Fattitudes: Beat Self Defeat and Win Your War with Weight

Fattitudes: Beat Self Defeat and Win Your War with Weight

by Jeffrey R. Wilbert, Norean K. Wilbert


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312251918
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/05/2000
Edition description: REV
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.76(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

In his over 15 years of practice as a therapist, Jeffrey R. Wilbert, Ph.D., has treated hundreds of clients who have struggled with a variety of weight issues. Since 1992 he has directed the Fattitudes Foundation for Emotional Overeating, and he is currently the psychological consultant to the Just Results training program in Dayton, Ohio, which facilitates healthy weight-loss by integrating personal training, professional nutritional counseling, and psychological support.

Norean Wilbert, R.N., is a registered nurse and hospital administrator in Dayton. After struggling with emotional overeating all her life, she is now on track and is a weight-management success story in progress.

Read an Excerpt






It's ironic, but true, that the reason I doubled my body size was so that I could disappear.


Hello. My name is Jeff and I'm a clinical psychologist. My wife Norean and I want to tell you a story.

It's a story about our war with weight. It's a story about feelings and issues and how they made us both feel miserable for a long, long time. It's about knowing what to do and not being able to do it. About getting so frustrated and frantic that everything seemed futile. It's a story about fussing and fighting and trying a lot of stupid things that just made it all worse.

It's our story about how we struggled together for over twenty years trying to find an answer.

And finally did.


NOREAN: We want to tell you this story so you can learn from our mistakes. We want to teach you about how people get in their own way trying to lose weight, and about how individuals often work together to cause failure. And we want to help you understand why we do these things to ourselves, even though we want so desperately to be slim and healthy.


JEFF: Right off the bat, I'm going to do what many of our esteemed leaders probably should have done, and that's begin with a full confession: I confess that I used to be a real idiot about the issue of weight. I used to think gaining weight was just a result of being lazy and undisciplined, and losing it was just a matter of willpower. I used to think all you had to do was eat right and exercise and you'd be slim—simple.

So back in 1980 when Norean began to gain weight shortly after we got married, I panicked. She didn't seem to know what to do about it, nor did she seem to want to do anything about it, so I took it upon myself to solve her problems for her. Talk about a big mistake! I pleaded. I whined. I coached. I criticized. I tried to get her to exercise. I hovered over her, watching her portion sizes andcommenting on her junk-food snacking. I urged her to diet, because weight problems run in her family and I didn't want her to end up physically limited and unhealthy. When nothing worked, I got fed up and angry. Things went into the toilet, and we nearly flushed our marriage.

But, as they say, that was then. This is now.

Now I understand.

Somewhere along the way, I got smart. I decided there was more to this weight issue than just food and eating. So I threw off my preconceived notions and stereotypes and began to learn. I taught myself about the emotional complexity of overeating. Armed with new insight, I began to see overweight clients in group and individual therapy. I was able to help them in ways I could never help my own spouse. Then I began to realize my mistakes. It hit me how I'd been part of my wife's problems all those years. I recognized that the truth of the matter was that Norean's overeating wasn't the problem, it was a symptom of the problems both in her past and in our marriage. That's when things began to change.


NOREAN: I don't want it to sound like Jeff's to blame for all of this. It was a combination of a lotof issues—mine, his, ours. You see, I've had a long-standing emotional relationship with food. Back when we got married I weighed about 135 pounds. I'd kill to weigh that now, but at the time I felt fat. I had a lot of issues tied up with my eating. Food has always been a good friend to me. I ate for comfort. I ate for escape. I used my weight to protect me from closeness with others. I used it as a barrier to sexuality. I used my weight to express things I couldn't express any other way. I even used it to punish Jeff for things I thought he needed punishing for. So, because I ate for reasons that had nothing to do with my body's nutritional needs, I gradually gained weight, topping out at around 250 pounds after two children. On the surface I knew I didn't want to be fat, but underneath it all I wasn't emotionally ready to do anything about it. From time to time I tried to lose weight, but it didn't stay off. I tried every diet program under the sun and the only thing I lost was self-respect. I also tried several rounds of psychotherapy because I knew there was more to it than just what I ate. Jeff and I put our heads together trying to understand the complexity of emotional eating, and gradually the light began to dawn. It wasn't until I was able to recognize all of my emotional uses of food and thehidden payoffs of my weight—that is, until I was able to find and foil my fattitudes—that I was able to make a commitment to exercising and eating right. The solution came only after I found the courage to look inside myself and make sense of my chronic self-defeating behavior.


