Maintenance 101: Self- Love
“Self-love seems so often unrequited.” - Anthony Powell
I’m resuming the series of posts entitled “Maintenance 101.” In this series, I’ll be addressing some of the issues I’ve found in my four+ years of weight loss maintenance. My goal for this series is to be uplifting, supportive and honest. Maintenance isn’t always easy as many of you guys know from experience, but maintenance is a crucial part of the weight loss journey. Our work doesn’t stop when we step on the scale and see our “magic number.”
This edition is honestly the hardest part for me. While the physical stuff of weight loss is a little be easier to deal with, the emotional and mental aspects are a little harder. It’s difficult change your mindset from “I’m trying to lose weight” to “I’m living a healthy lifestyle.” You don’t want to slip into old habits, so it’s normal to be hyper-vigilant and strict, at least in the beginning. As the years go by, you might get a little more comfortable and not stress about it as much, maybe weight loss is not in the forefront of your thoughts at all times (good job!). But what about the underlying emotion things?
Are you still talking down to yourself? Are you looking into the mirror and saying “I feel so fat“? This kind of negative talk is detrimental because after awhile we start to believe of what we’re telling ourselves. I know I do. I get in that cycle of negative thinking and then something snaps me out of that funk and it’s like a breathe of fresh air! Oh yeah! I don’t have to focus on the negatives and what I DON’T have! I can focus on the positive things and how far I’ve come!
Stop obsessing about the numbers. I wrote a post “It’s a Numbers Game” where I talked about the pros and cons of focusing entirely on numbers: the number on the scale, the number of miles run, etc etc. It sometimes does more harm than good. This is especially true in maintenance mode because the tiny fluctuations can totally make you crazy. Oh my god I gained a pound! Two weeks later…Oh my god I lost 1.5 pounds! YAY! This rollercoaster ride is ridiculous and stressful!
My tip: have a number that you definitely don’t want to go over, and then have a number that is that “danger zone.” For example: my number I don’t want to go over is 150 pounds because that was my initial goal weight when I was trying to lose 100 pounds. My “danger zone” weight is 146-148. It’s just creeping a little too closely to 150 for my liking. I try not to obsess on the number on the scale unless it’s reaching the danger zone. Then that’s cause for me to tighten the reigns and make sure I’m doing what I need to do to keep the weight off.
Comparisons are not constructive. There will always be someone faster, stronger, skinnier, richer, smarter than you and me. Always. Getting stuck in the comparison game doesn’t get us anywhere. Avoid it!
Make a list. Write down everything that you love about your body. I struggle with this. It’s hard to give yourself praise! But MAKE THAT LIST and post it somewhere you can see it, perhaps the bathroom mirror.
Have a mantra you repeat every day. “I love myself, I love my strong legs, I have beautiful arms, I have a nice smile” etc. Fake it til you make it!
How Am I Doing?
It’s easy to give advice, it’s harder to take it. I compare myself to others. I compare my body, my athletic abilities…everything. I’m trying to curb that by reminding myself what I am thankful for in my life. I am trying hard not to obsess about the number on the scale, but I don’t always succeed in that department.
Where I am definitely excelling is thinking positive thoughts about my body and abilities. The “positive self-talk” has never been my strength. But when I have a particularly good workout or successful event, or I catch my reflection in the mirror and think “Wow, my legs look really great today!” and then I feel pretty good about myself! I need to harness that so I feel it every day!
QUESTION: How do you change your mind-frame to thinking positively about yourself and your body?