You're rooting through your closet for that perfect thing to wear. Maybe this, maybe that - no, not THAT! Your eye lights on a brand new pair of jeans - that you'd completely forgotten about. Perfect! Then you remember why they were bought and then forgotten. You purchased them when you were on your last diet as an incentive, a motivation. Which didn't work. Which of course means that they won't fit now.

Dejected, you push the jeans back out of sight, shove the closet door shut, and pout. "Why me?" you think. "Why can everyone else stick to a diet, lose the pounds and keep them off, while here I am, the incredible yo-yo, overweight most of the time with an occasional dip into the enviable land of skinny? What is wrong with me?!"

Well, there's probably nothing wrong with you, but there may be a good deal wrong with your approach. The first and most important step in making a change is to ask yourself, "Do I want to make this change?" You look at me as if I'm demented. "Do I want this change? Are you kidding? I buy entire wardrobes devoted to being slender. I go on diets all the time. Of course I want to lose weight!" Good. Then you appreciate, meaning you value and would be grateful for, a thinner you. But how about the process involved? Do you like dieting? Once again, you give me that look: "Do I like dieting? Are you nuts? Nobody likes dieting. It's just what you have to do to lose weight."

And that's the problem. You appreciate the end result (a thinner you), but you resent the process (dieting). That's like putting your foot on the gas pedal and on the brake at the same time. Nothing happens. Your subconscious is receiving two entirely contradictory messages. On the one hand, you're sending the message "thin is good" to yourself. On the other, you're sending the message "I hate dieting." Yet the way you're trying to get thin is by dieting. It's a lose-lose. However, with very little effort, you can turn this depressing situation into a win-win.

All you have to do is change the process, the way you're going about becoming a thinner you, so that you appreciate the process itself. Then the messages you send your subconscious will be congruent, aligned with each other, and you can get the results you want.

How to do that? Ask yourself what processes you can value, and adopt those.

For example, can you appreciate changing how you eat so that you have more energy? Or can you appreciate changing how you eat so you feel better overall? Instead of dieting, you could then learn about the foods and portions that give you energy, versus the foods and portions that slow you down. Or about the foods that increase vitality and well-being, versus the foods that compromise your health.

Or, for example, can you appreciate taking up a sport as a hobby, or learning to belly-dance or do the two step, or walking with friends, or some other form of physical activity which would increase your metabolism? There are many ways to shed pounds using activities you enjoy. There is no reason to be stuck with a weight-loss process you loathe.

When you make your primary goal finding an enjoyable means to your end, the result you ardently desire becomes more easily achievable. So take your foot off the "I hate this!" brake, and watch yourself zoom into the happy land of accomplishment.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., known as "Dr. Noelle" to her clients, is a respected psychologist, consultant and author. Her most recent books is "The Power of Appreciation: The Key to a Vibrant Life" (with co-author, Jeannine LeMare Calaba, Psy.D.; Beyond Words, 2003). For more than a decade, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives with her "compassionate psychotherapy." Dr. Noelle welcomes your comments via email ( You can visit Dr. Noelle anytime at