Another year ending …

I took some time to sort through our family photos last week. If you’re envisioning a lovely, creative scrapbooking moment, don’t. Much as I’d love to, I’m not at that point in my life right now.

Anyway, as I was trying to get them somewhat organized, I was struck by how much I had yo-yoed over the years. I don’t think I was ever the same weight three weeks in a row! And I know I’m not alone.

No one wants to spend their life yo-yoing up and down the weight scale, with four different wardrobe sizes (or more) falling out of their closets. And yet that is how so many of us live our lives. We start a new diet, go along great until we eat a cookie, which means we’re “off.” Then, the rest of the sleeve of cookies

There are people in this world who have weighed the same amount their entire adult lives. I know they exist; I’ve even met one or two. But they are becoming a rare breed indeed. For most of us, remaining a constant weight takes focus, determination and a lot of hard work. And it begins with believing.

Part of the problem is that many of us who have always yo-yoed believe we will always continue to yo-yo. Why would this diet be any different? What in the world makes us think our life can change now? We know we can lose weight, but when that first sign of the old struggle rears its ugly head, we know what’s coming next, the proverbial climb back up the scale.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve struggled with your weight, it doesn’t matter how much you have to lose. Take it from Guy (Shelton), Karen (Stratford) and Dottie (Naugatuck). All struggled for years with their weight. All joined our center within the last 18 months, all got to goal recently, having lost 140 pounds, 90 pounds and 155 pound, respectively. All are in the 65-plus age bracket. They finally believed (Dottie even sports a new “believe” tattoo on her wrist). What about you?

This is your time. This is your year. Lifestyle changes do happen to others, and they can happen to you.

Kim Bensen, author of “Finally Thin,” was a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost 200-plus pounds and has kept it off for more than 10 years. She owns the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and just opened Kim’s Light Café on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. For more information, tips and recipes, go to