Congratulations! You’ve hit your weight loss goal. With so much effort behind your results, now is the time to hit the cruise control to keep your momentum. With great progress comes great transformation, both mentally and physically, and the key to keeping off the weight is all mental.
Replace goals with benchmarks. During your actual weight loss, you probably set goals: 20 pounds, then 10 pounds, then another 10 pounds by the end of fall, and so forth. Now replace those goals with celebration points. The first time you get to wear the bathing suit you’ve been eyeballing; the moment you walk into your class reunion smokin’ hot; the realization that you haven’t even considered fast food for lunch in two weeks. These are all signs you’re still on the path you chose for yourself, and you should celebrate!
Upgrade your support. If you were so lucky to have a weight loss partner or a team of people behind you during your pound-dropping days, certainly keep them around! It’s time to branch out, though, and forge new relationships with people who are like-minded. This means attending group fitness classes, joining a walking or running group, follow some new blogs or becoming a weight-loss mentor. You are continuing to grow and evolve, and so should your environment.
Write about it. Taking a pen to paper is a proven therapeutic practice for people. Journaling isn’t limited to bad days and food logs; it can be an excellent landing zone for gratitude and random thoughts. You can also go back and read entries from your weight-losing period and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Click here for inspiration to begin writing your own journal.
Change it up. Whatever you did to get to where you are now doesn’t automatically get renewed into this next chapter of your life. Keep things fresh and exciting by trying new workouts and recipes, picking up new gear, downloading a new playlist, get a new haircut, heck, go get certified to teach your favorite workout! A few accredited certifications include ACE, AFAA, ACSM and NCCA, among many others.
Avoid the grocery when hungry. This is when the mistakes are bound to happen, and you may have fallen victim to this in the past. Going to the grocery store with an empty stomach is directly linked to poor food purchases or excess purchases. A study of shoppers showed those who went during a “hungry” part of the day bought more high-calorie foods than those who shopped after a meal. The struggle is real.
Meal plan. You’re probably much better at this these days. Meal planning and prep is something busy women need to do! Take advantage of the slow cooker, your freezer and Post-It notes, and make meal planning part of your routine. Click here for tips on how to make this happen.
>> Read more: 52 Slow Cooker Meals: One for Every Week of 2015
When stress hits, hit back. Stress is one of the leading contributors to weight gain because of the increased levels of cortisol production. Don't let it overrun you; instead, turn to exercise and sweat it out. This is so important because many people, especially mothers, put others' needs before their own until they become broken down. Take your time to breathe, meditate, scream (burns calories), practice yoga, run, punch a bag, anything to shift the chemicals in your brain from negative to positive. You more than owe this to yourself; this is who you are now. Click here for 40 healthy ways to relax and distress.