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You Are NOT A Cheater And You Are Not Bad

During the course of a week while I am seeing patients for their follow-up sessions, those that have gained weight during the previous week will preface the report of their weight by saying such statements as “I CHEATED THIS WEEK” and/or “I WAS BAD THIS WEEK”.  This basically equates the person that gained weight as being a self-described CHEATER and/or BAD person.

When I hear these statements I very quickly interrupt and tell the patients that they are NOT “Cheaters” and NOT “Bad People”.  I provide the concepts that “cheating” could be affixed to those people that do not pay their taxes, mess around on their spouses and/or similar behaviors that are at odds with laws and ethics.  Similarly being a “Bad Person” is much more in line with hurting people intentionally as opposed to eating a Dunkin Donut.

The reason why I am quick to go into this diatribe with patients: People with long-term weight control struggles are often very hard on themselves.  They look in the mirror and often feel like a “loser”, “failure” and/or other negative thoughts that are not healthy from a mental standpoint.  This self-flagellation hinders weight control efforts because time spent beating yourself up is time not spent on positive endeavors such as exercising, planning meals, etc.

We are all humans and therefore subject to human behaviors.  One of these behavioral patterns is reaching for foods and drinks that make us feel good.  During a long-term weight control journey there will be times that you veer off course and succumb to these desires.  This is okay and you are NOT a “Cheater” or “Bad Person”.  Try to be mindful of your eating/drinking behaviors and when you do have that Pina Colada, brownie or ice cream sundae, move forward in a positive direction remembering at all times why it is so important to you that you control your weight.

And for those 70’s disco fans, there were “Bad Girls”…enjoy a Donna Summer classic 

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