The Full Mind Weigh® – Coaching that Empowers you to Stop Regaining the Weight you Lost!
It’s ironic, isn’t it, that when it comes to maintaining our hard-earned weight loss, we have to take action. After all, we normally associate the idea of taking action with the goal of creating some kind of change. Maintenance, on the other hand, is about taking action in order to stay the same.
When we’re losing weight, we have a specific goal in mind, often a specific number of pounds, inches, or clothing sizes, or it’s about a BMI or physiological measure (blood sugar level, cholesterol level) that we’d like to reach. As we move in the direction of our goal, we may celebrate each step we take (like every 5 pounds lost, or every clothing size down) towards that goal.
Maintenance, however, feels different, maybe even not quite so exciting. After all, what do we celebrate – staying the same! Somehow, our mindset is to celebrate change – like losing weight, getting married, graduating, having another birthday, a birth in the family, getting a promotion, and so on. We don’t think of celebrating staying the same. And so although we want to maintain our hard-earned weight loss, we can become less focused on maintenance because it doesn’t have quite the same thrill factor associated with it. When we become less focused on maintenance, we may take it for granted, avoid mindfully working on it, and put ourselves at risk for weight regain.
Without deliberate action on our part, the weight that we’ve lost will all-too-soon “find” us again. Usually, it happens slowly – what I call “the weight creep”. We ignore the first couple of pounds, or maybe put it down to “hormones”, “water weight”, or whatever. Often, by the time we acknowledge that there’s a real problem here, the problem may be so advanced that we feel overwhelmed by the idea of addressing it – again – and so we don’t. This is how we often end up back at square one – or even at square “minus one” (that is, gaining more weight than we lost on our last “diet”).
Are there other situations in life where we have to take action in order to stay the same? You bet! For example, in order to maintain the health of our teeth, we have to make sure to go in for a dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months. In order to maintain (and hopefully deepen) our friendships and relationships, we have to invest time and energy in them. In order to maintain our general health, it’s recommended that we see our physician for an annual physical. We may also need to go in for specific diagnostic tests, every 1-5 years. In order to maintain the health of our pets, we usually take them in for shots one a year too. We maintain the appearance of our homes and yards by cleaning, mowing, planting, and painting once in a while. We maintain the health of our vehicles by taking them in for tune-ups and oil changes. Get the idea?
So why is it then that we often assume that we can maintain the weight we’ve worked so hard to reach without taking action? It’s a kind of magical thinking, I guess. We assume that because we’ve done the hard work of losing the weight, that the habits we needed to adopt to reach that goal will somehow stick. The problem is that often they don’t, without mindful, conscious thought, effort and planning. So many of us, after all, are repeat “dieters”.
Here are some of the more obvious actions we need to take in order to maintain our healthy goal weight:
- Food tracking
- Meal planning
- Prepare healthy meals
- Eat mostly at home
- Manage stress and emotions in healthy ways
- Be alert to internal and external cues that trigger us to engage in old food-related habits, and find ways to manage them
- Use alternate, non-food-related ways of comforting and soothing ourselves
- Manage social situations that involve food and eating
I’d love to read your comments on this post. What do you think of these ideas? Are you using any of them? If so, how are they working for you?
Coaching helps you find freedom from the weight-loss weight-regain roller coaster you’ve been trapped on for so many years. Contact me for your free initial consultation – let’s start talking about strategies that work for you!
With your continued health in mind,
Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.
The Full Mind Weigh® is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.