Linda's Books

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You Versus the Chocolate Santa

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, checkout counters displaying chocolate Santas and foil wrapped reindeer can be a serious threat to your dieting efforts. The same can be said of  the overflowing candy dishes or trays of homemade cookies at the office. And arriving at a party and facing a bounty of high calorie “family traditions” homemade

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Getting Through the Holiday Season Without Totally Blowing the Diet

Several years ago I went to an Italian Christmas Eve dinner (but not the traditional seven course fish dinner; rather 12 courses!). The event started at 4:00 and went to 11:00 PM. It was an amazing array of food; the hostess had cooked for weeks ahead. The 14 guests ate and ate and ate. The 15th

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Using Guilt to Get Your Diet Back on Track

Last week I went off my diet. After a satisfying meal, I got into a box of  ice cream bars. You might scoff at my diet transgressions if going off your diet means drinking a couple of beers and devouring a pepperoni pizza along with a half-gallon of ice cream. However – as far as psychological

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Exercise!! Yes, You Can Do It!

For many dieters “Exercise” is an ugly word. And I will admit that for … say … 65 years, I not only didn’t want to go near a gym, but I would have argued I had no time in my day to work out. We all know what the experts have to say about exercise.

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If No One Sees You Eating It; Does It Still have Calories?

I was at a gathering and someone arrived with homemade raspberry, white chocolate scones. I love scones. Scones are a food for which I would go off my diet. They are part of a long list of high calorie foods that tempt me. We all have such lists; whether it’s scones, ice cream, chicken parmesan or

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The Ultimate Diet Challenge: We Love Food and We Love to Eat

I’ve written a lot about nutrition, exercise, behavior modification – all factors in losing weight. But the bottom line issue for most dieters is simple: “We Love Food!” Food is better and more tantalizing than ever before. I grew up in a plain old meat and potatoes household (boring, tasteless food). If we occasionally had

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Dieting with Lollipops and Bubble Gum

When I was a child, my mother always criticized those who chewed gum: “Like cows chewing their cuds,” she would say. I grew up taking a dim view of “gum people,” especially those crass bubble blowers and gum smackers. Gross! Sigh – if my mother could see me now. These days, I chew gum with

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Dieting: It Never Gets Any Easier

Achieving your diet goal doesn’t mean you can relax.  Sorry.  Personally, I have found maintaining my weight to be just as difficult as losing it. I am as food conscious now – and exercising as much – as I ever did at the height of my weight loss. Why?  Because I have been that “she-gained-it-all-back”

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Are We Trying Too Hard to Lose Weight?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a little militaristic about dieting (ya think?!). Well, I’ve had a “Ta Da” moment. A dear friend has started a new diet. Like so many of us, her life has been a series of new diets – some successful for a while, but most ending in sadness and

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Binging on Ice Cream – Just a Little

When my head is in a good place diet-wise, I can stick to my diet pretty well all day. It’s not easy, but I can refuse the bacon with breakfast and the French fries with lunch. A reasonable and appropriate diet dinner? Not a problem. Then comes the evening “settling in.” It’s the end of

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Diet and Self-Esteem: Has Your Weight Negatively Changed Your Life?

This is one of the most painful messages I will write about dieting – the impact of weight on self-esteem. As we age and look back at our life choices, overweight adults may wonder where they would be in their lives – what different roads they might have taken – if they had more self-confidence

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The Greatest Challenges of Dieting – and How to Face Them

Sigh – where to begin when it comes to the major challenges of successfully dieting. Obviously the two primary challenges of dieting are that we need to eat to survive – and we get hungry. Like it or not, food is critical to our existence. To compound these challenges, there is a magnificent array of

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Diet Failure: Is it Lack of Willpower – or Carbohydrates?

  I normally write my blogs from my experiences, but the issue of willpower versus carbohydrates lead me to some significant articles from both The New York Times and Bottom Line Health magazine (links to original articles at the end of this piece). A dear friend of mine, who struggles with her weight, has long recognized

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Are You Being Judged By Your Appearance?

The English idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone”. Wikipedia What’s that got to do with dieting?  Sadly – a lot – as any overweight person is painfully aware.  We are negatively judged for our weight, our clothing, and our

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I Use Willpower to Combat My Lack of Willpower

The other day I attended an ice cream social. I armed myself with a bottle of seltzer water, which I drank while everyone else made themselves ice cream sundaes. A woman said, “You have such willpower!” Not true – I have almost no willpower. I know that sounds illogical, but here’s how it works: I

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Planning to Diet AFTER Vacation?  Who Are You Kidding?

A few years ago I was in a large diet group (one of so many in my life) and one of the regulars said she had decided to delay starting her diet until after her vacation (which was a month away). And I thought: “How stupid is that?!” Apologies for this attack, but those who

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The Entitlement of Eating On Vacation – NOT!

  What is it about “I’m going on vacation” that becomes “I’m on vacation, I’m going to eat what I want.” Why do we go on vacation? To get away, relax and refresh, change of scenery. Most people do not set out on vacation thinking “I plan to gain 10 pounds this week.” Just because

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Do You Want a Large, Medium or Super Large?

When I was a child, my grandmother used to say that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I only wish. When it comes to portion size my eyes and stomach are pretty much equal. Growing up, I always wanted big portions of food and – yes – I would eat every morsel of a

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The Need to Diet is So UNFAIR!!!

Yesterday I was at the local mall and passed through the food court. I was immediately struck by how unfair it is to have to be on a diet. I was offered a sample of Chinese chicken on a stick. I smelled pizza and French fries and hamburgers. This food court had a Cajun stand

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Don’t Call Yourself Fatso!!

The other day I got an email from a friend, who – like so many of us – is struggling with weight issues. I was horrified when she referred to herself as “Fatso.” What a horrible self-description from someone who is beloved by her family and friends and colleagues. How tragic it is that those

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How Do You React to Overweight Strangers (How Do They React To You)?

