- My diary: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight
- A reader named Tonina shares a personal fear
- 3 solutions to CHANGE the story of: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight
Last week I got an email from a reader named Tonina.
If I hadn’t burned all my diaries years ago—to punish myself after breaking a diet—I’d swear Tonina had found my you-need-a-key-to-read-me books. Pried one open. Typed out a paragraph. And sent it to me.
Avoiding this scenario wasn’t the reason I burnt my diaries.
I destroyed them because I wanted to be certain I couldn’t change my mind in the morning and retrieve these precious pages from the garbage.
So after my parents left for a dinner party,
I kneeled in front of our fireplace with a stack of
& One Line A Day books.
Then I ripped the pages out in chunks and threw them into the flames.
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight
My hope was that if I did something irreversible, it would trigger dramatic change.
I wanted to wake myself up from what I *thought* was a lack of willpower, so I could stick to my next (ridiculously restrictive) diet.
I thought that’s how you lose weight.
(Truth: Some healthy eating and exercise info and a little support was all I needed to reach my happy weight, naturally.)
As I watched my words become enveloped in orange and then shrivel into ash, I told myself if losing my diaries hurt:
Why I said: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight
At the end of Grade 9 I said: Don’t ruin another year, Kelly!
Then I said the same thing after Grade 10… and until the end of high school.
…Same for each year in university, and so on.
Here’s a photo of me from around that time:
I was trying SO HARD to get healthy, but had all the wrong eating and exercise information.
“I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight”
…was something I worried about All. The. Time.
So I knew losing my diaries would be nothing compared to the regret I’d feel if I didn’t sort out my 30-extra-pounds situation and get on with my life.
The aim of burning my diaries was to show myself what it felt like to not be able to get something back.
I was sure the longer it stung, the more I could sustain the desire to be disciplined.
And the reward of doing something drastic would outweigh the pain.
Back then I didn’t know the Greek myth about the phoenix rising from the ashes. But that’s what I was trying to achieve by burning my diaries.
I was always looking for a more dramatic way to make the stakes higher while drawing a line in the sand to mark the start of a new diet I’d stick to perfectly… a diet that would change my life.
Tonina’s email said: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight
So the other day I opened my email, clicked on the name Tonina (who gave me permission to use her real name “…anything if it will help other people” she said) and this paragraph popped up:
I have lost my way a little….a LOT!!! I just can’t seem to get any momentum going. I desperately want to lose this weight and cannot accept myself at this weight…so I continue to obsess about how I can lose this weight soon! I have ashamedly been jumping from plan to plan but can’t seem to sustain anything…. I am worried I am destined to be fat forever 🙁 Every time I find a new book I hope that this is going to be the one that finally helps me to lose weight- the goal still alludes me…..
First I want to thank Tonina for asking for help. It’s a HUGE sign of strength. And the KEY to all the answers you need.
Next I want to break down this I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight paragraph to share solutions.
…I was thinking this 20+ years ago in Canada and Tonina is thinking it in Australia now. There must be countless people EVERYWHERE who say to themselves: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight.
The good news?
There’s a solution!
And it’s available to anyone ready to learn.
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight TRUTH
Sadly I didn’t come across the information (that follows) until years after I torched my diaries. And unfortunately my diary fire incident wasn’t the last of its kind.
But eventually I did STOP the food chaos, reach a healthy weight and get back to everything I love.
You can too.
Here’s what to do if you’re thinking: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight.
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight Solution #1:
“I desperately want to lose this weight and cannot accept myself at this weight…”
What helped me:
When I stopped following diet rules, tips and tricks and started focusing on health, I lost 30 pounds.
The healthy choice helps you lose weight!
A lot of people think “healthy” means eating tasteless food and being boring (!)
But being healthy means doing stuff your body LOVES.
So what kind of stuff does your body LOVE?
What foods work best with your body?
A variety of NATURALLY full-fat foods like whole milk (3.25% fat), olive oil, avocado and whole eggs. Fresh food like tomatoes, oranges, apples and bananas. Carbohydrates like potatoes, whole grain rice and bread. And the occasional treat, like chocolate.
We’re conditioned to think weight loss is hard. And that you need willpower, discipline and to make sacrifices. But when I let go of the dieting mentality, got good information and was kind to my body, I found reaching a healthy weight such a rewarding + exciting experience.
