It’s happened before. Finally after the uphill battle of losing weight you finally meet your goal.
Was it for a wedding? Reunion?
What was the driving force that got you there?
This is the first clue in how to maintain that weight loss.
How the Quest was Won
The first thing to look at is how you got to your goal weight in the first place. Often times when a person sets out to lose weight they have a big reason WHY they are doing it. When the WHY goes away they are now unmotivated to continue.
For example lets say you were asked to be a bridesmaid at your friends wedding. Panic sets in because you don’t want to be the biggest bridesmaid there. Goodness knows those dresses are bad enough with all the fluff and ruffles. Just putting one on will make you look 20 pounds heavier.
If it is a few month away you will probably pick a diet and focus on and make your goal date “the wedding day”.
Time passes, pounds drop and look at you! You may not be the bride but people notice and the compliments are coming in by the bucket load.
Three things could happen by the wedding day:
1. Your goal was achieved and therefore no longer exists
2. You feel an overwhelming need to celebrate
3. You start to get uncomfortable with all the attention you are getting because it feels “fake”
1. Finding a New Goal
Reaching goals is excellent. It feels great to work towards a goal and see success along the way. Oddly enough though, most people don’t feel as elated as they thought they would the day they achieve their goals. Or notice how quickly the good feeling fades.
This is because it is the journey that truly drives us.
How to keep from hitting a low point after reaching a goal is by ensuring there is another goal ready to go right away. This new goal should already be in place and the planning already started before the first goal is achieved.
Main goal – to live a healthy life
What does that look like?
– healthy weight
– daily activity and exercise
– new friends and groups
First goal – lose 25 lbs by wedding
What does that look like?
– healthy diet
– new exercise regime
Second goal – get to healthy weight of 135 lbs
What does that look like?
– wearing size 6 pants
– continue with healthy diet
– grow and evolving fitness and exercise program
– joining a gym
By having a long term goal the intermediate goals are more like progress goals. The reason WHY becomes one for you and your health.
2. Celebrating After a Weight Loss Goal is Met
Should you have the wedding cake and all the fixin’s? Of course you should!
Some of the main issues with “celebrating” a weight loss achievement comes from
a) not stopping the celebration
b) when the diet was an extreme and unhealthy diet.
Both of these can be helped by choosing the right diet to begin with.
Picking a healthy weight loss plan will not just help you achieve your goal but will also help keep you from gaining it all back too.
Understandably once a person has decided to lose weight they want to lose it NOW! This is why rapid weight loss diets are so popular. Unfortunately they aren’t good for long-term weight loss they actually work against it.
By denying your body a healthy daily dose of calories and nutrients your metabolism will plummet. With a poor metabolism and a few weeks of unhealthy eating, a celebration of food will just put it all back on faster than it came off. Worse yet, the “normal” diet will potentially pack on the weight too because your metabolism dropped.
All this can be avoided by choosing a healthy diet and fitness regime right from the start. Don’t worry, you can still reach your goal ON TIME and as a bonus you don’t need to worry about gaining it all back because of a little celebration.
3. Feeling Like a “Fake” When Losing Weight
Sometimes people will gain their weight back because of all the attention they are getting. Attention can be positive or negative.
Negative attention can come in forms of “What, you think you’re better than us now?” when you try to excuse yourself from a coffee date with friends to go to the gym instead.
Or, “OMG! Are you sick? You look so skinny and pale!” from the less than supportive people in your life.
Even stuff like “Wow, do you ever look different. I think you were prettier with meat on your bones, men prefer that you know…”
Positive attention can be daunting too if you aren’t ready for it.
Maybe you don’t recognize yourself anymore either. Looking in the mirror you see a trim and healthy person but you aren’t ready because the image in your mind is still the same overweight person.
Getting to a healthy weight and staying there may mean you need to prepare for that new person in the mirror. One way to do this is to have a picture of yourself photoshop’d at the beginning. If you are quite a bit overweight and have never seen yourself at a healthy weight – you are going to look very different.
Weight loss doesn’t just affect your body, it also shows in your face. People around you will react to that and so will you.
Get prepared for that new person before they (you) arrive so they (you) are familiar in your mind and heart. Otherwise you chance running back to the familiar.