Community Once You Reach Your Goal Weight, What Do You Do?

    Once You Reach Your Goal Weight, What Do You Do?


    Do you celebrate by eating the biggest piece of cake you can find after reaching your goal weight? Do you try to gain all the weight back so you can go through the process all over again? Do you suddenly feel afraid of this new version of you? Do you miss the old one? Do you continue to lose weight because this is all you have known for so long and you are afraid to stop? 

    The answer is simple: No! You do none of this. You move forward, you continue to improve, and you embrace the person you have blossomed into. 

    Becoming a new version of yourself is hard—I equate it to shedding skin, like a snake or when a butterfly sheds its chrysalis and suddenly becomes this new beautiful butterfly. It’s sad to look at the former shell of yourself. For some, this shell may have been home for years, for a lifetime. And this new version you are looking at in the mirror is unfamiliar and scary. But letting go and moving forward is part of the process. You never forget who you were. You remember, you appreciate, and you move forward. There are new adventures awaiting. 

    Maintenance has been the hardest challenge I’ve encountered. Learning to say “no” and to be strong enough to do so is difficult. I’ve been on this fitness and lifestyle journey for over three years now. I’ve reached every goal I initially set out for myself, not only in terms of my nutrition, but in terms of my running. That’s a bold statement to make, but it’s the truth. So what did I do? I had a heart-to-heart conversation with myself. I needed a plan to maintain my weight and my active lifestyle. And if I am being honest, it’s a daily struggle. What I mean by this is I have to talk myself off the ledge most days. Short-term thinking says to eat the cupcake, eat the pizza. Short-term thinking says, skip the workout, it doesn’t really matter anyway. And there are days I do. I fall short and I succumb to short-term gratification. But I know I cannot eat like that everyday or I will be right back where I started. I can’t skip every workout or I will be back to that woman who couldn’t run more than a minute. But life happens. I have a busy schedule, and between work and raising my four kids I don’t always hit the mark. 

    The point is, I hit the mark more often than I don’t. 

    You will get tired of this lifestyle. You will not want to do it anymore. Nobody will come to save you or help you. You have to make the decision that your life is worth it and you are more important than your addiction/vice. In this case, I was and am more important than my poor eating habits and my lack of self discipline towards my workouts. 

    Here are a few things I do to help me get through the tough days.


    • I keep a picture of myself on my Day One, when I was at my heaviest. I picture that woman standing in front of the mirror sobbing thinking she was not good enough for anyone, that she was not good enough for herself. I printed a large version of this picture and have it up in my gym beside a picture of me at the Chicago Marathon. I want to look at this picture and remind myself of the power of self-discipline and hard work. I want to remember the sad look on my face when I was at my lowest. I want to remember the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. The elation and the fact that my dreams had come true. I want to be continuously reminded of the juxtaposition between these two images for the rest of my life. They are my why. I am my why.


    • I always have something on my calendar to work toward. Now this may not work for everyone, but it works for me. When I first started my journey, I was listening to a podcast about the Spartan mentality. The reality is if you have nothing to work toward, your goals will fizzle out, and you will fall back into old habits. The first year of me working out, I had nothing I was working toward. I was simply trying to lose weight. After a year of putting in the daily work, I decided I needed more concrete goals. This is when I started signing up for races. When you know you have something on the horizon, like a race, you will work to ensure you are ready. This is another reason why I push myself far outside of my comfort zone and sign up for longer distance races, like half marathons and marathons. They require tremendous discipline and training. They don’t allow for a lot of time off and they definitely don’t allow for a lackluster approach. 


    • Having workout equipment inside is another huge positive factor for me in achieving my goals. On days when the weather is less than ideal, on days when I am solo parenting (which is quite a few), I have ways to still exercise and get my body moving. Some days, I am running on the treadmill at 4am, while other days it’s 9:30 at night. I do what works best for me and for my family.


    • Having a strong support system is essential. My kids, my husband, my parents and my friends are such strong supporters of my journey, of my goals. Days when I’m lacking and not wanting to put the work in, they tell me straight up that I have worked too hard to give up now. To get up, to stop complaining—to get it done. 


    • I listen to numerous podcasts before I workout and while I workout. Why? They serve me and give me that necessary push to start and keep going. I do this because there are times when I need that harsh kick off the couch to get my body moving and an even harsher push to not give up when I am in the middle of a challenging run. 


    • If you are going to workout in the morning, or the night, the time frame approach works the same. Set a timer, and allow yourself time to do what you want to do; scroll the internet, read, watch TV, eat. Whatever you choose to do with your time before your workout, is your time. When the timer goes off, get up, get dressed, and get going. I often will set a 30-minute timer before I workout. This gives me the “grace” period to ease into my workout. I have something to eat, hang out with the kids, read, or whatever I want to do with that time. When the timer goes off, there are no more excuses and I workout. 

    One final tip: 

    Don’t forget this—Don’t be afraid to go back to Day One, Week One. No matter how many times you may have fallen off the wagon, you can always go back and start again. You grow at the beginning. As the weeks and the months go on, you start to relax. You don’t wake up as early in the morning. You become complaisant. So don’t be afraid, and don’t fret if this happens. 

    Go back: Day One, Week One, and start again.


    Katie Rylance is an ambassador of The Toronto Marathon, May 5. For race information, click here.


    1. I cannot love this more. I went from 315 lbs to 224. Up and down and back and forth. I struggle every day. But every day I work on being the best me that I can be. Thank you for sharing

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