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Nov - Dec 2011
The Newsletter for Bariatric Patient Education and Motivation

One of the Biggest Mistakes

By Jennifer A. Mason, LCSW LMFT LISW-S



One of the biggest mistakes anyone makes when they are “on a diet” is to focus solely on the weight that is lost. Yes, everyone wants to lose weight but that is where the winners and losers become separated.
We all know someone or are that someone ourselves that has lost weight only to regain the weight and then some. Certainly, losing the weight isn’t the easy part. But, as we are reaching our goals, what we are thinking about is the favorite food we can now eat, that drink we have denied ourself.  All we have done is postpone the inevitable. This is where most people go wrong. They see a diet as a moment in time to eat less and exercise more. Their mindset hasn’t changed. In a time of crisis or stress, food will still be used as self-medication. The diet was a project that was time limited. Instead of being a process of growth, self reflection, and internalization which would promote a change in weight along with giving direction to a new lifestyle.
We need to reevaluate the manner in which we think about goals. Our goal weight is really just the short term objective. The maintenance of that weight loss requires using newly learned skills of self reflection and internalization. Maintenance of weight loss then becomes the long term goal that helps us realize this is a forever thing. So one of the biggest mistakes is to focus on just the amount of weight that is lost! Focus instead on maintaining the weight loss understanding that you have simply begun a journey…a lifestyle change toward long term success.