Published on August 8, 2023
Are you someone who, like millions of other people, suffers with a daily internal struggle with weight and eating?
Have you tried all the diets—the packages, the powders, the liquids, the pills, the injections, the grapefruits, the celebrity-sponsored miracle plans, the hypnosis, the balls behind the ear, the no carbs, and on and on . . . and tried them all more than once?
Have you written down your weight loss goals time after time, and perhaps stuck motivational pictures up on the refrigerator many times?
When you go through the checkout line at the supermarket, do you buy all the magazines whose front covers of every issue promote a new, effortless way to shed those pounds?
Have you devoted many weeks to each new diet you tried but haven’t taken off weight for good?
If the answer is yes, I venture to say that what’s really frustrating for you is that you’re regularly bewildered by your own behavior. You can’t count the number of times when you’re on track, eating right, exercising and losing some weight. Then you rejoice. You feel good. You’re on the way, going in the right direction. But then, suddenly something happens. Something throws you off course. The diet’s not working anymore and, in utter frustration, furious at yourself, you quit. Again.
So, of course you give in and give up. You stop doing many things you love to do. You stop going places you love to go, and you dread running into people you haven’t seen in a while, because when you walk into a room, you just know everyone is staring, everyone is judging, and everyone is ridiculing. You don’t play with the kids or grandkids like you want to because you can’t keep up with them. You know you should exercise, but you don’t have the energy, so you sit around and hate yourself, asking the questions: Why bother? What’s the use?
Does all that sound like you?
I can tell you that I just described many of my clients . . . and the strange thing is that most of them, and perhaps you as well, are very capable and competent people in most other aspects of their lives. They work. They take care of kids and family. People turn to them during crises because they’re “The Rock” of the family or of the office or of their circle of friends. They’re perfectionists. Always trying to keep everyone happy. They’re so good at helping others, but they can’t help themselves.
Is that you?
If so, like them, you do know everything that you should do; that’s not the problem. What you really need is a new way to understand why you don’t do it. You must get rid of the FATTITUDE: thoughts, feelings and patterns of thinking or feeling that lead to self-defeating behavior in weight loss efforts. When fattitudes are around, failure always follows. When you are prone to self-defeating behavior, nothing works—not even the best diet or exercise program. A person with fattitudes usually feels preoccupied with food and dieting, has poor self- and body-esteem, and shows symptoms of emotional eating such as bingeing, grazing, and eating for reasons other than physical hunger.
Folks, those of you with a bad fattitude know who you are. You want desperately to lose weight, and to look good and feel better. You know what you need to do to accomplish this, but still, you continue to do things that are counterproductive. You sabotage yourself just when things are going great because you suffer from hidden fattitudes that exert a powerful influence over your decisions and behavior.
A fattitude is a bad-thought habit: an old, over-learned way of reacting automatically with deliberate thought to a situation or circumstance . . . and no one is immune, no matter how much someone may know about health, medicine or even psychology. Many with fattitudes beat themselves up because they believe that weight loss and control is really a simple problem with an easy solution. It’s not.
Finding and foiling your fattitudes is really hard work. You didn’t accumulate fattitudes overnight, nor will you rid yourself of them overnight. It’s a daily effort, and it can be exhausting and frustrating. And one of the best truisms to keep in mind is that when you deal with the demons, you can tackle the fat. It’s not about food. It’s about what’s going on in between your ears. Don’t forget that.