We’ve discussed how to create barriers of pain and how to encourage yourself with carrots of pleasure as you embark on this new maintenance journey, but what else might be important for maintaining your newfound body? To keep the weight off it’s crucial that you reconcile yourself as having a chronic condition. In other words, you’ve got to accept that you’ve got a weight problem that won’t just go away now that you are thin and trim. It’s comparable to finding out that you have a chronic illness. It’s difficult to accept at first, but when you finally reconcile yourself to this fact and begin taking the medication you need, you begin to notice that many of the symptoms that you have experienced for some time have now mostly gone away. Wouldn’t it be foolish for someone in this set of circumstances to suddenly say, “OK, I’ve got this thing under control now, I don’t need to take my medicine anymore”? That would be ludicrous, wouldn’t it? Your symptoms are only being contained because of your medication.
Yet how is it any different for those who have the chronic condition of slow metabolism, genes, an addiction to eating or whatever it is that made you overweight, to suddenly say, “OK, I’m thin now, I can go back to my normal lifestyle.” That’s why I think we need to deal with our weight challenge as we would a chronic illness: because it’s not going to just go away. You simply need to reconcile yourself to the cold, hard fact that you’ll never be able to be completely carefree and cavalier about your lifestyle when it comes to your weight.