“You can never take a time out from healthy living” is a quote that I heard recently. It wasn’t the first time I heard the quote and it probably will not be the last.
When considering what to write this morning, that quote came into my mind. I realized how much I agree with that statement and feel as though that philosophy has helped me maintain my weight for almost 17 years.
The “can’t take a break” attitude can be looked at in one of two ways. You can look at it as a negative or a positive.
Frankly, the statistics on weight loss and weight maintenance tend to be pretty discouraging. The majority of people who diet eventually gain their weight back. I think about this a lot – because it makes me sad. I feel sad because I know how frustrating it is to lose 20 pounds and then gain it back. I know how hard it is to admit to yourself and your friends that you gained weight back or “fell off the weight-loss wagon.”
So the question of the moment is this: Do you ever get a break?
Seriously. Is there a time during or after a weight loss journey where you can take a break from your efforts?
I say – not really. Certainly you don’t have to count calories forever or stay on a weight loss program for the rest of your life, but you can never completely give up on being aware of your activity level and food choices, not if you want to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.
My personal mantra is “never go back,” and part of that philosophy is taking the necessary steps to never go back to how I used to relate to food and never step back into poor eating habits and out of control eating. What does that look like for me?
My Daily Steps to Long Term Healthy Living
1. Monitor my eating all day long. Not by counting calories or fat, but by paying attention to portion sizes and how colorful my plate is. Too much beige food on my plate isn’t good. After all, chocolate is a shade of beige – as are chips, crackers, etc.
2. Stay very active. In addition to my walking routine, I also try to stand up rather than sit, lift some weights when I watch television or talk on the phone, and volunteer to go upstairs and get things for the kids.
3. Monitor my weight daily.
4. Reserve “non-food” treats for special occasions. For me, this means an occasional cookie or chocolate dessert instead of grazing on candy or cookies all day long like I used to.
I guess the truth is, I don’t take a break. The interesting thing is to me is that I don’t feel oppressed by my lifestyle. Instead, I feel free. I feel free from wearing clothes I hated, feeling embarrassed walking into a room or feeling like a slave to food. The choices I make now keep me free from the overweight life.
In the final analysis, I don’t need a break – because taking breaks from healthy living got me to 305 pounds. As you lose weight, continually analyze what you are doing to make sure you can keep it up. Because if you constantly feel like you need a break – your weight loss plan might be hard to sustain forever.
Where are you? Do you think you need to take a break from weight loss and trying to live healthy? Diane