Why We Don’t Keep the Weight Off

by | Jul 8, 2023

I’m guessing that you are here because you want to lose weight and/or you want to keep the weight off. You want to probably do both. Why would we lose weight and not keep it off?

Interesting question, because I’ve worked with 1000s of women, including myself, I came up with some things to consider. As much as you can change the way you lose weight, maybe you will listen and you’ll decide, you know what, I’m going to go a little slower. I’m going to focus on changing some of my thoughts, some of my beliefs. I’m going to work on flexible eating.  I’m going to stop vilifying food. I’m going to make changes. Which is wonderful. 

There are some things that you need to look at, for the big picture. I think a lot of these things are going to ring true. I have narrowed this down to seven. There’s probably way more but seven things that you’re going to have to figure out for yourself. They may not all ring true for you.

If you want to stop gaining the weight back, stop the yo-yo dieting, stop the merry go round, stop this horrible ride, we have to really be honest and confront some truths.

Ready? let’s go. Buckle up, as they say. 

I don’t know if this is in any particular order. 

1) Over reliance on external validation. 

This is huge. As you grow up, we’re always looking for the inputs. 

  • Am I doing this right? 
  • Am I good enough? 
  • Did I get an A? 
  • Am I a good girl? 
  • Do people like me? 
  • Do people find me attractive? 
  • Am I thin enough? 

Like all of this stuff is just from the outside.

We never really learned how to give ourselves our own validation. How to tell ourselves, you’re doing great. You did a good job. Maybe you could have done better. What would you do differently next time? We just don’t learn that. 

We are always seemingly at the beck and call of other people’s opinions. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’re going to have to validate yourself. There are a couple of different ways that we become sort of a victim of circumstance. We become a victim to external validation, one from the scale. 

Many of the women I’ve worked with, they’re using the scale as the measure. 

  • If this is working, 
  • If I’m good,
  • If I did it right, 
  • If I’m on the right track, 
  • If I deserve to eat, 
  • If I’m a good girl,
  • like all of this stuff. 

Whatever the scale says, is the magic eight ball answer. 

I’m not telling you not to use the scale, I’m telling you not to use it as a yardstick as to your worth, or a measure of your success. It is just a moment in time. 

If you are somebody who’s using the scale, and then the whole day, the whole week, the whole month, whatever is dictated by the number, we probably want to change that conversation. Otherwise, we never lose the weight and keep it off. In fact, we just play ping pong all day, every day with a scale. 

Also under, over reliant on external validation from other people, and it goes a couple of different ways. 

You might find yourself really struggling with weight loss. Just because you might be a people pleaser. I think to some extent, a lot of us are in certain circumstances, whether that’s trying to please our parents, our friends, a teacher, a mentor, or social media. We have to put on a certain air and be agreeable and be nice and say yes. Eat and drink the things because someone offered it to us. That’s gonna keep you stuck.

Also an interesting thing, this may have happened to you as you’re losing weight, or you’ve lost weight, you probably will get compliments. People see a picture of you and they might comment Oh, you look so good. And that keeps us going, right? That’s like, Oh yeah, I’m getting the compliment juice. I’m getting all this positive affirmation, all of this external validation that I look good and it is working. People are noticing and I am good enough. 

Here’s the thing, at some point, you’re not going to get that anymore unless someone hasn’t seen you in a long time. People who see you every single day or see you once a month at a PTO meaning or see you every so often, they’re not going to keep complimenting you over and over and over and over and over. Not because you don’t deserve compliments, or they don’t like you, it’s just they stop noticing.

How many times can someone tell you that you look great? They just don’t. It’s not their fault. What happens is that we become reliant on that. It’s like, if people aren’t complimenting me, and people aren’t noticing, is this no longer working? Is this not real? Is this not happening? What will I do without that external validation?

What you will do is learn to validate yourself. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, the most important relationship you have is with yourself. Yes, when you look in the mirror, and validate yourself, no matter what.

2) Your circle of friends.

