03/24/2011 06:02 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Consider Surgery

I don't mean consider having surgery. I mean think about the concept of surgery for a moment. Whether it's a heart transplant or a knee replacement, all surgeries have certain things in common.

First of all, they exist to correct a problem, and they require a surgeon who has extensive knowledge (and preferably a degree) in his or her field. No matter what the operation may be, the surgeon needs many tools to get the job done.

A scalpel is the obvious first tool that comes to mind. Without it, there is no way for the surgeon to get access to the problem area. But there are other "less important" tools as well. If a surgeon cuts an artery and can't clamp off the area, there are going to be a lot more problems than just the initial one. Yes, as small as a clamp is, without it, the patient will most likely not make it.

The surgeon needs a mask to filter and keep the potentially harmful germs at bay. And what about anesthesia? I know it has nothing to do with the affected area, but I wouldn't want to go into an operation without it, would you? And then there are the sutures, the bandages, the medicines for the long road back to good health. And even though no one else can do the work for the surgeon, without many helping hands in the operating room to monitor, give feedback, pass tools and wipe a sweaty brow, the surgeon would have a hard time accomplishing successfully the task at hand.

The analogy between surgery weight loss could go on and on. What about after the surgery is completed? The transplant is done. The heart is pumping. Does the patient get up and go home? No! Healing takes time and focus. It doesn't happen overnight.

The point is, to successfully accomplish any difficult task, there are a variety of tools available. The one we focus on is the diet. But diet alone won't get you thin. Are you using all the tools you have? Do you have all the tools you need?

Don't think you'll be successful without them! You must write out your day before you begin on something! Get a diary! Use index cards and punch a hole in the corner and put them on a ring if a new diary is not in the budget, but write it down! Use a scale to measure your food. Get out the measuring cups and teaspoons. Stop estimating!

Go to your meetings! They're there for you. Find a friend! Get on the daily motivational email list. Try a new recipe. Get a new kind of produce or cracker or grain. And please wear a pedometer. Get one for your spouse and your children. Just knowing how active you are instead of assuming is a great first step on the long road to a healthier new you.

The truth is that you can get to your goal weight and stay there! But without using all your important (and seemingly not-so-important tools), you may end up just laying on the or table forever.