A Three Year Commitment to Myself and to My Weight

August 6, 2010

Anything worthwhile certainly takes a while. – Fred Rogers

The Legend.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Spooky Momma

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about the long-term view about my weight.  I re-traced my weight history and saw the big picture.  I thought about the regain cycle I’ve been through too many times.

I’ve accepted that long-term weight control will require a long-term commitment.

And I’m now ready.

My birthday is coming up in the next few days, and my birthday gift to myself will be a three-year commitment to managing my weight.

Hopefully most of that time will be in maintenance phase, not active losing, but actually it doesn’t much matter, as long as I stay plugged in.

The word “forever” is too big, too nebulous to matter.

I don’t think we talk enough about “long term commitment” for weight control

You read a lot about “lifestyle change” and even the word “permanent” but I think one concept that’s not treated enough in the weight loss world is the concept of a long long-term commitment.  Not a 12 week exercise program, or a 2 month diet. Not even a commitment to reach a certain weight, even if you do calculate how many weeks it will take to get there (it always takes more).  If you don’t plan for that “ever after” period after losing weight you’ll be in trouble.

[pullquote]The Journey IS the Destination.[/pullquote]

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Journey IS the Destination!

I feel like in the past few years I’ve come to know myself better.  I also think that I’ve turned a corner in how I think about my weight – that realization that it’s not a “goal” in the sense that it can ever be “achieved”, that it’s really just about the process, the journey itself.

Three years feels right

I don’t want to make a “forever” declaration because 1) that’s a really long time 2) it’s quite nebulous and 3) I’m not ready for anything that long-term.

Three years feels right – long enough to be long-term, but concrete enough to be in the here-and-now.

There is some evidence that the longer-term the commitment, the better the result when it comes to weight.  What really matters is that it’s resonating now with me.  That I’m ready.

Why Three?

Mainly because it feels do-able and on the cusp of the long-term.  It feels like a big chunk of time, a real commitment, and somehow it feels like a number with meaning.  I recently passed the 3 years blogging mark, without any fanfare – and without any difficulty either.

In three years I’ll be turning 45, and maybe then I’ll be ready for a different number.

Right now, I’m ready for three.

Public commitment, Personal accountability

At Zen Habits, Leo Babauta wrote about how one of the best “motivation hacks” is to make a big public commitment.   I’m not about to buy a t-shirt that says ‘I’m going to manage my weight until I turn 45″ but I am making a big, loud, assertive statement here.  I’m mainly motivated by what it means to me to make a promise to myself.

So, I will manage my weight appropriately for the next 3 years.

And in early August 2013 I will set a new commitment.

Previous post:

Next post: