Hanging On One Day at a Time

Like a lot of other things, sometimes success with a weight loss plan is a matter of just hanging on. I like to think of it as succeeding one-day-at-a-time.

Some Days It Is Hard

calendar with dates circled

For several days I have been on a mini-plateau with my weight loss. This is pretty normal. Eating something with a little more salt than usual or whatever can bring on a little stall.

It is harder to exercise the self-discipline needed on days when the scale doesn’t cooperate (how could I gain two pounds in one day without eating much of anything!) even though we know it is temporary. It helps to have some method for giving a boost to our motivation on days like this.

For very short plateaus like this it is only necessary to have a very short—intense but short—boost in commitment and focus. My approach is to collapse my view of the project at hand, to forget about my long term goals, and focus on maintaining my diet for just one day.

Move Ahead for Just One Day

Knife, fork, and spoon

I talk to myself quite a bit. Admit it, you do too, right! So what I say on days like this is, “Just for today I am going to knuckle down and stick with my diet. I know I can make it one more day. Tomorrow I will decide what to do next.”

This approach is not a new one for me or for most folks. It is the same as that in the old expression about the best way to eat an elephant, the answer being one bite at a time.

Sometimes I even break the day down into parts. After lunch, in mid-afternoon, I might be thinking only about getting through to supper time!

Success Builds on Success

star with one day at a time text

Unless you dwell on it, hunger is fleeting. We may imagine it will hang around for hours, days, or even years. But it does not. That is why this one-day-at-a-time thinking works.

The first day or two on a reduced calorie plan of any kind we are likely to feel hungry a good bit if not all the time. But after a few days our new eating plan feels adequate—most of the time. It is only when those exceptional times arise that we need a little extra drive to work through the desire to eat.

Using a little self-talk to promote the one-day-at-a-time focus is a good way to get through the day. The great likelihood is that the next day we will be happily back on track.

Go For It

One-day-at-a-time works for me. It is an integral part of my weight loss plan. And, to the truth, one day at a time is all it takes because one day at a time becomes one week at a time, then one month, one year, and one lifetime.