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I Maintained My Weight Loss for Over a Year, & Here’s How I Did It

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UW Stout chapter.

Losing weight is hard, but maintaining weight loss can be even harder. Once you finally hit your goal, there can be a feeling of  “now what?” Between January and September of 2016, I lost 35 pounds and I’ve managed to keep my weight constant for over a year. While losing the weight wasn’t easy, I found that maintaining my weight loss was just as hard- if not harder. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, whether you’ve just started or you’re already at your goal weight and looking to keep it constant, here are some tips that helped me maintain my weight loss.

1. Switch your mindset from losing weight to lifelong health

You’ve already lost a couple pounds! Congrats girl! Losing weight is a huge accomplishment. After you’ve hit your goal and you’re happy with your body, it’s time to switch gears a little. Chances are, you probably picked up some healthy habits along the way. Rather than just throwing away all your progress and reverting back to old ways, work these habits into your daily life if you haven’t already. Try to focus on healthy habits that you can work into your day-to-day life, like continuing to find healthy recipes and workouts you enjoy. These are the things that will help you achieve long-term fitness.

2. Set goals for yourself that don’t have anything to do with your weight

Losing weight is rewarding, but if your only focus is the numbers, you could form some pretty nasty habits. Rather than setting exclusively weight-related goals, set a goal that benefits another area of health. Challenge yourself to run a 5k or eat more clean foods. Fitness is so much more than how much you weigh. Keep yourself motivated by trying new things and reaching accomplishments you never thought you’d even attempt. You may even be more proud of yourself for an accomplishment than the weight you’ve lost. I grew more passionate about running during my fitness journey and I recently completed my first half marathon. While I’m proud of my weight loss, I was even more proud to cross that finish line because I never thought I would ever run a half marathon.

3. Keep on doing what you’re doing

A big part of being healthy is consistency and not letting yourself fall into old habits. If you met your goal by changing your diet, hitting the gym more often, or by simply making small changes such as taking the stairs and walking the long way to class, don’t quit. If you use a reward system, then keep using it. My motivation is promising myself that if I go to the gym Monday through Friday, I buy myself a latte from my favorite cafe at the end of the week. If you’ve found your “thing” that keeps you motivated, or know the exercises and healthy food you love, keep on keepin’ on!

4. Don’t be afraid of the dreaded plateau- or even gaining a few pounds

The sense of accomplishment that comes from weight loss can be addicting. We live in a culture that focuses on numbers, so it’s easy to get disappointed when we don’t see a quantifiable difference. When my weight started to plateau, I was disappointed the first few weeks. I had to keep reminding myself that while my weight was staying the same, I was still building muscle and losing fat. If you don’t see a change in your weight, don’t sweat the number on the scale- keep sweating it out in the gym. You’re body may not just plateau, you may gain a pound or two. Don’t worry about it. We don’t walk around with our weight on display for everyone to see. What you’re going to notice is how you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit. Even if the scale is going up a little, you could still be losing inches and gaining muscle. Fitness is a whole lot more than just weight. Weight can be a good indicator of health, but it’s not the end all be all of personal fitness. Don’t be discouraged if your weight goes up a little bit, especially if you’ve been doing a lot of weight training. It’s totally normal.

5. Buy new clothes that fit your size now

Weight loss is great because all of your clothes are too big on you. Weight loss is also a struggle because all of your clothes are too big on you. Time to go shopping! While buying a new wardrobe is a challenge on a college budget, there’s no better feeling than fitting into a size that you haven’t worn in years. Although I fit better in smaller sizes after I lost weight, I was still buying clothes in my old size. I was afraid that I would somehow gain back the weight, my new clothes would be too small again, and I would feel bad about myself. This just left me with a lot of outfits that involve oversized shirts and sweaters. When you invest in new clothes after weight loss, you’re making a commitment to yourself that you’re not going back to your old ways. The budget is tight for most college students, so if you’re investing money into something like a new wardrobe, it’s a good indicator that you’ve promised yourself you will stay healthy long-term.

6. If you find yourself slipping a little bit, just make sure to get it back

Maybe that one cheat meal turned into a cheat week and your day off from the gym was a few days longer than expected. It happens to all of us. Nobody is a robot and it’s okay to not be 100 percent healthy 100 percent of the time. The problem comes when you start seeing old activities (or inactivity) creep into your life again. While it’s normal to gain a few pounds, if you’re gaining more than you’re comfortable with, it can be a wake up call. If you find yourself slipping a little, just get back to doing what you do best: killing it in the gym and eating all the healthy food. You got yourself this far and a little self discipline may be all it takes to get you back to where you wanted to be. Weight loss takes a lot of personal motivation, determination, and hard work-things don’t just go away. You can always find it in yourself to revert back to your healthy lifestyle.The weight loss journey doesn’t just end after you’ve lost weight; it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Get out there, show off that new confidence, and keep being your fit self!

Kendra Lamer

UW Stout '19

Kendra Lamer is the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at UW-Stout. She is a professional communication and emerging media major with a concentration in applied journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. When she's not doing school work or writing for Her Campus, you can find her dancing at the studio, going for a run, drinking coffee or decorating for holidays way too early. After graduating, she plans on pursuing a career in public relations or journalism and adopting lots of dogs.
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