Graduation: Measure of Past and Symbol of Future

As my friends’ children graduate this month I am reminded of how exciting big accomplishments are and how they simultaneously celebrate our accomplishments and indicate we are on the cusp of the next phase of our lives.

The same is true for our weight loss journey. We certainly deserve to celebrate what we have accomplished in regards to our health and fitness goals—no matter where we are on that journey. When we look at our results we also know we have the rest of our lives ahead of us.

So this celebratory time is also one for reflection. Did we get the “grades” (pounds lost, fitness gained) we’d hoped for? Did we skip a grade or did we have to repeat? Were we the Valedictorian of our class or finish in the bottom third?

No matter, we are all at the next step, looking forward, so this is also a symbol of our future. We are not determined by our past–unless we allow it to keep us stuck. Like on the Amazing Race (one of my favorite television shows) when all the teams have to wait for a museum to open or for a specific flight. We have plenty of opportunities that level the playing field.

Every achievement, whether it is graduation, getting a driver’s license or reaching our goal weight, is both an achievement and a new beginning at the same time. We tend to only think of weight loss as a goal to reach, a temporary side trip that whether long or short, is temporary—even if it has been our entire life to date.

I believe this is one of the main reasons so many people regain the weight they have lost. We say we will never get fat again, that we will remember how hard it was to lose the weight. But we do gain it back. Some people only gain back a little, but sadly, statistics show that chances are we will regain all of it and more.

The winners in life and in weight loss are the people who celebrate their accomplishments, reflect on past performance and move forward rather than resting on their laurels or wallowing in regrets over what could have, should have been.

So how do we become winners at weight loss? How can we increase our chances of permanently dropping the excess pounds and maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of our lives? It starts with changing our mindset and celebrating our bodies every step and bite along the way!

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