We have a garden growing right now in our backyard, and although I enjoy looking at it while I am doing dishes, driving up the driveway, or hanging around outside with the children, it takes a lot of work.
There are pests, there are deer, there are moles. (My cat used to get these but he has become lazy.) And standing between that perfect tomato and those pests is just me. If I get complacent at weeding or picking off bugs that I see, the garden will slowly go away.
The same thing happens with your weight loss or weight maintenance efforts.
If you allowcomplacency to set in, your weight loss efforts may yield fewer and fewer results.
In fact, enough complacency can cause your weight loss efforts to disappear completely. Believe me, I know. There were times during my 10 years of morbid obesity where I was clicking along okay with my weight loss. I had lost about 20 or 25 pounds and started to lose my focus. Instead of eating five crackers or one apple for a snack, I’d have both. Instead of using dressings and sauces sparingly, I would start pouring them directly on my food. And instead of watching my portions carefully, I began to just dump the food on my plate without really paying attention to the quantity I was consuming.
I became complacent. And that caused me to lose focus and regain all my weight. The weird thing is that I did know what I was doing but tried to convince myself that those extra bits of food or sauces did not really matter. And although no one is perfect all the time, I became so complacent that I fell right back into my old habits.
I wonder if this has ever happened to you?
That last time that I had to lose weight, I did a few things differently to stay aware, stay honest, and stay focused. Here are five tips for you to avoid complacency in your dieting efforts.
5 Tips To Avoid Complacency
1. Check in with yourself regularly. This may include writing in a journal every Friday night, tracking your food most days, weighing regularly, or sharing your progress with a trusted friend.
2. Expect the unexpected. Life happens. A lot of the times when I let complacency rear its ugly head were those times where I was stressed over unexpected bills, challenging work situations, or some other life event. Train yourself to accept that the unexpected really is just part of life and that your weight loss efforts do not have to stop.
3. Know the signs. These signs will vary by individual, but pay attention to rather you have slacked off in your exercise, have stopped checking in with yourself, or whether you are grazing on food all day long.
4. Have a plan. If you find yourself in these situations, learn to develop a positive way to deal with each of your slip-ups. If you find yourself grazing all day long, use my timer trick and set your timer for 15 minutes. If you are really hungry when it rings, then make a healthy choice.
5. Be kind to yourself. Often times, when I let complacency slip in, I’d also let those negative voices slip in. I’d mentally berate myself over my lack of self-discipline and then eat more. I should have told myself that we all mess up and to just acknowledge what happened and keep moving forward.
I hope that you never find complacency at your dieting doorstep, but if you do, perhaps now you will have some strategies to deal with it.
How about you? Does this happen to you and what’s your solution? Diane