The #1 Thing that is Preventing YOU From Losing Weight

If You're Not Losing Weight Then This is Most Likely The Reason

One of the most powerful moments in my weight loss journey happened during the first week. Once this happened my outlook on everything changed. I felt relieved. I felt hopeful. I felt happy.

So what happened?

I discovered that I was my biggest weight loss challenge. Not a diet. Not my busy lifestyle. Not the food. Not my treadmill. Me. I was the one who was preventing myself from losing weight.


I remember feeling shocked when I realized that I was in control. This actually happened after I completed my food overhaul and discovered I was eating 3000 or more calories a day in what I thought to be “healthy foods”. This was a huge eye opener and for the first time it became clear my weight gain had everything to do with me. For so long I focused my weight issues on everything but me. The diet didn’t work. No time. Can’t give up pasta. No energy. I just had a baby. I just had another baby. I work full-time. The list can go on and on. While these circumstances do play a role in losing weight, at the end of the day it came down to the choices I made. Period.

I chose to eat that extra serving. I chose to sleep in instead of exercising. I chose to not prep my food for the week. It was all on me.

This is a hard concept to swallow because no one wants to believe his or her failures or challenges are because of the choices they make. I know I didn’t. We don’t want to believe we are standing in our own way. But we are. We are 100% responsible for our actions – good and bad.

After the shock went away I began to feel liberated and excited because I knew taking control over my weight and life was a reality. All I needed to do was take responsibility for my actions and get out of my own way.

The best way to do this is to change your mindset. Instead of looking at all the reasons why you can’t lose weight think about the one reason why you can. That reason is YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

Here are some examples.


Instead of saying …

I can’t exercise because I don’t have the time.

Say and do this…

I have a busy schedule but because exercise is really important to me I am going to fit in ½ hour of exercise 3 days this week. I will exercise at home either before work or right after. If I get really busy then I will do a few exercises in my office during lunch. To make it easier I will have all my exercise gear ready the night before.


Instead of saying …

I can’t eat healthy because I love pasta too much.

Say and do this..

I am going to look for and/or create healthy pasta recipes. This will help me develop and keep sustainable healthy eating habits because I will not feel deprived of the foods I love.


Instead of saying…

It is hard for me to eat healthy because I don’t have time to cook.

Say and do this…

I am going to put together a meal plan and prep some foods for the week on Sunday. Having healthy foods ahead of time will help me eat better during the week.


Instead of…

My medical condition keeps me from exercising and/or losing weight.

Say and do this…

I am going to research and put together a list of exercises I can do and foods I can eat. Then I will schedule time every week to complete those exercises. I will also prepare my foods ahead of time so it is easier for me to grab a healthy meal or snack when I need it.


Instead of…

My life is so stressful and busy I have no energy to worry about exercising or eating healthy.

Say and do this…

Exercising and eating healthy helps me perform at my best. It brings out the best version of me. Therefore, I am going to make it a priority. I will plan ahead of time so I am prepared to exercise and have the foods I need to fuel my body


I could go on and on. The point I want you to take away from this is your mindset and the actions you choose will make all the difference in creating a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. So, instead of saying “I can’t” say “How can I make this work?”

The goal is to be solution focused. Don’t throw in the towel because you feel losing weight is outside your control. It’s not. You have complete control over the decisions you make. Take control back.

I am not saying this is easy. Taking responsibility for creating change in our life is often very difficult. It first requires recognizing a change needs to happen and that you are responsible for those changes. Then you need the discipline to create and sustain those changes. However, keep in mind change does not need to happen overnight or all at once. Sustainable change takes time and it is a process.

My piece of advice is to be patient with the process and create weight loss systems that focus on the habit and not the scale. In the end healthy sustainable habits are what keep you going.

Here are some resources to help with creating new habits.

Habit #1: Accountability

How to Start and Stick with an Online Food Journal

How to Get the Most Out of My Fitness Pal

Habit #2: Healthy Eating

Clean Eating Guidelines for Busy People

How to Start Eating Clean

How to Make Any Recipe a Healthy Recipe

Beginners Guide to Meal Planning

Habit #3 Prepping Food Ahead of Time

Beginners Guide to Food Prep

How to Prep Food for the Week in One Afternoon

Beginners Guide to Freezer Cooking

All my recipes have make ahead tips. View my recipes here.

