As Profile members zero in on their weight loss goal, it’s easy to overlook the Sustain phase. When I was coaching high school basketball teams, we had a yearly message: “the future has a way of arriving unexpectedly”. I used it as a reminder to our student-athletes that although their senior year was a few years away, it would be over before they knew it. Furthermore, it was a warning that younger players and not-so-good teams were busy getting better and they might pass up players that focus too much on how good they are today. Let’s use the latter example to get real about the Sustain phase.
Profile is all about simple, effective lifestyle changes that lead to improved health. The Sustain phase is when members that have hit their goal get to live out those changes every day of their life thereafter. Sustain requires a different mindset than the phases that precede it, and thus, this phase tends to get overlooked. We are all products of the modern “Diet Culture” which has conditioned us to think that we need to lose weight and when we achieve our goals, we are done and life goes back to normal. Let’s be real; leading a healthier lifestyle is not something we should ever be done with. Healthy lifestyle change is a way of living that (hopefully) results in long-term benefits.
Sustain is not a stopping point, but rather a new beginning. Once you reach Sustain, you have a new set of goals. I can’t tell you what those goals will be, but I can tell you that it is unwise to spend all your energy on Reduce and Adapt. You must save some energy for Sustain because there is still plenty of work to be done in this phase of the Profile plan. Through the support of your Profile coach and tools like Profile Perform and Profile Precise, look at Sustain as the real beginning of your new healthier lifestyle (instead of the end).
The hidden gem of Sustain is your Profile Coach, who can help you set new goals so that, over time, you can:
- Maintain current activity levels and consider slight increases at times of weight gain or prolonged inactivity
- Aim for a ratio of “clean” vs “not so clean” meals such as 90/10 (90% clean/10% not so clean) or 80/20 (80% clean/20% not so clean). Increase or decrease the ratio based on what your body is telling you.
- Navigate social events and holidays in healthier ways than you have in the past.
- Support your family and friends by role modeling healthier recipes.
- Engage in healthier activities at work.
These are just a sampling of what goals can look like in Sustain, as the possibilities are endless! What drove you into Profile may not longer motivate you. Be flexible, be open, be thoughtful about who you want to be going forward. Be proactive with your coach and try to wrap your mind around the goals you want to shoot for in Sustain. Partner with the right people to receive the support that you need to assure you achieve those goals. Don’t let the future arrive unexpectedly before you discover the hard-to-see gem of Profile Sustain: continued work on new goals with the support of your Profile Coach.