By Lisa Spodak ([email protected])
Provided by WorldNow
Week 27 this week: +1 lbs.
Change overall: -53.5 lbs.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I haven’t been weighing myself just twice a week like I had planned. And this is one of those weeks where I was a tiny bit tempted (but surprisingly, not that tempted) to use my weight from Wednesday as my “official” weigh-in instead of my weight from Tuesday. But what’s really eye-opening for me is that, for maybe the first time, I truly was not concerned with the number on the scale.
I had a good week. I generally ate well and exercised a lot. I also had Mexican food at a going-away party on Friday, went to one of my favorite Italian restaurants for pasta on Saturday, and had all-you-can-eat sushi on Monday night. So seeing an increase on the scale Tuesday was completely expected and reasonable.
Even before things righted themselves a bit when I weighed myself this morning, I was okay with the gain. I’m finding that ever since I hit the 50 pound mark, I’ve been more successful at focusing on the “big picture.” I just remind myself that the little blips and bumps along the way are to be expected and can’t throw me off if I don’t let them.
This did get me thinking, though. What if, worst case scenario, I don’t lose another pound? I feel great. I look better than I did six months ago. I’m making healthy choices. But, how do I make sure that, no matter what, I don’t go back to where I was?
Like I often do in these situations, I turned to one of my friends who has dealt successfully with what I’m facing. Laura‘s been giving me great advice for weeks and I knew she’d be the perfect person to talk to about maintaining weight loss.
She originally took four years to lose 125 pounds – and she kept it off for more than three years before losing another 25 pounds to hit her goal.
Everyone (well, everyone who’s never struggled with it!) always says how weight loss is just a matter of calories burned being more than calories consumed. But there’s so much more to consider. And for Laura, the biggest struggle with maintaining weight loss is going on in her head.
“Accomplishing something this drastic created an odd inner struggle for me,” she explains. “At times I am 100% committed to keeping the weight off, but at other times I almost rebel against myself.
“I start to get upset and frustrated with the restrictions I’ve placed on myself, and I want to throw myself up against those boundaries in rebellion.
“So I suppose the hardest part of keeping the weight off is learning to speak to myself in a kind way, to understand those feelings and not judge the part of me that is, very simply, sick and tired of dieting.”
Luckily, motivation is relatively easy to tap into. “I made it this far,” Laura says. “I am NEVER going back!”
I asked her for five tips for keeping the weight off and she had some great suggestions:
Identify a red-alert weight
Weight fluctuates naturally, so I keep a “Red-Alert Weight” in mind. It’s usually 10 lbs above my goal, and when I hit it, I start dieting in earnest again.
Remember that you’ve made a lifestyle change
Lifestyle changes don’t stop being important once you reach your goal! I still focus on mine, like getting exercise and staying away from taboo foods
Keep tracking your status
Weigh yourself once a week. I know, it’s a little evil, but it helps!
DON’T be overly restrictive with yourself
Allow yourself those delicious things you missed while dieting! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but part of the joy of maintaining is getting an ice cream cone or some fries every once in a while. Just do it in moderation. My tip for enjoying these things healthily is always to get the kiddie size. You can also make yourself feel better about it by walking or riding a bike to the ice cream shop.
Be kind to yourself
Imagine you are your own boss. Your employee is finally performing at peak, so you don’t want to keep micro-managing, you want to encourage that behavior and give more leeway and autonomy.