Saturday, May 24, 2014
Every experience in our lives has something to teach us. Every ordeal, every struggle that we go through leaves their mark on our personality, our behavior, our way of thinking. Weight loss couldn't be an exception to this. We learn many things about ourselves while in the battle with our weight and we adapt our frame of mind according to the difficulties that we face and the problems we manage to overcome. But who would have thought that this wonderful process continues and gets even stronger after we reach our weight goals and start deciphering the maintenance riddle?
All of you maintainers out there know what happens when we enter the maintenance phase. We go through a period of "deflation". There is no obvious progress anymore and our enthusiasm starts to decrease. People's comments get rarer and the amazement in our great accomplishment starts deflating like a helium balloon. Soon, people register us in their minds as normal-weight persons. And the journey is over for everyone. But not for us. Because this is the milestone of our journey. This is where we are tested as to whether we have learned the most important lesson: how not to quit.
This "deflation" period actually introduces us to the battle that we'll be fighting for the rest of our lives. If we let our vigilance sleep, the weight will come back. If we start forgetting about the healthy habits we have established, the weight will come back. If we loosen our diligence, the weight will come back. And occasionally we will do all these. And the weight will, indeed, start coming back. And we'll start practicing the most important lesson we've learned: how not to quit. And how to keep going without the excitement of having lots of pounds to lose and expecting to see huge changes on our bodies. There's no cheering and applause in maintenance, no standing ovations. Just pure will to continue fighting against the odds.
But what's really amazing is that this fighter's mentality, this will to go on and not quit follows us to all other aspects of our lives.
I used to be a quitter before. I would easily forget about my goals upon stumbling on the very first difficulties.
I recently had to deal with many obstacles while fighting unemployment and trying to set up a small business of my own. I hit a wall many times and I will definitely find myself in the same situation in the near future. But I realized that the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. I would always try to find a way to climb the wall. And keep on trying. Until I hit the next one.
The mind of a non-quitter. The gift of maintenance, one of the best life coaches we've ever had. Lessons learned while fighting with the weakest parts of ourselves. Lessons practiced daily.
For the rest of our lives.