I was reading some blogs by maintainers about skill development, and it got me thinking about growth vs. fixed mindset (as Dweck dubbed them in her book Mindset). We’ve talked about this a lot in my human development class, and are now studying the late adulthood stage. A connection that has stood out to me is how Asians seem to assume the growth mindset, and they also value their elderly. They venerate them, that’s what “venerable” means, is to value something because it is old. We believe someone becomes more valuable to society as they age, because they are. In the fixed mindset, someone’s potential is the sum of their talents and gifts. Losing these as we age becomes a one way decline.
So how does this apply to weight maintenance? We need to see maintenance as a period of continued development that has no end. I think one idea I’ve pondered since I approached maintenance is what the 5% statistic means. Does it tell us who already had the wherewithal to maintain? Or does it merely show us that only a very small percentage of people will do what it takes? I’ve clung to the believe that I can learn what these people know. I am driven by the idea that everyone who desires to maintain deserves to learn what they need to in order to do it.
I’ve gone back and forth between the exhaustive approach to maintenance and the simple one. I guess it depends on where you are. I would say the most important things, in this order, are:
1. Care about what you are putting into your body.
2. Move your body. A lot. Everyday.
3. Attend to your emotions as if they were as important as eating and exercise.
4. Continue to evaluate and implement your maintenance skills.
I’m not sure if there’s really a fifth that rates a place next to these. Thin for Life, which I haven’t finished reading yet, had “Believe you can” as step one. I think I haven’t been able to get past this, even though I know it’s a very important idea. It is basically what growth mindset is about. But you don’t have to just believe, which reminds me of Dumbo’s magic feather. I think it’s about learning. You can learn you are worth it. You will learn to trust yourself, and to be trustworthy. As I’ve said over and over, I’ll say again in a slightly different way. Maintenance is not about losing things, it is about gaining more of life.