A binge is like a banquet in a graveyard.

When I've been tempted to overeat, a reminder that I'm slowly killing myself is often enough to make me throw down that fork.

Lose weight like you date.

Try more than one approach at a time—hire a trainer, drop the salt, find an accountability partner, keep a journal of your progress. And start saying the hard things (beginning with the word no) instead of downing the Twinkies.

Take it to "the Net."

In the first month of my weight loss attempt, I signed on to both Yahoo! and Oprah.com, and I found hundreds of online support groups. My main e-mail buddy has been my lifeline—a mother of four in Tallahassee whose real name I don't even know has extended encouragement and advice, exchanged weigh-in results, and shared difficulties and triumphs with me.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

If you're exhausted and cranky after work and your fridge is filled with fattening food, you're probably going to do the easiest thing (I would) and reach for what's nearest. That's why I now do all my grocery shopping on Sundays, then plan my week's meals. Takes me a couple of hours—but then during the week all I have to do is grab and go.

Stay ahead—go to bed.

It's tough to order chow mein at midnight when you've been asleep since 9:30. Instead of reaching for the Godiva, climb into bed early when you feel an evening craving coming on. If I do have to stay up and I decide to give in to the longing, I have a rule that I must drink three full glasses of water before hitting the sheets—sometimes I won't binge simply because I hate guzzling all that water.

Yes, pout—then pounce.

When this war with my weight has knocked me to my knees, I allow myself only one song on the "poor me" soundtrack before I jump to my feet again. Turn that whine into a win! Victors are really just temporary quitters who then regroup with a vengeance.


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