Since I am doubling down on my efforts to get below 200 pounds, I got particularly disheartened when I stumbled upon articles today that state that weight loss can never be maintained. Ever.
In my own experience that has been true, BUT, that’s because when I reached my goal I simply slowly returned to my old ways of eating.
When I began this journey I stated that losing weight was the easy part, maintaining it would be harder. I meant that, and still feel that way now, so I must do whatever it takes starting from now to make sure that I don’t gain it all back.
I read a statement from a doctor who said that he and his colleagues are reluctant to suggest to a patient that they lose weight, because they will lose it and then gain it all back, plus more, resulting in them being fatter than ever. Instead, he advises his patients to do what they can to not gain any more weight. Geez.
You can easily find articles that say weight loss cannot be maintained unless your weight loss was due to bariatric surgery. How depressing! How is this possible?
It’s possible because these people generally can’t return to old ways of eating. (I know there are exceptions).
One article I read said that those who do maintain their weight loss (there are some?) continue to exercise a lot and continue to diet. In other words, they do what I’m doing now. I often say I’m not on a “diet” in the sense of it being a temporary way of eating, but do I really mean that? I’d better, because if not, I will regain all the weight I’ve lost. The truth is that the way I am eating now is the way I will need to continue to eat for the rest of my life. PERIOD.
That is why I don’t deprive myself of certain things. I do put two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee twice a day. I do use butter on my boiled egg and toast. I do eat a small bowl of pasta now and then, or tacos in a fried corn tortilla. On rare occasions I eat fish and chips (but hardly any chips). Lately, if I know I’m going to go out to eat, I purposefully eat light during the day so that the meal doesn’t impact me too much. And when there is a birthday, I have a few bites of birthday cake, but I can easily pass on the ice cream.
I absolutely cannot look at my new way of eating as anything other than permanent. I cannot bear the thought that after all this incredibly hard work, I’d be stupid enough to think I can go back to eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s and three candy bars a day.
I still have about 55 pounds of weight to lose and to be honest, at my age, I may never actually reach that goal, but that’s okay. It might be better than okay, actually, since that means I can consider myself on a perpetual diet, or just that I’ve adopted a new way of eating that will last me a lifetime.
I will stive to:
1.) Keep eating as I do now, or even healthier.
2.) Keep exercising as I do now and add more to my fitness routine.
Maybe I’m being naive thinking that I can maintain my weight loss (when I get there), but the alternative is unacceptable. I have to try. My quality of life is already greatly improved. I don’t want to give that up.
When I think of my future it is me with a man who also loves to be active. We ride bikes, we swim, we hike, we garden, we eat healthy, we don’t drink much. When I get to the point where I am ready to date and attempt to find a new man, I will make certain that fitness is as important to him as it is to me. Anything else will jeopardize my success.
The other two things that I think will help me maintain are:
3. To continue to weigh every Sunday, without exception, forever.
4. To enjoy fashion and buy clothing that makes me feel good.
I know that last one might seem a bit odd, but when you give up thinking about how you look, that is the first step in gaining weight back, for me anyway.
I’ve done pretty well this week in my efforts and feel fairly certain that there will be about a 1.5 lb weight loss. This road to getting below 200 pounds has taken longer than I would have liked. From now on I will take my goals in increments of no more than ten pounds at a time. Anything higher is daunting to me.
Some interesting things happened to me in the last few days. I somehow decided (probably because I was too hungry) that I would treat myself to a York Peppermint Patty on a whim at the grocery store. I knew that, yes, it is filled with sugar, but not much fat, and I thought somehow I deserved it. The funny thing is, when I went to the candy section it was the only candy bar missing. I took that as a sign and didn’t buy any candy. Then, only a couple of days later I, again, in another store, was going to pick a candy bar, and when I began to slow down in front of the candy, an enormous man came around the corner into my aisle. I took that as a sign and kept walking.
The universe doesn’t want me to be fat.
It feels good to not spend as much time thinking about my husband and the breakdown of my marriage and instead thinking about what is right for me.
The pride I have as I creep closer to an average weight is the best reward in the world.
I’m going to pack my Speedo backpack now and head to the pool, even though in the last few days I feel as though I have a cold. My head aches, my ear aches, my nose is running. But I get there and with every stroke I think about calories being burned and muscle being gained.
I’d love to know if anyone has had success in maintaining weight loss, or if they know someone who has been successful at it. Thanks for reading.
p.s. Originally I had hoped that I’d be near my goal weight around mid October 2014 because that will have been a year since I began. I think that amounts to me losing 9 pounds a month from here on out, which is unrealistic, so I’ll have to not be so concerned with when I reach that goal, but that I keep striving for it.