Here is an expression that is not used much these days: “RESTING ON YOUR LAURELS”.
First, let’s dive into the origins of this expression: To rest on one’s laurels means to be satisfied with one’s past accomplishments and not put forth any further efforts. In ancient Greece, the laurel was a plant that was sacred to the god Apollo. Laurel wreaths were awarded to the winning athletes in the Pythian games, held in honor of the god Apollo every four years. Later, laurel wreaths were awarded to signify other victories and honors, in Greece and Rome. The term “rest on one’s laurels” doesn’t appear until 1831 and it is a phrase that denotes laziness and is not a compliment.
Okay, moving away from Greek mythology and to the weight control arena: What is pertinent about the concept of “Resting on your laurels”?
Here goes: During a long-term weight control journey there will be a number of milestones that will be reached along the way:
- Losing the first 10 pounds
- Changing a clothes size
- Receiving a compliment from someone that matters to you
- Reducing or eliminating the need for a medication treating a co-morbidity
Many more bullet points can be added to this list of great accomplishments that occur during the journey to your ultimate weight destination. All of these are great and should be embraced and recognized by you. BUT, it is important to NOT allow that milestone being passed to somehow entice you into easing back on your continued efforts to reach the next milestone, the next and then ultimately your healthiest/happiest weight.
There are many patients we see that shed 40-50 pounds and then seem to be “stuck” at that weight, even though there are perhaps 40-50 more to go. They look and feel so much better, receive many compliments from lots of people, are wearing clothes that they could not wear for the last 10 years and have lots more energy. All of these have resulted in a sort of behavioral plateau, i.e. they are not as aggressive in their weight control efforts anymore.
If you find yourself “resting on your laurels” and still have more weight to lose, try to reinvigorate your efforts and do not allow those small, seemingly innocuous food/drink items to start sneaking their way back in. Got off those laurels and make your way to an even healthier/happier weight. The best is yet to come!
And with that last line, you older folks out there (like me) see this coming….Here is The Chairman Of The Board singing “The Best Is Yet To Come”.