There are three sides to weight perception. How we see: Our overweight selves Our overweight friends Overweight strangers Our own weight challenges For many of us, extra pounds translate into a degree of self- loathing. Nothing can ruin a day more than the scale showing a gain (even by a few ounces). Nothing can ruin

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Do You Really, Truly Need to Lose Weight?

All of my writings have been focused on dealing with true weight problems. It’s now time to address those of you who may imagine you have a weight problem, but do you really? At 250 pounds, yes – I had a very serious weight problem. Even at 175 pounds, I needed to get my act

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Destroying Your Diet Between 7:00 and 10:00 PM

I can be spot on when it comes to dieting during the day. Eating out for lunch or dinner? No problem. I am positively virtuous in my food choices! Snacks between meals? No problem. I’m not tempted by a candy bar or a cookie. Grocery shopping without a list and when I’m hungry? I can

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Dieting After You’ve Lost Your Weight

You’re a successful dieter – you’ve either reached your goal or it’s within a few pounds. Hooray! Well done! Congrats! Now comes the hard part. I once heard a diet specialist say: “Any damn fool can lose weight, keeping it off is the challenge.” So true… so true. News flash for dieters: Maintaining your weight

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Are you in a diet rut? Should you be?

I am such a boring dieter. Basically I eat variations on the same food every day – even my evening snacks are dull. Some experts say there is nothing wrong with an unimaginative diet routine and it’s certainly worked for me for many years. However, last week I shook that up! When you have a

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You Versus the Easter Bunny 

Whether you celebrate Easter of not, that #!@*(!# Easter bunny can be a serious threat to your dieting efforts. Perhaps you never have – or no longer – buy jelly beans to fill baskets (on behalf of that long-eared critter), but it’s just about impossible to pass a checkout counter in the spring without being

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Diet Success Using the GOI Attitude

I’m republishing one of my earlier blog.  I wrote this four years ago and was reminded of it when I went to a movie yesterday with a dieting friend.  As she sat eating Milk Duds and popcorn (because she always eats those at movies) I was reminded of how we all need to Get Over our self-sabotaging bad

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Do Not Say “It’s About Time” to a Dieting Friend

It’s not easy to support a friend who is struggling with weight. There’s a fine line between being supportive and hurting their feelings. And shame on you if you become an Evil Diet Saboteur with your comments. For a morbidly obese person, interventions (loving family and friends confront someone with a serious issue) are popular

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Just a Taste – What’s the Worse That Could Happen?

We all know that when it comes to dieting, it’s all about will power. Willpower manifests itself in different ways. Some people have absolutely no will power; others have occasional willpower while still others blow us away with their commitment. Let’s consider this: If you have absolutely no willpower (which is what you say to

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Low Calorie Foods Can be Just as  Lethal as Chocolate Cake a la Mode (With Fudge Sauce)

When you’ve been a life-long dieter (sigh – seven decades for me), you learn a lot of lessons about the slippery slopes of dieting. At least, you should learn lessons from every successful (or failed) diet you’ve been on. Walking through the grocery store this morning, I spotted some diet foods that pretty much destroyed

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Dieters: Living on the Edge

A dear friend  and I have shared the diet journey for as long as we’ve known each other (decades of friendship). We’ve seen our weights go up and down and up again. Right now we’re both in a good place diet-wise; we’re committed to our diets and doing well. She made a comment that struck

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Finding Willpower for the Rest of Your Life

The person who discovers the secret to dieting willpower is the person who will become a millionaire. Without the inner strength of personal willpower, there’s no point in even going on a diet. For dieters, willpower is that moment of truth (the split second of truth) when you decide whether or not to say “yes”

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Those !*&!*(^! Diet Plateaus

It took me two years to lose 110 pounds, but with diet plateaus, it felt like 10 years. I started my diet with reasonable losses. I did exactly what any doctor would order: a pound or two a week. I followed the plan, I ate wisely and – for once in my dieting life –

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I Hate My Scale – But Not For The Reason You Might Think…

I have two digital scales. Not because I’m obsessive (much!) but because someone gave me a second scale and I didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t get on two scales every morning (much!) but having two scales has given me a strong opinion about scales in general. Not the weight the scale

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Dieting After You’ve Lost Your Weight

You’re a successful dieter – you’ve either reached your goal or it’s within a few pounds. Hooray! Well done! Congrats! Now comes the hard part. I once heard a diet specialist say “Any damn fool can lose weight, keeping it off is the challenge.” So true… so true. News flash for dieters: Maintaining your weight

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Stop Playing Those Diet Games! Become a Committed Dieter…

Are you a committed dieter? Or do you play dieting games that involve a little cheat here and a little extra bite there. Here are a few examples of the Games Dieters Play. Any of these strike a chord in your diet approach? A dieter goes out to lunch at noon; has half a pepperoni

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Got a Fat Cat or Chubby Dog? 

A blog from a family cat My name is Molly and I am a beloved family cat. The other day I was dozing in the living room when my human roommate walked in with a friend and the woman said: “Wow – Molly’s gotten fat!” It’s sadly true; my once 9 pound 8-ounce petite feline

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Getting Real About Those New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve been going to a local gym since 2010. I have to admit I am bemused by how busy the gym becomes as of January 2nd. The other regulars and I arrive and find the “just busy enough” gym jumping with crowds of people puffing and panting on the treadmills and elliptical machines. Many of

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When a Little Diet Guilt is a Good Thing

I’ve been doing well on my diet this holiday season. I’m determined that I’m going to behave and not see a weight gain on December 26th. I’ve been  resisting  candy and cookies and when I attended a recent family brunch, I passed on the French toast, home fries, bacon and sausage and enjoyed a veggie omelet and

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Finding Willpower For the Holidays – and After

The person who discovers the secret to dieting willpower is the person who will become a millionaire. For dieters, willpower is that moment of truth (the split second of truth) when you decide whether or not to say “yes” to the waiter offering dessert, the chocolate bar at the checkout counter, the platter of pastries

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Ways to Cheat on Your Diet

After years of careful and first-hand research, I can now share the secret to cheating on your diet. Let me caveat: This is a blog on cheating, not losing weight! Your scale If you have a digital scale, it’s surprisingly simple to get an ideal scale reading. It’s all about positioning yourself! First tap on

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What to Do When Your Diet is a Miserable Failure and You Want to Scream…

It’s happened to all of us – too many times. You start a new diet plan. You know it’s really going to work this time. And the first week (yes, you make it an entire week) is a runaway success. At long last, you’re going to win in the diet wars. And then – sigh,

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Don’t Let Boorish People Undermine Your Diet

Like many of us, a friend of mine has been struggling with her weight for years. About a month ago, she joined a hospital-sponsored nutrition and diet programs. She’s being doing splendidly. Down 13 pounds in just over two weeks. The two of us have dieted together for years and I’ve observed that it’s different

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Are Those Excess Pounds Going to be the Death of You?

