The Maintenance Phase – Creating A New Life
Congratulations! You have been working out regularly now and practicing your healthy habits for at least six months. You have made some significant changes in your life. You have taken steps to reduce the stress in your life and the changes are beginning to feel like a part of your life. You are now thinking of these habits as part of your life, not something that you will abandon once the weight is lost. At 6 months, your chance of relapse will continue to decline.
It is important to be aware of and have a back up plan when the stress of life rears its head. Hopefully you have learned some new skills and are better equipped to deal with it.
Termination Phase – You’re A Weight Loss Master!
You have been successful at your weight loss efforts. You’ve been practicing your healthier lifestyle for 3-5 years now. It has become automatic for you. You no longer have to tell yourself to exercise; it has become part of your lifestyle. Your life has changed for the better and you love the results.
Sure, you have setbacks and stress in your life, who doesn’t? But you have learned to pick yourself up quickly and keep moving forward in your life. You don’t spend time beating yourself up for being imperfect. You look at stress and setbacks as things that will pass quickly and they do.
You are now and inspiration and role model to others. You will want to pass on your knowledge and let everyone know just how you did it! You’re a master!
Create A Fail Safe Zone
Permanent weight loss requires patience and determination. It is quite humbling to try to change long entrenched habits. It requires being gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up will only create more resistance to change. Understand that when you attempt to make changes you will backslide and have setbacks. Expect this. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting to do all this perfectly or being upset when you slip up or have setbacks.
Set yourself up for success! Set up a fail safe zone around you. Make it ok to make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. Remember when you tried to learn to ride a bike or learned to drive? I’m sure you didn’t do it perfectly at first. Talk to yourself as kindly as you would a young child struggling with its first steps.
If you’re not willing to make mistakes, you’re not willing to grow, change and learn!
People who struggle with compulsive overeating find change particularly difficult. They are often perfectionists and are very hard on themselves. It takes most people 30 days to create a new habit. If you are compulsive with food it may take even longer, so be patient with yourself.
Don’t tackle too many changes at once or you will doom yourself to failure. Slow change is the best change.
Here are some great affirmations for failure and setbacks. Use these over and over like a mantra while you are learning new habits and behaviors.
Mistakes are what I do, not what I am.
Mistakes are part of the learning process.
I allow myself to make mistakes as I am learning.
Mistakes are part of being human.
The only mistake in life is not to try.
Celebrate Your Success Along Each Step Of The Journey!
Success builds on success. Permanent weight loss is built on a series of small wins that translate into a larger permanent success. Set yourself up for success, not failure.To ensure your weight loss success you must celebrate your small victories on daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Be sure to reward yourself everyday with small treats (nonfood) when you meet your daily goals. Treat yourself to larger rewards weekly and a major reward at the end of month.
This will keep you motivated and excited to be pursuing your goals. Humans are wired for pleasure and respond to rewards just like other animals. Rewarding yourself frequently will train you to associate your new habits with pleasure instead of drudgery. This works well for chimps, dogs, and yes, even us humans. This is how you create new neural pathways and rewire your brain for success!