Why You Gain Weight

When you see the scale go up a few pounds it's easy to panic. A few pounds feels emotionally like a ton. You wonder if you will ever be able to get off that extra weight, as if you were David facing the Giant. You feel guilty for how you've eaten or for skipping exercise.

Then, almost without a thought, you surrender. You tell yourself you messed up, so you might as well give up. Let the Giant win.

That's why you gain weight.

You see, it's not the few pounds that is the problem. They can be lost. It's the giving up--the "all or nothing" thinking--that is the real problem.

Try being honest with yourself.

It's time to get out your sling shot and poke holes in this lie you are telling yourself--the lie about not being able to take off a few pounds.

Your problem isn't the few pounds you've gained; it's not your body. Your problem is in your mind. You start playing an old tape in your head and believe it, even when it's not true.

You tell yourself you can't say no to chocolate. You are too tired to exercise. You don't have time to cook. All lies. Really.

liminate "I can't" from your vocabulary.

As surely as David knocked down that big menace, you CAN knock off a few pounds--if you will stop telling yourself you can't do it.

Act on the facts, not on your feelings.

You CAN take action to drop the pounds no matter what you're feeling. This new way of being will take some practice, but you will get better at it over time.

Here's how to act on facts, not feelings, to defeat the Giant:

1) Take aim. Figure out what your target weight is and make a little chart to track your progress--and then use it!

(If you're like me, you'll be tempted to skip this step, but that's the old tape. This time, don't skip what seems silly or useless--that's a lie.)

2) Use your tool. David had a great sling shot to use and a nice sized stone, I bet. You have your tool, too--your weight loss surgery.

Follow all of your surgeon's guidelines (yes, dig out the papers you were given at orientation or call and ask for a new set to be mailed to you--and then read them every day for a week).

And at meal time, try chewing forever, and not drinking with meals, and eating dense proteins to fill you up.

3) Feel your feelings and do it anyway. David must have been terrified, but he didn't let that stop him. He bravely walked out into the open and faced the Giant.

You can face your powerful foe, too--your negativity. Feel your feelings: anger, fear, sadness, deprivation, defiance, shame, disappointment, whatever they are ... and then do the next right thing anyway. Don't let your feelings dictate your actions. Be like David today.

Like the people David was defending, your life is depending on you. Your hopes and dreams need you to protect them. Your health and productivity need you to stand up for them.

When David stepped out, he had no guarantee he would win. He took a leap of faith and acted. He felt the fear and did it anyway.

It's your turn.



Katie Jay, MSW, is director of the National Association for Weight Loss Surgery and author of the book, "Small Bites: Daily Inspirations for Weight Loss Surgery Patients." Get her special report, "The 10 Most Common Mistakes Weight Loss Surgery Patients Make," when you sign up for her f*ree newsletter at www.nawls.com.

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