Losing weight and getting fit is hard. All along the journey I have worked hard, experimented, learned from mistakes, acquired skills, and changed habits that will continue for the rest of my life. As I worked through the maintenance phase of my journey I realized that all the skills I acquired along the way still come into play.
I have come to think of all the effort I’ve put into the journey as “Honing my Sword”. I have created a sharp edged sword, used it in battle, won the battle, and I am continuing to keep my sword sharp and I still need to use it now and then. It may not seem as daunting as when I first started the journey, but it still takes effort to keep my blade sharp.
The Various Tools
For some the tool that needs to be sharpened is the mental mindset against emotional eating. For others it is consistency at the gym or even getting to the gym. For others it is using motivational tools and learning to find an easier way to think about food.
For everyone it is about setting up your environment for success.
The whole journey requires a lot of patience and even more so in maintenance since progress is much slower. Early in the process you tend to lose fat relatively quickly but you still have frustrating plateaus and life stresses that slow you down.
Even if you do everything right you will have plateaus. The body seems to make progress in “chunks” that are not linear. During these times I like to focus on the victories and “ride one victory to the next”; setting a positive mindset and tuning out negative thoughts.
Everyone has a victory to remember:
- It could be friends or family noticing your weight loss or fitting into some new clothes (or some old clothes).
- It could be reaching a goal you had set for yourself.
- It could be completing a 24 hour fast or even skipping a meal.
- It could be you getting compliments on how you look or a new personal best at the gym.
- It could simply be you getting to the gym consistently for a period of time.
- It could be someone in the gym noticing how hard you work out.
In maintenance you still have victories and the same positive mindset can be applied. One of the biggest victories that you should always remember is how far you have come; how much you have succeeded since you started the journey. Always be kind to yourself and reward yourself in ways that do not involve food. Items you need for the gym or new clothing are nice rewards.
Capture ways to remember your victories to help focus on them throughout your journey.
For me it was simply finally having the knowledge to eat less. Getting to the gym and enjoying exercise was and still is integrated into my life as much as tying my shoes or brushing my teeth.
The Venus Index is still my all-time favorite workout and I believe it gave me the shape I now have. It also helped me to belong to a support community and to have the support of family and friends in my life.
But after experiencing success I find I still need to put in effort to keep my mindset sharp and focus on the positive. I still have to put effort into eating the right amount for me. I still use every tool I have acquired and developed and honed and I now realize these will be what I continue to use for the rest of my life.
It’s Not Wasted Effort
What you do now will continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.
It is not wasted effort!
Do not be discouraged or think the effort only helps you get through the day today. Not only are you resolving the specific situation you currently deal with, but as you succeed you are honing your sword and keeping it sharp for all future battles.
Sharpen your sword and win the battle,