Shayne on You: Do the mental work first

Dear Maggie,

I canít seem to lose any weight. Iíve tried one diet after another, and they donít work Ė or actually, they might, but I lose my will power. I always start out all enthusiastic and then I just canít seem to keep it up. Itís so much work, weighing, measuring, counting everything I eat, and there arenít enough hours in the day to exercise as much as it would take to make any real difference. I start feeling like life is too short to spend all my time doing stuff I hate. And I start thinking that it wonít matter how hard I try, anyway, Iíll never lose enough to make any difference. Iíve always been fat. Maybe itís just how Iím supposed to be. Iím really about ready to give up hope. But I thought Iíd take a shot and see if you have anything to say that I havenít heard a thousand times before.


Always Fat

Dear Always,

You see yourself as a heavy person and therefore, you cannot be anything except one.

There are not enough diets in the Universe (or surgeries either) to make a fat person thin. You have to stop thinking of yourself as a fat person first, before you approach any diet or exercise program, and before that fit person is what you see in the mirror. You have to wake up every morning thinking, ďIím a physically fit, lean, healthy woman. Thatís the real me. And I know itís already done, even though I canít see it yet. I feel it. Thatís who I really am. Lean, healthy, strong, active.Ē

I know, at first youíll feel like youíre lying to yourself, faking it. But just keep at it. Because your belief about what you are, is what you become. And a belief is nothing more than a thought you keep on thinking. Thatís it. The more you think it, say it, the more you believe it. The more you believe it, the more true it will be. Just as sure as you are that youíll always be fat, thatís how sure you have to become that you are, in fact, a thin person at heart. (And you must be, or you wouldnít feel so uncomfortable in a heavy body.)

You must love yourself as you are now, and you must know that you can have whatever physical form you want, because weíre all making this life up as we go along. Write an entire page full of the best things about yourself, and add to it every day. Sit in quiet meditation and feel, until you get a clear vision of what you really are. Spirit. Part of the Universe. Part of the Whole. A beautiful part. Your physical shell is just the house you built to live in while youíre here. You can change anything about it that you donít like.

If you can get your head around these ideas and start believing that you are actually a slender, lean person who is in a temporary condition of fatness, and being okay with where you are now because you know itís only temporary Ė then any diet or exercise plan you try will not only be easy for you, and fun for you, but itíll work like magic. Instead of struggling and fighting for every pound, the excess will just begin melting away. This process is 90% mental, and 10% physical. If that. As your mind begins to convince your body that you are a fit, healthy person, youíll find yourself automatically doing the things you believe that kind of person would do. She would be more active. She would crave healthier foods. She would drink a lot of water. She ... you will gently reshape yourself into your new form. Your true form. The one that matches your vision of yourself.

Do the mental work first. And the rest will unfold for you as you go along. And relax about all this. Itís not as important as we make it.

For moral support and day to day sharing, tips and empathy, sign up for my fitness email loop by sending a blank e-mail to



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