And then the weeks go on. I’m still doing all the planning and making all the adjustments to my regular recipes. I exclusively eat salad when dining out. The weekly weight changes are smaller now. I’m not losing 3 pounds a week. Sometimes it’s half a pound a week. I miss the foods I used to eat. I miss ordering anything
I choose off the menu. I don’t like all the time I spend cooking, shopping, weighing and measuring. I’ve made a lot of changes to my routines and they don’t seem worth the work when I can’t see a difference in my clothes every week or two. What’s in this for me? Where is my reward for all the effort I’m putting forth?
Maybe this is the time to look for some different milestones and for some non-food and non-weight related rewards. It’s also a good time to reassess the way I’m working the plan. Do I feel better since I’ve started this plan? Are the foods I’m choosing to eat increasing my energy levels? Are they good for my health in noticeable ways? If not, how can I adjust what I’m eating so I stay within the plan guidelines, but eat more of the things that my body loves. If I am seeing benefits to my body and health, how can I keep that going? Did I take on too much change all at once? Is the food prep and cleanup realistically too much to fit in with my schedule? If so, how can I adjust to make this plan work better for me? Or do I need to choose a different plan that’s not so labor intensive?
Finally, how can I find small things to reward myself for small accomplishments. If the weight loss is ‘only’ half a pound, maybe my reward is a long soak in a hot, scented bath. Or maybe it’s extra time watching my favorite show or playing a game. When the progress seems too slow, can I acknowledge that slow and steady wins the race and congratulate myself for staying on track? Maybe I take a moment to remember the days that I couldn’t lose even half a pound, or I was gaining pretty steadily. Maybe I remember how discouraged I felt, how defeated I felt back then. And I reward myself for each and every step I take toward my weight goal. My reward might be a walk in nature, or time spent in silence, or reading a book. Whatever my efforts are, large or small, they are worthy of my own approval and of an incentive to continue.