Fattitude: Is Your Attitude Keeping You Feeling Fat?

by Dr. Brooke Kalanick ND | Follow on Twitter

You are always just one choice away from being back on track to your health and weight goals.

MUCH OF WHAT YOU NEED TO DO, you already know. So why is consistency so hard?

Because the way you’ve always done it is rife with suffering, deprivation and misery. You can’t keep making BETTER choices when you feel bad. It’s too hard. What keeps you in the cycle of frustration and deprivation are the Fattitudes that keep you stuck and “dieting” yet again.

These attitudes are common, but useless.

Luckily, there is a BETTER way! It involves a drastic shift in your mindset when it comes to exercising and eating in ways that get you a body that you love.

The 5 Fattitudes I see in my practice over and over are…

  1. Comparison and Envy
  2. Justification
  3. Unfairness
  4. Guilt
  5. Should and Have To

Below I walk you through these attitudes, help you see how they show up for you and the antidote to each one. Now you know BETTER, so you can do BETTER.

1. Why Don’t I Look Like Her?

They say comparison is the “thief of joy” but it’s actually whole lot worse than that.

Comparison and its sidekick envy, are killers. They kill your motivation and squash your self-worth. No other woman has your genes, your particular set of hormonal and life circumstances. So it’s not just apples and oranges, its apples and airplanes.

What she’s got is totally irrelevant to you. Comparison does nothing but cause you to spin off into frustration, sadness and disgust. Don’t waste your time here.


The antidote for comparison is forgiving yourself. When comparison shows up, take a deep breath and come home. Home to yourself.

Forgive yourself for using the wrong measuring stick – the only comparison you should make is to how you would’ve done before. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to anyone else.

One step further: When comparison shows up with a float of envy, try this:

  • Walk right up to that girl you’re feeling jealous of and tell her how fabulous you think her abs/arms/booty is.
  • If it’s online, comment, post or tweet at her. Complimenting is the antidote to envy.

And never forget that while it may look easy for her, you really have no idea what her world is like – she may struggle more than you realize… we all do.

Quell the little green monster with appreciation for something you find beautiful, it’s ok to want it for yourself but it’s not ok to dwell in unfairness that she has it and you don’t – it will just keep you stuck.

2. Don’t I Deserve This Treat?

Because you work so hard, did so well the rest of the day, you’re having a tough time, etc. I’m the Queen of this one by the way, but as Mr. Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven, “Deserves got nothin’ to do with it”.

Deserve is a loaded word and it’s twist-tied to our sense of self-worth.

When you tell yourself you deserve it, you’re actually feeling conflicted between wanting to avoid temptation and wanting to “be good to yourself”. And quickly, something that’s not in your best interest becomes a twisted act of faux self-love. That’s messed up.

Deserve also gives rise to justifications like:

The sugar in this 32oz Jamba Juice doesn’t count because “at least it’s not a cookie”.

Or this glass of wine is null and void because it’s someone’s birthday.

Usually you know you’re full of it but you twist your head around it because you “deserve it”. Watch your language for “deserve” and “it’s OK because…”. When you hear this, just be honest with yourself. And no matter what you choose, own it.


Responsibility. Don’t justify a choice because you deserve it, but rather make a choice because you choose it. Own it. When you own your choices you own both the choice and how you feel about it – and after it. As you make choices all day, think of how you want to feel after that choice. This is the way out. This is freedom.

3. It’s not fair.

It’s not fair that fat loss is harder for some of us. I am in this camp, and it’s not fair that girlfriends can have more treats, more wine and less workouts and be thinner/leaner than me on less effort.

It’s not fair, it’s true, but it’s useless.

Dwelling in the unfairness does nothing but mount your frustration as you search in vain for justice. I don’t know why it’s easier for her, and it doesn’t matter. When you feel unfairness mounting remember: TBU – true but useless.

Don’t dwell on it, it will not make it you thinner, her fatter, or cake have less calories. It’s harder for you, it’s OK.


The antidote to unfairness is to stop fighting it. Fighting it is like quicksand, it just takes you down faster. Let it be unfair. It is what it is, you railing against it doesn’t change anything – it stays frustrating. Remember, true but useless = TBU.

4. I hate myself for doing that.

Guilt starts the shame spiral. You have the “treat” or skip the workout and instead of owning your choice (and heaven forbid, enjoying the treat!) you half-heartedly engage because you’re being naughty OR you enjoy it for a moment and then wrack yourself with shame and self-loathing for being so weak.

The key to long term success with not only getting a better body but keeping it, is continually righting your ship. You are always just one choice away from being back on track. Guilt and shame prolong getting back in the game and lead to more and more bad decisions because it is too hard to make good decisions when you feel bad.


The antidote is to do something that makes you feel good again.

Dr Brooke-ism: it’s too hard when you feel so bad. So you gotta get to feeling good – right away.

Remember, you are never more than 1 choice away from being BETTER, from being back on track. Do 10 pushups, go for a walk, drink a big glass of lemon water, use your affirmations, hug a loved one, or simply declare out loud “game on”. Just like that, you’re back on track.

5. This is too hard.

Suffering comes from thinking…

“it should be happening quicker” or

that it’s just “too much work” or

“I should be able to have more wine or dessert or whatever”.

And watch also for should’s sidekick, “I have to”.

Should and have to imply conflict:

I should order a salad OR I have to go to the gym.

When you feel this internal conflict it means part of you wants to do something else. Another internal fight.

Remember, when you’re suffering you’re choosing that. It’s optional and it’s unnecessary. And again, don’t fight with yourself. There are no workout or salad police, this goal is 110% your choice. You don’t have to lose another pound, eat another salad or do another workout if you don’t want to.


Change your wording from “I have to” and “I should” to:

I get to. I can. I choose to.

So much more power, so much less internal conflict. More ease, more peace, less suffering.


As you aim to move from dieting to a lifestyle – and as you learn to find peace with your body AND your process – watch for these “fattitudes” that creep in and get you off course. Then simply (although not always easily) choose a different attitude that’s more powerful and supportive to your BETTER body and make this an enjoyable, positive process.

You won’t wake up tomorrow with these attitudes a thing of the past. It takes practice to adopt a BETTER attitude more effortlessly. But it’s work worth doing.

About the Author
Dr. Brooke Kalanick ND

A recognized expert and author in the field of natural medicine and fitness, Dr Brooke is a licensed naturopathic doctor devoted to helping women achieve a healthy weight and a happy state of well being through her integrative and holistic approach to health. Using tailored nutrition therapy, coaching and a comprehensive naturopathic and functional medicine approach, she helps women heal their metabolism and restore their hormonal balance. Her book, Ultimate You, co-authored with celebrity trainer Joe Dowdell, offers the latest in nutritional and exercise science to help women lose body fat by understanding their hormones.