A sane and thoughtful guide to permanent weight loss

Ten years ago, I set about tackling a long out-of-reach goal. In the course of a year, I lost 50 pounds. I’ve now maintained this loss for over a decade. Less than 10% of dieters accomplish this goal past the five-year mark.

I did it without counting calories, eliminating any food group, adopting a set program, or taking supplements. I didn’t push myself into uncomfortable workouts, pay for expensive training, or join a fitness boot camp.

In 2010, 2011 and 2018

Instead, I began paying careful attention to what changes I could live with long-term. …


This radical notion is your founding principle

My 50th birthday is tomorrow. Other than the AARP card I should have anticipated (but still startled me), I’m feeling very good about this.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with highly invasive breast cancer, with a small recurrence in 2017. I had serious doubts about making it to fifty.

Instead, here I am in a body I thoroughly enjoy, crazy about cycling and full of energy for this venture.

What does this have to do with weight loss? Quite a bit.

I discovered the lump early because a few years prior I’d lost fifty pounds and could easily palpate it…


We begin on March 22.

It turns out the accountability of starting and completing together makes everyone work harder, including me.

“Yes. This is not just “another diet”. It is the opposite of that. It gets underneath the “diet” to look at what is real, what is happening in you. It gives you more than just tools, which I find limiting. It gives you purpose and a reason and a playbook for change. THANK YOU!!!” — Kate K.

First, let me back up a bit. The program I built is 9+ weeks long and covers a diverse array of subjects because these are the things…


It’s called technology alienation.

Technology alienation = weight loss apps.

I came across this fascinating piece in the Growth Equation (also a terrific newsletter) about the concept of technology alienation. It’s the idea that certain technologies stop us from tuning into ourselves.

I was immediately electrified. YES!

Take, for example, a GPS watch with a heart-rate monitor or any other biometric tracking device. Exercising, sleeping, eating, and so on with these devices gives you all kinds of powerful information, but it also alienates you from your own body’s physical sensations. …


Does that still sound like coping?

Have you heard?

There’s a pandemic and it’s stressful and if you have to eat your way through then do it because you do you, boo.

I’m seeing this message all over the place and it’s making me a bit nuts.

Think of it this way, if you heard that someone was spending money on impulse purchases would you advise them not to worry about the resulting credit card bills?

Now a global survey conducted earlier this year confirms what Mr. Loy and many others experienced firsthand: The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns led to dramatic changes in health behaviors, prompting people around…


That question is keeping us stuck in unworkable systems

If we want to curb weight gain individually we need to start thinking collectively.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Let’s start with the obvious. All bodies regardless of size deserve dignity. That’s not pandering, it’s basic fairness. Being fat is not a personal or moral failure, it’s an outcome. One poorly understood by most people.

What I have to say below isn’t a missive on thin being ideal, and everything else isn’t good enough. A healthy weight looks different on everyone and I say ‘vive la différence’.

The health risks of excess weight also remain. Chronic, inflammatory diseases fueled by sugar and packaged foods are on the rise. These diseases cause incredible damage to people’s lives and rob them…


Nothing. Seductive. Uncomfortable. Unsustainable.

Clean slates are a fun idea. Start fresh, throw out the bad.

Who doesn’t love that glittery horizon?

Here’s another way to think about it: that’s nurturing a fantasy.

Lasting change evolves. It’s a simultaneous process of growing good thinking, doing the emotional work to allow honesty in, and keeping your commitments to yourself.

It’s one step at a time. It’s gentleness. It’s respect for the self.

Diets can only ever end one way, with you no longer dieting.

Then what?

Have you created boundaries, worked on self-talk, employed good tools, deepened your understanding of behavior, created rules, pursued joyful movement, and focused on your nourishment practice?

One way or another you…


Is this how you speak to yourself?

  • observing body parts and finding them gross
  • catching yourself in the mirror and wishing you weren’t unattractive
  • inspecting other people and judging yourself as lacking
  • repeating word for word unkind things said to you

It seems obvious that if you said these things to someone else, the effect would be hugely wounding. Yet, somehow, it’s perfectly acceptable inside the confines of our own minds.

Well, it isn’t.

Here’s the thing, losing weight doesn’t fix detrimental self-talk, and it’s very difficult to lose the weight for good while employing it.

Sit with that for…


The short answer is that we’ve allowed diet companies to define the problem for us. That’s great for selling you a narrow (read: incomplete and potentially harmful) product, but does little to help you understand the complexities so you can address them.

What are the complexities, you ask?

Your incoming self-regard. The assumption is losing weight will fix self-esteem, but that just isn’t the case. High self-regard is needed to persist towards a healthy weight. Diets can’t help with that.

Your lack of time. Weight loss for life requires time and space to practice self-care. …

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