One of the funniest articles I ever read about dieting was written some years ago, yet I remember it to this day.

I apologise for not being able to give credit to the writer because I don't remember who it was or even in which newspaper I saw it.

Even with good internet archives to search, this was way before the days of internet newspapers.

It must have been written around the time some breakthrough research was done promising us that if we simply popped a pill, all our excess weight would fall off.

The author's thesis in this humorous article was that if losing weight was too easy, life would lose its fun and challenge for her as a serial dieter. You may agree or disagree.

In fact, I agree and disagree. Let me explain. I agree life needs to hold challenges and that if we need to lose weight - and, because of the current state of research, we should be avoiding all weight-loss medication - then weight loss is a challenge.

As such, it's worth putting our all behind it and setting out to meet the challenge and rise to it.

That feels good. You are taking personal responsibility for what you've decided you need to do.

On the other hand, I also disagree with the author at some level. Although I recommend to anyone needing to lose weight that they should take up the challenge wholeheartedly, there's something very unproductive and uncreative about a challenge which says: "I am losing weight and will never put it on again." Losing something is hardly constructive.

There is another reason why the challenge of weight loss is not one that should be seen as noble.

Let me express that differently: The challenge of weight loss is noble and commendable when it is done once and for all time. It can hardly be seen as a great achievement when we keep on doing it simply because, in the meantime, we keep on undoing it.

So often you hear yo-yo dieters saying, as they embark on yet another diet: This is no great achievement.

I should never have put this weight on in the first place."

So how can we make ourselves feel better while setting about losing weight for the last time? (While you laugh in disbelief and selfprotection, let me remind you that it is possible - I did it, as do countless clients.)

My suggestion is this: At the same time as you meet the challenge of permanent weight loss, you also take on some other challenge - something rather more constructive. You may choose to study something, learn a new skill, find a new job, make something, form new friendships, do something for someone else.

Get those two challenges - losing weight and your new project - running alongside one another.

Then you won't become a diet bore. The new energy you'll have because you are now in control of your eating can be put into your new project. You'll feel terrific.

Your project and your weight loss will go well. Try it.

You can get support from Dr Judy Citron and her team of DietCoaches by joining her telephone weight-loss classes, right from your own home. "You lose weight and you're not on a diet. It's amazing." Phone free for more information on 0800 074 0260 or visit the web site at