Losing weight is a beast of a battle that can be equal parts mental and physical struggle. Making big changes to your normal diet causes a whole lot of physiological changes. You may have to deal with hunger, low energy, irritability, or a number of other physical effects—all while having to exert the discipline to stick to a nutritious eating plan and mustering the motivation to exercise. It’s a process of conquering mind and body.
As you get closer and closer to your goal weight, both the mental and physical battle get tougher. You have a smaller deficit and a smaller margin for error. You can see the finish line but your motivation wanes as you can finally slip into a size 10. I think the most difficult part of getting through the home stretch is the mental battle. When I went from obese to slightly overweight I had already come so far that it felt like a victory. This caused me to loosen up a bit—allowing more wiggle room for treats, not pushing as hard during workouts—and ultimately it slowed my progress. It was like setting a goal to run a marathon and then stopping after 25 miles.
When you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you have to prepare yourself for the home stretch. The last 10 pounds are often the hardest to let go of, and they come at a time when your motivation to lose them is lowered. This is the time when you have to think back to the mindset you had at the beginning of your journey. Muster all of the motivation and courage you can and increase your effort to where it was when you felt unstoppable, on fire. As you approach the home stretch, resolve to be unsatisfied with getting merely close to your goal, and save your celebration for the finish line.