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Why some of us succeed and some of us fail

I hope this doesn't hinder anybody but I was reading back through the forum and I noticed how many people start with so much enthusiasm and so many good reasons to loose weight but for one reason or another they just fell off the wagon and never came back. I'm reading a couple of books at the moment that look at the deeper issues with weight loss and I've also been looking through the internet.

The first reason people fail is because they don't have a good enough reason or the right motivation. You need to have a really solid reason to change, one that is going to make you change all your bad habits and give you the strength that doesn't make you give up in a week and let you go back to the way you usually eat.

The second reason why people fail is because they bend the rules and once you start bending the rules then where do you stop? It might start with a slice of cake in work for someones birthday or a slice of pizza at a friends house, by giving in your letting your bad habits get a grip on you again, suddenly because you gave in you do it again and again, you start to think that a little bit of this or that won't hurt or because you've been really good all week you deserve a little treat. These cracks start to appear and if you don't get back on track quickly and follow the diet exactly then the cracks get bigger and bigger until you crash and fall back into old habits.

I think if you want to make CD work you have to really have a solid reasons to lose weight, something that is really going to motivate you through those hard times and most importantly that you follow the diet exactly and don't ever cheat even a little bit, or once you let those cracks appear then your hopes of loosing weight quickly turn to dust.

Even though I have a thousand reasons to loose weight the one (ok it's a bit of a mishmash of a few) that will keep me strong is:

I want to be a successful, attractive, healthy role model for my children and live a long active life with my family.

I have been letting myself slip recently and given in too easily, it's time to fill in those cracks and get back on track!!! heres to 100% from now on!!!
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Silver Member
Great thread - I hope Goreygirl finds this thread because she will have some wonderful insights to share.

Totally agree with the above particularly the motivation - because of its not really there (don't ask me how to get it there - I've been trying for 20 years and this is the first time its worked - really worked)you will find all sorts of reasons ( aka excuses) why you can't do it, too much stress, parties, events,nights out,feel ill all of which can't possibly be missed or compromised and appear totally insurmountable - but if the motivation is there a solution can be found to overcome all of them.. because once the slide starts it starts - you either get away with it and then think you can carry on doing so it stops working so or you don't get away with it and get despondent and give up because the weight isn't coming off.

Stick to your 100% Beth - we are with you all the way ;-)
Thanks Setas :) I really appreciate your comments! I have been dieting for all of my adult life and it took a series of really..REALLY bad things last year to get my life into perspective. As soon as I was ready after giving birth I knew I needed to do CD and I won't let myself give in..not this time!! xx


Gold Member
I thought long and hard about whether to reply - cos on the one hand, I really want to applaud your post Beth - and hey, I will. :)


But I think it comes down to more than motivation. It has a lot to do with self-esteem too. About getting to the place where you feel you deserve to put your own needs ahead of others.

I've failed on so many occasions before because I've perceived that someone else's happiness - even their fleeting happiness - is more important than mine. You know, that pressure to give in to ordering a takeaway because your other half (invariably your thin other half) needs 'cheering up'. Or because the kids don't want to eat what you're having (so you either end up making 3 different meals or eating with them). Or you go to your mother-in-law's house on a Sunday to have her Sunday roast because 'she'd be ever so upset if you didn't'...


I also think that a key thing is learning how to get over a cheat actually, nice though it'd be never to cheat in the first place. Yes, it'd be great if we never ate something we later wish we hadn't, but it's not realistic.

One of the things that reading the Beck Diet Solution is doing for me is giving me the tools to talk myself out of cheating before I actually do it. To see a minor blip as, well, exactly that. That I don't have to write the rest of the day off and give into the, 'Oh well, I'll stuff myself tonight and start again tomorrow' mentality. :rolleyes:

Beck says it comes down to a simple choice really.

I can have whatever food I want, whenever I want, in whatever quantity I want OR I can be thinner. I can't have it both ways.

For the first time, I actually feel as though these messages are sinking in. Yes, it seems unfair that I can't have it both ways - but life is unfair. It's not fair that children are born with disabilities, it's not fair that some people get cancer, it's not fair that all those people in Japan died because of the earthquake/tsunami.

