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Oh, Martha. How I love thee. She cuts right to the chase:

“WHY ARE YOU SO DAMN FAT?”

Oh, right. Eat less, move more.

Honey, if ONLY it were that easy. I know all the right things to eat. I KNOW all the right exercises to do.

It was a couple of years ago, just before I picked up this book, that I had an epiphany of sorts: It’s all in your head.

Or my head…you know what I mean.

Not that I knew what to do with this piece of wisdom. I knew it HAD to be something mental or psychological tripping me up, because…darn it, I knew I had all the OTHER pieces of the puzzle.

“Why are you so damn fat?” posits Martha. “…Because of the way you think.”

Cue lightbulb. Aha!

She goes on to say:

“It turns out that certain ways of thinking can literally change the structure of the brain, for example, in ways that make it less prone to craving and more prone to happiness. The implications for weight loss are huge.”

I have actually noticed this in my life. During times of decreased stress, my weight is lower. Aha!

Okay, Martha…I’m with you. What next?

Jump-Start: An “early win…will help motivate you to continue on the program. The first 4 days of your weight loss routine will be the most difficult. After that, you’ll experience an accelerating increase in motivation and success.”

Boy, that sure sounds good. Four days, huh? I bet I could do that.

“If you think this means the 4-Day Win will give you more willpower, you’re wrong; it will just help you need less.”

Wait…what? Isn’t that…CHEATING?

Isn’t the whole GOAL of a diet to beat yourself into submission? It doesn’t COUNT if it’s EASY.

Or…does it?

And get this:

“Each step on the 4-Day Win program will enhance your entire existence, not just improve your body. Losing weight and keeping it off requires that you live an unusually authentic, fulfilling life. I believe it’s the mother of all psychological challenges, more difficult than kicking heroin, more delicate than surgery.”

And so the exercise for this chapter is to Open Myself to Hope. Not easy…on the weight-loss front; I’m pretty jaded. Been there, done it, gained it, lost it…over and over again.

“I’d simply like you to open yourself to the possibility that, no matter what you weigh, there is nothing basically wrong with you.”

“The biggest payoff from following the 4-Day Win is the self-evident experience of the fact that none of your pain has been pointless, and no part of your life has been wasted—not one moment.”

I hope you’re right, Martha.

Let’s do this thing.

Check out Lisa’s take on Chapter One here.

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