I was recently watching a popular late-night news/entertainment show. The topic was weight loss and keeping it off. The guests had lost really remarkable amounts of weight. I was really into watching the show and was shaking my head in agreement with much of what was being said. And then all of a sudden it was like I heard the sound of screeching brakes….
One of the panelists said something to the effect of, “Once you’ve lost the weight and learned the lesson it really isn’t hard to keep it off.”
Wow. I couldn’t believe my ears, because that really isn’t my experience at all. I thought of how discouraging his remarks could be to people who are really fighting hard to maintain a significant weight loss.
Honestly, that was my perception when I first completed my time on The Biggest Loser. I thought it would be “a piece of cake” (no pun intended) to exercise lightly, eat healthily and maintain my dramatic weight loss. I found that not to be true. It’s hard work maintaining a significant weight loss. I actually think losing the weight was easier.
But I don’t want my words to be discouraging, just as I wouldn’t want the words of that talk show guest to be discouraging.
In my situation, it took me 34 years to get to where I was. It took me roughly eight months to lose the weight I needed to. And I fully expect that it will take me the rest of my life to maintain it. I don’t want to give anyone a false sense of expectation. But I don’t want to convey a false sense of discouragement either.
I think healthy living and good choices regarding food, exercise and quality of life in general are choices we all must make daily. This may surprise you, but I want to always remember the fat girl inside me because I don’t want to ever go back there. But I’ve got to be honest when I say my desire for southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy hasn’t gone away just because I lost nearly 100 pounds.
So when I heard this guy the other night quip, “Eh, it’s easy.” I thought that was a dangerous message to send. We have to combat the “Hollywood mentality” anyway—when we see movie stars drop their baby weight in what seems like minutes after having the baby. And the truth is—at least for me—maintenance is not easy.
But—and this is important—it is possible and it’s so very worth it!
I refer often to my “journey to good health and fitness.” It’s an amazing journey with so many benefits. I am thankful for the body that I have and for the strength that I possess.
I guess what I want to share with those of you reading this—is that it may be a struggle, but please don’t let that discourage you. Anything worth having is worth working hard for and for exerting continuous effort towards. Author Liane Cordes wrote, “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.”
So I encourage you to continue in your effort to unlock your own potential. You’ll be so glad you did.