I answered a Facebook ponder about excess weight and its impact on health, and it reminded me of the serious health aspects of being overweight. When it comes to weight, we focus a lot on how we look and our self-esteem. But the core reason to lose weight should be so that we can have

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Diminished By Our Weight

A few weeks ago, a dear friend who struggles with weight told me that, since putting on an extra 5 pounds, she is diminished as a person. That didn’t seem logical. After all, what is a measly 5 pounds? Most people wouldn’t even notice she weighed a little more. As we talked about it, I

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How Does Your Weight Define You?

I was at a reception a few weeks ago and was chatting with … I hate to say this … an extremely overweight woman. Although a pleasant, professional business woman with excellent credentials, her weight was such a factor that she was having trouble walking and the skirt of her suit was stretched so that

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Why Diets Fail: Overweight Women are Not Selfish Enough….

A close friend asked me to provide her with a list of reasons why I think she can’t lose weight. Eek – asking someone to psyche out another’s weight issues could put a friendship to the test. However, I have known this woman for a long time. So I agreed to give her my honest

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How Not to Eat When You’re Bored

One of the positive aspects of working at a job is that you’re busy and, in theory, you don’t have time to overeat. Okay – the office candy dish or lunch out with associates may be negative factors, but generally when we are working, it’s a little easier to diet. The more challenging diet times

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The Boredom Factors in Dieting

Boredom comes to play in several ways when it comes to dieting. Diet foods can be boring Bored dieter eat more Confirmed dieters can be boring Diet foods can be boring Alas, it’s true – the plainness of some diet foods can get very old. Unless you have a chef in the family who can

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You’re Eating All That Food!?  No Wonder You’re Fat!

The media is always harping on portion control in America. Everything is supersized. We are referred to as the Overweight Americans for good reason. Faced with a Lumberjack-size portions of food, we are often inwardly delighted. We may say “So much food, I’ll never eat all this!” but damn if we don’t plow through and

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Night Time Binging – The Right Way!

When my head is in a good place diet-wise, I can stick to my diet pretty well all day. It’s not easy, but I can refuse the bacon with breakfast and the French fries with lunch. A reasonable and appropriate diet dinner? Not a problem. Then comes the evening “settling in.” It’s the end of

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Willpower versus Chocolate Frosted Doughnuts

For me, one of the biggest challenges of dieting is food displays. Whether it’s those luscious looking doughnuts where I buy my morning coffee – or the tempting candy bar display at the grocery checkout counter – bad foods are always in front of us. If you are especially hungry when you see those displays,

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If No One Sees You Eating It;  Does It Still have Calories?

I was at a breakfast meeting recently and someone arrived with homemade raspberry, white chocolate scones. I love scones. Scones are a food for which I would go off my diet. They are part of a long list of high calorie foods that tempt me. We all have such lists; whether it’s scones, ice cream, Chicken

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When Best Friends Sabotage Each Others Diets

Did you know that best friends can unintentionaly sabotage each other’s diet? Knowing her friend loves ice cream, a woman asks the innocent question: “Do you want to get an ice cream?”  The other person thinks: “I don’t want an ice cream, but since she is asking, she must want one herself.”  So she responds: “I’ll have one if

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Surviving the Family Gathering

Is there any event more challenging for a committed dieter than the Family Get Together?   Often July 4th picnic is approaching. Any event that brings the clan together usually means lots of food, lots of family dynamics and an expectation that you MUST EAT someone’s amazing new recipe. It takes a super committed dieter not to

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Diet Lies – Yours and Your Friends….

In a recent Facebook post, I wrote about a friend who boasted that she had a large piece of fish for lunch. I commended her on a wise food choice and she accepted my kudos. The next day I found out that the piece of fish was actually fish and chips – breaded and fried

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Ditch the Diet Excuses

  I have never taught a diet class, although I certainly have spent many years sitting in meeting rooms listening to others talk about dieting. I’ve always thought one of the hardest things about leading a diet group must be that time at the scale – the dreaded weigh in – which is the moment

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Diet Success Using the GOI Attitude

Here’s the deal around successful dieting – you either want to lose weight or you don’t. This is not complicated. If you keep making excuses, why are you bothering to even be on diet? This blog is not about the big stuff (nutrition, exercise, motivation), but how to deal with diet faulty thinking. It’s a

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Twelve Things I LOVE About Sticking to My Diet

This piece was going to be entitled “Twelve Things I HATE About Sticking to My Diet,” but, shish, what would be original about that? There isn’t an overweight person who couldn’t write easily make it a list of 100++ things to hate about a diet commitment. Coming up with twelve things to LOVE about dieting?

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Do Successful Dieters Turn into Judgmental Jerks?

A friend of mine went to see a diet guru; one of those women who lost a lot of weight and launched a successful “How To Lose Weight” programs. My friend said the woman seemed to know her business, but she also seemed egotistical. And that made me wonder…. I can’t speak to that diet

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Do You Look Like an Unmade Bed?

