As someone who has lost a fair amount of weight, a fair amount of times, I know from bitter experience that there are certain points in what I cringingly refer to as ‘the weight loss journey’ which are the most likely to see you give it all up. In general, this point is about a third of the way to your goal- when you have done a lot, worked hard but still have a long way to go.
It goes like this. If you have about 5-6 stone to lose, it’s a long-term project. It’s not ‘six weeks to a bikini body’. More like ’12 months to change your health’ (not so snappy I admit). So, you do well. You lose 2 stone in 4 months (a third of the target, a third of the time). People say some nice things. Your clothes feel too big and you buy new jeans. You tell people you’ve lost 2 stone. All good.
And then the sun goes behind a cloud. You feel tired of the effort. It’s not quite enough time to have embedded the new habits. People stop congratulating you. The next milestone is a way off. While your old size 20 jeans are too big. you are inexplicably still not in a size 14. You still feel fat. You still feel unfit. The goal still feels a long way off.
And so, you ‘treat’ yourself occasionally. You put on a pound or two. Half a stone. You tell yourself you can get back in the saddle, back into good habits. But you don’t. Once you step off the wagon, it’s hard, if not impossible, to get back onto it. And then you feel defeated, like you’ve failed, and, in a fit of hopelessness, eat your way to your previous weight plus some more for luck.
Once you get to half-way, it is enough to make you feel like you have done tons. You should be looking significantly different, and feeling significantly fitter. Post-halfway and you’ll be triumphant. It’s the third-way that is likely to trip you up. So at least be waiting for it and expect it. Plan some additional activity for that couple of weeks. For what it’s worth I recommend a nice long walk with a friend – we’re doing the Capital Ring walk and had our first one yesterday (nearly 8 miles). Get in some nice fruit. Buy yourself a pretty lipstick and maybe some cute shoes or a bag. And once you get past the one-third mark you’ll be on your way to half-way, so keep that target in sight!