Your old goal was to lose weight. Your new goal is to keep
the weight off forever.
Alcoholics Anonymous has this well-known saying: One day at
a time. This is the case with weight-loss maintenance; it’s one day at a time.
Your long-term goal stays within reach if you meet your daily and
moment-to-moment short-term goals.
What are these short-term goals? Of course, food is
involved. But more to the point, mind states such as being realistically
optimistic carry more weight. Optimism in the case of weight control has to do
with maintaining an expectation that you will reach your long-term goal. This
is a non-food kind of maintaining. But it’s key to what happens between you and
Some short-term goals for maintaining an optimistic outlook
out your doubts
in the face of little adversities
Take the case of Mariah who set standards for herself that
were too high. She didn’t realize this was what she was doing. Nevertheless,
the result was she couldn’t be optimistic. Each step in her maintenance efforts
was not good enough, and her pessimism grew and grew. This, as you can imagine,
was not the weight-control climate she needed. Before long she was back to
With some ingenuity and self-insight, though, Maria was able
to pull the fat out of the fire. She recognized the dynamics governing her
actions. She began, with the aid of a very good friend, to take steps to keep
her standards for herself within reach.
Mariah lost the weight she had regained, and became more
optimistic. She had solved a life-long problem, one that had fed into her
defense of “eat now”, “deal later". The momentum from solving this dynamic boosted
her self-confidence, and the increase in her self-confidence raised her level