Eliza Kingsford is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in weight management and body image. She is Director of Clinical Services for Wellspring, a program of CRC Health Group. A certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and long-time athlete, Eliza became passionate about combining therapeutic intervention, nutrition and exercise early on in her graduate studies. Eliza believes everyone develops a relationship with food throughout their lifetime; some just struggle more than others to find a healthy balance. In her years of clinical experience, Eliza has worked on various eating disorder treatment teams, in coaching and agency settings, and has served as a consultant for obesity treatment research. As Director of Clinical Services for Wellspring, Eliza works with participants ages 5 and up to provide weight management solutions throughout their lifespan. A member of the Obesity Action Coalition, Eliza is passionate about changing health reform to include better treatment options for obesity. Eliza is a member of the California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and the American Psychological Association.

Eliza appeared on the Dr. Phil episode, "Robert: The Nearly 800-Pound Man." She is currently working with Robert on his weight-loss goals.

Lately I've been talking to a lot of people who ask me the same question "What is the secret to weight loss?" I chuckle, not because it is a silly question, but because I know they won't like my honest answer. It's one of the things that Robert and I first talked about when I met him. We talked about what he'd tried, what gimmicks he'd bought and what had worked.

There is good news, and there is bad news in the answer to this question. Here's the bad news: there is no secret to weight loss. There is no quick fix; there is nothing that will take it off quicker and make it last longer. No magic bullet, no pill. There is talk of a new obesity drug that was just passed by the FDA. I happen to know that one of the stipulations for administering that drug is to incorporate behavior modification in some form. Again, no quick fix.

So what's the good news? The good news is that you have the power to change your mind about weight loss. Weight control is similar to becoming a good athlete or becoming an expert in any field. It takes practice, commitment and time. Stay with me here. The bodies of athletes don't want to be pushed as hard as they are. Elite athletes practice their trade each and every day, unless it is a designated rest day. Similarly, Steve Jobs likely worked 10 hours per day (I'm guessing) to be the best in his field of innovation. The point is people who master a new skill do it with commitment, dedication, practice and time. The same is true for weight control. It has to be something that you commit to with dedication and tenacity.

How is that good news?  So many people give up on a weight loss program because they feel powerless to change; nothing is working or perhaps not working fast enough. The good news is that anyone has the ability to change the way they think. One of the things I work on with people is how much their thoughts, feelings and emotions lead to unhealthy behaviors that keep them stuck. With guidance and practice, I have seen even the most resistant client learn how he or she is standing in his or her own way. The "secret" to successful weight control is really to change your mind. Commit to the journey and the process in front of you. Decide to make the choice and don't look back.