"I'll never be thin and fit. In fact, I probably won't even manage to lose one pound. If I do, I'll only gain it back, and then some. A gym membership would be a waste of money because I'll never go — I'm too embarrassed to exercise in public. I don't have anything to wear to a gym and I wouldn't know what to do at a gym, anyway. Everyone there would be looking at me and judging me. I can never stick to a diet, and when I inevitably pig out, I just chalk it up as one of my many failures. I just can't seem to stick to anything or to follow anything through. If I did manage to lose weight (and I don't think I will), it's just a matter of time before I pack the pounds back on at the next holiday or celebration or if I get pregnant or even if I'm just feeling down or sad or lonely. I'm fat and it doesn't matter. Because I don't matter." Chances are, some of these thoughts have crossed your mind in the past. These self-defeating thoughts can be the biggest obstacle in your quest for a healthier lifestyle. On the other side of the coin, overcoming your denial that you need to do something to improve your health can also be a major hurdle. Irene's attitude was holding her back. Irene's the winner of our Boot Camp Diaries Day 16 contest and her prize is Kim Bensen's book Finally Thin. On Day 16, we asked you to share what's been holding you back and how you cleared these barriers. Irene told us: "I have been carrying around belly fat for years and have wanted to get rid of it. The main barrier was my attitude, because I didn’t think I was unhealthy until I see myself naked in the mirror. Then, I decided to change my attitude in eating and exercising. And I am still trying to make sure I eat healthy and exercise regularly. It is hard, and I do stumble a bit around every holiday and celebration where food is always tempting me. But reading blogs like yours and reading anything about healthy lifestyle give me the inspiration and encouragement to continue on my healthy quest to lose the fat." Having a positive, realistic attitude and being honest with yourself is the first step towards embracing a healthier lifestyle, and it's a step you have to re-do on a regular basis to keep yourself on the right track. But how can you keep your attitude in check and get it working for you? A good support system (either among trusted friends, family members and colleagues, or an online community like ours) is an important way to keep your attitude in check. Your support team can help pump you up when you’re feeling defeated and we're there to keep it real when you feel like straying from your healthy habits. Do you ever have doubts about your ability to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in the long-term? Have you ever been in denial about your weight problem?