I’ve been a dieter my whole life. I’m 36 and have gained and lost the same weight for as long as I can remember, and every time I lose weight and regain it, it seems like a little more creeps on. I don’t know what to do anymore. I want to take this weight off and keep it off for good, but it seems like that’s never going to happen. I’m always having to watch what I eat and it’s exhausting. Any advice?
Thanks, An Exhausted Yo-Yo
Dear Exhausted Yo-Yo,
I want to let you know that you are not alone. So many people out there are just like you struggling to keep their weight off. Dieting seems like the logical thing to do when you want the scale to go down, because it would make sense that if you’re eating less then their won’t be anything inside of you to gain. Now, I’m not sure if you’re a regular reader or not, but I often talk about how dieting will slow your metabolism down. When you’re cutting out food groups or drastically reducing your calorie intake your body will hold on to whatever you feed it, because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get more (which is sort of how dieters usually are when they finally give into their craving – one cookie turns into 10, right?).
I don’t have any specifics on exactly what kind of dieter you are, but first I want to tell you that if you have a scale I want you to throw it out. It’s only going to make you obsess more about taking the weight off, which will sabotage your efforts (you know how they say that you find love when you’re not looking for it? Losing weight is sort of the same thing. If you think about it too much it most likely won’t happen, because you’re not being intuitive about it). Instead, focus on the waist of your clothes. If they feel looser on you than you know you’re doing the right thing!
Secondly, I want you to write your Victory Vision. Be completely honest with yourself and write down why you want to lose weight. If you’re doing it for other people then it’s going to be hard to keep the weight off, you have to do it for yourself.
Lastly, make a list of your negative behaviors that keep you on the yo-yo diet roller coaster and then write down ways to overcome those behaviors the next time you’re faced with them.
Just know that you’ve lived a lifetime like this, so you’re not going to be able to undo it overnight. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself when you slip-up – nobody and no body is perfect. You can do this!
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