You lost the weight, congratulations. Now, how do you keep it off?

Over and over, I see folks around me taking drastic steps to lose weight. Fruits only! Meat only! The high-fat diet, stuff yourself silly with bacon, cheese, butter. Change that, kill the fat totally.

The urge to transform is so powerful, the frustration so intense, that only an extreme step will do. It’s a fervent vow that this time you’ll do it, you’ll shed the kilos, and therefore, scrap everything, EVERYTHING.

Some folks manage to do it. They hit their goal. The clothes shrink, the confidence soars, the smile is bright.

And then, before you’ve broken in the new pair of jeans, the weight bounces back up.

Disappointment. Despair. Why, why, why? Such sacrifices were made. Gritting of teeth, killing the hunger pangs, suffering through mood swings – these are all not to be minimized. They were the stuff of big leaps.

And therein lies the problem. Because they were giant changes, they don’t last. It’s like sprinting, just all the time. Exhausting, and unsustainable.

Marathon runners don’t sprint, they take small steps, following a steady pace. It’s the only way to run the long distance. The body doesn’t feel overly taxed in one go. It feels normal.

To keep the weight off, it’s got to feel normal to lose it in the first place. Not drastic, not extreme, not unnatural. Small food items are foregone, not entire food groups or meals.

I read this in a wonderful little book, the Spirit of Kaizen. Trick your brain by making such tiny little changes that it doesn’t even notice what’s gone. One bite, one set of stairs.

And when it’s not noticed, it’s not going to be missed. And when it’s not missed, it’s not coming back.

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About Archana

I'm Indian and Canadian, and many other countries in between. I read comics every morning and believe the world could do with slowing down.
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