Be good to your body and it will be good to you.
Get rid of your rice cakes, low-fat food and diet drinks.
Eat ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods!
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight Solution #2:
“…so I continue to obsess about how I can lose this weight soon!”
What helped me:
I always wanted to lose weight by the school dance, a holiday, when I returned from holiday, before a date on Friday… and so on.
When I’d think: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight I felt an urgency to lose weight NOW!
But trying to lose weight FAST requires unhealthy choices, like restricting what you eat.
And when you cut back on the energy and nutrients your body needs you end up getting hungry.
Eventually you’ll get so hungry it’s easy to overeat.
Then you try to make up for it by skipping the next meal.
Soon you’re caught in the starve-binge-purge cycle which slows down your metabolism and makes you gain weight.
You can break this vicious cycle when you STOP focusing on losing weight FAST and start focusing on building healthy eating and exercise habits.
Lasting weight loss happens when you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits.
And… whenever you’re making a change in your life, checking in with someone you trust at a regular time each day or week, to report back on your progress (wins, slip-ups and areas for improvement) helps you stay on track and reach goals.
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight Solution #3:
“I just can’t seem to get any momentum going… For years I’ve been jumping from plan to plan. But can’t seem to sustain anything… Every time I find a new book I hope that this is going to be the one that finally helps me to lose weight…”
What helped me:
Whether it’s knitting or weight loss, if you start a new pattern or method each day you’ll never get results.
You have to stick to something for it to work.
This kind of behavior often stems from panic.
Like earlier this week I had 4 things I was desperate to get done for work. And instead of methodically doing each job I jumped from one to the next and found myself going in all different directions (it’s been a tough week, hasn’t it?) …But not really accomplishing anything.
It wasn’t until I picked one task, sat down with a cup of coffee (I LOVE coffee!) and worked on it for a few hours that I made progress.
So… focus on building one healthy habit at a time.
And when you get off track get up and try again.
Make Today Count
What’s one thing you can do TODAY that brings you closer to your goals?
-Eat a balanced breakfast full of whole foods?
-Ask a friend if you can touch base once a week to share your progress?
-Carrying on toward your goals after a “mistake” so you don’t turn something small (eating a cookie) into something big (eating all the cookies.)
STOP punishing yourself. When you’re kind to your body you’ll reach your happy weight naturally.
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
You can get everything you need to know about these 3 life-changing steps here. I took about 3 years to write this book but you can read it in the same time it takes to watch a movie!
Pick a person to check in with. Choose a friend, sister, neighbor, parent or me… who you want to have a standing date to report on your progress. Building in accountability made all the difference for me. You can meet for a coffee each week, talk on the phone or get on a zoom call or Skype! I hope you’ll share what you’re going through with someone you trust. Not only does it increase your chance of success by a whopping 95% but… you’ll likely find that by opening up this person will share something with you too.
Walk away, walk away girl, if you know what’s good for you.
Walk away from dieting by building habits your body LOVES!
(The bit in the above video, that goes down at 0:55 seems unnecessary… perhaps he’s xitd abot Crismis.)
I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight photo (top of this post)
The orchids & books were all found over the last 3 years on dog walks. Please donate rather than send things to the landfill!
I got the little money chest that’s painted with a tree at a garage sale this past summer. The artist found the box in the garbage.
And special thanks to a reader named Kathy who sent me the beautiful lion mosaic she made.
Do you think: I’m afraid I’ll never lose weight?
Has this post helped you feel more optimistic? What’s your biggest take-away?
Thank you Tonina for emailing me. xoxxo Whatever anyone’s going through so many other people are too.
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Hi Kelly it’s Teagan here. The last couple of months have been really hard, I haven’t been able to put any strategies in place. My weight has creeped up by another 3 kgs, my clothes don’t fit anymore. I think I am losing hope of ever being a healthy weight, yet I don’t know what to do to stay consistent to make it happen. I can’t even make it through one entire day without binging. I have hit rock bottom. Is there anything you can recommend for someone like me who doesn’t know why I am overeating all the time? I have failed so many times I don’t believe I can beat this anymore.
Hi Teagan, You’re actually in the exact situation I was in 21+ years ago when I asked for help. By building in accountability (checking in with someone regularly) I was able to break the food chaos (bingeing every day), build momentum and reach my HAPPY weight.
