How To Change Your Mindset When Losing Weight For The Second Time

40_howtochangeyourmindsetwhenlosingtheweightforthesecondtimeI got a message on my Facebook page from a woman named Karen. Karen had lost 100 pounds back in 2010. She went down to 160, then gained weight back, got up to 299, and now she’s back down to 250.

Congrats on getting back down to 250! One of the problems that I know I’ve faced, and many people face, is when I get to my goal weight, I don’t necessarily want to keep doing what it is I did to get there. That’s why my whole message is about maintenance.

It’s because I know; I’ve done it myself.

Here’s a way to kind of compromise on that. As you’re losing the weight, when you’re introducing a new habit — drinking water, taking walks, maybe going to the gym, tracking, whatever it is that you feel is necessary for you to lose the weight — always in the back of your mind be saying to yourself, is this something I will do for the rest of my life, or this a temporary fix to get the weight off?

Be aware of it the entire time you’re doing it. Most people are going after the prize of the goal weight. That’s what they’re focused on: I’m going to get there, I’m going to get there, I’m going to get there. Never once do they ask themselves, will I want to keep up with this? I’m running five times a week; is this sustainable? Is this maintainable? Is this something I’m going to want to do forever?

Be aware of it the entire time you’re doing it. Most people are going after the prize of the goal weight. That’s what they’re focused on: I’m going to get there, I’m going to get there, I’m going to get there. Never once do they ask themselves, will I want to keep up with this? I’m running five times a week; is this sustainable? Is this maintainable? Is this something I’m going to want to do forever?

I actually had to dial it back in maintenance because what I had been doing to lose weight was a little bit more excessive than what I was willing to maintain. At all points of this journey, it’s not about you getting to that goal number. It’s what you’ll be able to keep up with for the rest of your life.

There was a moment in my weight loss journey where I had a very honest discussion with myself and asked myself if I would be able to track for the rest of my life. It’s something that’s always been hard for me. I hated doing the paper trackers; I’m not good with that. I don’t even like to journal.

I said to myself, since there are so many great digital options out there, I’m absolutely willing to track for the rest of my life. I accepted that. If I have to track till the day I die, that’s what my life is. If I can stay healthy, stay active, I’m willing to sacrifice that.

It’s something that’s always been hard for me. I hated doing the paper trackers; I’m not good with that. I don’t even like to journal. I said to myself, since there are so many great digital options out there, I’m absolutely willing to track for the rest of my life. I accepted that. If I have to track till the day I die, that’s what my life is. If I can stay healthy, stay active, I’m willing to sacrifice that.

There were other things I wasn’t willing to do. I think that’s what’s really important. Ask yourself how you want your eating to look and how you want your fitness to look, and where those two roads merge is where you end up, body weight wise.

It’s not about going after 160 or 120 or 1-whatever and doing whatever the hell it takes to get there, then thinking, you know, I don’t think I want to do this anymore. Then you gain all the weight back, plus you get the added bonus of actually going past your original starting weight, which is what happened to me every single time.

I know this is going to sound crazy, but it’s better to stay at 250 pounds if what you do maintains that, because at least you’re down 49 pounds. The other option is to plan maintenance breaks. Take time every six months to just maintain your weight.

See what that feels like for you, then you can decide if you want to keep going. Or are you happy where you are? Would you rather focus on maintaining what you’ve lost? These are questions people don’t ask themselves. They’re obsessed with getting to that “number”. Getting to your goal weight isn’t as exciting if you end up nowhere near it in three, four, or five years.

It’s all about what you can do for the rest of your life to maintain this body weight, whatever body weight you end up being. Being down 45 pounds is much healthier than being up 45 pounds. If you can lose another 20 and you can maintain that, and you want to lose another 20 and you can maintain that, that needs to be your system, as opposed to just getting to a number and figuring it all out later. Have periodic checks along the way to see if you can maintain what you’ve lost.

It is totally a mental game. Part of that mental game is really accepting the fact that these habits you bring into your life have to stay there forever. If you’re not OK with these habits, then the question becomes what is a realistic goal weight for you to strive for? What will allow you to actually eat the way you want to eat and work out the way you want to work out and be happy? It may be lowering your body weight but not getting to that one number goal that you have been focused on for so long.

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After losing 170 pounds by changing her mindset, developing healthier eating habits, and making exercise part of her lifestyle, Heather decided she wanted to help others who struggled along their weight loss journey. Along with her hubby, Joel, they founded HalfSizeMe.com and the extremely popular Half Size Me Show podcast.

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss Inspiration, Weight Loss Journey

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