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The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Recently, a student in one of my weight management classes told me, “I just want to live my life, and not have to worry about counting calories, weighing and measuring my food, using a food diary, or thinking ahead about what I’m going to eat.”

And I wondered, what does this mean, “I just want to live my life”? Because if it means, “I just want to eat whatever I want, however much I want, whenever I want it, without thinking about what I’m putting in my mouth”, then this is most likely not going to be compatible with the goal of maintaining a healthy weight for life – unless what you want is a really healthy diet (think lots of fresh produce, healthy fats, lean proteins, few refined carbohydrates, and so on). But I don’t think this is what most people mean when they say, “I just want to live my life”, in reference to food.

Successful lifelong weight loss maintenance involves thought, planning, and some sacrifice. We may have to give up certain things in order to maintain our weight loss. It takes time to prepare healthy meals, and to exercise, and that might mean giving up something else that we would otherwise do with that time. We give up having our favorite “comfort foods” or “treat foods” whenever we want them – instead we plan for them. We may even have to give up some relationships – with people who enable us or attempt to sabotage us – or, at the very least we may have to give up old ways of relating and learn how to relate differently with some of the people in our lives.

But we don’t just give up – we replace, we have more of something else instead, we gain some things. We find new, more effective ways of relieving stress, of soothing and comforting ourselves when we need soothing and comforting. We gain improved self-image, improved health, and an enhanced quality of life. We may gain improved mobility, and increased ability to perform the everyday physical tasks of life with ease instead of with a struggle. We may gain new types of friendships, with people who also aspire to live healthy lives and build relationships that are not focused solely on eating unhealthy foods together. We gain pride in knowing that we’ve become a role model of healthy living for the people we care about most.

Share your thoughts about this topic with me and other readers by commenting on this post.

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With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh® is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.