Have you ever found yourself thinking, “once I lose the weight I can… (insert your dream goal)”? Whether that’s feeling like you can live the life you’ve always wanted, be done with restrictive eating for good, or wear that bikini with confidence… We all tend to approach weight loss like this at first. We look at it like it’s a finish line we just need to reach to get to the end of our journey. But the problem with that is that when we inevitably gain any weight back, we feel like we’ve completely failed. The truth is, everyone’s weight loss journey is a fluctuating pendulum – the trick is learning how to stay in a weight zone that you’re comfortable in. So in this blog we’re diving into keeping the weight off!

Trust me, I’ve been there! Keeping the weight off is a challenge I’ve faced myself, as well as everyone I know who’s ever been on a weight loss journey. It’s one of the top reasons women come to me looking for help, and maybe you’re in the same boat. You’ve lost weight in the past (maybe even multiple times), but for whatever reason the weight always seems to come back. So in this blog we’re diving into why “keeping the weight off” can be misleading, as well as the things you can start doing to help you make your weight loss journey sustainable! 

If you want to keep reading… keep on reading! 😉

But if you’d rather catch my YouTube video on this topic, check it out here!

We ALL want to lose the weight and keep it off for good… but sometimes the phrase “keeping the weight off” can be misleading. It often gives us the impression that weight loss is a one-and-done venture. Something you can go balls to the wall dedicated to, and then once you’ve met your goal, you should be good for all eternity. But the reality of a weight loss journey is that it’s not about a fixed point in time. Your weight WILL fluctuate. I’ll share my own journey as an example for how much fluctuation a weight loss “success story” can have… 

As a type A person to a tee, I’ve kept VERY detailed logs of my weight loss endeavors (surprise, surprise). When I first lost weight it was a TON (I’m talking OVER 60 pounds!). But I did it with the mindset that losing the weight was a finish line. Hell or high water I was GOING to lose the weight… and I did. And I even kept it off for a while, but because my mindset wasn’t in the right place I completely sacrificed my social life to maintain it. I was so afraid of losing the body I had worked hard for, that I had to be PERFECT. I never took a single day off from macro tracking.

This eventually led to burnout and me going into full on fuck-it mode. Which caused me to gain a solid 20 pounds back rather quickly. And this wasn’t the only time I’ve gained weight back! Although each subsequent time the weight gain has been less and more in a range I’m comfortable with, the point is that in order to lose the original 60+ pounds to get me to my goal weight and STAY there, I’ve had to lose over 105 pounds in my journey (re-losing the weight I put back on time and time again). That number is only going to keep going up as my weight continues to fluctuate (as it should!) 

As someone who can say I’ve successfully lost weight and kept it off, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way. Anyone can implement these tips to start making their own weight loss journey more sustainable. First is letting go of looking at yourself through a lens of criticism, and replacing it with one of curiosity and learning. And trust me, I KNOW this is hard. As a type A perfectionist I was the QUEEN of being hard on myself for making a “mistake”. But in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, it’s important to figure out why you’re struggling in the first place.

Think about the things that went well and the things that didn’t the last time you gained weight back. Then, you can make changes and move forward confidently. In my own weight loss journey, every time I lost and gained weight, there was always something new for me to learn about myself. There’s no perfect way to lose weight. There’s no perfect strategy to keeping the weight off, so you’ve got to start by figuring out what works for YOU.

Second is addressing your habits through that lens of curiosity. The truth is, you can lose all the weight in the world. If you put forth zero effort into learning what habits negatively impact your weight loss journey as well as the habits that IMPROVE it, you’re going to find yourself back at square one. For example, when I’m starting to get to the upper limit of my weight range that I’m comfortable in, I start adjusting the habits I know make a difference. I rein in how many adult bevs I’m drinking, minimize desserts, and I might hit the gym a little harder. I start making smaller adjustments to my daily habits rather than going straight to calorie slashing (more on why this actually could PREVENT you from losing weight here)! 

And finally, find some BALANCE. It’s OKAY to have a life! If you’re stuck in a state of trying to be perfect, never EVER taking a day off, or tracking every single morsel of food… you’re setting yourself up for burnout. And I’m telling you this from experience as someone who has done it more than once! Trust me, a weight loss journey that is a balanced lifestyle change is the only way to find lasting results that doesn’t turn your life into a total suckfest. 

A big takeaway from this is to realize that “keeping the weight off” is not a fixed number or point in time.  Let’s say you lost 25 pounds and you feel and look E.X.A.C.T.L.Y how you want weighing around 140 pounds (this is a made up example, stay with me here), that’s great, enjoy it! BUT, and this is a big but, you need to accept that life WILL happen. And it may make the scale migrate north a bit… 144… 146. All that gets to be okay!

Like I mentioned earlier, I have a “range” of weight I feel most comfortable in. For me personally, it’s a 10 pound range. At the bottom of it I am quite lean, at the top I know I am a few pounds away from my jeans not being as comfortable as I like. So, if I’ve been more flexible and start to see numbers at the top of the range, I sharpen up my diet and exercise to keep me in my comfortable “range.” So yes, keeping the weight off is very much part of what my team and I teach our clients. But, that involves understanding that the scale WILL fluctuate. It’s how we react to it that sets us up for long term success.

In my free ebook The 5 Traits of Most Successful Dieters, I talk about the idea of balance as a retractable dog leash. You find the weight range that you feel comfortable and healthy in, and you use the leash to keep you there. For example, summer is coming up and it’s not uncommon during this time of year to enjoy some more adult beverages than usual (did someone say margaritas on the beach?!), have some more backyard barbecues, and go on day trips where you’re a bit more snacky than usual… That’s OKAY.

It’s GOOD to enjoy your life, and to have times when you see the scale reading a little higher. Your retractable dog leash lets you have this wiggle room. At the same time, it’s giving you a specific point at which you can notice you’re straying a little too far from where you’re comfortable, so you click that button and rein it in. Everybody’s version of balance is unique to them. It’s important to find what works for you to have any kind of sustainability in your weight loss journey. 

Most importantly, if you’re reading this because you’ve gained weight back and you’re frustrated with yourself… know that you are NOT a failure. EVERYONE (yes, even the fitspo people on Instagram) experiences the ups and downs of a weight loss journey. There are times for working harder, and times for letting your hair down… but it’s all about finding the balance and methods for keeping the weight off that work for YOU. 

If you’re feeling like you don’t even know where to begin, let’s chat about working together to see if it would be a good fit! I know you can lose the weight and keep it off in a range you’re happy with, it might just take a little help and accountability to get you there.

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