Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 Habits for Successful Weight Loss Maintenance

So many of us are in a continuous struggle with "weight loss".   I know I am.  So I'm always looking for ways to be motivated, satisfied and energized as I work on making healthy eating and exercise sustainable habits in my life.  

I joined Weight Watchers last fall, and I've enjoyed going to meetings and meeting people who are also struggling with the same issues.   I've been changing my cooking habits and eating habits, and I've added walking to my daily routine.   So far, my weight has dropped a little, but for the last few weeks I've been bouncing around the same five pound weight range, up and down and up and down.   So I continue to refine my thoughts and approach, and I continue to look for ways to increase my success rate.

I stumbled across the Half Size Me website and Facebook page today, and immediately read through a lot of the information there.  Heather Robertson successfully lost over 170lbs and has maintained that healthy body for a long time.   She's turned her success into a helpful website, podcast and coaching business.

One of the things that jumped out at me was a blog article about how to be successful at weight lost maintenance. I figure, if someone can maintain a healthy body using these habits, then maybe I should examine them for myself!  Let's take a look at the habits and see how I'm doing:

1 They continue to live with the healthy habits that helped them get the weight off in the first place.

Heather notes that successful maintainers continue to journal their food and exercise, plan menus, find support and make time for personal improvement.    In order to "continue" these habits, I would first have to establish them, right?   I've been really bad about tracking my food - I just don't like to do it!   Weight Watchers has a Simply Filling program wherein I don't have to track my food if I eat off a (rather large) list of whole foods low in fat and sugar.   The problem is that I don't always do that.  And so my food intake is really all over the map and I'm not holding myself accountable.   So, there's a definite area for improvement for me.

I do, however, have some of the other habits in place, like planning menus and finding support.   I've started more exercising (could always improve this!).

2 They find a weight that is sustainable, not just achievable.

I haven't actually set a goal yet, as far as my weight is concerned.  I know I'm overweight by a lot, and I could easily lose another 25lbs and still be above what the doctor tells me I should be.   So for now, I'm just focusing on losing five pounds at a time, and will worry about setting a goal a little while later.

3 They do not overly rely on cardio, and they prioritize weight lifting.

I've read this, over and over again, that weight lifting is the best way to bump your metabolism and change your body into a healthy one.   I haven't taken the plunge yet.  Not sure what I'm waiting for here. When will be the "right" time to try this?

4 They find a way to cook that replaces their favorite food.

I'm working on this. Have invested in some good cookbooks, and have definitely tried a lot more recipes than I ever used to do. So I'm doing ok here.

5 They eliminate or cut back on negative and toxic relationships.

Yes, I've learned this and have made this part of my life. I just don't have energy for people who bring negativity into my life.

6 They find a way to stop resenting the process of healthy living and instead embrace it and find joy in it.

This is something I haven't gotten the hang of yet. I still resent the fact that I "can't eat good food if I want to be healthy". I know, I know, I need to reframe in all kinds of ways. Big work here, I'm afraid.

7 They prioritize self-improvement.

I feel like I don't have a problem with this, I have always been one to seek out ways to improve myself.  It's just that my physical well being has not been the focus area, I've been more focused on other things.

8 They find a way to maintain their weight that is not driven by fear of gaining the weight back.

I don't know how much fear plays a part in my ability (or inability) to lose weight.  I guess it must be, but I haven't been able to identify what it is that I'm afraid of.  More work here, too, I guess.

9 They find a way of eating that they can maintain, and they don’t stay on a diet.

This is what the Weight Watchers program is all about, so I'm happy I've given myself the gift of Weight Watchers meetings and support.

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