The Success and Mental Anguish of Weight Maintenance

July 2, 2016
The upside is that I have maintained my original weight loss goal for two years as of July 5th!  My weight has never in my life been this stable.  Yay me!  HUGE accomplishment for sure! But I still have some mental struggles which is normal I understand.  Life is definitely a process/journey and trying to keep a healthy perspective is a challenge! It is so easy to get caught up in the moment that we forget the truly important big picture sometimes.  Today as been one of those times for me.  Here is why—

My Thoughts

This past month’s net gain/loss was +.4 so that is true maintenance! But I hate it!  Why do I hate it?  I still feel I should be losing every single week which is not the “goal” now but I fight this feeling all the time.   I wrote out some of my thoughts today.  I think we all struggle with your own thinking a lot on our journey.  I have been reading about the thoughts others have resolved about their weight loss and I still have some things I need to resolve.

It is a mental struggle now and I have been trying to become comfortable with the number I see on the scale.  This week’s number puts me back where I was when I came back from a ten-day cruise and I had gained six pounds.  I am not comfortable with the number I see at all.  In the big picture the number today is 75 pounds less than I was 3 years ago, 2.4 pounds less than 2 years ago but 9.6 pounds more than I was a year ago! OUCH!

I had worked extra hard (and lost a bit more on top of my original goal) to hit a specific number before I went to NYC and now I feel I need to hit that number again!  I felt so good mentally when I weighed less but my clothes all still fit and I physically feel good BUT I still want to see that number and maintain that number.  Obviously, I wasn’t able to maintain that number a year ago without the extra hard work.  So why am I expecting the scale to “magically” show me that number this year?  I have to put in the work or the number will not show.  Am I willing to put in the hard work again knowing I will have to keep working that hard to maintain it?

What happens if I reach that number again?

  • I will feel a great sense of accomplishment
  • I will start wondering if I can maintain it
  • I will feel a great deal of pressure to maintain it

What happens if I do not reach that number again?

  • Nothing in reality will happen to me
  • BUT –I will feel I somehow failed
  • It could play with my head and undermine my mindset

Why do I want to reach that number again?

  • Keep my ten pound plus cushion
  • Be able to say I still weigh the same
  • Feel more positive about the “number”
  • Knowing I was able to return to that number and feel proud did it

The bottom line this statement below is the truth and how I SHOULD feel:

Your weight loss goal is a behavior, not a number.

I feel I am trying to hang tight to a number and this is causing me issues with my thinking inside. I need to spend more time resolving this inside my head and finding peace one way or the other.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Success and Mental Anguish of Weight Maintenance

  1. You might want to consider shifting your focus. The scale reflects the END RESULT of a patterned lifestyle. It also creates an end point that often reinforces a negative reward response (ex. “I reached my goal weight and therefore, DESERVE to celebrate with that piece of cheese cake.”) Focusing on Lifestyle choices and plans of action to achieving a HEALTHIER more PRODUCTIVE life keep one’s attention away from the number on the scale. If one pursues a REALISTIC approach designed to satisfy the needs of the body (and MIND) the result is a healthier outcome, Weight reduction (if this is needed by the body to maintain a healthy lean body mass/body fat ratio) becomes a RESPONSE rather than a GOAL. This makes LONG TERM RESULTS more successful.

    Like

    • Lora Crider says:

      Thank you for your comment Dr. Jonathan! I fully agree! I recently saw something that reinforces this “Your goal weight isn’t a number but it is a behavior.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bravo! I used to tell my patients, “changing behavior (in a positive direction) results in greater potential for LONG TERM RESULTS.” “Changing the numbers on a scale simply requires only placing ONE FOOT on it!” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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