Habit #4: Exercise

How I Finally Made Exercise a Habit

7 Tips to Start Your Morning Exercise Routine

Top Exercise Challenges and Tips to Overcome Them

See my weekly exercise schedule for ideas.

These are just some of the resources I offer on Organize Yourself Skinny. You can find more blog posts on these topics on the meal planning page, freezer cooking page, healthy lifestyle tips page, and exercise page.

The last thing I will say about taking personal responsibility for your weight and life is this… There is no greater feeling in the world than when you can experience and witness the results of all your hard work. You develop a confidence that trickles into other areas of your life. You feel like you can do anything and that is because you can.

Always keep going. Don’t ever stop. You can do this!

Are you ready to get out of your own way and start losing weight? If so, then get my ebook Organize Yourself Skinny. I give my 5 weight loss strategies and also provide a 4-week make-ahead meal plan to get you started. You got this!!

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  1. Tammy, I’m the ‘I cant do this because of my medical conditions.’ So pray for me I am going to get over this of using my medical problems as an excuse.

  2. Thanks – I needed this today…heading home to do my at home work out because time doesn’t allow to get to the gym…I just have to alter…I don’t have to give up 🙂

  3. Wow this is SO true! I just had the same “ah ha” moment the other day when I realized that it’s all on me and how I plan out my day. What a great reinforcer it was to read this post at random!

  4. Very, very motivating! Thank you.

  5. I really like your website. I like the planning of this site and weekly meal plans etc. I am losing weight and like to be fit and healthy. I have lost about 20 lbs and can lose 5 more. Then I plan to maintain, maintain, maintain.

  6. so I eat 1200 cal a day and walk everyday for a hour and workout at a class 4 times a week I’m a vegitrarian and over 55 and gain weight so now what R your thoughts

    • For your activity, you are not getting enough calories!! Your body is hoarding calories because it thinks you are starving it!!

    • Walking doesn’t burn as many calories as you might think. Depending on how much you weigh, walking for an hour might only burn 100 calories (the number of calories in about a tablespoon of peanut butter).Try weighing and measuring and writing down all the foods you eat for a week to determine if you’re genuinely eating 1200 calories per day. Sometimes we estimate, and we are not correct… Be sure to include snacks. You could also be on medication or have a condition that’s causing you to retain water. If that’s the problem, then you need to chat with your doc. Being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically make you thin. Vegetarians still eat eggs and cheese and butter and nuts (not to mention sugar!), all of which are calorie-dense foods. Unless you are extremely short, you should be starving.

  7. Exactly! The only person you can change is yourself. People (myself included) don’t lose weight b/c they have a negative image of themselves and negative language about themselves, and they are letting their body run the show instead of their soul/spirit. And, stop looking at the past mistakes, let it go, and start fresh today. Get these things in alignment and start seeing results. Positive Thoughts + Positive Language = Results

  8. This is sooo true. Brown rice still has a bunch of calories, even though it’s good for you! A pound is 3500 calories. To lose a pound, you have to either burn or cut 3500 calories. Because it’s a lot of calories, it’s best to do it over time, so you maintain your health. It’s important to know your basal metabolic rate (just Google it for calculators), which is the amount you need to stay exactly the way you are, doing nothing but breathing 🙂 Mine is 1315, so I can lie around all day and eat 1315 calories and not gain (or lose!) any weight. 1300 calories is nothing–4 oz of chicken and 1 cup of rice and you’re already up to 450 calories. It’s amazing how many calories are in simple foods! Analyzing your diet and calculating what you take in in terms of calories is key. You also need to know how much you need to eat, and make sure that your activity and your intake balances out (roughly). Most of us aren’t lucky enough to recline on a chaise lounge all day, so you need to figure in your activity, and boost your calorie intake based on that. I eat a lot more than 1300 calories per day, but I also am pretty active, chasing after my dogs, running, and just walking around at work. Some days I am over what I need, some days I am under. I am (finally!) getting the knack of figuring this out without writing it down all the time and running the numbers. But knowing the numbers is definitely step 1 in figuring out your weight loss plan! Exercise is helpful, but ultimately, it’s what you eat that makes you gain weight.


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