"Setbacks are going to happen," says Greene. "But what will make the difference is if you can see that those moments are really opportunities - opportunities to reaffirm your self-esteem. Yes, you fell off the wagon. Big deal. That doesn't mean you've blown it.
"If you do mess up, there are two roads you can take. You can pick yourself up and admire yourself for being strong enough to continue, or you can go down the road of negative self-esteem and say, 'Oh, I'm not worthy, and this slipup just proves it.' Failure is an opportunity to say, 'I can overcome this.' This is your chance to shore up your resolve," Greene explains. "Every day of your life, when you wake up, you have a choice: Am I going to build on the positive momentum, or am I going to let negativity take over? Success comes when you say, 'I might mess up, but I'm going to start again and keep going.'"
Some habits die hard, however, and when you've spent a lifetime thinking of Twinkies as the ultimate reward for a hard day's work or a job well done, it can be difficult to retrain your brain into believing a walk in the park is just as satisfying.
"People do tell me that they reward themselves with food. But I think they're using the wrong word," Greene reveals. "You aren't rewarding yourself with food - you're comforting yourself with it. Really, we're all hungry emotionally. And food is so readily available that it's the easiest source of comfort. Breaking free of it is no different from breaking free of any other kind of drug. You have to address it openly. You have to ask yourself, 'Why am I using food as a crutch? What are the areas in my life that are disappointing me right now?' You're comforting yourself, for the most part, because you're not getting what you really need."
As it turns out, even the most grueling workout is no sweat compared with the emotional heavy lifting that lies behind real change. "The hard work is looking at every area of your life and making it more fulfilling," Greene explains, "so that food is not your only comfort. Don't get me wrong: Food is meant to be enjoyed. But eating is not supposed to be the main source of joy or your main response to stress, boredom, or emptiness in your life."