I feel that pain and frustration. I cycled through off and on, off and on for years. It lowered my self esteem & shredded the belief that I could be thin & healthy (very defeated attitude). On the other hand what it showed me (we can learn something from every 'failure' & 'mistake'
) is that HOW I was going about losing weight wasn't working for me & that I had to keep looking for something better that worked for me.
What's made a difference, BIG difference, is that I now have the mindset that Almeeker just wrote about. This is my new lifestyle so I'm learning new habits that are comfortable enough and that work for me (regardless of what any books or other people say) and that I can maintain forever. My goal is to be healthy, strong and in the normal weight range. No race, no blasting through this like in the past. I'm taking my time to learn about how my body reacts to certain foods (like learning that starchy foods & red meat causes me to stall....drat!) and with Fitday learning how to eat all the nutrients & fiber my body needs to stay strong. And I'm finding exercises that I can stick with for the rest of my life as well as learning how to do them without injuring myself.
The other big help for me is to stay focused on #1 what my goal weight brings and #2 the mini-goals that I've achieved along the way. Write down how you'll feel and look and the things you'll be doing differently once you're at your goal weight. Keep track of your progress. Set mini-goals (10 pound loss, new dress size, inches off the waist or hips, etc). This way when you're fixating on a certain food, having a weak moment or just feeling defeated or low, you can ask yourself if you want to ruin that progress (list them all) and remember how hard you worked to get that progress and remind yourself of the good stuff waiting for you at the goal weight. The food loses it's grip and does not seem worth the price when challenged with these facts.
Lastly to stay on track, I don't allow the most tempting foods that I avoid (pizza, pastries, cookies) into the house & keep my allowable treats (but must limit the amounts) out of sight so I don't see them when I go foraging for a snack during times of weakness. I keep my veggies & homemade treats front & center so I see them first thing in the fridge and cabinets. I either come here to Fitday and read, read, read (very motivating stuff!!) or I'll exercise if all else fails.