It’s been 7 years since I lost 40kilos (90pounds), and I have managed to maintain a 30-35kilo loss for 6 years. The statistics are that 97% of people gain all their weight back in the first 5 years so I think I’m doing pretty fantastically!
I thought I’d share five things that I’ve learned about weight maintenance.
1: All the external validation has stopped, there’s no praise anymore and no one is shocked when they see me. For anyone who’s lost a substantial amount of weight, you know what I’m talking about! Learn to enjoy the process because there’s no exciting rewards in maintenance like there is in weight loss but you still have to do the work!
2: There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember how heavy my body felt when I walked, how my knees ached all the time and how overwhelmingly hot I would get even on a fine day, I dreaded summer. Now it’s my favourite time of year. Respect what your body has done for you!
3: You will likely gain and lose the same few kilos for the rest of your life, accept that maintaining your weight is not about reaching a number on the scale and living happily ever after at that number. Long term maintenance is about finding a realistic weight window. You will gain a little and you will lose a little.
4: The topic of weight loss/healthy eating is like a religion, EVERYONE has an opinion! You have to carve out your own path, eat the food that works for you and do the exercise/movement that you can sustain for the rest of your life. Someone else’s situation is not the same as yours so don’t compare.
5: Embrace the struggle! Weight maintenance can quite frankly suck! Yes you can eat a little more freely than when you are losing weight but you still have to be mindful. I have learned the hard way, to eat in moderation is just that, you cannot eat whatever you want all the time, that’s not what moderation means. To eat moderately is to be mindful and that is a daily practice, its not easy, I still work at it daily.
And remember Comparison is the thief of joy!