What’s Next?

Complacency is a difficult word to talk about in regards to weight loss. None of us like to think that we would ever get complacent during our journey. But sometimes we do. I know I did. I’m categorizing complacency as different than just a planned maintenance. You may feel differently, but to me, complacency is getting comfortable where you are – even though you have not reached your next goal. And to be clear, the next goal does not have to be about weight, although it certainly can be.

Complacency can occur in all areas of our lives. I’ve gotten complacent at housework, jobs I have had and weight loss. Complacency at weight loss caused me quite a few problems. The very first time complacency got me was way back in high school. I lost 20 pounds over the summer before my junior year and after I lost the weight I thought I had conquered my love of Oreos and fast food. But NO! I had not and promptly gained the 20 pounds back.

When I got married, I experienced a feeling of complacency. I was married, I was happy and didn’t realize the effect overeating was causing on my health and eventually my weight. I was complacent until I started to outgrow my pants and had to keep buying bigger and bigger sizes. I lost a bit of weight, got complacent again and gained it back. The same cycle happened during my morbidly obese years as well.

One thing that helped me avoid continued complacency during my final, successful weight loss was always thinking ahead to what was next for me.

I learned the importance of setting realistic goals and kept pushing myself forward. I set easy goals like walking one more minute, watching my caffeine consumption or fitting into the next size down pants. I also learned to fight the fear that I feel triggered some of the complacency. I believe I experienced some fear when my weight hit certain milestones. When I got below 250, I felt nervous. 200 pounds found me just as nervous but very excited. After both those milestones I had to remind myself to set some new weight and non-weight related goals.

I’d encourage you to think about the role complancey may play along your journey. Not just your current journey, but journey’s you have experienced in the past. Don’t let complacency or fear stop you from reaching your goals. 

Have you ever thought about complacency and planning what’s next to help you stay focused?  Diane

26 thoughts on “What’s Next?

  1. Miz says:

    and its not a great word in any realm of life huh?

    in a way my day to day is a continuous focus on and battle against that C-WORD.

  2. Roxie says:

    As always, Diane, thoughtful topic.

    As I yo-yo’d up and down the scale, my issue was that I was either ON or OFF a diet/program/regiment. If I was ON, I was losing. If I was OFF, I was gaining. Simple as that. I didn’t have time to get complacent. I never maintained long enough to get complacent.

    I still have to fight the arrogance of thinking I’ve got it whipped this time. But it is easier in some ways, I’ve made and adopted and have come to like (if not always love) the true lifestyle choices that make long-term maintenance possible.

    Now where I get complacent is at work – worked in the same place for almost 30 years! That’s a tough nut to crack!

  3. Diane says:

    Something I learned in my spiritual training is that there is no resting place! We are beings like a river, always flowing and there is always something just around the river bend. If we hit a rock and stall, the waters of life will still flow around us , and over time they will break us down to nothing. If we keep moving , never simply settle and think about what we want to see just around the bend, we participate in the flow of life. I think it is no different with weight loss. While there may be an imaginary finish line stretching across that river, the river still continues to flow well beyond it. The skills we learn while on the journey will still apply after that finish line, and keep us from getting wedged behind the boulders, fallen tree limbs and keep flowing.

    Great posts ! you always make me think with your posts ! While it seems that different factors led us to a weighty place in life, a lot of the underlying things are very much the same . It’s nice to have companions on the journey at so many different stages .

  4. cathy hurd says:

    boy oh boy does this sound familiar lol you know, i can exercise till the cows come home, and love it no problems there. but when it comes to food, no matter how much you think you are in controle, look out. i know with me i think well i cycled 50km today and did a two hour work out at the gym so having a few chips (my down fall) are ok. but those few chips soon can very easily for me lead into a bag or two or three….

  5. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    OH YES, I have thought & lived that word!!! And this that you wrote: I also learned to fight the fear that I feel triggered some of the complacency.

    That is something I am still fighting.. the fear that brings it!

  6. Emergefit says:

    I think this really just comes down to commitment. The act of accepting that there is little wiggle room in the life-long commitment. In a Sun Tzu kind of way, that acceptance is a big part of winning the war, not just a few battles along the way.

    Yes, I have complacent moments, and perhaps even a complacent week, but through them it is always very forward in my mind, that this can’t last. It has to be that way. I think of the larger me and I say, “never gain, never again.”

  7. Desert Agave says:

    Interesting topic. I think I do have to fight complacency. Right now I’m smaller than I have been in over ten years. And a part of me wants to become complacent, even though I’m still over 200 pounds. I think having goals to shoot for — reaching 100 pounds lost, fitting into the next size down, swimming more than 50 yards at a time, etc. — help to fight that complacency, like you say.

  8. julie says:

    It’s very easy to get complacent, but I’ve found that if I even blink, I regain weight. Lesson learned! I’m trying to find my new normal – I’m not willing to completely give up sugar, bread, bacon, cheese, etc., but have to adjust how often/much I eat of these things (not much, unfortunately), to not gain weight. I’ve never really gotten anywhere with willpower, so have to do this in a way that isn’t punishing.

  9. Jane says:

    Complacency and fear–great topic, and timely as well. I can easily fall victim to both of them, and I guess I have, thus the procrastination with getting on a weight loss plan. I know that I became comfortable in my world, whether or not it’s what I really wanted for myself. Why have I been comfortable at 70 pounds overweight? I’m not sure, but in my case, I have a pretty good life, in spite of the extra weight–it’s just not quite the life that I want for myself. This has been an issue for me currently, as I struggle to get the weight off, and I have to remind myself that I can look better, feel better, be more more active, and perhaps live longer.

