By KRS Edstrom



Dear KRS,
I have been trying for three years to lose weight and I just can’t seem to stick with it no matter what I do. I tell myself I am going to eat a healthy lunch but after eating, I get this craving for a cookie or something sweet. So I talk myself into believing that I really don’t need to lose so much weight and eat the cookie. Then I get mad at myself for indulging once again. This cycle has gone on for too long and I sincerely want to get serious. Please help me get started.
Cookie Lover

Dear Cookie Lover,
These inner dialogues you are having with yourself are very normal. We all have several different parts of ourselves (sub-selves) that have individual needs and desires. Internal conversations (or, very often, arguments) are conducted regularly between our sub-selves about things we experience each day, including what we hear, say, see and eat. Unfortunately, 80% of these conversations are negative, making us our own worst enemy. To reverse this process, it’s important to first bring awareness to it so you can then more effectively troubleshoot issues such as overeating.

Have “out loud” conferences between your sub-self who wants to eat healthfully and the one who wants the treats. Reach an agreement that both can live with. For example, perhaps the cookie lover wouldn’t rebel by always insisting on a cookie if she knew that she was permitted to have them a certain number of days a week. Be fair with her and she will learn to trust and respect the decisions of your inner “committee.” Then you can slowly reduce the frequency of the treats so that she is still happy and you can lose weight. It’s called the middle path. Non-fanatical and doable. You might also consider keeping a “cookie” diary for 30-60 days to track your progress and keep all sub-selves conscious and honest.


Dear KRS,
How do you live a healthier, stress-free lifestyle?
Wishing for Less Stress

Dear Wishing,
You start by prioritizing a life of QUALITY, not QUANTITY. We are so busy trying to go faster, do more and have more that we forget about BEING more, long term. Everybody wants to “be” more on Monday, but by the time Friday rolls around, the desire has often dissipated. Decide that your goal to be healthier and more stress-free is a matter of “life-or-death.”  Then, one step at a time, work towards that goal in a workable, non-fanatical way.

Make a list of those people or things from your life that are unhealthful, whether it’s a bad boss or junk food, and write them down. Then, one at a time, work on eliminating them from your life. The process may take a lifetime, but you will reap the rewards all along the way.


Dear KRS, I know what I SHOULD eat and the exercises I SHOULD do for a healthier life, but my problem is getting motivated. Any ideas?

Dear Unmotivated,
Build the gyms and they will NOT come... In fact, the average number of visits to a health club by new members is a mere 21 visits.

In fact 70% of us know what we SHOULD be doing for our health, but statistics say we are still not doing it — which is exactly why I call my business “Get Motivated” and wrote a book about it. The reasons for being unmotivated can be quite varied and deep, but it often comes down to a few key tactics.

One of my “Eleven Proven Steps to Motivation” is very simply, “Not fun, not done.”  If you really don’t like doing something or eating something, keep experimenting until you find things that suit you better and will still get the job done. A mentality of deprivation delivers program failure every time. Enjoy the process of taking care of yourself. Think of it as a luxury, not a chore. Change the “I SHOULD do this” thinking to “I WANT to do this” thinking. It’s possible, I promise.

Be aware, however, that there may always be at least one sub-self inside you who doesn’t want to “get motivated.”  Instead of pushing that voice aside or deriding it, talk with it and promise it rewards. The stronger alliance you build with your sub-selves, the smoother every part of your life will go.


Dear KRS,
If you are trying to lose weight, is it best to eat more lean meat and protein or low- fat carbohydrates? Also, is it best to exercise at a moderate pace for a longer period of time or at a faster pace for a shorter period of time?
Protein vs Carbs?

Dear Protein vs Carbs,
You’ve got the two factors of weight loss right:  1) Food intake  2) Exercise. It’s unfortunate that so many “magical solution” diet books are still being published extolling an ultimately unbalanced or fanatical approach. Intelligent (but desperate) people buy them thinking if it’s in print it must be legitimate. The answer is embarrassingly basic and not particularly “best-seller” material:  “EXERCISE AND EAT LESS ON A BALANCED DIET.”  Less fat, less calories, less FOOD. There aren’t any shorter routes that work long term.

I hesitate suggesting people live by percentages but, to give you a rough idea, a healthy diet contains about 10%-20% fat, 15% protein and 70% carbohydrates. But don’t obsess about those numbers. Balance it out and listen to your body — it’s pretty wise, once the head is out of the way.

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at   For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: 

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