More clients than I can count have told me this. "I've always been heavy", "I've struggled with my weight my whole life", and so on. This is a perfect illustration of what can be termed a "life script" - a set of firmly held beliefs and ideas about oneself that have been thoroughly imbedded in the subconscious area of the mind. All too often, they have no basis in actual reality. Perhaps Mom always provided a cookie or sweet to soothe a scraped knee or hurt feelings. A current client has described a childhood where alcoholism and parental squabbling were the norm. A child in such a situation might easily turn to snacks or food for feelings of comfort the parents are unable or unwilling to provide. Habits learned in childhood easily bypass the "critical factor", or the judgmental part of the mind that knows what is sensible. Even remarks made without malice can have a profound and lasting effect on the mind of a child. Coming from a parent, suggestions that their child is "big-boned", or that eating everything on their plate is a necessity often carry into adult behaviors of overeating or resignation to obesity.
The good news is that a life script can be changed and rewritten. The key to this is realizing that this script, or self image, is merely a set of perceptions and beliefs stored in the subconscious and accepted as "true". Changing these beliefs can be accomplished in a variety of ways, once it is discovered that changing them is indeed possible and well within the mental capabilities of just about anyone. Whether through affirmations, visualization, hypnosis or some combination of these and other mental tools, one must be consistent and steadfast. Never give up on yourself. The old well-worn neural pathways will be easy to fall back into, which is of course a common occurrence with diet and exercise regimens - a couple of weeks and its back to the old habits. Lasting, permanent, healthy change develops over time just as the original negative habits did.