Gurus like to talk about how to maintain a good maintenance calorie count, a good exercise regime, and often times about how to stay motivated in difficult times when you want to turn to food.
Well, I have to say that this is a good starting point, I guess. However, how many of those supposed gurus have kept off a significant amount of weight?
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How many have lost hundreds of pounds, struggled to not eat, or found their own path to success that may be a little “unconventional?”
Well, I have. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but people who have kept off weight for a significant amount of time always seem to get my unconventional tips because they usually have struggled in the same way.
I think everyone would agree you have to eat at maintenance, what ever that is. I think everyone would agree you should work out.
Oh, and my most favoritist one ever - find balance.
Don't even get me started on balance.
OK, if you haven’t gotten offended yet and are willing to learn how to keep a significant amount of weight off, here are some tips you can do to help you in that unique journey.
How to Keep the Weight Off
Tip #1 - Balance is a bunch of hoey
Balance is about as rare as a two dollar bill these days. I hear that word about 40 million times a day.
Balance is overrated, sorry all you gurus. I hate to burst most people’s bubble, but balance is something that is, for some reason a gold standard in everyones eyes, when I don't see it really ever happen in anyones every day life.
You are not a bad person if you don't have “balance.” We do, however have to define balance.
Balance to me is eating all whole foods, being one with nature, and being kind to all others in your granola eating commune.
I know that my vision is kind of skewed. But honestly, between work which is a time sucker, home life which can make us crazy. This doesn't even mention our relationships. It's a never ending tug of war that never has balance.
Stop beating yourself up about not being perfect or balanced. Your life is never going to be perfect and you will have to find what works for you, not what works for your therapist or someone who doesn’t have a clue about your life.
Tip #2 - Do very scary things outside your comfort zone
Most people gain their weight back. To me, one of the reasons behind this is because they go back to old habits.
The comfort of food and your old lifestyle will continue to call to you years later. I know, because it shouts at me every single day.
In order not to give in, I do many things. The most successful thing I can do to continue to maintain my weight loss is do something every day outside my comfort zone and not a part of my daily routine. By scary I don't mean you have to jump out of an airplane on a daily basis.
Maybe you are fearful of speaking to your boss about an idea that you have to improve the quality of production. In your past life as a fat person, you would continue to whine about how crappy production was and how if they would tweak it just a bit, it would get better.
But likely you wouldn’t have the cajones to do anything about it, because thats scary. Thats outside your comfort zone.
Those are now the things that are incorporated into my day. It gives me confidence daily to not go back to the habits of being passive and incorporates the good habits of action.
Tip #3 - Make super lofty goals
Like over-the-top crazy goals. And then try to get to them. When you do this, you have a mission to complete it. This goes hand in hand with going out of your comfort zone.
You will not only complete goals you never thought you could, but you will again, gain confidence and make action your priority. When you start to wrap your head around a goal, complete it or get close to it, it gives you the tools to change you're thinking about things that were long held beliefs.
Things that kept you stagnant and in a mindset that did not improve your mind or your state of health.
Tip #4 - It's not about food
Yup, I said it out loud. It really isn’t.
OK, well a little is. However, if you incorporate the above tips, it's likely you have implemented some good habits as well as increased your self esteem. You'll also challenge your long-held beliefs that may not have been benefiting you, so as a byproduct, the food seems like less of an issue.
Yes, I want to each chocolate cake every day. Duh, fat girl problems.
However, feeling better about myself, trying new things and basically going outside my comfort zone makes me realize there is so much more to my life than food. Food and weight is such a small part of who I am anymore because of the above. However, just because it's no longer what I focus on, I still want it.
I have been fat all my life and it is not only a habit I formed when I was young, I also derive much pleasure from eating. So, I focus on a way to get that pleasure without gaining my weight back.
It's hard to love food and also limit amounts of food that in the past you have consumed with no problem. I have done every type of diet, eating plan and the like in order to see which one is the best for me - raw vegan, vegetarian, weight watchers, calorie counting, keto, macro counting and the list goes on.
Keeping your weight off is about so much more than keeping your calories at maintenance and working out five times a week. Changing your mindset around how you can get “balanced” and how to go outside your comfort zone is key to sustained weight loss.
Your goals can also keep you on the strait and narrow as far as keeping that weight off. Big goals can keep you striving for your “best you” possible.
This combined with a determination mind set can get you through those times and situations that make you want to overeat just to be back in your comfort zone.