You Absolutely Can Get and Stay Thin

You Absolutely Can Get and Stay 

Thin Is food your best friend—and your worst enemy? 

Are you relentlessly bombarded by thoughts of it? 

Do the swirls of chocolate frosting crowning the cupcakes at your favorite cafĂ© call to you from their shiny glass case? 

Yet at the same time, you’re painfully dissatisfied with your current weight, your dress size constantly at the mercy of your cravings. You’re exhausted from the maddening cycle. Your firm morning resolve to “be good” with food consistently crumbles into a night of takeout on the couch, watching TV with Ben & Jerry. 

And despite spending the vast majority of your waking hours striving to lose 

weight—the pounds just don’t seem to budge. Do you love food, but at the same time, part of you hates it with a passion, and would be perfectly happy if you never ate again—if it just meant you could finally be thin? 

Let me come right out and say it. It’s not you. 

There are clear-cut, solvable reasons why your eating currently feels frustrating and at times painfully out of control. But you are not one of those reasons. You may have convinced yourself that the problem is your lack of willpower. You may secretly even fear that you’re addicted to food. 

By the end of this chapter you will have the information you need put each of those fears to rest. For good. We'll soon be examining the overwhelming scientific evidence that dieting doesn't work to yield lasting weight loss for 99.5% of people. You are not alone. You are about to finally uncover the single reason why you’ve been experiencing such an uphill battle with food and your weight. 

And far more importantly, I am going to teach you the skills you need to win the food fight once and for all—without dieting. Imagine making peace with food. Picture yourself getting and staying thin eating whatever foods you want in any situation: 

on vacation, at restaurants, on the go, without willpower—just like all of your naturally thin friends. You know, the ones who are (annoyingly) lean despite ordering whole milk in their lattes and eating actual lunch instead of salad with dressing on the side? Just like them, you can plan for vacations without worrying about what you’ll look like in a bikini, or have dinner out with the girls without panicking on the way home about what you ate—you can
even order whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on your mocha. 

The skills you're about to learn are going to revolutionize your relationship with food from the inside out by addressing the real problem at its source. You’re going to be able to lose weight without dieting—eating delicious, satisfying, normal food. Okay, this probably sounds like an outlandish claim in a world where diets are accepted as the norm—their effectiveness never being called into question. 

(“It’s not that the diet failed, it was my lack of willpower.”) But, if dieting really worked, wouldn’t everyone who dieted and wanted to be thin—be thin? It’s only common sense to question something that isn’t working. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do: evaluate the actual effectiveness of dieting. 

And we won’t be using unsubstantiated claims or personal opinions. We’re about to examine a vast body of empirical scientific data spanning 70 years—from the world’s leading institutions—which makes it indisputably clear that dieting is an ineffective and often painfully destructive approach to weight loss. 

To better understand why the research-based skills you’re about to learn are the effective solution for lasting weight loss, let’s first take a closer look at what really happens when we diet, and identify the fundamental flaws inherent to dieting which make any diet destined to fail. The Dieting Triangle of Despair It’s very likely you've already tried an assortment of diets—some sensible, some not so sensible.

Cayenne lemonade cleanse, anyone? 

Chances are you've spent tons of time and energy, not to mention money, trying to get thin. You’ve lost weight—only to watch, (seemingly) powerless, as the pounds pile back on every time. If you have dieted, you're no doubt painfully familiar with “The Dieting Triangle of Despair.” 

It goes a little something like this:
It starts out innocently enough. You want to lose a few pounds, so you decide to go on a diet. You read everything you can get your hands on about the diet plan. You feel powerful, in control. A wave of excitement washes over you. 

This time it’s going to be different—this time is going to be “it.” All you have to do is follow a few simple rules, and thinness is practically guaranteed! You giddily clear out your cupboards, feeling a surge of hope as you toss forbidden foods and shop for new, diet-approved meals. You have an initial brilliant splash of success, and have no trouble sticking to the strict rules of your new plan. No carbs? 

No problem! Oil-free tuna on cardboard crackers? So worth it. You quickly lose a few pounds. People start to notice. You feel exhilarated and determined—even superior, crunching your six celery sticks spread with two teaspoons of low-fat peanut butter next to your co-worker, who’s devouring a mammoth wedge of deep-dish cheese (stuffed crust!) pizza, oozing with mozzarella and savory aromatic toppings. But the deprivation starts to take its toll. How long can you last? 

A week? 

A few more days? Until the waiter takes the bread basket away? Suddenly,
you find yourself freakishly aware of what everyone around you is eating. Your boss passes your desk carrying a fresh cranberry orange muffin drenched in thick white icing. Your best friend orders seasoned curly fries with her turkey club. The guy next to you at the coffee shop takes a bite of a warm, chocolate-filled croissant and you can smell the buttery dough from four feet away. 