There is at least something I can do about the 'unfairness' in my life (and that's not something Beck says exactly - just something that occurred to me now as I was writing).


Silver Member
Hi Lily - you've got some great points there - so glad you've posted - because its made me think a bit deeper about things - which can only help resolve my issues in the long term ;-). Perhaps I was too harsh with my words and saying its just motivation is painting too simple a picture - didn't mean to be - self esteem is a huge huge issue. I have hated myself for most of the last 20 years and I have used all those reasons and more, and genuinely thought I was doing the right thing.

I guess the reason is for me is that now (isn't hindsight wonderful)I realise I was using everyone elses feelings (or my perception of their feelings)as an excuse. But this time I am forcing myself to look at myself in the cold light of day and say was that really the reason or was I actually letting it be the reason because it empowered me to do something I wanted to do anyway (ie eat the yummy food I adore).

Perhaps this time i've just got stubborn - or in my case been honest with myself. In week 1 or 2 my husband was really low and wanted fish and chips and sent me off to get them for him. Before I would have eaten with him - he's depressed - he needs my support - but this time I bought the damn fish and chips and drove all the way home and took deep deep breaths of the delicious smell and then sat with him while he ate them ...and drank a shake. Did it trouble him?..no, did he need me to physically eat with him to support him?..no and boy did it help empower me. Since I started CD I've done the same at family birthdays, christmas, new year, a big work gala dinner etc - I've happily sat, joined in, but not eaten - and do you know what - no one has given a monkeys (other than being very supportive) and it hasn't affected them at all.

Now the cheating and getting over it - eek thats my challenge because this time I haven't cheated - I've stuck to it 100% - mainly because I was terrified to start the cheat/blowing it/binge/give up/start again cycle that had me morbidly obese. So this time - with no cheating - it has been plain sailing - Its been really easy because cheating (or finding a reason to eat) has not been an option - but what am I going to do when i start to move up the plans and actually have to make choices..how will I cope? What will I do when I do make the "wrong" choice - because I know that day will come - maybe i'm just being a coward and putting it off for as long as possible -avoiding the issue - I don't know. I put off my Add a meal week by 2 weeks because I was terrified of the thought of possibly cheating - but got through it with no problems and am now looking forward to my next AAM week starting tomorrow..but what happens when I go up to the less structured plans...only time will tell, but I am following a couple of other girls (moleymole and great things) who are there already and have had highs and lows so hopefully can learn from that and keep it going.

I have heard such good things about this beck book - think I better order it and give myself a fighting chance at the other end!!


Laugh in the face of food
Beth do you mind me asking which books you're reading? I'm really trying to get my head fixed to make this succeed!! And any books that can give me some insight into why I eat like I do etc.
I start with all good intentions and have done really well in the past and am happy to be on day 5 and been 100% but I think hormones play a big part in cheating totm is really tough on this diet or any diet because my body just craves choc and carbs! With all good intentions it's that constant voice on your shoulder that you fight with daily! X
Thanks for the replies I was really hoping that it would be thought provoking and they definetly are :) I know that dieting is not black and White, it's extremely complex and everyone has their different reasons for overeating or gaining weight. What I wrote was very simplistic and I hoped it would lead onto debates and an interesting thread. Recently I have found posts to be much more in-depth and I feel that a lot of us are really facing the psychological side to our weight problems and that's where our success lies. I hope I haven't upset anyone with my post, I didn't mean it to sound patronising or anything. I'm currently reading a book by Gillian Riley called Eating less:say goodbye to overeating, as well as working through my beck workbook :) x
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Laugh in the face of food
I don't think it came across as patronising at all!! I'm halfway through Gillian Riley, and into Week 5 of Beck :) I've also just found a book called Emotional Eating by Edward Abramson tucked away on my shelf, so that'll be my next read. And I've also got a great book called You On A Diet by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz ( he he the Wizard of Oz - sorry I'm such a child:D) this book goes into the sciencey bits about how your body works on a diet, very straightforward and helpful!!

I think it's great that people are taking a bit of a look into the psychological aspects behind weight gain, weight loss and maintaining!! :D


Gold Member
Definitely not patronising, Beth - and likewise, I hope I didn't sound patronising either.