If you’ve lost weight and gained it back, I’m going to tell you and this will be unpopular. If you hang around people who don’t have the same values or goals as you, this is going to be a problem. If all of your friends, your circle, your tribe, like to still eat and drink all the time and they don’t exercise or they don’t prioritize their health or they don’t prioritize the things you prioritize, it’s going to be a mismatch.

It’s going to be hard and it is okay. 

You might have different pockets of friends. And it’s not to say, Oh, when I go back to drinking, when I go back to eating and drinking, I’ll have those friends again. They could still be your friend, but are you trying to hang around with people who aren’t swimming, aren’t rowing in the same direction as you, you’re going to be running into a wall with this. 

It is the truth. I’m sorry, someone has to tell you. 

I have had this happen a lot. People who come into my brick and mortar gyms, people who come into my competition team, the women who get on stage, people who do join my other containers, that’s when you find your new friends. There are people who have the same interests, they want the same things. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

Sometimes you outgrow relationships. It doesn’t mean those are bad people, you need to fire them, you need to tell them they suck. It’s just that the relationship is now complete. 

As you’re moving into your future self, you might have new future friends. As your self concept changes about how you take care of yourself and what you prioritize, you’re going to have to find those same people and God knows they’re out there for you, I promise you. 

3) Instant gratification.

This isn’t about recipes, or eating the right amount of carbs, or how much walking to do, or the right macros. It’s bigger than that. It’s this idea of instant gratification. 

We live in an instant gratification world, I mean, we probably always have. The brain loves instant gratification, the brain is all about it. I see it, I want it, I have to have it, I need it. 

We are all attached to these things called our phones. We can go to amazon.com. We can get shit now in 12 hours or less. I mean, it’s crazy. It’s amazing. 

What we can’t get is instant change in our;

  • Bodies,
  • Health,
  • Physique, 
  • Lives,
  • Mindset,

It just doesn’t work like that. 

As much as we can have the right recipes or macros or do the right amount of workouts or whatever that is, you’re going to have to take control of your brain and your mind. 

Your mindset is going to have to look at your brain as like a four year old and be like, yeah, no, everything we see we don’t put in our mouth, just because it looks good. I just don’t put it in my mouth. This idea of instant gratification versus delayed gratification, you need to address this. This is huge.

Otherwise, we’re just always going to be a victim of circumstance. We’re always going to be hey, I can stay with my weight loss as long as no one shows up with my favorite food, as long as I lock myself in the house, and I am not going to look at any cookies. That’s just doesn’t make any sense. 

We have to be able to say, yeah, that looks good. But no, thanks. I’ll have that tomorrow. I’ll plan for that another day. I can have that anytime I want. I don’t need to say yes right now.

I’ve mentioned this before. We have urges. We do have temptations, but we don’t act on them all. However, there’s nothing illegal about putting our hand in the chip bowl. There’s nothing illegal about pouring another glass of wine. Some urges and temptations are frowned upon. But it is very easy to not check ourselves on this. I’m telling you if you are struggling with keeping weight off, this is it. It really is.

There is no right macros or right diet that overrides this. You have to do the work on your mindset all the time. You have to practice this. Just absolutely. 

It’s like correcting a four year old or a puppy or something like that. Like nope, nope. Sit, stay. Drop it. No, we’re not doing that right now. 

4) Relying on willpower versus managing these urges. 

Relying on willpower. I have a lot of women tell me, my biggest problem is I don’t have willpower. Well, most people don’t have that much willpower. It’s limited. It runs out fast. If we’re relying on willpower, we’re just not going to make it. We aren’t. 

We have to take one step up from there and be the parent, be in charge, be Large Marge In Charge, manage your brain.
You have to just stop saying I need more willpower. 

5) We let one moment, or one day, be a problem. 

That’s all or nothing thinking. That’s when you go outside and you have the flat tire. (I hope you don’t). Instead of fixing the tire, trying to figure it out, call  AAA, call a friend, read the manual, jack up the damn car, you slashed the other tires. Like okay, game over. I’m just going to ruin everything. 

