08/16/2012 05:42 EDT | Updated 10/16/2012 05:12 EDT

How I Lost 20 Pounds in Six Weeks (And How You Can Too)


For those of you who have followed my blog this year, you will recognize the number 234. This is the weight that I was stuck at despite a random mess of different diets along with heavy exercise. I just couldn't get off that number. Today, I am delighted to show you this picture in which my weight is 214. I am down 20 pounds from that maddening plateau.


How'd I do it? For those of you who are struggling with weight, I offer some tips:

Choose The Right Diet For You. For me, the Lindora diet works well because it is highly structured but with a fair amount of decision-making that is left up to me. As an example, for breakfast I am allowed a protein and either a fruit or a carb. That is very specific but I still choose what I eat. For me, a fried egg on a piece of toast combines two of my favorite things so this is a no-brainer. But had I chose a Mediterranean diet, I would be forced to eat something gagworthy like feta cheese or tomato slaw. Weight Watchers, with their point system, is too flexible for me, too open-ended. And plans like Jenny Craig where you buy their food don't teach me about making good choices in the real world.

Build In Accountability. The Lindora diet also includes daily accountability where I go to the location to check in and get my daily shot of vitamin B. Prior to Lindora I found myself being extra careful with my food decisions if I knew I had a doctor's appointment soon. Twelve-step programs use a similar concept with mentors. Having somebody to be accountable to besides yourself works really well. Having Mrs. The Fat Diaries on the plan really helps as well.

Stay 100% Compliant. Based on this article that my doctor summarized for me, it really drove home the premise that if you're not going to be 100% compliant with a diet, you are doomed. And by doomed, I mean that you are going to be just like me when I was scattered and trying every possible diet, running around like a chicken without a head. Staying on one plan and doing it well means that I have since learned to just eat the chicken.

With Surrender Comes Serenity. When I decided to go on the Lindora plan, it wasn't a casual flip-the-coin kind of decision. I had had it with diets and their failed results and it was wearing my hope mechanisms down. I was becoming a professional diet failure and I needed this attempt at Lindora to really mean something. So I just surrendered to it. I haven't tried to game the system or fight with the letter of the plan by following the flavor of it instead and cutting corners. Either I'm following the diet or I'm sabotaging it. No wine, no pasta, no cheese, no desserts, no Oreos, no pancakes, no Cinnabons. No complaining and no pining. I feel like I could float on air. Why? Because I've lost 20 freakin' pounds.

OK -- maybe just one complaint. Did you see this? Cinnabon Pizza! WANT.

Count How Much Money You're Saving. My family used to eat out a lot. And even when we ordered from our favourite hole-in-the-wall Mexican place, the tab for three would be around $40 by the time you added in tip. With Mr. and Mrs.The Fat Diaries on Lindora, we have easily saved over $1,000 in the past six weeks.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Now it's on to breaking 200.