Life After A Weight Loss Retreat: Letting Go of Perfectionism


Lauren Romano…Continued from “Life After A Different Kind of Weight Loss Retreat: Dealing with Questions.”

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

This is going to be my new philosophy. One, I learned at Green Mountain, but still, I am going to start applying it now.

Remembering to focus on just doing better than before I went. Being mindful. Not getting stuck in all-or-nothing thinking.

But what about when negativity pops up?

Despite these thoughts and the positive self-talk, negativity and frustration still pop up. I know life after Green Mountain isn’t going to be perfect, but I still feel that it could be closer to what I was doing at Green Mountain.

Before I left Green Mountain I knew I was going to walk back into my house and there would be triggers, all the old habits would be there waiting for me, and I would be around my family and friends.

I knew they were going to ask questions and not understand exactly what I was doing. I was prepared, I thought. The staff at Green Mountain gave us a lot of useful information about how to handle these exact situations.

But still, I don’t understand why I can’t hang on perfectly to the habits and feelings I developed at Green Mountain. It was a vicious cycle in my head and the deeper I dug the worse it got.

Keep calm and take action

I decided to calm down and take action. I had already scheduled an appointment with one of Green Mountain’s behavioral staff members. My appointment was later that afternoon. So as I waited for the Skype session to start, I read through my notes and materials. It was so much information. Each section – nutrition, fitness, behavior, the going home guide, it was all there. Reading it, even though it was the stuff that had been rattling around in my brain, made it all seem more manageable.

The Skype session came at just the right time. I was able to unload all my anxiety and take in the good vibes of Green Mountain. I felt like I was there, even if just for an hour. I was reminded to take care of myself. Put my needs before anyone else’s and to do and eat what feels good.

By Friday, I had made plans to see a friend. We’d eat out and see a movie. There were a lot of food choices to be made while eating at a restaurant and movie snacks could be scary. It felt great to get out. I told my friend about my experience. She did not ask how much weight I lost or tell me this non-diet wasn’t diety enough.

She was just interested and encouraging. But we didn’t stay on the subject of the weight loss retreat for too long. We hadn’t seen each other in over a month. We had funny stories to tell and dessert to share.

As I reflected on my first week home on Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t believe it had only been a week. I felt like Green Mountain was so far away. I had learned so much while I was in Vermont, and discovered more in just a short week home. I knew this wasn’t going to be the only hard week I was going to face; but when it was getting too difficult all I needed to do was reach out – to a new friend, or even an old one, to Green Mountain staff, the materials I brought home, or a book that was recommended.

Knowing that I had a whole new group of people and resources made me feel hopeful again.

Stay tuned for more in this series by Lauren Romano on what happens after a weight loss retreat and making healthy living work at home.

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