I have had this conversation quite a lot lately. “I do so well for a while, and then suddenly, all the weight reappears.”
Drop the weight loss card into any conversation can really get it going. Almost everyone can relate to the Diet Yo-Yo, various diets, workouts, the latest “discovery” of some herb, etc., and everyone can contribute. If someone has had visible success, we want to know what they did – and please say it was painless. Or was that just me?
Turn the conversation to maintenance, and the mood darkens. “They” – whomever they are who have done studies this week – say weight loss success is measured by maintaining goal weight for a year. After that, the numbers go sideways. Within 2 years, most regain half of what they lost, and after five years, most regain 80%. They didn’t have information beyond that. My guess is that studies would show that if you maintain your goal weight beyond five years, you’ve figured out the secret of maintenance.
Want to know that secret?
The truth is, most of us know it because we utilize it in other areas. We manage our budget, we practice our craft so we don’t get rusty, we practice our skills and even do continuing education to get better at work or hobbies, we practice our faith or spiritual traditions. We practice and make lifestyle changes to accommodate what we say we want.
It’s both as simple and as difficult as that.
If you’re like I was, the challenge isn’t finding the right nutrition or exercise but sticking with it. I had to admit that I often wanted the dessert more than I wanted the goal. That was followed almost instantly by remorse and a pledge to do better – and I usually didn’t keep that pledge to myself. Forty blinkin’ years of that.
What changed? Multiple things: Facing my stuff so I no longer needed to stuff my face. Personal growth. Having someone hold my hand and hold me accountable until I could hold myself accountable. It doesn’t mean I never have indulgent things, but I don’t have them consistently. I learned what works for my body and practiced it until those choices became the norm.
The secret to maintenance is knowing what works for our bodies and making that our lifestyle. It’s both as simple and as challenging as that.
So, what do you want?
When you’re ready to have support, encouragement, and external accountability so you can reach your goal, let’s talk. [email protected]