I am so not Debbie Downer. Quite the contrary. People would describe me as positive and I feel I am.

And yet these are facts. 95 -98% of dieters regain all of their weight back within five years!

I’ve been in those shoes; I didn’t always have such a good handle on my body and my life. I was a full blown addict.

I was a binge eater; I would eat out of garbage pails, and I was addicted to diet pills and throwing up. This was me.

  • I followed diets and got some results, and then cannot keep your weight off.
  • I tried everything to like your body and nothing worked.
  • I lived my life in fear that the pounds would creep back on the minute I let down my guard.
  • I was terrified to trust anyone and I never believed I could get better.

Can any of you relate?

First Fact! Low self-esteem which led to addiction and unhealthy body image had to be worked on in order for me to like my size and shape.

And when I finally hit rock bottom and decided to do something about it, I didn’t instantly land on what I am sharing with you today. Instead, I fought and battled and bled my way through the fad fiasco that is our “Weight Loss Industry.”

I looked for the lose weight fast diets. I used to scour the bookshelves, supermarkets, and late-night infomercials day after day to find my next weight loss fix. I wanted something that would work instantly and make it all better. Because I hated my life as an overweight person.

But you know what? The instant fix doesn’t exist. True, permanent weight loss will require more than a week’s starvation ritual or some “energy pill” or “liquid” diet.

How do I know this? Because twenty-eight years ago I lost 100 pounds for good.

Now here is a shocker. I lost the weight, you would think, NIRVANA right? Guess what?

I hated my body and my life as a thin person too.

It wasn’t until I learned that healthy weight came from a healthy body image (and not the other way around) that I was able to transform into a permanently thin person, but more importantly into a happy person. And that really is the point, isn’t it?

I’ll be the first one to say though being a warrior and standing up to our inner demons is not for everyone. It is not easy work. Just like parenthood, not easy and yet the rewards are awesome!

So let me offer you some ways to step your little toe into healing from unhealthy body image.

Start by stopping focusing on dieting (especially fad diets) and start looking at how to begin liking and loving yourself.

Because the truth is:

Permanent weight loss has nothing to do with diet and exercise. @laurafenamore (Click to Tweet!)

Yes, I understand this statement messes up everything you’ve read or heard in your search for weight loss. How many times have you heard about the miraculous workout that will melt the inches off your waist in ten minutes flat!

So what you’ve heard about weight loss is what works…not for losing weight, but for making money on people who want to lose weight.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t lose a lot of weight with diet and exercise. What I am saying is that you are virtually guaranteed to gain it all back, and possibly more, unless YOU begin from the inside out – I know – not as sexy and yet it works.

I pray for people who parade themselves out in public reinforcing the diet/binge cycle. I have nothing against people who show off yo-yo dieting – If anything, I have compassion for them and hope that the next time around they deal with some inner issues that cause them to binge and starve. I also hope that their stories have more to do with how they contribute and serve – over the size of their body.

What do you believe when it comes to healthy body image and healthy weight release? I welcome your comments below.

Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting SkinnyFatPertect.com.