Thursday, January 27, 2011
There's a big question looming overhead for me (and others, I'm sure) about weight loss:
"What happens when we get to goal?"
For those of you who are not apart of this weight loss struggle, this question may seem rather nonsensical. For you, its simple: you met your goal, you're done! BUT, for those of us deep within the struggle its something much much MUCH more complicated than you might think. First of all, we have to address the issue of being overweight. Being overweight is a result of a food addiction. Most people do not understand this. Much like a drug addict, those of us losing weight have to break our addiction to our drug: FOOD. So, for anyone to tell us: its okay, you made it to goal, you can just stop now. Oh boy, its damn near impossible! Telling us that we can just stop, is like telling an alcoholic or a drug addict that they no longer have to attend their meetings or that they're totally cured; they're never totally cured, and the same goes for those of us involved in losing a large amount of weight.
Now, I am NOT at my goal weight yet, but I have had a lot of time to sit back and think about how my strategies will change and how I will shift gears. I've been blessed with the ability to watch others within the YT WLC who are struggling with this and try and learn from their struggles. And here's what I've come up with:
EVERYTHING WE'RE DOING, IS A MEANS OF TRAINING OURSELVES!
Think about that. Why do we track our calories? Why do we track our exercise? Why do we keep a daily food journal? The answer is rather simple: We're simply training ourselves for when we reach our weight goal. Its obvious that the reasons why we gained the weight in the first place was because we were ill educated in the areas concerning fitness and nutritional health. So now we must do the work in order to educate ourselves and train ourselves to recognize: what a balanced meal looks like, the right things to be drinking, the right exercises to do and how often to do them, what a correct portion size looks like, and how to keep ourselves (and our appetites) in check! The question remains: What do we do when we get to goal? But now, we have our answer. The idea is that, with all this training we have been doing we will automatically KNOW how to do the things we should be doing in order to sustain and maintain our goal weight. Hopefully through all the weeks of struggling to lose the weight and training ourselves as mentioned above, we will have picked up a few tricks along the way that will make maintaining and sustaining our goal weight seem almost easy!
For me, when I get to goal I know I will be changing my caloric intake. I may still track my foods and exercise for the first few months (until I get the hang of it), but ultimately I will already KNOW what I need to be doing in order to stay where I'm at. Instead of working out everyday, I'll cut it to 3 times a week, and incorporate more moderate physical activities when I can, like: going for a bike ride or going for a walk. <--You get the idea...--> In essence, when we get to goal it should become LESS STRESSFUL! If its becoming MORE STRESSFUL then we must be doing something wrong. We must be putting too much added pressure on ourselves. When we get to goal, we should be able to indulge in certain things with no guilt. The idea of OVER-indulgence will be something so foreign to us, that it won't even seem like a possibility or an option. This is where the "mental work" of weight loss comes in. If we've been doing it right, then when we get to goal, things will be much more simple and less stressful.
"There are those who travel and those who are going somewhere. They are different and yet, they are the same. The success has this over his rivals: He knows where he is going." - Mark Caine