I got an email from a reader the other day and she shared the difficulties of maintaining her weight loss through the menopausal period. She said that she was “drawing a line in the sand” with the few pounds she had gained and was motivated to get back down to her goal weight.
I loved the concept of drawing a line in the sand because it is a really important part of the weight loss and weight maintenance process. Drawing a line in the sand is a symbolic way of saying that you are not going to pass a certain point
I unsuccessfully drew lines in the sand many times during my weight loss efforts. I told myself that I wasn’t going to go over 275 pounds, but I did. I told myself that I would lose 30 pounds by a certain date, but I didn’t. I told myself that I wouldn’t eat brownies for breakfast, but I scarfed them down.
It’s one thing to draw the line in the sand and it is an entirely different thing to not stick your big toe over that line.
What makes the difference between making that line and staying behind the line?
I had to stop and think about this one because all of us have “drawn a line in the sand” for ourselves at one point or another. We may not have drawn it in terms of weight loss, but we have in terms of other parts of our lives.
How do you draw a line in the sand with regards to your weight management efforts and make it stick? I believe there are several important things to take into consideration when drawing a line in the sand.
1. Your Line Must be Based in Reality
It’s easy to say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds this weekend,” and draw a line in the sand that it will happen. However, you know that it is almost impossible to lose that much weight in a single weekend and do it in a healthy manner. Your line has to be based in reality just like goals you set for yourself need to be realistic and attainable.
2. You Have to Have the Right Tools
If you don’t know how to eat right, don’t understand the impact of food on your body, or don’t know what kind of diet plan you want to follow, you are going to have a hard time sticking to your commitment.
3. You Aren’t Ready
When I tried to make my line 275 pounds, I said so with all the good intentions in the world, but I wasn’t really emotionally ready to lose weight. And so I kept erasing and moving the line until it was so mixed up that I lost sight of it. Make sure you are ready to commit to your plan or you will probably have trouble staying on track.
4. The Line Moves
I often set the line on my high weight or my weight loss goals and then kept inching the line forward until it disappeared. For example, if I said I wasn’t going to go over 275 pounds, when I hit 277 I’d say to myself, “Well, now I won’t go over 280.” The line kept moving and so did my weight. This often happens when you are trying to maintain your weight. If your line moves, you may find yourself gaining weight because you aren’t staying true to your goals.
I don’t want to discourage you from drawing a line in the sand because having goals, objectives, and absolutes are useful when it comes to weight loss. Just be prepared to reassess your goals and make sure that the line in the sand is one that is attainable and good for you.
Have you figuratively “drawn a line in the sand” when it comes to your weight? Do you ever find it hard to stick to it? Diane