That’s what happens. We let one moment or one day or the vacation be a problem. It’s a problem. I fell off track. I went off track. I need to get back. No, it’s at any given time. If you just ate ice cream for breakfast, no problem. What would you do now for lunch that is in line with your goals, your self concept, your desires? What is that? Don’t trash the whole day because of one moment. 

This is just a practice, you have to practice this. We are all the same. I have the same human brain you do, and it loves slashing tires. It loves saying f*ck it all the time. That doesn’t work. We have to say, okay, as much as I want to eat all the things because I screwed up already, does that move me forward? What does that solve for me? 

Nothing, it just creates more problems. 

6) If you don’t keep doing what you did to lose weight, you’re going to gain the weight back.

This is a big one. 

That’s where the crux of why fad diets are a problem. When we try to lose weight doing something extreme, we’re probably dying to stop doing that, we lose the weight. We think magically, I’ll just keep it off. But yeah, I’m gonna go back to eating what I did before. That doesn’t work. Right? It just doesn’t work. 

Now, could you for a week, try something to give yourself a little kickstart? Sure if you want, but don’t think that you can just go back to eating ho-ho’s and ding-dong’s and the weight stays off. It just doesn’t. 

You have to realize that is why it’s so important to get to a place where we’re not vilifying certain foods. Where we don’t have this, I can only eat these three things today. All of that fad diet mentality is what comes back in a vengeance and slaps the weight back on us literally. 

7) Bullsh*t, unhelpful thoughts. 

If you want to figure out why you’d gain the weight back over and over and over. It’s the bullshit unhelpful thoughts. One of which is, I know what to do but I’m just not doing it. 

I know what to do. If you catch yourself saying that ,you have to have like, okay, timeout. We’re gonna have a little heart to heart here. 

First of all, you’re not permitted to say that anymore. Stop it. It is so unhelpful. It’s like your husband saying, you know, I know what to do, honey, but I’m just not going to do it on anything, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash. Stop that. It just doesn’t.

I just want to offer you that maybe you don’t know what to do. Maybe you don’t. So what? Let’s figure it out. This is just a lie. And it keeps just stuck. It keeps us sh*tting on ourselves being like, Oh, well, you know what to do, you have all the answers, but you’re just obviously f*cking yourself. We’re going to struggle. 

When you notice this coming up for yourself, don’t yell at yourself. You can laugh and be like, Okay, let’s figure this out. I would say, I know what to do, but I’m just not doing it. Interesting. 

  • What do you mean by that? 
  • Why do you think that? 
  • Why do you say that? 
  • What does that mean? 

That’s right. Not the ranty, Bonnie. The calm Coach Bonnie would ask you. Wow, that’s really interesting. What do you mean by that? Why do you say that? What does that mean to you? What are you making that mean? Let’s answer those questions. And find out what your brain is offering you because it’s just not helpful. 

When we walk around with the bullsh*t unhelpful thoughts, we get bullsh*t, unhelpful answers. We get bullsh*t unhelpful result every single time. I’m telling you. 

Why you gain the weight back? This is why. This is the stuff. This is what we want to tackle. 

Once we do, weight loss actually becomes easier. Food isn’t this big mystery. If you eat a hamburger with a bun, you’re not going to die. Carbs aren’t making you fat. This sh*ts making you fat. I know crazy. 


How many times have you lost weight only to gain it all back? Maybe even gained back a little more than you lost? It’s a gut punch when that happens, am I right? I’m guessing that you are here because you want to lose weight and/or you want to keep the weight off. Truthfully, you want to probably do both. And if that’s the case, then there are some things that you need to look at for the big picture. In this episode, I’m giving you my top 7 things you need to consider to lose weight and keep it off. They may not all ring true for you. But they are all something that you need to think about and consider.

It’s time to stop gaining weight back, stop the yo-yo dieting, stop the merry-go-round, and stop this horrible ride. It’s time to really be honest and confront some truths.

Let’s get into it in Episode 54 now.


Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Selfmade, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.

Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on.

Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.

By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.

Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you u****k your diet brain. She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.

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