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If this isn't the first time that you've tried to lose weight, you are not alone. For most people, weight loss takes multiple attempts before getting it right. Losing weight is a significant undertaking; long-term success is a huge accomplishment as well as a lifetime commitment.

Throughout the process of weight loss, it is natural to feel self-doubt or defeat. It's OK to feel down once in a while, but the main thing is to stay focused on your goals. Excess weight poses a threat to your life and health, and the struggle against it is always worthwhile. Remind yourself of the many reasons why weight loss and exercise are worth it!

It may help to think about how far you have already come. You do not have to measure that by the number of pounds you have lost. For example, think about how much farther or faster you can walk, jog or cycle compared to before you started. If good health is your goal (and it should be), you can measure success in many ways.

When can I stop?

The changes you make to lose weight should stay with you throughout your life. This doesn't mean that you have to stick to it with the same intensity after you have lost the excess pounds. But you should continue most of the habits you learn during this process. If you don't, there is a good chance you will regain what you've lost.

Eating right and exercising are the keys to a healthy life for everyone. Not enough people -- even thin people -- respect their bodies enough to follow through with these important lifestyle habits. When you stick to achieving your weight loss goals, you will have accomplished more than many other people, and you will have something to be truly proud of!

Review Date: 6/28/2011

Reviewed By: Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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