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The challenge to maintain is a gift

You-know-what-you-want-Lao-TzuAnd, let’s be honest – it is not easy!

One week ago today, I posted my blog about celebrating one year of success maintaining my 200+ pound weight loss. It was a record-breaking blog.

After posting it in the popular weight loss blog Loseit, more than 13,000 people read it in the first 8 hours; nearly 20,000 total! It caused my web traffic to slow, and at one point my website cracked under the pressure of heavy traffic. Yikes! (I apologize if you were caught in the crossfire and couldn’t get access.)

LoriSchaefer-After-7My blog post hit number one on the Loseit blog and remained there for 22 hours. And, I received more than 80 comments publicly and many more privately. All, big records for this girl who is just trying to help others with weight loss by sharing her story.

Giving it to you straight — weight maintenance requires diligence

What this tells me, and what I read in the comments, is how many people struggle in what we call “maintenance.” Life after significant weight loss. I asserted in the blog, and again this past weekend to a friend, that for me maintaining my weight loss is a greater challenge than getting the weight off in the first place. It is an ongoing, day-to-day process. I have to be aware, diligent and focused on my choices every day. Or the consequences are great. That said, my skills at doing so are far greater as well.

No, I cannot eat whatever I want and just work it off in the gym. To me, that’s a myth. It might work for some people, but not for me. I have to make careful healthy choices, monitor my weight on a regular basis, remain diligent about strength training and cardio, and keep it all in check.

And when I do slip and get off the “life” plan or have a bad day, just like in fat/weight loss, I have to restart. That means get back to my overall healthy lifestyle without wallowing or letting things get out of control or move in the wrong direction. I have accepted and embraced this as my “new” reality, a gift of transformation, and I believe that’s why it is working for me.

This honest account of “maintenance” scares or worries many people currently in fat/weight loss. Some find it discouraging and think: “Well if this is what I have to look forward to, why bother to even lose the weight?” To that, I say, simply – YOUR LIFE! That’s what you have to look forward to and celebrate! Look at me and tell me you don’t want a life of happiness and opportunity, joy and love!

My three tips for maintaining weight loss

There are three key factors to my success in weight loss maintenance:

1) Awareness – I am more in tune with my body and my mind – and what works for me and what doesn’t – than I ever have been. This is the first very important step and for me the new norm.

2) Diligence and focus. It’s true, I can’t let up. I can’t just eat whatever I want and hope for the best. Or, even eat what I want and work it off in the gym the next  day. My body and mind does not work that way. I have to live a healthy lifestyle every day.

3) Acceptance. I finally learned to accept that this was the case. This is my “new” life. And it totally beats the alternative. No question.

The gifts are a physical body that is healthier, a lifestyle of a fit and active person, and a foundation of happiness on the inside that simply cannot be topped. There is no better place to live than where I am living right now in this world of maintainance – that I call MY LIFE!

My experience is that when we are required to be aware of what is going on in our bodies – both physically and emotionally. When we are required to remain diligent and focused on our goals. And, when we accept the journey and can be grateful for it – THIS is when we accomplish truly great things!

For me, every day in “maintenance” is a gift. I mean it. Even on the days that I struggle – and there are many. On those days, I look for the lesson and try to learn and grow from it. But the truth is, I have not had ONE DAY – not one – where I was sorry that I embarked on a life-changing transformation. Or, that I regretted that I now have to work hard every day to maintain my weight and my healthy lifestyle.

For me, the ongoing challenge to maintain my weight and my healthy lifestyle is gift. A learning process. A journey. We are never “done.” I am a work in progress and getting better and better every day. I LOVE that!

Cheers to healthy living…for life.


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