What's Missing From Weight Loss: Self Love

05/17/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

So the latest is poor Gabourey Sidibe being approached by a company selling a weight loss aid while at the same time having the fat acceptance society hold her up as an example of fat and healthy. She is a young woman, an amazing actress and she happens to be morbidly obese.

It's called "morbid obesity" because it can lead to death. You know who we trust with this information the most? Actuaries. You know who they are? They are the people who determine when you will die based on various statistics and then base your life insurance premiums on that information. If you are morbidly obese, and apply for life insurance, good luck. If you do get it, you will be paying a huge premium because you are not a good bet for the insurance company.

Either too heavy, or too thin, and you are at risk of early death due to your weight and the complications there of. Neither is healthy and we all need to strive for good health and vitality.

So, I have been working on a book about the process of weight loss and have collected over 300 surveys so far. I ask people if there was a period of time between realizing they were overweight and doing something about it. For many, the answer is yes. This period tends to be fraught with depression, hopelessness and extreme self-loathing. I remember this time well, as I used to be heavy.

Recently, I had a dream that I was back at my top weight. I was sitting in a Starbucks and looking at all the thin people with extreme envy. I felt less than, depressed and semi-hopeless. I realized that even if I started then and there to lose weight, it was going to take me a long time before I would be one of them. That made me feel so bad, I wanted to eat my pain away.

What writing this book is teaching me is that no matter how you feel, you have to start right now to take right action. Healthy eating and exercise are the only ways to lose weight. There is no magic cure, pill, potion or diet that will get you where you want to go. Eating unprocessed foods and moving more will. Keeping track will as well. Hating yourself, feeling helpless and eating more to sooth yourself will not.

Each day you eat healthy and exercise goes into your bank of feeling hopeful and good about yourself. As you add to that bank, your self-esteem will escalate. As that happens your feelings of hopelessness will deescalate and you are on your way.

You will have set backs. Expect them and keep going. You can do it!

If you'd like to participate in the research for Irene's new book on the process of weight loss, please take the survey.