If you’ve achieved success with weight-loss, you’re probably familiar with the all-too-common fear of weight regain. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into eating right, cooking at home and exercising often. You’ve ridden the ups and downs of the scale with both confidence and trepidation, but in the end, you’ve pulled through.
The reality however is that weight regain does happen. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that it’s only downhill from here. It only means that your body has gone through lots of physical changes, so now it’s time to re-assess what you’re doing to keep improving your health.
What’s Next after Weight Regain?
So the scale crept back up. What now? Before you panic, remember that a number doesn’t hold any worth beyond the value you assign it. It’s an indicator of your health status, not a red letter “A” or a symbol of poor character. And what comes up can also come down.
Now let’s address the situation one piece at a time:
Do a Mental Assessment and Makeover
First, ask yourself these important questions:
- Have I recently experienced any significant life changes or complex emotions?
- How am I managing daily stress and anxiety?
- If I had to rate my average daily mood on a scale of 1-10, what would it be?
- What thoughts are constantly on my mind?
Your answers to these questions will shed a lot of light on your mental health, which consequently affects your weight. If you’re feeling anything less than positive on an average and everyday basis, it’s time to reflect on what changes you might need to make to bring happiness and clarity back to your life — even if you originally lost weight without them.
Look Deeply at Your Behavior Patterns
Weight-loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Long-term success requires healthy behaviors that turn into habits, not those which are only temporary. Are your behaviors drastically different than when your weight was going down? Take a long and hard look at your habits with food, sleep, exercise, activity, time management and more. Ask yourself these other important questions:
- Has my relationship with food changed in the recent past?
- Am I getting as much physical activity as I was before?
- Am I making room for rest and self-care in my busy schedule?
- What types of foods am I purchasing on a regular basis?
- How am I most likely to spend my free time?
- Am I eating out more or at home more?
- Am I keeping track of my behaviors that relate to weight?
- Am I seeing a health professional regularly?
If any of these answers are less than satisfactory, they might be a factor in your weight regain. Use this time to compare your current lifestyle to before. If it seems like you’ve fallen off the wagon somewhere along the way, dust yourself back off and know that you can begin again.
For more information on regrouping after setbacks, CLICK HERE to read an empowering article from the Obesity Action Coalition’s Weight Matters Magazine.