A friend of mine was telling me about recently going to a business seminar. She said the female speaker was excellent, but looked like a train wreck. My friend commented that as good as the speaker was, she would never hire her because she was so unprofessional looking. She wrote: “All I could think of

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Insulting Molly About Her Weight (A blog from the family cat)

My name is Molly and I am Linda’s cat. The other day I was dozing in the living room when Linda walked in with a friend and the woman said: “Wow – Molly’s gotten fat!” It’s sadly true; my once 9 pound 8-ounce petite feline body is now 10 pounds 5 ounces. However, this blog

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Walking into a Gym is One Thing; Staying There is Quite Another

A while ago, I did a blog about how difficult it is to walk into a gym for the first time. For me, it was a traumatic experience. Tipping the scale at over 250 pounds, I was self-conscious, ready to leave after 10 minutes on the treadmill and feeling totally out of place. (Excerpts of

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A Taste for Cheesecake…eek!

I had dinner with a friend at Cheesecake Factory the other night and while waiting to be seated, I was looking at the display of cheesecakes.  There must have 20 or 30 choices in the case.  If you have ever been to a Cheesecake Factory, you know that their cheesecakes are amazing on every level. Standing there looking at

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I Have Fashion Boots – And They Zip Up!

Sometimes on a rainy day I will walk the mall to get steps on my pedometer. As I slog along with my clunky old sneakers, I often glance at the stylish looking women with knee-high fashion boots. How cool is that look?! Since fashion boots were first introduced as a style accessory (versus rubber boot

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Thanks for Telling Me I Have Flabby Arms!

Last summer I was at the gym and a woman at the next machine commented: “You have flabby arms like me!”   That seemed an odd thing to say to a stranger.  However, I could not deny that she was right.  Having lost 110 pounds, flabby arms (also called bat wings) were one of my realties.

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Beware Mini Desserts and “Just a Taste”

It was my birthday last week and some friends took me out to dinner to celebrate. When it was time for dessert, they cajoled me into celebrating my birthday with a treat. Normally I don’t cave when people push me to eat, but the menu featured a mini key lime parfait and I thought: “What

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Resisting Temptations From Friends

I went to a movie with a friend over the weekend. We purchased our tickets and I stepped into the restroom while she went to the refreshment stand.  When I came out, she handed me a bag of chewy candies. She felt that the candy would have fewer calories than a chocolate bar and I would enjoy it. I thanked her, but

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How Do Your Weight Issues Impact Your Life?

“I get depressed and have no energy. I feel like a lump on a log, I just fade into the fabric of a chair or couch!” This is what a friend wrote about the impact of her weight issues on her life. Sadly, what my friend wrote is true of many struggling dieters. Weight is

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The Right Reason to Lose Weight

Do you want to lose weight to fit into an outfit and to blow your friends away with your svelte look?  Or is your diet goal to get healthy? There is a right and a wrong answer to this question! There are many reasons to start a diet. The primary should be your health. Participating in

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Avoiding Binging with WMD

On a recent outing with a dear friend, she suggested: “You should do a blog on WMD.” Huh? Weapons of Mass Destruction? That hardly sounds like a diet blog subject. “No,” she explained, “Weapons of Mass Distraction.” Which means – simply put – distractions to get away from food and binging and gaining weight. Terrific

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Are You Embarrassed by Your Weight?

Have you ever not gone to an event because you are embarrassed by your weight? Many dieters may now whisper: “Yes!” An acquaintance successfully lost 100 pounds over several years. I hadn’t seen her for quite a while and was sad to learn that she had gained back that 100 pounds –plus more. Then I

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The Guilt of Being a Successful Dieter

It’s every dieter’s dream to have the willpower to stick to a diet, to see the scale drop every week and to be a success. Achieving a diet goal – especially after years of false starts and failures – is nirvana. It is such a good feeling. Especially if that diet loss involves being healthier,

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Sneaky Dieters: You Are Being Watched!

I saw my former overweight self the other day – and I was shocked and embarrassed. It wasn’t really me, but rather a dieting friend who could have been me in the 50+ years it took me to lose my weight. We went to a big cookout on Sunday. A lot of the food was

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It’s Okay to be Hungry (Let the Stomach Grumble)

Encore Blog  When you go out to a dinner function or to a buffet  (or any scenario in which you have no control over what is served), what do you do to stay on your diet? If the food choices are all high calorie, how do you handle it? How do you avoid the heavy

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Comfort Foods in Your Diet Are No Comfort

Ahh – comfort foods.  They are wonderful.  They are a class of food that evoke nostalgia, give us sentimental warmth and can make us feel better after a stressful day. Unfortunately the word comfort food does not usually refer to a carrot stick as much as it does to high calorie, high carbohydrate snacks. Comfort

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Surviving the Family Gathering

Encore post Is there any event more challenging for a committed dieter than the Family Get Together?   Often it’s a July 4th picnic. Any event that brings the clan together usually means lots of food, lots of family dynamics and an expectation that you MUST EAT someone’s amazing new recipe. It takes a super committed

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What Defines You? For Me It Was “Fat Loser!”

I have a friend who is a cancer survivor (5 years out) and she talks about it all the time.  She is defined by surviving cancer.  I am a cancer survivor (10 years out) and I never talk about it. It’s not because I am afraid to talk about it.  It’s that I don’t want cancer

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I Am a Food Addict! (There, I Said It!)

The word addiction applies negatively to many things – drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, shopping and, of course, food. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, food addiction wasn’t recognized. An overweight person was simply a “fatty” who “ate too much” and lacked “self control.” Now science has discovered people can become addicted to particular

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When Dieting Words Go in One Ear and Out The Other…..

As dieters we all know the routine. Attend a diet group, read a book or magazine article on dieting, ask a successful dieter for advise, read Linda’s blogs. Dieting commitment often comes down to words, ideas and inspiration. We hear or read diet gurus who say: “The secret to successful dieting is to eat slowly/stop

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Diet Lies – Yours and Your Friends….

In a recent Facebook post, I wrote about a friend who boasted that she had a large piece of fish for lunch. I commended her on a wise food choice and she accepted my kudos. The next day I found out that the piece of fish was actually fish and chips – breaded and fried

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The Winter Diet – UP Eight Pounds!

