It’s day 7 of my new life. How many times have I said something like that? I’ve gone on quite a few weight loss challenges and been very successful most of the time. I’m quite good at losing weight (almost as good as gaining weight in the first place), but I’m quite horrible at keeping that weight off. Now, to be fair, the first time I lost a large amount of weight, I managed to keep it off for several years. What changed? My wife and I had a kid, then another, and then another. In the last 7 1/2 years since we had our first child, I’ve been having a harder time keeping my weight in check. There just isn’t enough time in the day. There just isn’t enough energy in my tank. There’s all sorts of excuses. I’m never happy with the fact that I keep falling. Luckily, I keep picking myself up, brushing myself off, and starting all over again.
This brings me to my overall point. Have you ever heard someone say, “All it takes is 30 days to create a new habit that is lasting.” Yeah, I have too, way too many times. Frankly, I don’t believe it. Why? I’ve gone over 200+ days of watching what I eat, multiple times. Keeping track of what I eat. Eating better foods. Making sacrifices. Yes, for some of those 200+ days I did some extreme things, so I cannot, and should not count those days as part of the habit building. Near the end of the diet, I was eating balanced meals daily. Why is this mentality so flawed? Well, my opinion, it’s shallow; it has no substance. Just building a habit isn’t enough. A habit implies that you will not have to work hard at some point; that you will somehow go into auto-pilot when you hit 30 days and it will be smooth sailing from there. Yes, 30 days is helpful to start a new habit, but if you haven’t had a lifetime of building a new habit yet, it’s probably not a real habit. A real habit has seen the test of time. It’s seen the new babies, the injuries, the friends and family members who have gotten sick and passed away; real habits have overcome all of that. Then, and only then is it truly a habit.
Don’t get caught in simple, empty promises of a quick fix. Losing weight is easy, but keeping it off for good is not. There is no quick fix. Those who tout these, “just do this…” or “just do that… ” singular ideas are just selling you something that is false. Yes, those recommendations may likely work. I strongly believe most weight loss ideas will work if you are consistent with them. It’s the maintenance of that weight loss that nobody has really addressed. Myself, I overeat for a lot of reasons. Never have I ever truly been able to address all of them. Something new seems to crop up, and I wind up having to start losing weight again, and you know what, that’s ok. It’s ok to not be successful in keeping the weight off the rest of your life. Don’t beat yourself up just because you gained some or all of the weight back. It’s what you do when you’ve realized it that’s important. If you have to lose the same 30 lbs every other year for the rest of your life, isn’t that better than simply gaining 30 lbs every other year until you’re too big to move? I think it is.
My opinions are just that, opinions. I realize I have a lot of personal growth I need in order to truly conquer the food/weight issues I have, but I know in my heart, I’ve conquered my weight already. It’s the other battles I’m still working on. Weight is simply a symptom.
Good luck everyone with your weight loss/maintenance goals. You can do it. We’re all in this together. Find people who will support and love you, and you’ll be ok, but be ready to work hard on it, the rest of your life. It’s worth it!