You feel the pressure starting to mount. The fearful, hungry voice deep inside starts up—quiet at first, but growing steadily louder… You can’t keep this up much longer. You just want normal food. When is it going to end? This is getting too hard!! Then, something happens. Your social-climbing coworker nabs the credit for a project you created. You’re on the phone for forty minutes, trying to get a real human being to explain the $600 credit card charge you didn’t make. Your toddler launches a sippy-cup cannon across your back seat, causing a (soon-to-be) sour milk explosion all over your carpet and upholstery. Whatever it is, you’ve reached your limit—and food is the only thing that will scratch this life-or-death-MUST-eat-now itch. Your resolve snaps. 

You eat. This lands you face down in the second point of the triangle: the binge. Inevitably, the daily stress and demands become too great. The relentless build-up of pressure from restricting gets too intense. You’ve tried so hard, but you just can’t keep it up any longer. You break your diet. And when you blow your diet, you don’t just modestly nibble a couple of M&Ms. 

No, you devour them by the handful in savage, urgent gulps. The adrenaline pumps through your veins like a drug. In a frenzy of euphoric excitement, you sneak to the mini-mart or drive-thru and load up on chips, ice cream, fries, cookies—anything and everything that’s been off-limits. 

The floodgates are open. You binge. Hiding in the privacy of your car or kitchen, you mentally check out and dive into the numbing sugary, salty abyss with anxious abandon. You polish off a whole bag of cookies, inhale an extra-large box of hot, grease-glistening fries, and finish it up with an entire pint of ice cream, punctuated by bites of crispy potato chips. Ah, if only it ended there. 

The second your spoon hits cardboard at the bottom of the carton of Rocky Road, the fog lifts. You come to—stunned. Startled by how much you’ve eaten. You’re even a little disoriented. And before you can get your bearings, the most ruthless of self-punishers, the Mean Girl, lashes out over the mic of your mental sound system. I can't believe you did that! You completely blew it! You fat, disgusting pig!! You're never going to be thin!! She is relentless. 

She belittles and berates you. Nothing is off-limits as she scathes you with her caustic commentary. The anxiety and disappointment of “blowing it” fuels the ferocity of her attack. You’ve eaten so much. You feel so powerless. So out of control. 

There’s only one way to satisfy the Mean Girl and stop her insult-spiked assault. You have to cut a deal—by making “the plan.” Because now you have even more work ahead of you. Not only do you have the original weight to lose, you also have to make up for your little—okay, big—caloric indiscretion. 

You start making all kinds of promises to yourself. You’ll diet more strictly, without any of that pesky moderation that may have bogged you down the last time around. No, this time you mean business. You start going free-style, creating your own damage control plan. You’ll make up for all those calories by skipping breakfast. Keep lunch as light as possible. Just steamed veggies and a skinless chicken breast for dinner. 

You’ll go to the gym after work—every night this week. Or maybe you’ll go on a “cleanse”—which, let’s be honest here, is really just code for not eating anything at all. You’re desperate to make up for your slip! You’ve hoisted yourself back up to the top of the triangle—determined, powerful. 

This time, you won’t blow it. This time, you’ll make it stick. The morning after your binge you set out to execute your plan. You skip breakfast. For lunch: seven mini caramel rice cakes and a Diet Coke. Okay, I can do this, you tell yourself, white-knuckling it through the three o’clock slump. But on the way home from work, traffic is intense. 

Some jerk has been riding your tail for miles on the freeway. You’re exhausted—and, more than that, you’re starving. That's when the little deprivation-driven voice kicks in again. You’ve worked so hard today. You deserve something good to eat. Do it. Stop and get something. 

Just this once. It will taste so good. Just a few little bites. You'll be really good tomorrow. And in an instant your plans of broiled chicken breast and steamed broccoli landslide into a hot bucket of crispy fried chicken, a giant mound of mac and cheese, and half of a still-partially-frozen cheesecake. You know what’s coming next. I can’t believe you did it—again! You whip around the triangle with the relentless fury of a bad carnival ride: diet, binge, beat yourself up. Diet, binge, beat yourself up. Over. And over. And over. Except with each lap around the triangle, the stops get more disturbing. 

Your diets get stricter, your restrictions more extreme. The binges get scarier and, well… weirder. You find yourself standing in your kitchen, eating dry ramen noodles right out of the package. You get up in the middle of the night and eat peanut butter with a spoon straight from the jar, hunched over in the pantry. In the dark. There’s a hunger inside you no amount of food is able to fill. 

You are consumed by the uncontrollable urge to eat. You live in terror, tyrannized by this unpredictable enemy that’s lurking inside. You become nervous about being left alone with food, never knowing when “it” will strike. You beat yourself up more and more viciously. You’re left drained, demoralized—and defeated. What started out as an innocent attempt to lose a few pounds has spiraled out of control. You feel completely powerless. You think about food—ALL THE TIME. Your life is being consumed by a constant and relentless inner tug-of-war between the desperate desire to lose weight, and the out-of-control drive to eat.

Full book available on Amazon Kindle: How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans.
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