My fitness instructor, Mallory, gave me some good advice last week. Whatever weight loss measures I take in the next four months, she urged me to make changes I can live with long term. When I began losing weight in June of 2011, I made small changes and slowly added more as my stamina and readiness increased. I didn't know what I could live with because I had never tried it.
I want to make a distinction here about what "I can live with" and what is "comfortable". Initially, getting healthy was not a comforting process. I had to fight my brain - a brain that was comfortable with overeating and inaction. It was hard work. But working outside of my comfort zone for something important was good and necessary. Was it sustainable? For a time, it was. But now I have to go slower because of where I'm at in the process.
The "comfortable" part of the weight loss process came later after I'd had a chance to learn what I was capable of and found a healthful rhythm that suited my lifestyle. But again, I had to be open to change moment to moment, day to day. When I operate at a strenuously high level of fitness and nutrition, I loose lots of weight (duh). But then I crash and burn and spend twice as long picking my tush off the floor. Mallory always uses the same word to encourage and advise her clients. Balance. Our lives, our bodies and even our brains are ever changing. "Something you can live with" will undoubtedly change as you do. For me, choosing a weight-loss or weight-maintenance plan will always be a process of assessment and evaluation. The goal is balance.