Successful Weight Loss is Not About the Diet

Successful Weight Loss is Not About the Diet

“Why are You so Damn Fat!?” ~ Martha Beck Tells It Like It Is!

Our diet is an important issue for all of us. Weight loss, particularly as we get older, becomes increasingly difficult. We need all the help we can get, not only to lose weight but to maintain it.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve asked myself this question more than once!  The first time I heard these words, however,  were spoken to me by a “friend”, when I was nine years old — minus the expletive. Prior to that, the idea of being too fat, too thin, or anything other than just me, never crossed my mind. After that, it never left. And, I wasn’t even “fat”.

At the time I picked up Martha Beck’s book, The Four Day Win, End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, I was unaware that my self-talk was a problem. I became a fan of Beck after reading Finding Your Own North Star.  She’s straight forward, honest, intelligent, well-educated and very funny. Most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about, as much from her first hand experience as her vast education.

I downloaded the audio version of The Four Day Win, slipped on my walking shoes and headphones and headed out the  door to walk the dog and find my way to thinner peace.  The first words I heard after hitting “play” were, “Why are you so damn fat!?”  What??  I swallowed hard and out of respect for the woman, I listened on.

Beck no doubt used this opening for shock value and she certainly got my attention. After all, who would say such a thing, beside mean girls and siblings?  She went on to make her point and it was a good one. What we say to ourselves is far worse than anything anyone else says to us.  We use words just like this over and over, day after day, year in and year out, not only about our appearance, but a vast array of things. We are not our own best friend. In fact, we’re our worst enemy! Why wouldn’t we want to soothe our wounds with a half gal of ice cream! (Incidentally, did you know ice cream doesn’t even come in half gallons anymore! That was not nice of the manufactures at all! ~ Yes, I am an addict. <— See? I just did it!)


Our daily stream of mental gibber jabber is far less helpful than it could be.  After all,  Beck writes,  when it comes to diet, “who

Not me, but it could be!

doesn’t know the basics of weight loss? Eat less. Move more. That’s all there is to it!” So, it’s not about the “perfect diet”. It’s not about the “right exercise routine”.  They can be  helpful tools, but what really affects our ability to achieve our goals, no matter what they are, is the way we think and what we tell ourselves, both consciously and unconsciously.

If we want to lose weight, or overcome any obstacle we face, our first step must be to figure out what we are thinking.  When we bringing our self-talk into conscious awareness, we can choose self-talk that supports our diet efforts, rather than sabotaging them.

The Four Day Win is not just a diet book. It’s far more and it’s worth the read before beginning any preplanned life change.  If we’re going to succeed at anything we set out to do, it behooves us to become our own cheerleader.

First published June, 2010

© Dorothy Sander

NOTE: Before beginning any weight loss program be sure and consult with your physician. A BMI calculator will help you determine if you are carrying excess weight and how much.

15 Replies to “Successful Weight Loss is Not About the Diet”

  1. I don’t know of Martha Beck (I’m in UK) but I like her style! It’s almost always in our head, isn’t it? I find saying to myself, ‘Are you hungry? Do you really want this at this moment?’ helps much more than telling myself things ‘you mustn’t eat this, you fat old bag!’
    Thanks for the post!

    1. I am so glad you stopped by and left a comment! I absolutely adore UK expressions and you cheered me up this morning for sure! I see that you are what we call here a Life Coach ~ Martha Beck is as well. Finding Your North Star and Steering by Starlight are wonderful and helped me a whole lot at a time when I was going through several difficult life transitions. You might enjoy taking a look at them. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to getting to know you better!

      1. That’s lovely! Thank you. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing! I too look forward to our developing relationship! Here’s a Scottish expression for you:-
        Lang may yer lum reek!
        All the best,

  2. I am a huge proponent of telling my inner bully to shut the eff up. It’s amazing how darned mean we can be to ourselves. We learned it from others who were also mean to themselves. Good on ya. Martha sounds like my kinda gal. I’ll take a look at the book and see if I feel like its a good fit for me, or if I’d rather spend the money on new clothes. Yea, Im at the buying new clothes stage after having lost 30 pounds over the past year. I am up for supporting each other however we can, Dorothy. Let me know how I can do that.


    1. Good for you Sue! Sounds like you’re not in urgent need of Martha but she may help you keep the weight off down the road. I lost 60 lbs a couple of years ago and put it all back on over the period of time I was taking care of my mother and life crashed in around me. I’ve been struggling ever since to get up the courage to start again. It feels harder now than ever before because the goal is not a skinny, young thing – but a healthier old lady! I’ve learned from Martha’s other books that if I can change the way I think, I can change my life. So I’m giving it a shot.

      Supporting each other is for me just about showing up in each others lives and caring. You do that every time you stop by my blog and leave a comment. Thank you so much for that! I hope I can return the favor.

  3. Thank you, thanks you! I am very much looking forward to listening/reading this book. It sounds as if it gets right to the heart of what is on virtually everyones mind, all day, every day! Very helpful post.

    1. I’ve gotten through the first few chapters and think I may listen to the whole thing through once and then go back and do the work sheets. I always like to listen (or read) her books several times because they are so packed full of information that requires action on my part! She has helped me to make significant changes more than once in the last several years. I hope she can do the same with helping me to help myself become more healthy! Let me know what you think when you read it.

  4. Oh dear! I enjoyed reading this post but for some reason it has made me want to go and eat some ice cream. I’m going to as well 🙂

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