3. I am disciplined. Despite not always wanting to do what needs to be done, I do it anyway. There are plenty of times I don't feel like working out, or taking the time to prepare my meals. Whether it's exercise, skipping dessert, or cooking a healthy dinner rather than calling in for take-out, I do it. My mind is always focused on my vision. It's not about how I feel right now. It's about what I want for my future self.
4. I share my goals and plans. My friends and family are aware that taking good care of myself and keeping the weight off is a core value of mine. I stand up for myself without apology. Sometimes I'll miss happy hour with the gang to go to the gym, or request that we change the restaurant choice because I won't go to a buffet—I am not embarrassed or sorry for speaking up. I also know I don't need to go it alone. When I am feeling vulnerable, I ask for help.
5. I am resilient. When I stumble or fall down, I pick myself up and creatively figure out how to move on. Life throws curveballs all the time, but they aren't reasons to throw my healthy habits away. I know that soothing myself with food or TV won't solve my problems. I deal with the reality of the situation and creatively work toward overcoming adversity.
6. I have self-compassion. I'm only human and there are times when things don't go as well as I'd like. I just do the best I can. When I slip up, I look at it as one individual episode, not a pattern that will lead to disaster. A "lapse" does not mean collapse. I just get right back on track. I do not beat myself up if a few pounds creep back on. The scale does not define who I am. It doesn't make me good or bad. It only tells me whether or not I am on track to reach my goals. If I am not, I recalculate.
Sustained weight loss requires a new mindset. In order to be successful, you must resist looking in the mirror and still seeing the old you. Permanent success requires you to think and act like a thin person even before you reach your goal. If it initially feels awkward, remember the old adage, "Fake it 'til you make it." The more you behave and think like a successful dieter, the sooner you will be one. Being healthy and thin will become part of your identity. It's time to leave the old one behind.
Dieci, Edward. 1995. Why We Do What We Do. London: Penguin Books.
Fletcher, Anne. 2003. Thin For Life. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.