The in-depth 'what's going on in my head?' posts are often to be found in people's weight loss diaries rather than out here on the main forum - not that I'm saying this thread shouldn't be here - far from it!!

It's just I think we can all be a bit resistant to the 'head stuff'. I know I used to be. :eek: But I've crashed and burned more times than either me or my CWPC want to remember, LOL - and that's just Cambridge. I've done just about every diet under the sun with varying amounts of success.

But despite all the stops and starts, Cambridge is the only diet I've done in which I've succeeded in not getting back to the weight I was to start with (because the first time I did it, back in 2007/08, I lost 5 and a half stones in 6 months). That in itself feels like a minor miracle.

As you'll know if you're working through Beck too - just about any diet will work if you stick to it. But the 'sticking to it' bit is the hardest thing of all. I've got loads of motivation, but it fails me at the point my hand starts twitching towards the cupboard with the chocolate in, LOL.

The other week, a good friend of mine told me that she thought my problem was commitment. After being suitably outraged for a bit, I've come to the realisation she's right. Don't know who said it, but someone very clever once said, "We are what we continually do." Comes from the same sort of stable as the saying, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got."

Every time I restarted Cambridge (up until this time), I've done it more or less the same way. Lost maybe 21 pounds, quite fast, then lost the plot.

But doing Beck this time is me doing things rather differently. Challenging my assumptions. There's absolutely nothing I've come across in Beck that I haven't come across before - but never before have I actually written stuff down and made myself look at it every day. There's a world of difference, I'm discovering, between knowing something and acting upon it.
@surfhunny thanks for those titles I'll give them a try :) I'm always reading a book about weight management or anything to do with weight loss just need to put it into practice lol

@lily your reply wasn't patronising at all, I totally know where you're coming from I am almost into the 13's again and this is my weakest point (I notice we are almost identical in stats at the moment). I got to 13.9 in 2009 then gave in with 1lb left to my 10% goal at slimming world, I can't understand why I would completely sabotage myself and increase my weight by another 3 stone! There's no logic to how I am. The difference this time is that I can see my trigger points, my OH has been dieting and doing really well but now the cracks are appearing he's snacking and not avoiding treats at work, i fear it won't be long before the takeaway menus come out again and the cycle restarts..but I'm not there with him, not like every other time. My family keep asking if I can eat yet, they are waiting for me to fail, they try to sabotage me too I think they feel threatened that they'll have no one to belittle at family gatherings, I don't tell anyone I'm dieting and if they mention my weight loss I change the subject. This time I have to be purely selfish and think about me!! X
If you want a book that's a little more light-hearted, but still goes into the psychological side, but from the author's personal experience, 'The amazing adventures of DietGirl' is a good read, makes you laugh and cry, and feels like you coulda written most of it yourself!!



Laugh in the face of food
Yep Rhibro I can totally recommend that book too, she's inspirational!! :D

Hmmm beginning to wonder if there's any diet books I haven't read!?!?!? ;)


Creating my life
I'm late to this conversation but thought I might have something to add. I've been dieting now for 5 1/2 years - no really! Thanks to a broken thyroid and various fertility treatments I go over the same ground over and over again.

I have a mantra - just keep going - whatever happens I just keep going. If I have a weekend off I just get back on the diet. If I am stressed and overeat I just get back on the diet.

None of us are perfect and a diet gives us time to look at ourselves - learning why we do the self destructive things we do. Dieting is not just about losing weight but learning tricks and tools to ensure we never get back to our highest weights again.

We all have all sorts of reasons why we got fat and we should fully understand them before we get to maintenance - and have coping strategies in place.


Laugh in the face of food
Fab post Coley!! You're absolutely right!!

flab fighter

The fat is melting away!
Very interesting post girls.
Hi ladies,

I've read this post with great interest as i'm in my third week and already have cheated on several occasions??!! I aim to start the week afresh with a 100% challenge for myself - I go on holiday on 2nd July and i'd love to feel even just a little more comfortable.

I've taken some great info from this post and I really appreciate all of the contributions made by everyone, just helps me along.


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