Okay, it’s 2010. Time to get serious about your health and lose weight for the last time. Do you really want to find yourself in January 2011 heavier than is healthy for you?

If you don’t, then you will need to tell yourself, every morning and every time you’re tempted to eat something you shouldn’t, that it matters. Yes, it matters if you eat something you haven’t planned: having an extra potato chip, finishing the crumbs left in the bag of cookies, eating off your kids’ plates, or going beyond your limit at a party or restaurant. It matters if you grab food on the run instead of sitting down and enjoying it properly, if you skip exercising, if you substitute a higher calorie meal because you didn’t make the time to go to the supermarket. EVERY TIME MATTERS. Every time you eat something you shouldn’t, you strengthen your giving in muscle, your tendency to give in–which makes it likely that the next time, you’ll give in and the time after that, and the time after that. Every time you stick to your plan, though, you strengthen your resistance muscle, your tendency to resist food you hadn’t planned to eat–which makes it more likely that the next time, you’ll resist and the time after that, and the time after that.

So every time matters. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it doesn’t. After all, how has allowing yourself to make exceptions worked for you in the past? Just think, if you had never said to yourself, “It’s okay. This one time won’t matter,” you probably wouldn’t have a weight problem today.

Eventually, as I describe in The Complete Beck Diet for Life, it will be important for you to learn how to make exceptions. But first you have to develop a powerful resistance muscle so when you do make exceptions, they will be reasonable and will still allow you to lose weight or maintain your weight loss.

 2010! You can make a fresh start if you’ve been struggling. (Actually, you should make a fresh start any moment you need to, throughout the year. There’s never a good reason to wait–if you do, your giving in muscle will get stronger and stronger.) Go back to the beginning of the program and make sure you have mastered every skill before you move on to the next one. Don’t pick and choose. If you really want permanent weight loss, there are no short cuts. You have to do it all. But remind yourself–the rewards will be great!       

I’m rooting for you!