The Strongest principle of  growth lies in human choice.

~George Eliot


Are you on another Yo-Yo diet? You know, the diet you start and stop and then start yet another.

What’s really going on?

Are you looking for the quick fix to weight loss? I don’t think there is such a diet. Most are not sustainable. When you start your new eating plan, ask yourself if you can eat this way indefinitely. If the answer is yes, you might be on to a lifestyle change.

But, if you answer no, it’s not the right food plan for you. Whatever plan you choose to release weight is the exact one you will use to keep your weight off.

I know, I know… you’re saying, “NO! That can’t be.” Yes, it is, I’m afraid.

Though the yo-yo diet is more the norm than not, it’s not the way to go if you seriously want to change your relationship with food. Many years ago, I watched an old recorded Oprah show (April 30, 2009) interviewing Kirstie Alley and a second person (a non-movie star) Michael Hebranko. Both were telling their heart-felt stories of losing and gaining weight. A story I knew all too well.

I felt their pain and urgency.

Not only did I understand their Yo-Yo diet syndrome, the patients I work with day in and day out share a similar story. Unfortunately, when Yo-Yo dieting it causes a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, often producing long-term health consequences. There is NO quick fix.

What is the answer?

As I watched, Kirstie promised with such conviction she would lose her weight again and owned the “secret” way to drop weight quickly. I sadly shook my head, thinking about how many times I promised to lose the weight, and that I had the quick weight loss secret, too.

Kirstie swore she’d lose twenty pounds in a few short weeks and would reach her “goal” weight come November (which I need to remind you, she had promised for her bikini debut back in 2007). Oprah interjected, suggesting she might set herself up for failure.

I cheered Oprah for stepping in and recognizing Kirstie’s “diet” mentality, perhaps being detrimental to her success. Sadly, at no time did Oprah or Kirstie acknowledge abstinence from their drug: sugar, flour, and wheat.

Addiction perhaps…

It reminded me of the addict who promises they will never take another hit, snort, or shoot up again, but without admission to the addictive components, rather only looking from a “will power” frame of mind.

I was hearing about diet, not addiction.

Michael Hebranko differed from Kirstie in that he was not a movie star bearing the glitz and twinkle. He reminded me of one of the first patients I saw in my early days of practice. We’ll call him Jonathan. Jonathan was weighing close to 1,000 pounds of weight, like Michael.

Back then, in the early 1990s, when I was new in my profession, I made weekly house calls and conducted psychotherapy. Jonathan was a delight to work with. He understood sugar, flour, and wheat were drugs to him and agreed to abstain.

Jonathan also understood developing a spiritual connection to something greater than himself was the key. Like Michael, he dropped hundreds of pounds. When Jonathan was at a safe place weight-wise, we agreed he would drive in for therapy now that he could fit in his truck.

Instead, he binge ate. Again, like Michael, he put his weight back on. Unlike Michael, my patient passed away. He was only 27 years old.

Addictions are stronger and bigger than our will to stop using.

Michael, unlike Kirstie, was aware he needed to take one day at a time and practice recovery. He was no longer reaching for the “quick” fix. He was humbled and focused. He seemed to have an understanding that certain foods were triggers for him, but again, I did not hear words of abstinence from these foods, particularly flour.

Michael also recognized a higher power (he called God) as he kept referring to God in the interview and how thankful and grateful he was for this second opportunity to correct his weight. He released 300 pounds. Although he had several hundreds of pounds to go, he focused on the here and now, working his program one meal at a time with progress, not perfection. I thought at the time he was on the right track and might succeed!

Although I never weighed hundreds of pounds above my ideal weight, I can relate to both Kirstie Alley and Michael Hebranko, and even sweet Jonathan. When I was in the food, I promised I would stop. I too vowed to lose the weight and never binge again. I meant it!

After I would drop some weight and start looking good, I would fall into a binge. It was not until I realized I had to let go of the addictive foods in order to be free of the obsessions and cravings. It was not a question of willpower, but rather of letting go of an addiction to specific foods.

As simple as it sounds, it worked. My weight corrected, and I am free of cravings—for nearly twenty-five years. Many patients I work with also are free from cravings and have returned to their normal weight.

Drop the Yo-Yo

I wish I could say all the patients I’ve worked with followed my path, but truth be told, many are on the same ride as Kirstie Alley and Michael Hebranko, gaining weight they lost.

Statistics show about 5% of people keep off the weight they have lost for more than a year. And, those that have the weight off for over 5 years have a better chance of staying thin. Thank you, God, I fall into this category!

I believe Kirstie set herself up for failure, vowing once again to wear a bikini in November and rushing to lose her weight. This is diet mentality. I did not hear the same diet talk from Michael. I heard a clear understanding: it was a process that would take time. He seemed to understand eating balanced meals and taking one day at a time was the ticket to his recovery. Although I did not hear specific talk about spiritual recovery, Michael echoed some thoughts regarding God. Kirstie did not mention any spiritual understanding. Perhaps this could be part of her missing link. It is not about the food, nor is it about the weight. It is about having an addiction to food. It is about turning to a physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery.

So, as I finished watching Oprah’s interview with two very familiar stories, it allowed me to reflect where I had been and where I am today. Their story is my story; however, I am on the flip side of it and live life free of weight, worry, and diet mentality. No more Yo-Yo diets for me. The answer is eating free of sugar, flour, and wheat and turning it over to a power greater than my own. This power can be whatever is fitting for each person. It could be God, energy, the sun, et cetera…

Are you you on the Yo-Yo diet? How’s that working for you? Can you honestly eat this way indefinitely? How is it serving you? Or, maybe you found the perfect eating plan for you, please share, we’d love to hear from you.

You can leave a comment by scrolling down to the section that says leave a reply.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you. I look forward to sharing my next book with you on how to release your obsession with money.  God bless you… and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond…

Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. I’m here for you.

To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, aging, and now money, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.

Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…

Hugs to you, I care!
Dr. Lisa

And now my newest release:

Release Your Obsession with MONEY: Heal from the Inside Out

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Learn why you eat out of control when it’s a holiday, birthday, vacation or just your plain ole “cheat day.” Learn the what and why about the foods you eat to better understand why food can cause your moods to swing, your cravings to soar, your weight to increase, your self-esteem to plummet, and your fatigue to rage. No More Diet Mentality!
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*, founded in 2001, offers the public an opportunity to explore  why you eat what you eat and to better understand why food can cause your moods to swing, your cravings to soar, your weight to increase, your self-esteem to plummet, and your fatigue to rage. I blog posts to share experiences, light the flame of hope for all to conquer their poor relationship physically, emotionally, and spiritually to food.

I learned firsthand and now I’m passing it along to you…



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