Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Keeping off the Weight

I've been on a weight loss journey since January that now finds me 50 pounds lighter and feeling better than I have in many years. This weight loss journey is now in the "weight management" phase, as I have met my goal. I seriously think that losing the weight was the easy part. Keeping the weight off requires constant effort and attention. Here are the lessons I'm learning about keeping the weight off:

1) Fight boredom. I lost a lot of the weight by eating a steady diet of the same entrees just about every week. Some of them I ate every day. For example, I have now eaten approximately 200 western omelets since the end of January. That's a lot of eggs! The food I ate was appetizing....the first 8 months of the diet....but now I'm starting to actually be repulsed by the very things I craved while on the strict phase. I've had to tweak my meals and find new healthy alternatives for foods that I crave. This takes extra effort to plan and cook, but it's worth it.

2) Don't beat yourself up when you slip. I ate 2 oatmeal raisin cookies this week in a moment of weakness and literally felt sick with guilt and the sugar high. I never knew cookies could give you that kind of headache! I confessed it to my wife. I also woke up the next morning and went back to the diet. You will slip up sometimes. Sometimes, you even need to cheat just to enjoy rich foods occasionally. The key is get back on the saddle and continue. Let the slip-ups be the exception, and not the norm.

3) Quit weighing yourself so much! I now check my weight every 2 weeks or so. I was checking every day for a time and had to stop. I was getting fixated on the day to day fluctuation of my weight. I do not want to get consumed with my weight to the point that it paralyzes me. If I gain a pound here or there, I will just modify for a short time until I get back to my target weight. If I am not careful, I will let this area rule over me. I've had to battle being prideful and more concerned about my appearance as the weight has come off. Keeping track every day only feeds that pride in me.

I am still glad that I was able to lose the weight. Now, the real challenge begins. This diet can't be a passing fad that I tried. It must be a lifestyle of discipline. What this boils down to for me is maintaining self-discipline and focus.