So you’ve arrived at the maintenance stage of your weight loss journey.
Good on you. Pause for your happy dance celebration and give yourself a pat on the back.
Now for the maintenance stage and embracing the newly-downsized you.
“OMG…what happens it all piles back on?”
It’s where the rubber hits the road, bay bee.
Life will always intervene. There will always be things (read: issues, events, stuff) clamouring for your attention. But if you really want to maintain the change, you have to remember the No. 1 rule – that you are in charge of you.
Here are 7 simple steps which will help you to remain confident, and in charge, of the changes you’ve already made.
1) Change what you keep in the house.
One of the most important ways you can conspire for your success is to change what you keep in the house.
If chocolate, lollies, junk food are your weakness … then DON’T buy them. If they’re not in the kitchen, you won’t eat ‘em.
When you visit the house of anyone who is their healthy happy weight you’ll find they’re very disciplined about what they keep in the house.
“But I my kids need biscuits.”
Many people who are overweight buy junk food for their partner, children, grandchildren, and eat it all themselves. Non-smokers don’t keep cigarettes on the coffee table just in case the guests fancy a puff.
2) Donate your fat clothes to charity. All of them.
You no longer need them. Someone else does. Do it now. Today.
Do not hide them in the back of the wardrobe ‘just in case’. Consider the message received by your unconscious mind when you hoard your fat clothes.
It implies, loud and clear, that you secretly feel your weight loss is temporary and you don’t believe it will last.
3) Be a good girl scout. Be prepared.
We all know that when you’re out and about and the hunger kicks in, you’ll eat anything. Any old crap will do.
You must get into the routine of carrying simple portable healthy bits and pieces. Have fruit and nuts in your bag, your car, your office desk.
There’s not a mum in the history of the world who’d leave home without the baby bag containing food and drink for her lil poppet. It would be inconceivable not to do that.
And because it’s necessary it simply becomes part of the routine. Make it part of your routine to always have nourishing food on hand … or at least … in your handbag, glove box and office desk.
4) Learn to say no, graciously. And mean it with every fibre of your being.
You have to take your newly developed eating habits seriously.
“Oh they only had pizza so I had no choice to eat it.”
A vegan would never say, “I had to eat pork, it was all that was available, I didn’t want to hurt the host’s feelings”.
At other people’s homes, as long as you refuse food graciously and ask for something simple (like an omelette), nobody will mind. Your need to be healthy must be more important than your need to please someone else.
As a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Sikh or Rastafarian you would refuse certain foods because of your religious beliefs. And your needs would be respected and accommodated.
If you feel uncomfortable refusing certain foods because you’re shedding weight simply say, “It doesn’t agree with me”. You will be telling the truth.
Always remind yourself of how important you are. Respect your needs and others will too.
5) Never underestimate the power of your peers
You’re pimples are long gone, so what’s peer pressure got to do with maintaining weight loss?
Peer pressure is alive and well. At any age. It’s been said that we become the average of the five people we hang out with the most.
Who are you hanging with? Do they elevate you or pull you down?
If your five favourite people are healthy, positive-minded individuals who believe in taking responsibility for their health, make time for themselves and make good stuff happen….rock on.
If you hang out with a puddle of pessimists who believe the world is out to get them and there is nothing worthwhile, you will start descending into the negative whirlpool at some point, even if you are initially a super positive individual.
Ensure that your peers’ standards are equal to or higher than yours.
Be picky. Reaaaal picky.
6) Ladies, this is your life. Right now.
Do you put your life on hold until after you’ve lost weight? Do you dream that when you’ve lost weight you’ll apply for that promotion, you’ll be more social, or you’ll finally learn to dance?
Well, this is your life.
There’s no dress rehearsal.
THIS IS IT.
People talk about life being short. It’s not that it’s short. It’s that many of us take so bl**dy long to start.
What else, besides weight loss, do you want to accomplish in your life?
Once you have other goals to work towards and are doing those things today that you’ve been putting off until later, you will begin to have a healthier relationship with your weight.
Make your life fun and enjoyable.
Do not put it off until you have reached some imagined perfection on the scale.
7) Keep on keeping on. 80/20 rule.
If you stumble along the weight loss journey, do not quit. Tripping is a necessary part of learning.
Examine what caused you to stumble and devise strategies to prevent it from happening again. Adjust your thoughts, your beliefs, your choices and you’ll get a different result.
OK, so you went to a party and completely overdid it with the cake.
“Since I overdid the cake I may as well eat everything in the fridge now.”
Rubbish. It was that all or nothing thinking which led to you being overweight in the first place.
As long as you chose healthy options the majority of the time – not every time – you’ll maintain your new styling figure.
I find the 80/20 rule helpful. It states that 80% of your food should be wholesome and natural, and 20% should be purely for pleasure.
And as we all know, it’s not how many times you fall that matters. It’s how many times you pick yourself back up.
During this journey you’ve learned about the power of your thoughts, your language, your state, your story. I encourage you revisit the learnings, as many times as it takes, for it to be absolutely automatic pilot for you.
Keep your sense of humour. Laughter, especially the ability to laugh at your-good-self, is central to you remaining light on the scales.
And remember, you being able to maintain this ideal weight… it is a certainty. It is happening. It’s done. It’s not a question in your mind. It’s done. Now go forth and eat, exercise, live that belief.