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Lasting Weight Loss: No Discipline Required

"I'd love to lose weight, but I don't have the discipline."

If I had to lose weight the way the diet mongers say we need to, I'd never lose an ounce. Or maybe I would, but it certainly wouldn't stick. And then, what's the point?

And if I had to make myself work out, well that wouldn't be likely to happen either. The truth is - I like working out, so it isn't a chore and it doesn't require 'discipline'. It does require time and prioritizing. So I've tried to make that as simple as possible. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big believer in simplicity.

If you attempt to lose weight using 'discipline' you are taking a risk. You are working against yourself, rather than with yourself and setting up a situation just ripe for rebellion.

Losing weight with discipline invites perfectionism and extremism. "If I don't do this, I am weak--I have failed."

You are trying to bully yourself into an act of submission by attacking your own character. Does that sound like a recipe for success?

You also take the risk of trying to accomplish something using an authoritative stance. Drill sergeants may be able to get their recruits to obey commands, but I'm willing to bet that most of us would prefer a more flexible, open-minded approach.

If you are involved with losing weight, you want to be comfortable in relationship to the process, not relating to it as a "should".

Otherwise, it is akin to a loveless relationship--you are there, but you don't want to be. You are always thinking about what you are missing.

When you talk about discipline, you are really talking about desperation. You don't know any other road to get from point A to point B. You have been told that dieting is the only way to lose weight.

It doesn't make sense--we can have a great work ethic and be very disciplined in other areas, but when it comes to our bodies, nothing seems quite as personal or as hard to get a handle on.

We think that if we just follow the rules . . .

But what happens when that doesn't work?

We are right back into the same old patterns--berating and sabotaging ourselves. Is it possible that it is the diet and not us that is at fault?

Losing weight doesn't take 'discipline'--what it takes is connection to ourselves, especially in the act and experience of eating.

It also takes permission to be ourselves and to accept ourselves as we are. It takes becoming aware of what works for us and allowing ourselves to fail, at times, in the process.

Losing weight takes leaving the popularity contest behind and connecting to ourselves in new ways that offer personal satisfaction instead of trying to please others. When you can do that, weight loss is likely to happen--so is life.

Carol Solomon, Ph.D. is a psychologist and personal coach who specializes in helping people who want to lose weight and eliminate food and weight issues.

By going from food obsessive to charge neutral (i.e. Did I eat today?), she became dedicated to making it easy for others to step off the vicious cycle and live free of anxiety about food and weight.

She is the author of "Lose Weight Now Stay Slim Forever," a practical "how-to" manual for learning to lose weight without dieting.

Sign up for her free email newsletter, Slim Forever at:

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