How to Maintain Weight Loss
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You’ve got to keep your eye on the ball.
All too often, regardless of how we lose weight, we decide to chase the number we’re given on the scale. It’s our carrot, our treat, that we work hard to achieve. Some step on the scale daily, some multiple times a day, some once every couple of weeks — most waiting for that magic number to show up on the scale for our weight loss journey to come to a close.
How great it’d be (and it is!) to wake up one morning and see the scale at your goal weight of X pounds. Goal achieved, 100 pounds lost! It’s a rare, life changing accomplishment. Okay, but now what?
I’m not downplaying the ability to lose 100 pounds or reach your goal weight, whatever that weight might be. It was absolutely amazing when I stepped onto the scale at under 200 pounds for the first time. It was an incredible feeling when I was able to fit into a restaurant booth again and squeeze into a shirt size that didn’t borrow its name from an adult movie. It was good to know I could apply for international health insurance and not get automatically denied — again.
But the new car smell goes away. The luster goes away.
I felt like throwing a party when I could fit into a booth at Outback, but that excitement has disappeared (not appreciation, though). These days, I just walk in and sit down into a booth like the other fine folks. I’m hardly motivated by that fact when I don’t feel like working out one morning.
All of that is gone. I’m just a normal-weight Joe trying to stay afloat.
So, what can you do to maintain weight loss?
You’ve got to find a new reason to fight — something else to chase other than the number the scale gives you. One of the rarely mentioned reasons as to why you shouldn’t obsess over the scale is that not only does it lie, but one day you won’t be able to rely on it anymore for your motivation. Sure, you can still get on the scale to measure your progress and to make sure your weight isn’t creeping back up, but you can’t use it as your source of daily motivation. “Oh, just another five pounds to my goal!”
Hard to imagine, but one day that will no longer be any motivation to you.
What will you chase? A few of the things I’m chasing, in no particular order, includes an improved basketball and kickball game, a stronger body (makes
yard work life easier), sex appeal (married with children doesn’t mean married and a sloth) and the ability to set a good example for those around me. It’ll be hard to motivate people if I regain 50 pounds.
These things are easier or made possible by maintaining my weight loss.
Find something to chase. You need things to keep you motivated that are disconnected from the scale — real, tangible items and activities. You know your daily schedule, hobbies, and passions in life. And, you know what you want to do in life. Use your body in amazing ways.
So ask yourself, once you’ve reached your goal weight, what’s going to keep you going in the morning? It’s not going to be the scale. The sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be when the weight finally goes away.