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The Worst Word in the Weight Loss World is Maintenance

scale weightOK, so I lied in my prior post. Well, not technically. Getting started with weight loss is hard, there’s no doubt about it. The fact of the matter is that when you are actively losing weight, people still remember the “old” you. They pat you on the back and empower you, and, I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty great.

Once you’ve met your goal, you kind of feel like a rock star. People congratulate you, want to copy you, ask for your secrets – in short, you are, for a brief moment in time, the greatest thing to hit the weight loss world.

And then the “new” you becomes the “old” you – your new shape is the norm. The adulation is gone, the excitement has vanished – it’s just you and the every day monotony of it all. I’d venture to say that this would be one of the reasons many people regain lost weight. Maintaining a large weight loss is less personally fulfilling than losing weight – the longer you keep it off the less special it seems to other people.

I was chatting with Bill the other day and he had a great idea. After a big loss, people start to see you as being a “normal person” rather than someone who worked really hard and lost weight. Wouldn’t it be interesting to walk around wearing a picture of my “fat self” all the time? Well, yes and no. I don’t find that I need the pats on the back that much any more, as I grow more comfortable in my new body. In fact, when people find out about my weight loss, it almost embarrasses me – it’s easy to see what they are thinking. “Eighty pounds? Wow! She must have been really heavy!”

No, I don’t think I’ll wear a picture around. I will, however, keep plugging away at the running, searching for the fruits and veggies, and making good choices. It’s the best thing for me, even though it’s more difficult than I ever imagined.

June 22nd, 2009