Skinny Daily Post


Your dad signs you up for sports you hate because you need the exercise. Your mom brings you cottage cheese. Your friends cut out ads for a diet patch and leave them in your purse. They say go low carb. They say go low fat. They say don’t eat fruit. They say eat nothing but fruit until noon. They say different things on different days.

When you’re overweight, people will offer their advice, whether you want it or not. They may be motivated out of love, fear, disgust, or savior syndrome. They may know you well, they may understand the intricacies and challenges of weight loss, the psychology and biology and mechanics of it, or they may know nothing at all.

You end up with a muddle of conflicting dieting and exercise lore, methods, gimmicks, programs, tools, emotions, and many voices in your head. It’s loud and confusing in there, and you don’t know what step to take first.

It’s time to clear your head of these voices, and develop your own. You will be most successful in taking care of your body when you put yourself in charge of it. Not your parents, not your spouse, not your advisors, or friends, or counselors.

You have one body. You’re the owner, the operator, the boss of it. Together your body and mind provide you with the instincts you need to take good care of yourself. Maybe you’re not in touch with that instinct, or maybe you haven’t trusted it for a while, maybe ever, but it’s there.

How do you find it, learn to trust it? Well, just start up an “inner dialogue.” Talk to yourself. Learning self-talk and learning to use it well (not yelling, mocking, belittling, but encouraging, congratulating, celebrating)is the opposite of crazy. It is a common trait among high-performing people.

Develop your inner voice, pay attention to it, and learn to respect it. Just sit quietly and think: What does my body need today? What will it need tomorrow?

We need to develop this inner body-maintenance voice. This is the voice you consult when you eat. This is the voice you consult when you feel tired, upset, sore, ill, itchy, hot, or cold. When this voice speaks, actually stop what you are doing and listen to it. When this voice says, “I really need to exercise,” trust it and go exercise. When this voice says, “I shouldn’t eat this bagel,” put the bagel down. Constantly ask yourself “What is the best thing I can do for my health right now?”

If we actually did what our inner voices suggested we do, many of us wouldn’t carry extra weight around at all.

Inform your inner voice by reading food labels and learning all you can about good nutrition, your daily calorie needs, and the thousands of reasons you need daily exercise. Inspire your inner self with visions of success. Do everything you can to avoid self-loathing and self-disgust. That kind of self-talk doesn’t do you any good at all.

Let the voice in your head be your own and be kind. I will if you will.

About Self-Talk

Positive Self-Talk and Performance

10 thoughts on “What They Say

  1. JuJu says:

    Shout out and big kudos to both Leslie AND Melissa, who both wrote today that they’ve both reached 100-lb. weight losses themselves over the past year or so.

    Isn’t that the coolest thing?

    It is possible. It is possible. It is.

    Happy day/year/life to both of you.


  2. Rae says:

    I woke up this morning so discouraged. Last night I read an e-mail letter from my mother to another family member. In it, in much the same way she’s done my whole life, my mother said, “Rae needs to accept the fact that she’ll never lose weight. She thinks she can do it on her own. She can’t.” Those words resounded in my head all night long…”She can’t. She can’t.” My mother is very aware that I’ve recently lost 70 pounds. I have a lot more to lose, but I am hanging in there and while I’ve had some backsliding I continue to get back on track and keep trying. I am so grateful for today’s message from JuJu. It helped me realize that it does not matter what my mother or anyone else thinks, it only matters that I know what is true and I clearly see the task before me and continue to do my best. I CAN do it! I can!

  3. KelliM says:

    I am new to this site and looked this thread up as I have lost 80 pounds since March of 2003! When I was heavier I recieved a 3-page letter after a local hometown function from a younger woman than myself telling me that I was too fat and ugly and should not have stopped to talk to her and her husband as it was a total embarrassment to them and many others. I was crushed. I recently went back to the same hometown function and the SAME woman that sent me the nasty letter ran past me and yelled ” YOU are still ugly”! I think that what others think about us should not matter. I have lost 80 pounds and am very proud of myself. People and their responses to us when we are heavier and even when we do successfully lose the extra weight! We can only make ourselves happy! Good luck to all of you! KelliM 80 pounds lighter and STILL UGLY-haha..