JEFF: We hope that by reading this book you'll be able to resolve your problems a lot more quickly than we did. Now, we'd like to tell you more about "fattitudes"—what they are, what they do, and how you can keep them from fouling up your weight management efforts.

Copyright © 2000 by Jeffrey R. Wilbert and Norean K. Wilbert.

Table of Contents

Authors' Note ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: We Have Met the Enemy
Fattitudes, Frustration, and Failure
Self-Sabotage: How We Fail with No Help at All
Assisted Sabotage: With Friends Like These
"D" Is for Discover
"I" Is for Invent
"E" Is for Extinguish
"T" Is for Transform
A Final Word

What People are Saying About This

Edward Abramson

The Wilberts provide a user-friendly approach to understanding and changing the attitudes that add pounds and make losing weight so frustrating. Fattitudes offers readers practical help in controlling emotional eating and straightening-out relationships with friends and family members who would undermine their dieting. This book will help the reader remove the psychological barriers that interfere with permanent weight loss.
—Edward Abramson, Ph.D., author of Emotional Eating: What You Need to Know Before Starting Another Diet and To Have and To Hold: How To Take Off the Weight When Marriage Puts On The Pounds

Robyn Flipse

With this book, the Wilberts are exposing one of the biggest secrets to successful weight management that has long eluded yo-yo dieters. Fortunately, they are willing to share the combination that can open the door to a healthier body weight for others. Their book gently takes its readers by the hand and helps them to disarm the dieting demons that have sabotaged their past attempts at weight loss. Having counseled people in weight management for the past 25 years as a Registered Dietician, this book will now be assigned reading in my practice. 
—Robyn Flipse, R.D., author of The Wedding Dress Diet

Paul Barclay

Fattitudes is a breakthrough. If you've been on a diet more than once, before you start the next one, you need to read this book. The easy to follow, step-by-step Fattitudes plan will help readers understand and resolve their hidden obstacles to health and fitness.
—Paul Barclay, President, Just Results Lifestyle Studios, Inc.

John P. Foreyt

Great insights for gaining control over your self-defeating behaviors. Highly recommended!
—John P. Foreyt, Ph.D., Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Ramona Slupik

I find this book to be a truly unique slant on dieting. Medically speaking, the authors give very sound advice. The authors encourage readers to look inside themselves to find out why their overeating takes place, then suggest useful steps to overcome personal obstacles. This book is for the chronic dieter who is now ready to make a commitment to healthy living.
Ramona Slupik, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Northwestern University Medical School, medical editor of The American Medical Associations Complete Guide to Womens Health

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Fattitudes: Beat Self Defeat and Win Your War with Weight 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The authors of the book are two practicing psychologist. They decided to write a book about what makes people tick when it comes to controlling their food intake and in turn what can you do to manage it. I am an avid reader and I also have had ups and downs with my weight so I have read a lot of health and diet books trying to find the solution that would work for me. There is nothing wrong, misleading or contradictory to any info they impart. A lot of time is spent giving short, one page or less, case studies of people who fit a particular type of problem they find causes people to turn to food. Later on in the book, they provide short exercises for you to do to help identify your specific issues. I can find nothing wrong with this particular approach to weight management as they are trying to attack the root of the problem not the results. It's another way to go so you won't find any recipes in here. They quote the standard eat right and exercise motto everyone does. The short coming of the book is there is not enough problem solving info. I already knew why and when I eat. So parts I and II aren't going to buy me a lot. I suspect other women my age who want to get a handle on their eating are in the same boat as myself. How to effectively deal with the specific problems is not given enough effort. If you are not sure about the underlying reasons people turn to food and which of those reasons is applicable to you then this book will certainly help you identify them. If you have that already figured out and want detailed solutions on how to overcome these reasons for eating then you may not be so happy with this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many diet books searching for an answer to my overeating. This is the FIRST book I've ever read that deals with the REAL issues. I saw myself on just about every page. There are helpful worksheets that make you think about what's going on inside instead of focusing only on the outside. I recommend this book for anyone with a longstanding weight battle.