So what now?
You did it - You hit your goal weight.
You're wearing the little red dress you wanted to wear.
You've got the 8 abs you wanted.
You're confident enough to have the lights on while having “compassionate” time with your partner.
You stuck to your New Years Resolution and you look great.
You completed gym.
MASSIVE WELL DONE!
What you have achieved isn't easy, and a large portion of people never get to this point. So give yourself a massive pat on the back.
The other day I asked a question in the private Facebook group we have for all our Lift the Bar clients. An “ask me anything”, a “what question do you need answering?”. And someone asked this great question. “What now?”
I’ve spent the last week trying to come up with an eloquent and articulate answer to this question.
And I’ve struggled.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it differs for everyone.
Yes, I can give some very simple practical advice of how to maintain weight, instead of losing weight (you’ll have to keep reading till the end for this).
The biggest thing about continuing to exercise after weight loss, is the same as when dieting and training for weight loss, have a why. Nobody can tell you what your why can be. I can give you ideas and show you the benefits, but ultimately what you value is personal to you.
So for the next little bit I'm going to talk about myself, because thats what I know. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my why. Why I continue to exercise. And then hopefully in 5-10 minutes time when you have finished reading this you'll have the right questions to ask yourself to help you come up with your why.
My why: Number 1
I’ve had the unfortunate luck of having to spend a decent amount of time in hospitals over the years.
Sadly sometimes for myself, even more sadly for my loved ones. It has scared the shit out of me, they are bleak and morbid places.
The idea of my body deteriorating to a stage where I become bed ridden and unable to look after myself, scares the living shite out of me (sorry for swearing mum). Study upon study suggests that good exercise and diet are the one of the biggest driving forces towards a healthy body, and reducing our risk of disease.
Resistance training and eating sufficient protein delays the onset of age related sarcopenia. Training and moving well conditions us to move well, getting stronger now means we are going to be stronger later in life.
It is very much a case of “use it or lose it.”
I have every intention of wanting to be mobile and active for as long as possible, so I’m laying the foundations for later in life now.
I know one day I want to have kids.
I know that I want them to leave an active and healthy life.
I know that I want to be able to run around and play with them for as long as possible. I want to watch them grow up.
I want to watch them have grandkids and to be able run around and play with them too.
I know that exercising and that eating a well balanced diet now is going to help me remain healthy and disease free for as long as possible. It's going to allow me to grow old gracefully, live a full and enriched life and be an example for the little ones I some day hopefully will produce.
My why number 2
In life we have 3 major commitments and they all fight for our time. Work, family and social. Our priorities of these will shift over time and are very fluid. Sometimes in life, work will be a major time commitment and that time comes from the family or social time, other times that time requirement will shift towards family.
Or life will allow more time for social.
Most of the time I’m a busy man, and my family and work commitments take up a large portion of my time. My social time is very limited. I love training.
I love how it makes me feel. They gym is where my friends are, I enjoy being in the company of the people in the gym. They make me smile. They make me happy.
Alongside coffee and puppies, exercising fulfils my human need to connect and to be happy. I choose to spend a portion of my social time bettering myself amongst like minded individuals.
I know that if my work life is crazy, that taking an hour or two, 3 to 4 times a week is going to keep me sane. As humans we inherently need to have a sense of belonging, and exercising, going to the gym and interacting with you guys give me that. I enjoy it and it makes me happy.
My why number three
I’m going to try and not sound too big headed here.
I’m inspiring people by exercising. People are inspired by me turning up daily, having a smile on my face and loving what I do. People are inspired by the journey I have taken to get to where I am today, and a lot are on the same journey themselves.
Now for the cool bit.
YOU are inspiring people too.
They might not say it too you.
Hell they might not even speak to you.
You might not even now them.
But you've been on a journey, you've overcome struggles and challenges. You have bettered yourself. You might not ever know it but every day you are helping other people. You're attitude might inspire someone to get up off the sofa, or to do something to get a little bit better. It might be someone in the park, in your gym, at work.
The benefits you are enjoying from your weight loss journey will be rubbing off on so many people.
For me that is a great gift. Everyday I can do something, that makes me a little better, allows me to socialise with others and have fun and allows me to help someone else. The fitness industry can be a dark and scary place but you're doing an amazing thing. You've found yourself in the warm and fuzzy section of the industry and just by being here and being you, you're spreading it.
Practically what should I do
- Continue to resistance train 3-4x a week
- Continue to remain active. Still aim for 10,000 steps a day
- Continue to eat 3-4 30g servings of protein a day
- Continue to eat a good varied diet, full of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, fats, protein, foods you love and blatant junk food.
- Bring your calorie consumption up to a maintenance level. You can use our macro calculator to work out roughly what you need. It is then a case of keeping an eye of what your weight is doing? Still dropping? Add a bit more food in. Putting on weight? Drop it down again slightly.
- Set yourself a goal. Give yourself a new target to aim for. Research suggests that if we have a target we are aiming for then we are way more likely to engage with the process and make progress. It doesn't have to be weight or image related. It could be performance related, it could be a challenge like a tough mudder or walking up a mountain.
- Find your why!
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought and given you some questions to think about. If this has helped you with your what to do next then I’d love to hear about it.