Healthy Kids     K-12    

I feel like a fat cow!

Learn how to keep off your extra weight for good this time!

You know what happens, January rolls around and you say "I'm going to do it!  This time I'm going to lose weight for good!"  Then a week passes, then a month passes and you're back where you started. Sound familiar? I know exactly how you feel.

For over twenty years I went around and around with the same cycle carrying over seventy-five pounds of excess weight.  Looking at my kids one day and feeling horrible about "slipping up" on my diet, I decided to stop the dieting insanity and find another way. 

Ten years and over 12,000 hours later, with a shiny new culinary degree behind me from the Culinary Institute of America and a 75 pound lighter body, not only have I found the way, but I've successfully shared it with thousands of others.

People always ask me what my biggest challenge was and the answer is surprising. The answer, quite truthfully, was me. Chances are if you're a "habitual dieter" and have gone through this cycle over and over again, you are your biggest obstacle too.

Here's what I learned:

Transform your mind
What's getting in the way, is your mind. For so long now you have conditioned yourself to believe what you say is true. Chances are the thoughts that you keep telling yourself are that you can't be successful. The good news is you can change this! You've got more control over your mind than you believe.

READ MORE: Healthy eating tips  

For years, you've subconsciously told yourself you don't deserve to lose weight. You've allowed outside influences, like the approval of family and friends and the pressure of the media to make you feel like a failure over and over again.
It's time to stop focusing on the results and spend some time thinking about why you're having a hard time "letting go" of the weight. Rather than saying you're trying to "losing weight," say you are "releasing weight." Why would this matter? Simple: What happens when we lose something? We want it back!

Ask the hard questions
After you make that small change in mindset, spend a little time thinking about how you think. What do I mean? Ask yourself some hard questions that no one needs the answer to but you. For example:
  • What is it that is keeping you from being successful?
  • What negative thoughts do you have about yourself?
  • What outside influences are making you feel like a failure?
READ MORE: Helping your overweight child

Write down your answers, and then formulate new, positive thoughts. These new ideas, such as "I deserve to be healthy," "I can release the weight," "I have the tools to be successful this time" all need to be written down and reviewed each morning, every night and anytime you feel a shade of doubt creeping into your mind.

Banish negative thoughts
Reviewing your positive thoughts will allow you to re-train your brain and keep negative thoughts out. This simple step takes very little time, but packs a major punch to negative thoughts! Another thing you must do is to stop caring about what everyone else seems to think.

We all fall victim to outside pressure. We do things for other people because we want to please them or because we're looking for positive rewards. It is critical that we stop looking to others for the attention, love and praise we need. We need simply to give it to ourselves and not give a darn about what anyone else thinks. You are doing this for yourself, not others.

Don't dwell on failures
There is no room for negativity in releasing weight and feeling great about you. You can't beat yourself up, you can't dwell on the negative. You can't wallow in your failures. You need to reformulate your mindset and celebrate your successes on a daily basis.

Reinforce why it is you're doing what you're doing, what your greater purpose is and stay focused on it. Anytime a shadow of doubt creeps into your mind, look at your list and remind yourself why you're trying to release the extra weight!  
By focusing on the positives and keeping your goals in sight, you'll make wise choices, release the weight and continue to feel great!

Stacey Hawkins is the CFO (Chief Foodie Officer) of Time Savor Solutions in Newburgh. For more information on her ideas, tips and techniques for everyday healthy eating or her “Releasing Weight Forever” seminar series, visit her on the web at