I read something from a book that has helped my on this Journey of Change. I'm going to post what I wrote in my Journal which is a paraphrased version, some of which I added with my own thoughts. I'll have to look for the book to give credit to the original author.
The Stages of Change in Permanent Weight Loss
Stage One: The Launching Effect
This stage involves the decision and willingness to begin a program. Any previous dieter has navigated this stage and actually lost some weight. In fact it is the initial success at this stage that causes "compulsive dieters" to try each new fad diet that comes out. The memory of this early success is more salient than ensuing failure to maintain the weight loss. Dieters risk becoming a "diet junkie" ... jumping from one diet to the next, to the next and never achieving success at any of them. It's the memory of the first couple of weeks that wires our brains to keep searching for this diet high. It's a great stage, but also a risky one because you have to move onto the next stage to find long term changes.
Stage Two: The Transforming Effort
This stage requires you to be diligent enough not to be dissuaded or stop the program when things become more difficult. What most often happens at this stage is that the body's natural adjustment to different eating habits causes the weight loss to slow down and plateau. There may actually be brief periods during which no weight is lost at all. When the weight does not come off as quickly as it did at the onset of your lifestyle changes, it is often misinterpreted as exhaustion of effort. Now is the time to trust yourself and your level of effort. DO NOT get discouraged and think that your program has stopped working because you are not losing as quickly. Now is the time to push through, staying the course and trust your body and your efforts. Even if you have a minor relapse, understand that it is part of the journey to eventual permanent weight loss. The body is a smart machine, and is working hard to "re-boot" the setting you had programmed into it with the lifestyle you were living! Remember, your brain is "re-booting" along with your body, and these changes are the foundation of permanent change! You can't skip past this step and expect true change! Now is the time to hunker down and stay the course, because once you persevere through this stage ... you will have made it to the best stage .....
Stage Three: The Progressive / Developed Effort
You will arrive to a quality of energy that does not decrease or stagnate. When you sustain your effort at this stage, you will feel and energy level that seems to grow in power, eventually leading to a sense of freedom. Your new lifestyle is well into a new habit, and it has become your norm. Because of the changes in your brain, as well as your body, you are more likely to make it to this stage and stay here forever! Your identity has changed. You will not even identify with your old habits. You are liberated! True change has arrived!
Timeframe for the Stages:
Stage One comes and goes rather quickly. How long does stage Two last? Just as long as it takes. If you get into the river and let it take you where you need to be, you'll get there faster the less you fight it. If you struggle holding onto the rocks, clinging to the bank the season will last and last. If you will just release your grip, let your hands slide off the rocks and let the current take you .... the river will take you to where you need to be. Never give up just because of the time it will take to get through stage two. The days are going to pass one way or the other. So why not stay the course because you will arrive at Stage Three. And it's worth the time it takes.