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Losing Weight--4 Questions to Ask Before You Try to Do It, Again

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If you are an emotional eater, an overeater, a compulsive eater or a constant snacker, you’re probably also an expert dieter. Most women don’t just struggle to lose weight once. We struggle to lose weight, to keep it off, to maintain hard-earned healthy habits, and—too often—we struggle to lose the weight all over again because we’ve regained it.
If you want to avoid the weight loss roller coaster—and the emotional turmoil that can accompany it, ask yourself the following four questions before you start moving forward with your weight loss resolutions.

1. Why are you in this same place again? In other words, what HASN’T worked in the past? Where have the plans fallen apart? Why did you lose your motivation? What part of past programs just wasn’t possible for you to complete? Be as honest and as thorough about answering this question as possible. Note: this is NOT an opportunity to beat yourself up. If your first response is something like, “I was lazy and didn’t have enough willpower,” I’m not buying it. What would a plan need to have to keep you energized? What was it about the last approach that led you to run out of steam and stick-to-it-ness?

2. Do you have the time and energy for this project? Really. If adopting new healthy lifestyle habits is important to you, you’re going to need to carve out some space to do this. Are you willing to say no to some things so that you can say yes to what you want? What will you need to let go of to stay on track?

3. When you stumble, what will help you get back on track? We all stumble and we all have bad days. You know yourself—what do you need to keep going when the going gets tough? Are you motivated by accountability, rewards, feedback, or something else? Do you need a partner, an emotional eating program, a coach? What benefits or features would help you really create the success you are after?

4. Do you need some new tools to craft the success that you crave? Are you trying to build a house with only a hammer? The best hammer in the world is pretty useless if what you really need is a screwdriver and a food plan doesn’t address issues like emotional eating or boredom eating.

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What a wonderful, thought-provoking post.

I am working on losing weight right now, and you are correct, it isn't the first time. You gave me a lot to think about here. Perhaps the biggest question I have to answer is one of your first ones, "Why did I lose my motivation last time?" Motivation is a sticky thing for emotional eaters, because food plays too big a role in our lives.

Thanks so much for giving me (real) food for thought.

February 8, 2010 - 9:53am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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