  10. Dr. J says:

    Any struggle that takes a while will wear you down. When I am faced with that obstacle, I use any means I can come up with to stay on track! Usually staying in the present with the short term goal of getting through the day one step at a time. I got through medical school and marathons that way.

  11. 'Drea says:

    For me, I have to concentrate on my non-weight goals because my focus on losing weight and eating better preoccupies my mind and I let other things fall by the wayside.

  12. Leah says:

    Breaking complacency and planning for how to start losing again is right where I’m at. This post has me pondering other areas of my life as well. Thank you for that.

  13. LovesCatsinCA says:

    Hi. Part way through my weight loss journey, when I’d dropped around 20 pounds and had normalized my blood pressure, I got complacent. I thought–my blood pressure is normal now, I have no headaches, I’m healthy enough and I don’t need to do anything more. I got lazy about writing down what I ate. And the holidays came… While I only gained a few pounds over the holidays, what I lost was energy, as well as the habit of tracking my energy intake/expenditures.

    I tried to “get back on the wagon” after the holidays and lost a couple pounds, but really didn’t feel motivated until I got an iPod touch and downloaded an “app” to let me track everything electronically (which also greatly simplified calorie calculation.) It was actually a game to me, and FUN–balancing exercise and food, planning ahead so I wouldn’t run through the day’s calories too early in the day… looking at what I was eating to see how much fruits and vegetables I was eating, and how I felt if I ate more or less protein that day until I found the macronutrient balance of fat to protein to carbs that works best for me. Interestingly, despite all the people who say you should eat 65% of calories from carbs and low fat, or 40-30-30, I found that my PERSONAL best ratio was more like 50-55 carb, 25-30 fat, 20% protein for satiety and blood sugar balance–something I wasn’t able to calculate when writing stuff down manually…

    So I not only rid myself of the complacency, and the excesses of the holidays, I got insight into what made me feel best, de-plateaued and lost the rest of my excess weight. I think the complacency experience was valuable though–every time I’m tempted to say “I’m normal weight now–why can’t I stop doing this?” I think about the holidays and go “Oh no you don’t.” I think about how much more energy I have now. I think about all the compliments I get for looking better. I think about how much better I feel. And I recommit to tracking, tracking, tracking for the rest of my life because it’s worth it. I didn’t gain weight overnight, but little bits from year to year over more than a decade–so I need to be vigilant it doesn’t come back.

    The irony about writing it all down and tracking calories is that it gives me greater freedom, not less. I can budget for a special evening out or for a vacation and anticipate eating more calories that day. I can also cut back 50-100 calories here and there a few days before or after, and add a little activity, and get my weight to stay in my zone without feeling like I’m “dieting” or deprived.

    Do I ever eat more than I have allotted? Sure. Do I eat past full sometimes or munch in response to stress? Yes. But overall, the habit of keeping track of what I eat has led to more discipline. Now on to the next challenges!

  14. Taryl says:

    Very timely topic! I have fallen complacent so many times in my life, and in weightless too! I became complacent in October of last year and up through November, and the scale suffered for it, wi a stall and then a small regain. Fortunately I was still committed to my overall goal, even if I briefly lost sight of it, and was able to catch myself, do a lot of praying, and continue back din the scale again (then I became pregnant, but that’s another post ;)).

    You’re right that keeping sight of goals and having a check system in place tend to stop complacency or at least backsliding! Giving myself an acceptable maintenance range and allowing plenty of slow, moderate times along the journey keep me from burning out, and keeping sight of my goals for health, appearance, AND the scale gives me a nice variety of things to work toward on every leg of the journey.

  15. MB says:

    I’ve been struggling to lose for so long I can’t remember feeling complacent. I’ve always had my eye on the ultimate goal but can understand getting to a point and thinking I’m “normal” now, do I really need to lose those remaining 10-20 pounds? I’ll let you know when I get to that point.

  16. Jenn says:

    I never think that complacency is a bad thing until I move past it and realize that I was willing to settle for less because I was too lazy or afraid to move forward. I’m 20 lbs away from my goal weight, but let myself believe for awhile that it was too skinny and that I didn’t want to look anorexic or weird. I will not let the number rule me, but I know that losing more weight will only help me be that much healthier.

  17. Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) says:

    I was definitely complacent last week, and wrote about it. The week before I got away with some late night snacking, sweets, etc. and somehow lost weight. So I upped that consumption, and the scale told the rest of the story. I need to be MORE motivated to stay disciplined after a loss.

  18. Kirsten (results not typical girl) says:

    I just got married last month. I’m so happy and unfortunately, I’m having a really hard time with the eating stuff. it’s like I suffer from diet A.D.D. I think I’ve punched the reset button hard enough only to find myself being drawn to crappy food. One day at a time though. Fresh slate, ready, go. Thanks for the great read and the inspiration.

  19. Ashley says:

    It’s really interesting to think about goals, especially as someone nearing maintenance. I have a couple goals on the horizon — a 10K, a half marathon — and some physical weight loss/toning goals, too, but I recently realized that I have to think about what’s next. One thing that crossed my mind was becoming a group fitness instructor.

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