A couple of weeks ago, when we talked about how it was going for me so far now that I’m back on Weight Watchers, I mentioned that the scale was stuck after an initial loss of few pounds of post-cookie bloating. The scale stinks sometimes, doesn’t it?
I can happily report that my patience paid off and the scale finally budged. I’m back in the 170s and think, based on how I’ve felt at various weights in the last couple of years of “maintenance” that I’d like to get back to the upper-160s. I don’t think I’m going to focus too much on a particular number as a goal.
Patience can be a huge and difficult part of weight loss. I’ve said it before and it remains true, we can only control our inputs, not the output of our weight loss effort. The only part of this whole thing I have any control over is what I eat and drink and how I move and to lesser extent, how I feel. It can be incredibly frustrating to work hard at making good choices without seeing a reward on the scale, but in an important way, that stage is helpful too. Now that I’ve been on the maintenance side of things for a while, I have a new appreciation of how important those lessons in patience you get from a plateau are. This isn’t a process that’s ever “over” so the mental strength you get from keeping up your good habits even when the scale isn’t rewarding you is huge. In fact, that’s sort of the definition of maintenance isn’t it? You do good things and the scale doesn’t change. That can be really hard to get used to if you haven’t learn to appreciate the value of just doing those “good things.”
The “good things,” in terms of healthy foods in healthy amounts and regular exercise, are the most important part of all of this. Maintaining those habits is what I’m actually using Weight Watchers for this time around, rather than looking for a particular number on the scale. I’ve decided not to track on the weekends, but rather to just practice making healthy choices to fuel my long runs. The balance of feeding a long run versus counting points gets too frustrating for me and I like the break from tracking for a couple of days. I just pick back up with tracking on Monday. Might this slow down my weight loss? Sure. I’d probably lose weight faster if I stuck to my normal tracking through the weekend. However, in terms of overall health, I’m more interesting in practicing those healthy choices and fueling my exercise than getting to a certain number in a certain time so I’m willing to make that trade off.
I’ve made huge strides in patience with my weight loss since my first round of Weight Watchers a few years ago, where I got a little too focused on hitting those big milestones in a certain time frame. I think this perspective will serve me better in long run and since this is a “rest of my life” kind of journey, that’s definitely a success.
How do you stay patient when you’re trying to lose weight?