Thinking about diets, I remembered that I'd read an article by a doctor (can't recall his name though) who had been running a weight loss programme at his clinic, but then noticed that some of the participants had left when they *lost* weight.  His follow-up interviews with some of them apparently led him to conclude that for these particular people their weight had been working for them, as camouflage to escape trauma or post-traumatic situations. I believe he went on to do a full study and then implement a mental health programme, based on his findings... The weight for him seemingly became a symptom rather than an aim.

Then I read an article in a paper, where the contention was that people only really had weight stay reduced if they started to view themselves differently. If they had taken some kind of step to change their life in such a way that they no longer saw themselves as "that person".

Both these articles resonated with me, since I have indeed had childhood and adult traumatic situations to deal with, then taken steps to change my life:

In childhood, I was food-deprived, on top of the trauma situation itself, so that I was half the size of my classmates and only made up for this in later teens - I got a job in a restaurant where you could eat as much as you liked: You only had 10 mins to get it down, but it's amazing how much you can stuff down in 10 mins! (g). I put it down to this and subsequent restaurant jobs that I eventually reached a normal height - though much later than my contemporaries.

Later in life, my weight loss started after I started tai chi. I did indeed start to see myself differently - whereas before I would go home from a stressful day, to flop out on the couch in front of the TV with a ready meal, I was now going to the club and doing stuff with other people. Nothing too strenuous, but consistent. Not alone, but with other people. Not standing still intellectually, but learning new stuff.

So I think dieting on its own is a waste of time, but having something in your life that changes how you see yourself, alongside eating more healthily, is the way to go, to achieve a permanent change. One step set me on the way - the step through the club's front door! What one step might help you?