The hardest part is getting started and then the rest is actually exciting because life is so much better when you’re in a healthy routine.
You know what healthy eating looks like (you’ve read my book!) you just need a little support to get and stay on track.
If you’re interested in knowing what Accountability Coaching looks like just check out the sidebar in any of my blog posts. Right at the top (under the Make Today Count image) there’s a box that says “Work 1:1 with me”. Just pop in your info and you’ll get the next steps to set up a Discovery Call. I’m living proof change is possible. xoK
This is princessar from California! I have a question about something I struggle with on a daily basis and that is: immediately after lunch and dinner I have this intense craving for dessert. And nothing can stop this craving so I always have to have a tiny scoop of ice cream or something like a coffee with flavored creamer to stop the craving. I read somewhere that this is normal and hence why all cultures have desert after meals but wanted to get your thoughts on this subject as well. Thanks!
Great question and… I just can’t say it enough. I love California so much!
A healthy lifestyle is all about being flexible, eating a variety of foods and doing everything in moderation. So having a small sweet is no big deal. Here’s a blog post I wrote about that.
In short, having a little something sweet prevents you from feeling deprived and then eventually “breaking down” and overeating that food you’ve been blacklisting.
I don’t blacklist any foods.
Restrictions make you want that food more!
Also… I like that you have your “treat” after dinner. A common mistake people make is to have something sweet and then skip their dinner (full of all the nutrients, fiber & energy your body needs) to try to make up for it and then they end up snacking at night. Which leads to unhealthy patterns.
Another scenario that works against you building healthy habits & reaching your H 🙂 PPY weight, is that people have something sweet as a snack. Snacks should be nutritious to meet your body’s needs. It’s better to have something sweet after you’ve met your bodies needs with a balanced meal or balanced snack.
And one last thing…
Just check to make sure that your meals and snacks are ROUGHLY balanced and made MOSTLY of whole foods.
Everyone I work with 1:1 always excitedly reports back that once they start to eat more balanced meals made of whole foods (avoiding reduced fat, processed and diet foods) that they crave sweet things far less.
It’s so funny you asked this question b/c I just started writing a blog post about the difference between snacks and treats!
Thanks Kelly!!! Xoxoxo
Appreciate your insights and thoughts! Very good info. If you ever come down to California please let me know!!
Thanks so much PrincessAR!
That would be so fun.
And anytime you have a question, just pop it in the blog.
Hi Kelly, my weight has gone up and is still creeping up since I began scheduled eating around three weeks ago (after 11 years of restrictive dieting). I am being disciplined to eat three meals a day, roughly balanced. I am careful to have healthy food in these meals, and they are satisfying and I don’t find a need to snack. I am being sure to have an active life and walk each day. Did this happen to you (and others out there) too? I know our bodies are unique, but I would like to know about how long it might take for my metabolism to respond with some weight coming off again. I am still needing to drop a fair amount of weight to be in a healthy weight range. The alarm bells are starting to ring and I find myself thinking that perhaps this works for others but it won’t work for me. The temptation to start a new diet is creeping back with the weight gain, but I do not want to shift my mindset back to that unhealthy way of thinking. This balanced approach has been so much better for my mind and soul and has made me feel like myself again. I just don’t want to diet again. It’s always helpful to know if this has happened to others and what the pattern tends to be with the weight gain after resuming a healthy balanced pattern of eating after dieting.
I LOVE that you’re feeling like yourself again. That happened to me too (my mind and soul feeling so much better) when I stopped dieting and focused on health. Best feeling!
I always say… 3 weeks won’t undo 11 years of dieting. It can take a bit of time to wake up your metabolism when it’s been in survival mode.
It sounds like you’ve made lots of incredible changes.
It’s hard for me to give you more exact feedback unless I know what you’re eating. After 10 years of dieting I thought I was making healthy choices when in reality I wasn’t.
There are a few ways I could help you make sure you’re on the right track so you can put all this food stuff behind you. I’m excited for you to keep being your creative self!
My blog has lots of info, my book has everything in one place, I also do a 1 hour consultation where we cover a ton! Or 1:1 coaching (that’s super fun).
Here’s some info from a past client.
Either way I really hope you keep focusing on health.
You CAN unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight without dieting.
Your body WANTS to be a healthy weight because then all it’s jobs are easier. So the key is to work with your body.
Let me know if you have any questions!