For many of us, the Winter of 2015 was not only hellish on the weather front, but also for dieting.  Whether your winter was too much snow, too much cold, or too much dreary rain often the only comfort was … well … comfort foods. People who read my blogs know that I am a committed

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Losing Weight Gradually and Wisely

A friend of mine is on a new diet and she lost 10 pounds the first week.  Wow!  Wouldn’t we all love to see that kind of loss?  Often the first week of a diet can impress (perhaps because so many dieters overeat right up to the night before they begin a program). Of course

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Sleep Versus Television: Which Burns More Calories?

Did you know that you burn more calories sleeping than watching television? I came across that statement within an article about burning calories. I immediately thought: “This couldn’t be true!” I did an Internet search and discovered that on October 10, 2012, Today show hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford confirmed this premise. The

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Doing Your Homework to Make Wise Food Choices

The other day at the supermarket, I picked up a magazine called Eat This, Not That. Generally I’m not taken in by supermarket magazine displays, but years ago I remember seeing an Eat This, Not That book and it was fascinating. The basic concept is that the magazine compares popular restaurant/supermarket foods and let you

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What’s the Best Diet Plan for You

There are so many diet program out there. Some are superb; others a little scary. When choosing a diet plan, be sure it is balanced, healthy and will work for you and your lifestyle. I never like to recommend diet programs. I’ve always felt that dieting is all about what goes on in your head. 

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Staying on Your Diet When House Bound

Here in the Northeast, we’re expecting a major snowstorm in a few days. Local weathermen are saying “Up to Two-Feet of Snow!” Anyone who has lived in New England for any length of time knows you believe the weather forecasts when you see them. However, anyone who has ever been housebound because of bad weather

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Using Guilt to Get Your Diet Back on Track

Last night I went off my diet. After a satisfying meal, I got into a box of sweetened breakfast cereal with whipped topping (hey, it tastes good), ice cream bars and a large bag of pistachio nuts. It was not a pretty picture. You might scoff at my diet transgressions if going off your diet

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Dieting During the Holidays

The holiday season has arrived. You may have resisted Halloween candy and Thanksgiving stuffing – but the real test of your dieting will power begins NOW. No matter what your view on this holiday season – there is no escaping the onslaught of high-calorie foods during the month of December. Whether you’re standing at a

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A Dramatic Step to Stop a Binge

One of the toughest challenges facing dieters is the DREADED BINGE. You do great on your diet all day, but come the evening – bad foods call to you. When good foods call, t you know how to make into bad foods (think virtuous low sugar gelatin drenched in whipped cream). Binging can be the

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Can You Diet With a Glass of Wine? How About Two Glasses?

Here’s another blog based on some research I’ve done. With the holiday season approaching, I figured readers might find this helpful. There’s a camaraderie to having a glass of wine with friends or family before dinner. And there’s no question that sipping a glass of wine with dinner can enhance the meal. However, many dieters

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Good – and Bad – Fruits for a Dieter

I’ve started doing some internet searches on good and bad diet foods.  Here’s what I’ve learned about fruit!   To eat a banana or not – that is the question. Fruit on a diet can be an enigma. On one hand dieters hear “fruit is a great diet choice!” Then it is announced: “Too much

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The Great Diet Debate: Potatoes versus Pasta versus Rice

I don’t claim to be a nutrition expert (no way!), but lately I’ve been doing a little research on various foods. Here’s what I came up with about potatoes, pasta and rice (all favorites of mine, which I try to keep to a minimum). Conventional diet wisdom says that all those enticing carbohydrates – potatoes

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Dieting to Heal Yourself

Ask most people why they go on a diet and the first answer is often “to look better.” Of course we all want to fit today’s norm of looking attractive. The second answer is “to feel better physically.” The medical profession is quick to applaud the importance of losing excess weight for your health. (And

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The Difference Between Dieting Will Power and Dieting Self Control

I’ve always assumed self control and will power were one and the same. A dieter who caves at a plate of brownies could blame either. Not true! Recently CNN did a special on babies and they talked about the importance of training a child to have self control. They used a clip from Sesame Street

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Dieters Need to Remember That “NO” Applies to More Than Food!

When it comes to successful dieting, all dieters acknowledge the importance of making right choices – of saying “No.” We know the right answer when offered a plate of onion rings or a slice of chocolate cake. That’s what dieting is about; refusing to eat bad, high-calorie foods. However, there’s another aspect to the word

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Dieters: Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure…

A dieting friend told me she was going to a Lebanese Festival this weekend. Not knowing much about the Lebanese culture, I asked why she was going to the festival. “Oh, the food is amazing,” she said. “Especially the pastries.” I wondered why – if she was struggling with her weight – she was choosing

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Popcorn Eaters: The Good, The Bad and a Rant About The Ugly

Popcorn can be a dieter’s best friend, worse enemy, or make you look like an uncouth slob. Popcorn can be good, bad and disgustingly ugly. The Good Popcorn As a diet food, popcorn is an excellent choice (when air popped and served bare – no butter). Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories with

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What’s Your Dieting Time Table?

Some people who go on a diet establish a broad horizon: “I intend to lose 60 pounds in a year.” Others will say: “I need to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month.” And then there are some struggling dieters who will say: “Please let me make it through lunch today without going

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Does Your Excess Weight Cause You to Be Depressed?

Do your weight issues get you down? There are two ways of looking at weight and depression: Scenario A. You get on the scale in the morning, see you’re up a pound and feel really bummed: “Damn! That half a pepperoni pizza I ate last night is showing on my scale; I am so depressed.”

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Lose Weight/Live Longer

When it comes to weight, dieters tend to focus on how they look and their self-esteem. But the core reason to lose weight should be to have a better quality of life and live longer. It’s no surprise to hear that obese people have shorter life spans. Television, newspaper, magazines and even our own doctors

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Seniors: You Do Not Know it All About Dieting!

