Successful Restarting Starts With Decreasing Guilt

After an absence from attending our office, many of you are holding back returning because of guilt or embarrassment that you have regained some weight. At our clinic, we are quite aware of this and as a result, we continue to pass on many reassuring ideas that have helped our restart patients deal with much of their guilt and negative self talk- which in turn has helped steer them back on the right course. Many times I have said that I should have a blinking neon sign at our front office door that says: “LEAVE YOUR GUILT OUTSIDE AND COME ON IN.”

Following are key concepts that will help reassure you, decrease your guilt and get you back on the right track:


  1. It takes a lot of courage to restart. It is human nature to feel guilty to think that we have let ourselves or others down. Therefore, taking this first step is a tremendous accomplishment.
  2. Working at controlling your weight can be the toughest challenge in your life. Try to refer to it as your life long “project” versus a battle, struggle, etc. You will get more positive results because you are a very important project and worth working on.
  3. A weight condition is a “chronic one”- similar to high blood pressure, diabetes, M.S., rheumatoid arthritis, etc. In these conditions, there are times when there is good control and times when there are flare-ups (i.e. the condition worsens).
  4. Strive for control not cure. Keep applying my “dimmer switch” principle.
  5. Understanding the complexity of a weight problem greatly lessens your guilt. I have a saying that says: one symptom brings our patients in- they are overweight, but in reality, there maybe 1001 reasons that contribute to this one symptom.
  6. Never Quit-If you never quit on your weight control efforts again, you will never have to restart.
  7. Fix sooner then later. If you have lost weight and restart still below your highest weight, you have been successful.
  8. Learn from you mistakes and slips and improve on the reasons that led to your weight regain.
  9. If you are on a plateau, convert the “dreaded plateau” into a learning opportunity. Many times the best maintainers are those who lose in a stepwise fashion: They lose some weight then maintain, lose more, then maintain, etc.
  10. Identify any mental or motivational blocks standing in your way. Read Dr.Larocques’s book: Be Thin Through Motivation.
  11. Review and retake our “Mental Weight” Test. Many people will regain their weight if their mental weight is high. The ideal is to have your desired physical weight and your mental weight at the same number.
  12. I’ll often say that there is good news and bad news about your weight condition. The bad news is, that you will always have a weight problem. The good news is, that if you accept it and deal with it in a proper fashion, you won’t be overweight again.
  13. Many of you I know, are afraid of THE SCALE(getting weighed). DON’T WORRY! When you come in, just mention to the staff that you don’t want to be weighed .You can step on the scale at another visit whenever you are ready. The most important thing is to get restarted. We don’t want to be ruled by the scale and procrastinate returning as a result of this. The focus of our program is YOU, your behavior, attitude, feelings, etc., not the Scale.

In the articles to follow, I will continue to pass on more tidbits that since 1988, have helped our patients understand the complexity of their weight problem and have helped lessen their guilt and negative feelings about themselves. This in turn has had a very favorable impact on their weight control success.

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