This blog is about the importance of mindset when in the maintenance phase after weight loss. As I’ve said before, maintaining the weight after one has lost it – that is the holy grail of weight loss. Many people I work with have told me, keeping the weight off is the part that they struggle with most. The maintenance phase is essentially the most important aspect in order to finally put the albatross of weight loss struggles behind you.
Maintenance and Mindset
The maintenance phase is the stepping stone towards unleashing what I call Body Freedom™, where you have the body you like, you’re happy with yourself, you feel good and healthy in your body. But there’s also freedom in mindset, and this is what I’ll be focusing on today. Mindset is so important, because issues around weight and food have a lot to do with making choices. It’s important to have an empowered mindset, so that there aren’t other things driving your choices for food. It’s also the mindset that allows you to have freedom of thought, and not feel like you need to micromanage everything. So that’s a big part of having what I call Freedom In Your Body™, because that is the lifestyle. That’s when you can maintain your weight with ease – you know how to do a course correction, you’ve got a good and healthy mindset in terms of your relationship with food, and your relationship with your body.
The Importance of Your “Why”
Mindset is a broad topic that I’m going to discuss in detail over the next few weeks. But today, specifically, I’m going to focus on the importance of your “why” – why do you want to lose weight? Often when someone is losing weight, there’s the excitement of it all and if you’re getting good results it feels very fulfilling. Even with the approach I use with clients, they often see quick weight loss and of course, that’s very exciting. This can be a positive reinforcement, which is great – except when their motivation is just about the number on the scale. If they haven’t really gone deeper than that, they haven’t really thought beyond the number, then the maintenance phase is very difficult. In order to be successful in maintaining weight loss, there needs to be a deeper reason: what is it about losing weight that makes it so important to you? Because when you get into maintenance, there really is no concrete goal, it’s somewhat boring, just keeping things as they are, there’s no excitement to it. So that’s when the foods that are exciting and provide immediate gratification, like the sugars, chocolate, carbs, alcohol, that can start to override the ho-hum of just maintaining your weight. The way to get a proper handle on this is to really put thought into why you’re doing it in the first place. It’s not just about the excitement, you need a deeper, value-driven motivation that is much more sustainable and keeps you on track and motivated to maintain your weight.
Finding Sustainable Motivation
This deeper, sustainable motivation relates to other areas in your life. You might initially feel like you want to lose weight because you want to be able to fit back into old clothes, which for sure is very exciting. But what is it about that that’s so important to you? I had a client recently, and her sustainable motivation related to the fact that she’s had two siblings that have died at young ages. So for her, it’s this realization of wanting to be healthier and live a fuller, longer life.
For other people, it’s about setting an example for their kids, because they realize their difficult relationship with food is something being observed by their kids, and they want to set a better example. That is a very heartfelt motivation, because there’s nothing that pulls on our heartstrings like our kids.
For other people, they feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves; maybe they saw themselves as being very active and sporty, and now they’ve stopped that, so it feels like they’ve lost a part of themselves. Maybe carrying extra weight makes it more difficult for them to engage in sports and activities with their family and friends.
Maybe it’s about their career and they feel their weight has caused them to lack the energy to be as productive and they’re not feeling as confident which is holding them back in their career.
Understanding why you want to lose weight, taking the time to dig deep – that is what will help set you up to have sustainable motivation, which is ultimately what you need to maintain your weight loss. Eventually it will just become a way of being, and you won’t always need that level of focused motivation or concentration. But when you transition into maintenance, you need to make sure that you’re still connected with why you wanted to lose weight in the first place.
Why Do I Need Sustainable Motivation?
The motivation needs to be deep and value-driven so that it can over-power those cravings and old-habits that can start coming back to the surface during maintenance. This is not to say that you can never have those treats and indulgences, but you need to be able to manage the frequency and the amount. Having this higher purpose will help you do that. So as part of maintenance, my recommendation is firstly, identify what is your big reason(s) for losing weight? Secondly, have ways to reconnect with that motivation when you’re in maintenance.
This is one of the things my clients and I work on throughout the program as part of, the Body Freedom Method™. There are five key principles to successful weight loss and maintenance, which I incorporate into the Body Freedom Method™. This is what helps them achieve permanent maintenance. The “why” is one of the key principles out of the 5. So think about your “why” and how you can reconnect with it, so that as you’re maintaining your weight, if you notice you’re starting to fall off-track, you can reconnect with that inner powerful motivation.
In my next blog, I’m going to discuss strategies for dealing with cravings and sabotaging behaviour patterns which often creep back in during maintenance, and it’s all about mindset. Until then, I encourage you to take some time, establish your “why”, and how you can reconnect with that motivation to ensure success in maintaining your weight loss.
I hope you found this information helpful.If you want to learn more:
- You can book a complimentary call, and discuss your challenges, and obstacles, and together we can determine if my program is right for you.
- You can also go to my Facebook page, @DrSherBovay, where you can find and join my Private Facebook group, The FastLane Mind Body Reset Mastery Group. Here, I host Facebook lives and frequent posts where you can engage and learn more.