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Irene Rubaum-Keller

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Don't Lose Weight for an Event

Posted: 09/18/08 07:46 PM ET

Do you have an important event coming up? Are you planning to lose weight for it? Don't do it!

Whether it is a wedding, a high school reunion, a family reunion, or just a party, if you lose weight for an event you will gain weight when that event is over. If you have been an event loser in the past, you will know what I mean. With two months to go, you do all the right things to lose weight. The event motivates you to go to the gym, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut back on high calorie foods and drinks and maybe even keep a food journal. If you are an extreme event loser, you might even join a weight loss program for the two months prior to get extra added help. The very extreme event losers will go on a fast, master cleanse, or something similar. Again, don't do it.

Event losers tend to care more about what other people think of them than they do about taking good care of themselves on a regular basis. This is a symptom of low self-esteem. Actually, a fair amount of weight related woes are symptoms of low self-esteem. The motivation to lose for the event is an effort to look good for certain people that you are likely to see there. This is an outward focus. Event losers rarely continue the weight loss behaviors after the event is over because they really weren't losing weight for themselves in the first place.

When you study people who have lost a large amount of weight, and kept it off for 3 years or more, you find many similarities. I am one of them and what we all do is decide that we are now people who eat right and exercise regularly. We are not on a diet and we are not on some exercise kick. We have changed the way we eat and exercise permanently. This is what leads to permanent weight loss success.

Event losers almost always go back to their old habits as soon as the event is over. If they were very restrictive in the weight loss phase, they may even eat more than ever as the body tries to regulate itself. I have treated event losers that knew the upcoming event would mean a ten pound weight gain after all was said and done. They might lose 20 pounds for the event but end up putting back 30.

So if you have been an event loser in the past, stop now. If you are unhappy with your weight, get to the bottom of why you eat what you do, learn to change your ways, slowly but surely, and do it for yourself. Do it because you want to look good and feel good everyday, not just for an event. Then when you get that next big invitation, all you have to worry about is what to wear.

That's it for now. Good luck and let me know how you're doing.

If you'd like to participate in the research for Irene's new book about the process of weight loss, please visit http://www.eatingdisordertherapist.com and take the survey.

 
 
 

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