Lessons To Learn From Weight RegainAugust 12, 2020
What Lessons to Learn From Weight Regain
Weight regain can be one’s biggest fear and for someone else, it is the biggest nightmare. No one enters into their post-op life thinking they will be a regain statistic, nor do they think it will happen to them. Until it does, however, there are lessons to learn from weight regain.
When it comes to regaining, it is not fatal, or final. The weight can be lost again.
There are lessons that can be learned as a result of weight regain, and I’ve summed them up in 10 key points.
Lessons to Learn From Weight Regain
YOU CAN RESTART AT ANY TIME
Most people think you have to wait until next Monday, or after the next holiday to begin. This is just a way for fear to come in and sabotage your intentions. Putting off a restart until tomorrow, or next week is procrastination.
Starting right away after a misstep or slip-up is the best time to restart. You do not have to wait for anything. You can start this minute. It’s a recommitment to the journey and a decision to change your mindset, habits, and lifestyle as a result.
When you practice the behavioral, nutrition, and habit changes, the weight loss will follow.
BE READY FOR CHANGE
In order to lose weight regain, and maintain, you must be ready for change. If you’re not ready to make changes, you might not be ready to lose the regain. It’s important that you get super clear on why you want this. Often, I see people who want the results and aren’t ready to put in the work. You’ve got to be ready for both. They are a package deal and they come together.
Practicing new steps on the journey is necessary to achieve the outcome and reach your desired destination. For those not yet ready to restart, you can start the preparation process. It’s important to work through fear-based thinking or fear of missing out so that you don’t end up sabotaging the process you set up for yourself.
Start by focusing on what you’ll get from your weight loss instead of focusing on what you think you’ll have to give up. Where there is fear, there can be a hesitancy to change. Recognizing that you can do this in small steps and barify your foods to feel satisfied creates a win-win solution.
CULTIVATE NEW LIFE SKILLS
Cultivating new life skills are the most important aspect of habit change.
There is a saying that I love: “what got you here, won’t get you there.” To me, this means that you must begin to do things differently. There is a new skillset needed for creating lifestyle change.
The diet mentality will not create lifestyle change; therefore, new habits must be cultivated. This means changing the way you’re used to doing things. Instead of a 30-minute workout, maybe you do 3-sets of 10-minutes per day, or instead of meal prepping on Sunday, you break it up and do it over the course of 2-3 days.
End the people-pleasing behaviors that put you last. Instead of always saying “yes” to others, you prioritize what’s important and practice saying “no” to things that aren’t a priority in your life.
LEARN FROM FAILURES
We all mess up. That is a guarantee. Show me someone who has never failed, and you’ll likely find someone who has never tried. Failure is a part of success. It is a stepping stone on the road to success.
Rather than shaming or blaming yourself for failing, pay attention to what happened, what went wrong, and always ask yourself what you can learn from the experience.
Learning from falls, failures, and mistakes can help you get up faster, achieve more, and will also help you feel better about yourself. Failure is not final. It’s part of the process. Accepting that will also help you realize that you’re farther than you think.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” – Tony Robbins
With all great success, change must be embraced. Like I shared earlier, the old way of doing things will not lead you to success.
In order to achieve great change, you must have flexible thinking to adapt to a new way of being. Be open to change and embrace it. Try something new, expand your horizons, and open your mind to new possibilities. This may be trying new foods, a new workout, or creating habits at a different time of day.
The point of change is to push yourself and shift outside of your comfort zone which also helps you to be more adaptable in challenging situations. When you embrace change, the result is increased self-belief and self-confidence which helps you to build resilience to endure frustrating situations.
MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS & MASTER STRESS
Eating to soothe emotions can be one of the factors of weight regain. Focusing on the weight and attempting to lose weight when you may not have addressed your emotions could be what’s slowing things down.
However, if the core issue is emotional eating (head hunger), then working to reduce this would be a chief concern. Focusing on the source issue will help you to work through the emotions and subsequently help you to reduce emotional eating.
Use stress management tools like deep breathing, walking, mindfulness meditation, and getting out in nature to help you reduce your stress levels.
Individuals who practice consistent self-care are more likely to prioritize their post-operative WLS journey than those who do not. Self-care is a necessary part of the wellness journey. This includes setting healthy boundaries, meal-planning and prepping, putting yourself to bed early, moving your body, and taking care of all things YOU.
When you prioritize yourself, you’re able to reach your goals quicker and easier. Yes, you may have people that love and depend on you… AND.. you won’t be able to help them if there is no YOU. You must take care of yourself first.
RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to form new neural networks throughout life. This allows us to change and adapt to new situations or changes in the environment. We have the ability to retrain our brains, to create new habits, and to shift out of the “but, this is the way we’ve always done it” mentality.
With neuroplasticity, you can reorganize your thoughts to change bad habits and to build new healthy habits that will help you grow into the person you want to become.
Weight regain can cause individuals to place a lot of blame, shame, and guilt back onto themselves. What happened in the past you are able to learn from, forgive yourself for, and move pass it. You can also recommit yourself to your future.
The forgiveness part of this journey is about using loving kindness about where you were on that stage of the journey, and releasing feelings of anger and resentment towards yourself. Believe in yourself that you’ll lose the regain and recommit to yourself with loving kindness. Hating yourself or your body only makes things worse and can cause even worse bouts of emotional eating.
Taking good care of your body and your emotional self will help you realign with your goals and help you lose the regain.
RECOGNIZE THAT IT IS LIFESTYLE CHANGE
Recognize that it is a lifestyle change, and there is no end.
This may freak some people out, yet the truth is for those of us recovering from obesity, there is no end. This is not a diet; it is a lifestyle change. The continued consciousness of paying attention to yourself is necessary.
There are lessons to learn from weight regain: Self-care, protein first, workouts, getting your water in, sleep hygiene, and making sure you get your supplements – are all for life. Even those who arrive at maintenance will continue on this journey. They may have a different set of challenges, but they don’t just stop.
This journey is forever and recognizing that may help you realize that you have the power to change any situation. No matter where you are, you can always begin again, from exactly where you are.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORKristin Lloyd, PhD is a licensed psychotherapist, mindset mentor, certified clinical hypnotherapist, and energy psychology practitioner guiding individuals to embrace healthy habits and fuller lives after WLS. A WLS patient herself, Kristin understands the challenges of WLS patients. She is the founder of Bariatric Mindset and author of the two bestselling books: Bariatric Mindset Success and Release Your Regain; both available on Amazon.
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