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December 31, 2013

You matter

It’s that time again… And no one likes a new beginning as much as those of us with a “dieter’s mentality.” And here we are at the grand slam of new beginnings — the first week of a new year. If misery loves company, we can take heart in the fact that almost everyone is getting on the scale right now, vowing to take off at least a couple pounds (“Welcome to our world, suckers!”).

But in actuality, none of us has to be miserable about it at all.

So often we think of dieting and losing weight as a punishment of sorts. When, really, it’s a choice. A choice that offers freedom, better health, more happiness and looking damned fine in our skinniest jeans. It’s all about changing that mental channel from ‘deprivation’ to “elation.”

Yeah, that’s right — elation.

In other words, I challenge you to be happy about your choice to take off a few (or a 100+) pounds this year. Do it with pep. With zest. And with the knowledge that it’s really not about deprivation at all.

When it comes down to it, you can eat anything you’d like while working to take off excess weight. The key, of course, is portion control. And I know that can be a tough thing to wrestle with after allowing one’s self to drink a whole vat of eggnog during the previous week since we knew we’d be starting (or re-starting) diets after the first of the year. But that was then. This is now.

As for your favorite foods, you might know that you can’t eat a single cup of ice cream right now because you’d be too tempted to make it 8 or more cups. Same could be true for French Fries, potato chips or whatever your “trigger foods” might be. So in that case, you might choose to forego these foods for a little while. But this isn’t deprivation either. Again, this is choice.

I urge you to abandon the concept of “I can never have ice cream (or whatever) again.” That’s just simply not true. You can have your favorite foods at anytime. But you can also not have them for a while, in an effort to encourage a little self-control. Once again, with feeling: This isn’t punishment. This is choice.

And perhaps when you’re down a few pounds, breathing easier, sleeping better and putting on your pants without having to offer up several prayers to get the waist fastened, you can then choose to have some ice cream – in a supermodel portion size (because that’s what you are… A supermodel). After all, even those skinny folks choose to have ice cream (or whatever) from time to time, rather than every day — and in a reasonable portion size that couldn’t feed a small nation.

Remember, you’re what matters. Your health. Your looks (no false vanity here, folks). Your happiness. And the key to all this isn’t going to be found in angst, in guilt or in the concept of being punished. Last year was then. Those eating habits were then. The vats of eggnog were then. This is now. This moment. And this is what matters most.

Not totally convinced? Then take a look at the belt I used to wear (shown above)… A belt made for a 60-inch waist…. A belt that I was wearing out at the last buckle hole… A belt that I haven’t had the need for in over a decade — other than as a reminder of what I’ve accomplished. If I can do it, you can do it. No, check that… We can do it!

So take a deep breath and commit to the choice of being your true, amazing, fabulous self this New Year. The choice can happen right now, in this very moment. Let’s make this choice together — at the same time — and move forward with vitality, vivaciousness and an attitude that lets the world (and ourselves) know that this time we mean business!

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