Seniors might argue that – at their venerable ages – they “know it all” about life. It is true, that age and experience does provide seniors with a great deal of knowledge and wisdom. However, when it comes to dieting, some in the over 65 population might be surprised to learn how little they do

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Eating On Vacation; Dieting Afterwards – That’s Dumb!

What is it about “I’m going on vacation” that becomes “I’m on vacation, I’m going to eat what I want.” Most people do not set out on vacation thinking “I plan to gain 10 pounds this week” (even though that happens). So many dieters struggle for a year to lose 20 pounds and blow it

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Good – and Bad – Fruits for a Dieter

To eat a banana or not – that is the question. I used to think all fruit is good fruit and would eat it with abandon. Recently, I did some research for an article and discovered that some fruits should be eaten in moderation – a lot of moderation. Fruit on a diet can be

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Dieting at the Family Get Together

One of the toughest challenges facing a committed dieter is the Dreaded Family Get Together. The annual July 4th cookout, family dynamics and expectations can play havoc on a dieter both emotionally and at the scale. The best way to survive a food-heavy family gathering is to commit to choosing your food wisely. If it’s

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Dieting at the Family Get Together

One of the toughest challenges facing a committed dieter is the Dreaded Family Get Together.  When it comes to the Fourth or July or other summer events, traditions, dynamics and expectations can play havoc on a dieter both emotionally and at the scale. The best way to survive a food-heavy family gathering is to commit

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There are No Short Cut Diets

I’m sorry to report that after almost 70 years of dieting, I have not discovered a genuine fast diet. Oh, sure, there are plenty of diets out there that will enable you to lose weight quickly. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend any one of them, but if you need to lose a few pounds for a

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The Wedding’s Over… Time to Pack on the Pounds?

The wedding’s over, the happy couple is back from their honeymoon. On to marital and domestic bliss and – sigh – gaining weight. Prior to the wedding, a bride and groom tend to be super conscious of their weight. If they don’t shed a few pounds, at least they try not to gain any extra

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Why Diets Fail: Overweight Women are Not Selfish Enough….

A close friend asked me to provide her with a list of reasons why I think she can’t lose weight. Eek – asking someone to psyche out another’s weight issues could put a friendship to the test. However, I have known this woman for a long time. So I agreed to give her my honest

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Buying Your Wedding Dress is One Thing; Fitting Into it on Your Wedding Day Is the Challenge!

Every bride looks beautiful on her wedding day (and let’s hear it for the mothers-of-the-bride and groom, too). As the guests ooh and aah over the loveliness of the wedding party, it’s probably just as well if they don’t know about some of the behind-the-scenes angst. Didn’t there used to be a television show called

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When a Little Diet Guilt is a Good Thing

I did well on my diet over the recent holiday. I was determined that I was going to behave and not see a weight gain the next morning. I resisted all candy and when I served a brunch to my family, I passed on the French toast, home fries, bacon and sausage and enjoyed a

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You Versus the Easter Bunny

Whether you celebrate Easter of not, that #!@*(!# Easter bunny can be a serious threat to your dieting efforts. Perhaps you never have – or no longer – buy jelly beans to fill baskets (on behalf of that long-eared critter), but it’s just about impossible to pass a checkout counter this season without being tempted

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Destroying Your Diet between 7:00 and 10:00 PM

I can be spot on when it comes to dieting during the day. • Eating out for lunch or dinner? No problem. I am positively virtuous in my food choices! • Snacks between meal? No biggie. I’m not tempted by a candy bar or a cookie. • Grocery shopping without a list and when I’m

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Is Your Child Obese? Are You to Blame?

When I see a young child who is obese, I find it heart wrenching. Overweight children under the age of 10 are often perceived as “cute” with a little too much “baby fat.” But when that child hits middle and high school, reactions switch from “cute” to: “Wow – that kid is really FAT –

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If No One Sees You Eating It; Does It Still have Calories?

I was at a breakfast meeting yesterday and someone arrived with homemade raspberry, white chocolate scones. I love scones. Scones are a food for which I would go off my diet. They are part of a long list of high calorie foods that tempt me. We all have such lists; whether it’s scones, ice cream,

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When Best Friends Sabotage Each Others Diets

Someone asked me to write this blog after an experience she had while visiting with a friend. Both women are faithful to their diets. They support one another’s efforts and always try hard to choose wisely at every meal. But every so often, the friendship reward/sabotage mentality slipped in. Knowing her friend loves ice cream,

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The Boredom Factors in Dieting

Boredom comes to play in several ways when it comes to dieting. • Diet foods can be boring • Bored dieter eat more • Confirmed dieters can be boring Diet foods can be boring Alas, it’s true – the plainness of some diet foods can get very old. Unless you have a chef in the

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Do Your Friends Secretly Resent You for Dieting?

When you are sticking to your diet – being an absolute saint – do your friends resent you? The answer may be a surprising “yes.” Of course our friends want us to succeed at losing weight. Common sense says that if we shed excess pounds, we will be healthier. Who wouldn’t want a dear friend

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Dieting with Tootsie Pops and Bubble Gum

When I was a child, my mother always criticized those who chewed gum: “Like cows chewing their cuds,” she would say. So I grew up taking a dim view of “gum people,” especially those crass bubble blowers and gum smackers. Gross! Sigh – if my mother could see me now. These days, I chew gum

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Dieting for the Wedding? Don’t Become a Shrew…

I remember when Kate Middleton was preparing to marry Prince William and a newswoman observed that like so many brides, Kate was trying to lose a few pounds. I was shocked. Princess Kate seems (to me) to be extremely thin and hardly in need of “Shedding a few pounds.” There’s no denying that brides often

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Valentine’s Candy: What’s a Dieter to Do…

No matter where you live – this has been an unpleasant winter. The only bright spot at this time of year is Valentine’s Day with its cheery colors and sweet messages of love. OH, NO!  Valentine’s Day! That means large heart-shaped boxes of chocolates (caramels – yum!); checkout counters displaying marshmallow treats (only 50 cents

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Are We Trying Too Hard to Lose Weight?

