Every day, I do something that I did before on a "diet" that was ultimately unsuccessful (because I gained the weight back). And it's hard for me to mentally separate it all, and in this journey, I have often felt like a failure trying to no longer be a failure.
So, I've been really trying to keep up the positive mental energy, and I have made a decision. I am no longer a diet failure, and here is why:
It is impressive that I have consistently exercised most of my life. I have gone through periods of high-stress at work or school or in other areas of my life, which has led to less active periods, but I find it easy to jump on the exercise bandwagon, because I've been there so frequently.
I've learned valuable skills for loss and maintenance. I know that I feel better physically and appreciate how I look and am treated at 220, 180, 150, 130 than 270. So I no longer believe the lie that if I can't be a supermodel, I might as well compete for the world record for most ice cream sundaes eaten in an hour.
I know that I can lose on a low-carb diet, a low-fat diet, a simple calorie-restricted diet, a vegan diet, and lots of other options. So, I don't have to "eat this way" for the rest of my life. I just have to find something that works for me at whatever suits my fancy at any given moment, and just pay attention to the scale. If it goes up consistently, I get to move on to the next cool nutrition plan.
I know that I can have friends, get a great job, graduate from law school, and be a great wife and mother at any of those weights. Things are easier at the lower weights for many, many reasons, but I'm not incapable of happiness or success regardless of my weight.
Finally - I know that I have control over what I eat. I'm currently telling my friends (who can't seem to understand why I don't want the ice cream or the cookies, etc.) I'm in training for my next career - as a fitness model! This wards off having to say, with too much seriousness for the moment: "I know you can eat ice cream and pizza and cookies all day and still be 120 pounds, but I think it's pretty obvious that I can't."
So - what are some lessons others have learned from past "failed" attempts?