Weight-loss: A Lifetime Stage
The concept of weight-loss seems simple enough, however; it is the hardest thing I have ever accomplished. I have started and stopped “diets” hundreds of times. I remember starting my first low-calorie diet when I was 16 years old. Consequently, the problem with that diet and every other diet is the weight-loss is temporary. I never established a long-term plan for weight-loss. I finally realized losing weight is only the first stage in weight-loss, in fact, losing the weight is only half of the battle. The other half is maintenance.
Realizing diets don’t work and developing a long-term plan is not as easy as it sounds; especially, if your goal was to lose weight quickly. In addition, TV shows like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Weight-loss are so attractive because you get professional help developing a weight-loss plan and losing weight. In some instances you even get prizes while doing it. Yes the shows are great motivators; they did it why can’t you. But Let’s face it, what are your chances of getting on one of those shows? Who has the time or can afford to take off work for months, travel to a location, and only focus on losing weight. While these shows are great motivations and they teach real life lessons, you need a plan that works for you.
- Establish a method for losing the weight.
- Set-up a support team
- Establish a maintenance plan
My plan involved enrolling in a medically monitored Weight-loss program. The reason I chose this program was because it was the best of both worlds; in the first few months you could lose weight quickly but you transition into a life-time plan. I think losing weight quickly is a secret goal for many obese people like me and it is so hard to dismiss. The plan required me to make a lifelong lifestyle change, taught me about nutrition, and assisted me with setting up the maintenance plan. During the active phase (16 weeks of meal replacements) I identified my triggers and developed better ways to handle “emotional” situations. This phase allowed me to make the necessary adjustments before reintroducing food.
Setting up a support team was easy for me. My husband and I both joined the program together so that is my core. If you can find a buddy to partner with it will increase your chances for continuous success. My extended team is my Kaiser class-members, family, friends my personal trainer, and my co-workers. I included my co-workers because they can unintentionally sabotage you by offering you treats and sweets. If they know they will either help you or hinder you. It is very important to have the right support team. You cannot afford to have anyone around you that will sabotage you.
Establishing a maintenance plan began as soon as I started the program. I removed all of the food in the house; threw away all of the take-out menus; joined a gym, bought a FitBit, and hired a personal trainer. I developed healthy habits and routines that would sustain my weight-loss. Some of these habits include planning my day. If I am going out, I make sure to pack healthy snacks. If I am going to eat out, I try to review the menu before I go. My husband and I go hiking, walking, or ride our bikes on the weekends. When we travel we make sure we will have access to a gym or nature trail.
Weigh-loss can be a lifetime struggle but with a plan and support you can successfully overcome each and every hurdle. If you fall or cheat don’t beat yourself up just brush yourself off and start anew. Set attainable short-term and long-term goals to assist with monitoring and measuring your progress. Get help when you need it.