Anyone who knows me, or has read my articles, knows I am a little militaristic about dieting (ya think?!). Well, I’ve had a “Ta Da” moment. A dear friend has started a new diet. Like so many of us, her life has been a series of new diets – some successful for a while, but

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How Not to Eat When You’re Bored

One of the positive aspects of working at a job is that you’re busy and, in theory, you don’t have time to overeat. Okay – the office candy dish or lunch out with associates may be negative factors, but generally when we are working, it’s a little easier to diet. The more challenging diet times

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Getting Real About Those New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve been going to a local gym for about three years. I have to admit I am bemused by how busy the gym becomes as of January 2nd. The other regulars and I arrive and find the “just busy enough” gym jumping with crowds of people puffing and panting on the treadmills and elliptical machines.

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Getting Through the Holiday Season Without Totally Blowing the Diet

Two years ago I went to an Italian Christmas Eve dinner (but not the traditional seven course fish dinner; rather 12 courses!). The event started at 4:00 and went to 11:00 PM. It was an amazing array of food; the hostess had cooked for weeks ahead. The 14 guests ate and ate and ate. The

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Finding Willpower for the Holidays – and the Rest of Your Life

Finding Willpower for the Holidays – and the Rest of Your Life The person who discovers the secret to dieting willpower is the person who will become a millionaire. Without the inner strength of personal willpower, there’s no point in even going on a diet. For dieters, willpower is that moment of truth (the split

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How Does Your Weight Define You?

I was at a reception a few weeks ago and was chatting with … I hate to say this … an extremely overweight woman. Although a pleasant, professional business woman with excellent credentials, her weight was such a factor that she was having trouble walking and the skirt of her suit was stretched so that

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How Do You React to Overweight Strangers (How Do They React To You)

There are three sides to weight perception. How we see: Our overweight selves Our overweight friends Overweight strangers Our own weight challenges For many of us, extra pounds translate into a degree of self loathing. Nothing can ruin a day more than the scale showing a gain (even by a few ounces). Nothing can ruin

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What to Do When Your Diet is a Miserable Failure and You Want to Scream…

It’s happened to all of us – too many times. You start a new diet plan. You know it’s really going to work this time. And the first week (yes, you make it an entire week) is a runaway success. At long last, you’re going to win in the diet wars. And then – sigh,

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You’re Eating All That Food!? No Wonder You’re Fat!

Have you ever noticed that the really elegant restaurants tend to have smaller portion sizes? And further, have you noted that – in general – the people who eat at those higher-priced restaurants seems to have a handle on their weight? The other side: The popularity for some less expensive restaurants is often measured by

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Never Too Late To Succeed at Dieting

I’ve often written about how – even after years of failed diets, it is still possible to win the weight loss battle. However, I have to admit that when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on, I not only didn’t succeed, but I kept adding on the pounds. I spent decades launching

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Are Those Excess Pounds Going to be the Death of You?

I just answered a Facebook ponder about excess weight and its impact on health, and it reminded me of the serious health aspects of being overweight. When it comes to weight, we focus a lot on how we look and our self esteem. But the core reason to lose weight should be so that we

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Does Having Overweight Friends Make You Overweight?

“Birds of a Feather Flock Together” or so they say. But what about ladies (and gents) with extra pounds? I’m sure that, like me, you have dear friends of all shapes and sizes. But have you ever considered your food behavior when you’re with thin friends versus heavier friends? For example, the will power of

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Dieting and Self Esteem: Has Your Weight Negatively Changed Your Life?

This is one of the most painful messages I will write about dieting – the impact of weight on self esteem. As we age and look back at our life choices, overweight adults may wonder where they would be in their lives – what different roads they might have taken – if they had more

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Do you really, truly need to lose weight?

All of my writings have been focused on dealing with true weight problems. It’s now time to address those of you who may imagine you have a weight problem, but do you really? At 250 pounds, yes – I had a very serious weight problem. Even at 175 pounds, I needed to get my act

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The Ultimate Diet Challenge: We Love Food and We Love to Eat

I’ve written a lot about nutrition, exercise, behavior modification – all factors in losing weight. But the bottom line issue for most dieters is simple: “We Love Food!” Food is better and more tantalizing than ever before. I grew up in a plain old meat and potatoes household (boring, tasteless food). If we occasionally had

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Feeding the Family – and Not Yourself

I realized that I have been remiss in not discussing dieting when you have a family that expects you to provide snacks on the shelf, a full refrigerator and three meals a day. And I acknowledge that as a person who lives alone, dieting – in theory – might be easier for me (although I’ll

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Low calorie foods can be just as lethal as chocolate cake a la mode (with fudge sauce)

When you’ve been a life-long dieter (sigh – seven decades for me), you learn a lot of lessons about the slippery slopes of dieting. At least, you should learn lessons from every successful (or failed) diet you’ve been on. Walking through the grocery store this morning, I spotted some diet foods that pretty much destroyed

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Diet Success Using the GOI Attitude

Here’s the deal around successful dieting – you either want to lose weight or you don’t. This is not complicated. If you keep making excuses, why are you bothering to even be on diet? This blog is not about the big stuff (nutrition, exercise, motivation), but how to deal with diet faulty thinking. It’s a

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Behavior Modification: Getting Rid of Those Bad, Bad Habits

 According to Wikipedia Behavior modification is the traditional term for the use of empirically demonstrated behavior change techniques to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviors, such as altering an individual’s behaviors and reactions to stimuli through positive and negative reinforcement of adaptive behavior and/or the reduction of behavior through its extinction, punishment and/or satiation.

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My Diet Plan – Including Peanut Butter!

People often ask me what diet plan I used to lose all my weight and I am loathe to give out a specific name. Not that it’s a secret; I simply do not want to recommend one diet over another. I feel strongly that speedy fad diets do not work (or last) and that finding

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That Dreaded Diet Word: Exercise

For many dieters “Exercise” is an ugly word. And I will admit that three years ago, I not only didn’t want to go near a gym, but I would have argued I had no time in my day to workout. We all know what the experts have to say about exercise. According to the Mayo

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Dieting After You’ve Lost Your Weight

You’re a successful dieter – you’ve either reached your goal or it’s within a few pounds. Hooray. Well done. Congrats. Now comes the hard part. I once heard a diet specialist say “Any damn fool can lose weight, keeping it off is the challenge.” So true… so true. News flash for dieters: Maintaining your weight

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The Entitlement of Eating on Vacation – NOT!

