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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

You Can Be an Expert at Losing Weight
by Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D. and Julie Schwarz

Here's a difficult spot many women find themselves in. Is this where you are?

You're overweight, and you don't like it. It's really making you unhappy. How in the world did this happen? It's almost as though it happened without your permission. It just seemed to creep up on you when you weren't looking--you know, one or two extra cookies here or there, maybe more sometimes. But that isn't nearly enough to pack on all those pounds. It remains a mystery.

Have you been too sedentary? No, you've actually been exercising. You've been taking walks or going to the gym or going to yoga classes or using your treadmill. So just where did this weight come from? Are you destined to be overweight forever? What kind of cruel trick is fate playing on you?

So you go on a diet and it's great for a while, but your willpower doesn't last. You start out with a bang and you lose some weight, but then just as fast you gain it back. You've begun to think you just can't do it. You don't have what it takes. You feel like a failure. The truth is you can control everything in your life but this. Is there something basically wrong with you? How come you can't do it? Are you just a weak, incapable person?

No, you're not weak or incapable. In fact, you're probably an expert. The problem is that you're an expert in the wrong thing. You've been spending a lot of time and energy learning how to master the art of overeating and gaining weight. It took you time and effort to get there, and now you've arrived.

Of course, this is probably not what you intended to do. In fact, it's the very opposite of what you wanted. How about considering this: exactly what did you do to become such an expert in overeating, gaining, and breaking diets? You've been checked out and you can't trace the cause back to anything physical. So let's see how it might have happened.

  • At some point you tried out eating as a way to help you get through certain things in your life

  • It seemed to help you, so you began to do it over and over until it became your coping method of choice

  • You practiced using food in this way until you got really good at it

  • Your ability to "eat over it" (whatever the "it" was) grew over time until you became the skilled expert you are today

Would you like to reverse this unwanted trend? Would you like to change your calling and become an expert at losing weight? You might wonder if it's possible to alter your course and do the opposite. It definitely is possible. Just like you learned how to be an accomplished overeater and weight-gaining expert, you can learn to do something different, something much better for you.

Here are steps to take so you can now become a pro at losing weight.

  • Study up on new ways of helping you make it through the ups and downs of your life
  • Start using some of these strategies in place of eating
  • Practice a lot and get really good at utilizing these strategies
  • Keep this up over time until it becomes second nature

What will happen when you do these things? If you think about it, isn't this just what it takes to excel at something? So go out there and gather lots of good information to increase your knowledge. Then try out some of the new things you find. Then practice and build your skills. That's how you become an expert.

It's your decision which kind of expert you'll be.

Dr. Kenneth Schwarz, a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Connecticut, and his wife Julie are the founders of www.mariaslastdiet.com, a website offering strategies and support for diet success. Dr. Schwarz provides tools to help women succeed regardless of which diet they choose. Sign up for their free newsletter and receive ongoing support for total diet success.


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