What is the first thing someone asks after learning of another’s weight loss…
“Will (or did) they keep it off?????”
As a person who has struggled with my weight my entire life I have seen plenty of “Before” and “After” images. This illusion leads us into what I will call “Happily Ever After Syndrome” or HEAS for short.
HEAS makes you think that once you hit your goal weight,
The work is over
The struggle is done
The battle has ended
The race is complete
Imagine you get up one morning head to the kitchen sink for a drink only to discover that there is no water. Big problem. So you get out your tools, climb under the sink and start checking it over. You check it over from top to bottom to find out what is wrong. Ten times you go over it, to try to find the cause of the big problem - but you cannot find it. There seems to be nothing wrong with the sink, yet still it produces no water.
What do you suppose the problem is?
The problem of course does not lie in the sink. The problem is very likely farther up the pipe. A clog, street maintenance work, or the main water is shut off. The solution to your problem is on a far larger scale than where you are focused. The problem is that you just can’t look further than this sink. You are missing the cause of the big problem because you’re missing the big picture. Believing in an “after” is only looking at your one sink. It doesn't fix the greater issue.
What lifestyle led you to a health and/or weight problem?
Have you addressed these big picture issues?
Ask anyone who has lost weight, keeping weight off is far more challenging. Without addressing the reasons for weight gain (whether medical, emotional, or otherwise) an individual’s extra weight is not actually the problem. The problem is what got you there.
I will not have an after. Not until I die (sorry for the morbidity). I only have a now. Focusing on the current keeps me away from HEAS and empowers me to truly develop a lifestyle. This goes against our ‘quick fix’ society. It isn't a quick fix, you don’t achieve your goal then ride off into the sunset. True lifestyle change is a day in day out choice. You have to keep choosing, striving, and goal setting.
My goals have to evolve along with me.
Goal setting recommends using the S. M. A. R. T. method. Your goals should be; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Related. Creating a goal that evolves doesn't need to stray from this format. I propose we start creating S. M. A. R. T. E. R. goals.
If we focus on evolving our goals and reproducing them, this opens up a world of possibilities to truly create a lasting lifestyle of healthy choices.