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Why Is Maintaining Weight Loss So Hard?

My friend is gaining back the 25 pounds she lost on the Dr. Berstein diet.

The diet was very effective in taking the weight off, but she's simply not able to follow it long term. It makes me think yet again about lifestyle and overall awareness of what keeps weight off.

There's more to keeping weight off than skipping egg yolks and getting vitamin B shots, or weigh-ins and point counts. It's more than just time on a treadmill or laps on a track. It's more than a goal, an objective, a dangling carrot.

It's about making a lot of small changes that will end in one big result. What good will eating the egg whites do if you still have the processed food in the pantry? What good will training for a yearly community run do if you still drive your kids several blocks to school every day?  Sure you can eat the egg whites and stay away from the pantry for awhile, or you can turn your already tight schedule upside down even further to squeeze in time for the runs, but isn't that just so hard? Isn't that too hard?

It would be for me. I take my hat off to you for trying. I wouldn't be able to keep doing it.

Instead, healthy weight maintenance could fit your life like a comfortable pair of shoes - ones that you slide your feet into and would prefer to wear than to take off. They would add support to each step, without pinching or leaving blisters.

Like a pantry stocked with whole grain foods, instead of sugary cereal. Go ahead, have a snack! Or the mini-van that stays parked in the mornings before school, to be replaced by an umbrella on rainy days. Guess what - you won't have to look for parking. Oh sure in the beginning change is hard, but once you get used to it, you won't remember what the beginning felt like.

I think the major difference between myself and my friend is lifestyle. My exercise isn't a yearly event that's participated in and then finished (her community run). Mine is part of my day to day life which is set up in such a way as to leave me little choice. We have only one vehicle insured, so I have to walk the kids everywhere, for example. The work from home job that I've chosen is a paper route, all done on foot.  She works from home as well, but at a computer doing customer service for a telecom company. She earns more money than I do (which enables her to afford to insure a second vehicle ;)  Hmmm.

I could go on and on, and to be fair, there are equal pros and cons to different lifestyles. Some are just better suited to maintaining a healthy weight.

Why is maintaining weight loss so hard? Maybe because it's not at the top of the priority list.

The first step could be assessing what your priorities are. The next, figuring out what changes need to be made to fit that list. The next after that, accepting that not all the changes will be easy.

The objective, though, is to make the changes that best support the item on the top of the priority list, so that item is most likely to be achieved. Sure it's hard to brave the cold when you're walking and not in a heated car, but you know what? Maintaining a healthy weight won't be hard.

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