Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I was on a very rigorous diet for about a month. I lost weight and I was happy
about it. I especially liked all the compliments I got during the High Holidays,
when I saw many people who had gone the opposite direction. Then I took
several weeks off. Between break fast and succah hopping I took in many
thousand more calories than I should have. I want to go back on program, at
least between now and Thanksgiving, with the hope that I can maintain whatever
I lose through to the New Year. I think I learned my lesson but I have also gotten
lazy. Can you get me motivated to do what I know I will feel better doing, but
seem to have lost the will to do for myself?


Dear Backsliding:

A wise person once said abut weight, You’re either gaining or losing. Sadly that’s
truer than we might wish, though if you establish a range for a goal, say 143-145,
you will know when to bear down when you cross the bright red line and see a 6,
7, 8, etc. Weighing in every morning should become as automatic as brushing
your teeth. If you are afraid of stepping on the scale, that’s an indicator that it’s
time to go back on your program, whatever it is.

Techniques that work for me and others I know: Write down what you are
allowed to eat, meal by meal organized by category (protein, grain, vegetable,
fruit). Keep a list of what’s legal in what quantity with you in your purse. If you are
shopping, eating in a restaurant, or just need a reminder to say No I’m not going
to buy or eat that!, pull it out. Don’t tempt yourself with Just one bite, or Just this
one time, or I can keep it in the freezer for company. Organize your schedule
around getting to the gym or going for a walk. Enlist a buddy to go on program
with you until Thanksgiving. And set a reasonable goal, say five pounds lost by
then. If it feels hopeless, you won’t obey. If you see progress, even in ounces,
you will find more motivation.