As the weather starts to heat up, swimsuit season is almost here, but many of us cringe at the thought of bearing so much skin. Whether we’re still losing weight or are at goal weight, words like “granny arms” and “thunder thighs” seem to whisper from our past, like annoying mosquitoes.
It takes inner strength to battle these pesky thoughts and replace them with positive ones. That’s one of the key things that helps me stay fit after reaching my goal weight. And keeping the weight off and being fit is ultimately what we all want, right?
Like many of my women friends, I’ve always found it easier to lose weight than to maintain it. I’d follow a certain plan or regime, including eating healthier food and exercising A LOT and eventually I’d reach my goal. The problem wasn’t losing the weight — it was keeping it off. Yet, there’s a lot more out there about losing weight than about keeping it off.
This is why I’ve compiled these five tips for keeping it off. I want to encourage others that keeping off the weight is not as daunting as it seems.
- As stated above, find inner strength and fight self-defeating thoughts. You can replace them with positive ones. One way to do this is to read positive articles by others who are successful at keeping it off, like: Weight Watchers Keep it Off…for Good. I like to read inspirational quotes on websites like Pinterest.com. I also surround myself with positive people. They help keep things in perspective. If you’re a Weight Watchers lifetime member, the meetings are free.
- Keep a journal. Write your daily struggles and triumphs. When you are having a great day, capture it on paper so that you can relive it at a time when you need the motivation. When you are having a bad day, write it down too. This helps you work through the feelings and see if you have any habits that need to be tweaked.
- Just because you’ve reached goal weight doesn’t mean you’re “done”. Instead, think back to all the good habits that helped you lose the weight in the first place. Weight Watchers President and CEO, David Kirchhoff’s article “Lessons from Losing” concludes, “most of the food and activity strategies that helped them lose are the same ones that help keep the weight off.” Of course, this means that you didn’t lose the weight on some fad diet; rather, you lost it in a healthy way. If you haven’t already noticed, I highly recommend Weight Watchers.
- Keep it interesting — whether it’s food or exercise. As for the food — the internet alone has an abundance of recipes for healthy foods — make sure you grocery shop accordingly. Also, there are so many fitness machines or classes out there. You can try Zumba or kickboxing. The sky’s the limit. You must make the time to fit in exercise and make it a lifelong practice — not just for now. You can lay out your gym clothes the night before so that you put them on first thing in the morning and go to the gym or work out elsewhere. Some people always have their gym bag in the car so that there are no excuses. The point is — keep it interesting so that you stick with it.
- Don’t think of eating as a “diet”; I like to call it “mindful eating”. I don’t just pop anything in my mouth — just because it’s in front of me. Also — I eat what I love and love what I eat. For example, just because there are sugar cookies in front of me doesn’t mean I have to eat them. They’re not my favorite thing so why expend the WW points? CHOCOLATE is another story. In that case, I am mindful of the portion size and I count it toward my daily intake of WW points. I may have to put in more gym time that week or not eat dessert again for a few days — the point is, I am accountable to it and it’s mindful.
Once you lose your weight, know that keeping it off doesn’t have to be a mystery. You can do it!!