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For Weight Loss Maintenance, Your New Goal Is…

Posted Sep 10 2010 2:00am

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 your food.

Some short-term goals for maintaining an optimistic outlook are:

Making daily efforts

Working out your doubts

Valuing small steps

Persisting 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 gaining weight.

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 of optimism.


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