What is it about “I’m going on vacation” that becomes “I’m on vacation, I’m going to eat what I want.” Why do we go on vacation? To get away, relax and refresh, change of scene. Most people do not set out on vacation thinking “I plan to I gain 10 pounds this week.” Just because

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Do Not Say “It’s About Time” to a Dieting Friend

It’s not easy to support a friend who is struggling with weight. There’s a fine line between being supportive and hurting their feelings. And shame on you if you become an Evil Diet Saboteur with your comments. For a morbidly obese person, interventions (loving family and friends confront someone with a serious issue) are popular

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Ditch the Diet Excuses

I have never taught a diet class, although I certainly have spend many years sitting in meeting rooms listening to others talk about dieting. I’ve always thought one of the hardest things about leading a diet group must be that time at the scale – the dreaded weigh in – which is the moment of

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Dieters: Living on the Edge

A dear friend visited last weekend. She and I have shared the diet journey for as long as we’ve known each other (decades of friendship). We’ve seen our weights go up and down and up again. Right now we’re both in a good place diet wise; we’re committed to our diets and doing well. She

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The Greatest Challenges of Dieting – and How to Face Them

Sigh – where to begin when it comes to the major challenges of successfully dieting. • Obviously the two primary challenges of dieting are that we need to eat to survive – and we get hungry. Like it or not, food is critical to our existence. To compound these challenges, there is a magnificent array

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Dieting: It Never Gets Any Easier

Achieving your diet goal doesn’t mean that eating challenges get any easier. In fact, they can become more difficult. First there’s living with the depressing statistics. Studies show that 83% of people who lose weight gain it back. It’s shocking (and sad) how many people fall off the diet wagon and regain their weight. I

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How I Lost 110 Pounds; You May Not Like This Method!

Every so often, someone will say “How did you lose all that weight?” And I’m happy to tell them. Except most people don’t like my answer. Let me start with some background. After a lifetime of dieting (I was even a chubby child), at age 67 I decided I’d had enough. With my extra weight

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Planning to Diet AFTER Vacation? Who Are You Kidding?

A few years ago I was in a large diet group (one of so many in my life) and one of the regulars said, “I’m going on a cruise next month so I’m going off my diet until I get back.” And I silently thought “How stupid is that?!” Apologies for this attack, but those

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Those !*&!*(^! Diet Plateaus

It took me 3 year to lose 110 pounds, but with diet plateaus, it felt like 10 years. I started my diet with reasonable losses. I did exactly what any doctor would order: a pound or two a week. I followed the diet plan, I ate wisely and moderately and – for once in my

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Don’t Blame Your Mother!

As a daughter – and now a mother, I know how mothers often get blamed for the good and the bad of how their kids turn out. One child is a PhD – “Kudos, mom!” Another child is miserable failure – “It’s the Mother’s Fault!” A major issue for motherhood is taking the blame for

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Willpower versus Chocolate Frosted Doughnuts

For me, one of the biggest challenges of dieting is food displays. Whether it’s those luscious looking doughnuts where I buy my morning coffee – or the tempting candy bar display at the grocery checkout counter – bad foods are always in front of us. If you are especially hungry when you see those displays,

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Twelve Things I LOVE About Sticking to My Diet

This blog was going to be entitled “Twelve Things I HATE About Sticking to My Diet,” but, sheesh, what would be original about that? There isn’t an overweight person who couldn’t write that kind of blog – and easily make it a list of 100++ things to hate about a diet commitment. Coming up with

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Binging on Ben & Jerry’s

When my head is in a good place diet-wise, I can stick to my diet pretty well all day. It’s not easy, but I can refuse the bacon with breakfast and the French fries with lunch. A reasonable and appropriate diet dinner? Not a problem. Then comes the evening “settling in.” It’s the end of

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Get a Grip!

A few weeks ago, a dear friend who struggles with weight told me that, since putting on an extra 5 pounds, she is diminished as a person. That didn’t seem logical. After all, what is a measly 5 pounds? Most people wouldn’t even notice she weighed a little more. As we talked about it, I

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It’s Okay to be Hungry (Let the Stomach Grumble)

When you go out to a dinner function or to a buffet  (or any scenario in which you have no control over what is served), what do you do to stay on your diet? If the food choices are all high calorie, how do you handle it? How do you avoid the heavy pasta in

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Losing Weight…It is Never Too Late

It’s always great to lose weight … but as we  age and finally reach our goal weight, it can be a bittersweet victory. I have always been weight challenged; my scale has gone up and down my entire life (mostly up). This time I’ve done it. Down 110 pounds and comfortably keeping that weight off.

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Assembling a Diet Support Group

The premise of E-Mail Your Weight Away is that you connect with one or two friends to discuss the challenges you each face when it comes to dieting. Although it’s possible to have a discussion through the Facebook page www.facebook.com/EMailYourWeightAway – that’s a very public forum. By forming your own group, each member can speak

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News Release – December 15, 2012

E-Mailing Your Weight Away! Fighting Your Diet Demons! Marlborough, MA, December 15, 2012 —- E-Mail Your Weight Away: Diet Dialogues for Women is a new book, with a different twist, by local author, Linda M. Hilliard of Marlborough. A life-long dieter, Linda recalls “When I was age 12, I was mortified when my mother took

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Welcome to E-Mail Your Weight Away

Welcome to the E-Mail Your Weight Away blog.  I look forward to many worthwhile dialogues about dealing with weight issues. If you’ve looked at the book – E-Mail Your Weight Away, you’ll know this is not a diet plan with nutrition, calories, exercises and so on.  Of course, any successful diet requires a commitment to

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