The Maintenance Myth

The Maintenance Myth

There is a horrible myth in weight loss fables, it’s called “maintaining”.

The myth goes that you kill yourself to reach your ideal weight, then once you hit that magical number on the scales, all you need to do is maintain it! Yay! Easy.

As if you suddenly become frozen in time, sleeping beauty; never to change again.

Of course we all logically know this doesn’t work, but it’s tempting to think that when we reach our goal the work stops there, and we can relax. Oh how I wish it were so.

The truth is “maintaining your weight” is not possible, there are always small fluctuations in your weight, body shape and mass from day to day, hour to hour, week to week. Women especially have the joy of radically fluctuating hormones, hunger and body shape from week to week, even if we do everything the same.

Ride the waves…

Fluctuations are normal. Instead of wailing and railing against the simple fact, you can instead learn to ride the wave of the fluctuations, roll with the punches and work WITH your body, to achieve a lasting healthy, slim body.

The truth is everything in nature is in a constant state of either growing, or dying, sometimes both at once. If you look at some trees at the end of autumn, you’ll see them shed their leaves, and some parts of the tree will actually die off, to conserve energy through the winter. Even then the tree itself is still growing, slowly, but still growing, in spring all the new shoots come out from all the energy that has been building over the winter.

If you think you’re going to escape the growing /dying cycle of the seasons you’re kidding yourself. You will always be in a state of growth or decay. Some times of the day, week, month or year are better than others for really shooting out that growth, and making massive leaps of progress, like the tree does in spring.Other times you must go through your winter. You don’t see much happening on the outside, but LOTS is happening on the inside. Stay the course through winter to get that quantum leap of progress in spring.


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Don’t let “maintenance” fool you into complacency.

Focussing on a goal is critical to our motivation and success, however as you begin to get close to your goal, set yourself your next goal BEFORE you’ve achieved the first one. This will help you to overcome the yo-yo of slacking off completely when you hit your goal and falling into the maintenance trap. Instead you relax, celebrate, acknowledge your achievement, then spring forward into the next goal with vigour. When you’ve reached your ideal body weight, what’s next to keep moving forward? Better performance? Speed? Distance? Flexibility? How will you stretch your body to its next phase?

 Ah! Freedom & Permission

Realising that maintenance is a myth can give you a little more freedom around your fluctuations as well. I fluctuate sometimes as much as 2-3 kilos over a month, I don’t bother weighing myself that often but live between 58 – 61 usually, I go by the feel of my clothes, and my actions. I know when I have a few more glasses of wine, dinners out and a biscuits, I’ll be at the heavier end, when I’m a bit more focussed on my veggies and cooking delicious healthy meals & treats I’ll be at the lighter end. No big deal.

The key to riding the waves is to give yourself permission to fluctuate a bit, that’s life hey! (And what would it be without the occasional glass of wine or piece of cake! ) …And also have a clear upper limit. I know that when I feel myself creeping up to 61,  I can feel a little belly roll developing then it’s time to refocus and take the action required to keep my body in the zone that I like to live in. Cut back the crap for a few weeks and get in all of my training sessions. It’s not essential to train every single day to live in a slim healthy body, 3-5 hours per week will do it, with lots of whole-foods and water you can live in a slim body all year round without counting calories.

You have a different body today than it was yesterday or last month.

So forget about maintenance and instead ride the waves. Your body will need different things from day to day and week to week depending on your stress levels, your mindset, your workload, your sleep quality and quantity, your toxic load, and your emotional wellbeing.  Give yourself permission to listen to what YOUR body needs today instead of what some guru tells you. And if your weight creeps up or down a bit, don’t get too caught up in it, keep your focus on your long-term health at all times.

Comments (3)

  1. Great article Kylie and a great reminder. I find with my clients that the setting in of complacency is the first day of the backward slide. Great reminder about setting that second goal before you reach the first goal too.

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