Being Bruce -: Keeping Weight Off Is Hard, Losing It Is Easy

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Keeping Weight Off Is Hard, Losing It Is Easy

For most of us, keeping weight off is a challenge. Losing weight is much easier in comparison to maintaining a healthy weight.

Losing Weight Is Easy

For most of us, keeping weight off is a challenge. Losing weight is much easier in comparison to maintaining a healthy weight.

I know what it's like to regain weight after losing it and how that can be an unhappy as well as unhealthy experience. As painful as it was emotionally to lose weight only to regain it again, I repeated the process five times, in my early 20s, mid 30s, late 40s, late 50s, and the last time in my early 60s. Thankfully since my mid 60s I found the perfect combination of nutrition, exercise, and support that has helped me get it off and keep it off, staying in my healthy weight range now for over four years. I am grateful have a huge sense of relief that yo-yo dieting is now behind me.

There are three major reasons people end up regaining lost weight:
  • Change in motivation - The energy and willingness to sacrifice that many of us can maintain fades in time. After you reach your goal, or make great progress, the original drive and motivation changes. If the system you are using doesn't support you going forward, then you're bound to rebound. This is why dieting doesn't work long term (see below).
  • Lack of ongoing support - Few of us can do this alone. Even if you work with a trainer, a coach, a buddy, or a workout group, unless you continue that relationship, you're set to fail.
  • Sabotage by family and friends - Unfortunately family members and friends can feel threatened by our weight loss. Some people know they need to lose weight but don't want to make the changes necessary so they undermine with disparaging comments or food pressure. Sometimes spouses and partners wonder if their relationship is in jeopardy. Whatever the reasons, without initial and ongoing support from family and friends, maintaining healthy weight is very difficult.
  • Stressful live events or pressures - Life happens. Job changes, injury or illness, family issues, financial pressures. There are many stresses that come up in life that can reverse all the progress we made and send us to comfort eating. It's a sad irony that just when we could use the extra energy, stamina, and self-confidence that could all help getting through whatever is going on, that's often the time when we turn to sweets, fats, and salty food for relief. (I have the t-shirt AND the bumper sticker on that one.)
  • Focus on dieting rather than a shift to healthy nutrition - Dieting is about deprivation. It's no fun, it's not sustainable, and it doesn't last. Any weight loss program that focuses on doing without or substituting food you do not enjoy is not going to last.
The good news is that there are many programs that combine appropriate exercise, healthy, nutritious, great-tasting food, and the right kind of support for your needs that can help you establish and maintain your healthy weight. The trick is not to fall into one of the many fast, unhealthy, and short term weight loss programs or routines that end up with you right back where you started.

You can do it, and we can help.

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