You’ve finally reached your weight goal and it's time to transition to maintenance . . .
It should be a time of great celebration, but often there’s fear and resistance.
Many people are afraid that if they stop trying to lose they’ll gain. Yo-yo dieting memories flood in.
Without guidance and patience this process can go awry.
In order to set yourself up for success in the maintenance phase, here are the 4 things you should do first:
Congratulations!! You have just achieved your goal!! Amazing. This is not to be taken lightly—you have worked hard, made many changes and stuck with them. You’re awesome!
Acknowledge and celebrate this fantastic achievement. Without food. Specifically, choose a gift or experience that you would not normally treat yourself to and dedicate it to this momentous occasion. You deserve this.
Notice what your body looks and feels like right now. This is your new baseline. This number on the scale and this size of clothing is your new normal. Yay!
Assuming you chose a goal weight that was both healthy and maintainable, this is the body you will have for the rest of your life. This is a time for deep acceptance and gratitude.
Mentally prepare for some specific changes by first anticipating their arrival. Then welcome them as part of your new normal.
This may seem obvious, but depending on how much weight you lost, you had a long stretch when the scale kept going down. The needle should now stay in a 2-pound range and this stability indicates you are on the right track.
Your new normal is now normal for them too, so they are unlikely to continue commenting on your fabulous success (they have their own things to worry about). Let it be replaced by your newfound inner confidence. A calm knowing.
No more “fat” section and “skinny” section. All the clothes in your closet will fit (or should—get rid of everything that doesn’t). This shift in mindset prepares you to succeed in weight maintenance.
People discover that the difficult life issues they had when they weighed 20 pounds more are still around now that the weight is gone. Losing weight can do a lot for a body and outlook, but on its own does little to solve big life problems. Realizing this can be a shocker.
The good news is you have done something that few people do—you changed your behavior on a consistent basis and turned those new behaviors into habits over time. So now that you know what you can accomplish, your confidence in tackling other problems legitimately goes up. You’ve got this.
You’ve done phase one—lost the extra weight (yippee!). Phase two is about to begin—lifelong maintenance. And in between there’s a little prep work to do. Once you’ve celebrated, taken stock, mentally prepared and managed expectations you’re well positioned to succeed at maintenance and beyond.