” solution, no eating plan to follow, no points to count, no superfood that will magically take the weight off. The truth is, a negative feeling or a difficult situation doesn’t have to lead to eating!  Working with WHY is work, and it’s not for sissies, but it pays off big in the end: Lasting Weight Loss. Self-Trust. Self-Confidence. A Thoroughly Pleasurable and Satisfying Eating Experience free of guilt, free of worry.

Self-Trust is a big one. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve lost it. That little voice in the back of our head goes: “I always _______”, or “I never ______” or “I’m so _________”, and we give up even before we’ve started. Well, it’s not your fault that the weight came back, the diet set you up to regain it. Blame the diet, not yourself. Trust that you’re human, trust that you tried your best. You don’t have to be stopped by that negative voice. You can make it grow smaller and smaller if you apply the right antidotes:

We call those niggling little thoughts Automatic Negative Thoughts, or ANTs. And they can be handled like this:  Grab a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle of the page. (Or you can download a worksheet here). Label the left column ANTs and the right column ANTidotes. On the left side, list 3, 5 or more negative thoughts that you have about yourself or your body on a regular basis. (As more come to you later, add them to the list). On the right side, next to each ANT, write down a thought that neutralizes the negativity. It doesn’t have to be super-positive, it just has to take the negative heat out of the ANT.  For example, I might think, “My thighs are so fat!” and write that on the left. Then on the right side, I would write: “and they are so strong, they’ve carried me through so much!”  Do this for each ANT you come up with, and then practice saying each ANT and ANTidote together a few times so you’ll remember it when it comes up.

The important thing is to keep each ANTidote simple, true and completely believable. If it’s not authentic to you, it won’t work. When the ANT arises, just follow it with the ANTidote and let it fade away. Don’t build a story around it, that just keeps it alive. And, be sure to choose only one follow-up for each ANT–having more can be confusing and less effective. With repetition, you’ll find that over time, the juice starts to go out of the negative thought and it will eventually give up entirely. YOU get to choose what you think about yourself, so choose powerfully!

Wishing you a Joyful Life Beyond Dieting!

  Martha