Joan Collins once said that "if you want to stay thin, you have to spend your life on a diet". I'm not sure if these were exactly her words, but for sure this was her message. She also said that she kept her weight in check, all her life, so she could keep getting work as an actress. Keeping extra pounds off may not be a job requirement for most people but whether you're a fan of her or not, you have to admit that few 84-year-olds display her looks, her stamina, and her joy of life. By looking at her pictures, one can see that she has radiated health, all throughout her life. According to her own testimony, she never deprived herself of anything, but moderation was the key to keeping her weight under control. What paid off wasn't an easy task, but a lifetime effort of self-discipline, self-respect, and self-love. Without any of these, it's pretty hard to keep oneself together and accomplish something, whether it's about weight or anything else.

So why can't everyone stay on track when it comes to weight? You may be amazed to find out that not what or how much you eat but rather your brain is the problem. You cannot start a diet or an exercise program and expect them to work, before cleaning your brain in the first place. And to clean up your brain, you also have to clean up your gut. The connection between the two is the key.

While many can admit lacking self-discipline, they would very rarely admit lacking self-love and, even more, self-respect. But the truth is that self-discipline is an effect of self-respect, while self-respect is a direct effect of self-love. So when you let anything about you spiral out of control, you are not loving yourself enough.

Balance in life comes from giving and receiving in equal amount and if you keep giving without getting enough in exchange, you are going to look for immediate gratification. And food can easily turn into such a shallow reward. But understand that food can only fill your stomach and not the void in your heart. This is why it will start sticking to all the unwanted places on your body. Extra-weight is not a sign of wellbeing but of malnourishment... physical and mental... spiritual and emotional.

This is why you get to the point where diets and exercise will no longer work. Your shape is not directly proportional to the number of cookies you eat or the number of crunches you do on a given day but the measure your mindset. Feed and exercise your brain properly, before anything else. Because at this very moment, the body you abused through overfeeding with all the wrong things turned against you. By now, it has become reluctant to movement and change. And can you blame it? You betrayed yourself!

Get your self-love back by other means, rather than through consuming larger and larger amounts of bad foods and beverages. Are you unwillingly sacrificing something? Do you feel like a victim of some sort? Because in moments of weakness like this, particularly in this day and age, processed foods and drinks can quickly cloud your brain and become your drug, without you even knowing... And they are so conveniently available, at every corner of the street, 24/7...

So, how do you feed your brain? Of course, nutrition plays a key role, but your brain, continuously, needs to be fed ideas. Pick them wisely, the same way you have to do with your food, Start by reprogramming yourself with the idea of self-responsibility, for example. The hard cold truth is that no one can give you an absolute recipe for weight loss because everyone's experience and nutritional needs are unique. You can get inspired by other people's advice and ideas, but you are the one who has to do the work, to adapt them to your own situation. And then, most importantly, you have to follow through.

Following through is 100% on you. The exercise and the diet... or better said, adopting a new lifestyle that works for you and sticking to it. Stop comparing yourself to others. Other people don't have your food sensitivities. If you notice that bread makes you gain weight, you stop eating it altogether, even if your BFF can eat tons of it and still be fit. Instead of seeing yourself as the victim who cannot touch bread, why not wear your food sensitivity with pride and dignity? Look at rejecting bread as your secret weapon against aging, your ticket to a long healthy life. Believe it or not, staying away from grains has more positives than negatives. How do I know? I've stayed away from bread, pasta, grains, and a few other things, for 40 years.

Turning a disadvantage to an advantage is all a matter of perspective, in the end. Maybe you will never get to be in a feature movie, like Joan Collins. Maybe you will never get to be on the cover of Vogue. But, like Shakespeare said: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." So, why not play your 7 acts, like an Oscar winner, under the lights that favor you most?