  4. Christina says:

    Juju, great post as always.
    Rae and Kelli, I cannot believe that there are people that negative and nasty in the world. You are doing great things for yourselves!!!!

  5. Mercury says:

    I can’t believe there are such nasty people in the world! Needless to say, THEY are the ugly ones. Kudos to everyone for shaking out the negative messages, and on the tremendous weight losses.

  6. Flavia Saad says:

    Juju, as many of your posts, this one spoke to me straight away.
    I have been overweight for as long as I can remember and everybody was always giving me their own reasons why I should lose weight. My dad, specially, was never ok with it. He and my brother are both athletes and very slim (my bro has 9% fat in his body, for Christs sake!!!), and he was always pushing me towards sports and diets.
    But, as soon as I lost some weight, Id gain it back twice as fast. I never noticed it was the pressure they put on me that made me go back to the high end of the scale.

    This time, its different. Im 22, not 12 anymore. I have lost 44 pounds doing it for nobody, but me. And the people who used to tell me I was fat (my dad, my boyfriend, my mother, my friends) are now cheering me up with each of my victories.

    Thank you for the wonderful post!!

  7. gayle says:

    Great post!

    I was thinking about this the other night when I was at the gym. I was thinking about all the times that my father would try to get me involved in sports – swimming, bowling, golf, jogging,uuuuggghh! – whether it was to help me lose weight and/or help me make friends. I thought about how I fought and fought him on this!

    He’s been gone for 8 years now and I realized that I am finally doing what he wanted me to do for so long. Its different though because now I am finally doing it completely for me It’s also a lot more fun now that it is my idea!

  8. Marie says:

    I can’t believe people would be so rude as they were to Rae and Kelli above. They don’t know what they are talking about! DOn’t listen to the critics!

    Kelli, if this person had a problem with you talking to them, its her with the problem not you. Obviously she’s not very secure with herself if she’s so worried about what everyone else thinks about who she’s talking to. Brother! And, assuming she’s over 12, she’s got some real problems with her own self-esteem if she feels the need to put you down like this.

    And I can relate to the parental stuff too. Mom was always okay. But dad was constantly nit picking what I ate. He’d tell me not to eat any potatoes (yes even baked) and that I should be eating the fried chuck steak instead. Guess he was pro-atkins before atkins was. But I think all the little nits-picks and comments certainly did inspire me to loose weight and eat healthy. It had quite the opposite effect, and I’d find my self sneaking out to BK later that night.

    Only now, with no one playing food police, can I actually begin so see the wonderfulness of eating wholesome healthy stuff, and not see it as some weird sort of “eat your vegtables” kind of punishment. Odd isn’t it.

  9. Marie says:

    Oops..I meant it *didn’t* inspire me to lose weight. That it felt like something I was being forced to rather than wanted to.

  10. Rosina says:

    I just want to say I admire what all of you are doing. I lost 70 lbs after my last (third) baby, an I remember how I felt at 200 lbs right after she was born. It was the most I’d weighed in my life, but it gave me an empathy I may not have had before. It was painful to walk, moving and exercise were not as easy as they used to be. I lost it (all by myself, Rae! You can! You can! In fact, you’ve already lost as much as I did!) in a slow, balanced way (2 lbs per week) eating a balanced diet with whole grains and lean protein, good veggies and fruits. It wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it would be, but it wasn’t an overnight thing either. The thing that helped the most was writing down what I ate every day, so I’d be honest with myself.
    The point is, I understand it isn’t easy (I’m still five pounds from goal, and have been for a year — those last five are the hardest!!!) But I wanted to tell you all how much I love your attitudes — you aren’t even hateful toward the people that treated you so badly. (Even when I didn’t have the empathy I do now, I can’t imagine ever being as horrible as the people some of you have described interacting with). We all have our “ugly” bits, we can never afford to put down others. When you are brought up with the understanding that we all have our problems to deal with, you can’t possibly treat other people with that lack of feeling. The girl described by Kelli makes me physically ill. It’s astonishing there are really people in the world who are so ugly inside they can’t see it, they can only judge other people’s outward appearance. (Which is subjective anyway! There’s no such thing as ugly outside — but obviously people can be extremely ugly inside).

    Keep it up everybody!! You are all so strong — maybe what you have said will give me the motivation to actually stop putting off that last push to my ultimate goal.

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