Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Maintenance 101

So, I’ve had a week or so to come back down to earth after reaching the heady heights of goal. First of all, I need to say a huge THANKYOU to you all for your lovely comments on my getting-to-goal post last week. Quite simply, I could not have done it without you! Seriously. Blogging has been (and will continue to be) such a valuable tool for me. I’ve learnt so much through it and through ‘knowing’ you all! ThAnK YoU!

This first week and a bit of this elusive thing called ‘maintenance’ has been, well, odd. It isn’t actually that different from trying to lose weight, and yet it is entirely different....! I’m still counting my points and tracking and exercising and noting my hunger levels and trying to graze through the day and focus on filling foods and not eating processed crap. But somehow, the stakes seem higher! It’s like balancing on a tightrope. I worked so hard to get balanced on the tight rope, one false move could see me fall – ie the way I eat and control this maintenance malarkey could result in the scales going up or down. Whilst obviously I’m not too bothered if they go down, I have promised myself that I will do this sensibly and healthily. I STILL WILL freak out if they go up - that's just a given. I'm trying to be less strict with myself but it ain't easy!

My first weigh in as a Gold Member last Saturday showed that I had managed to stay the same. This is good, no?! There was a little frisson of disappointment at not having lost weight after 7 consecutive weeks of doing so, but I soon reminded myself that I have a different set of expectations now. It’s almost like starting again.

I sent the following email to Caro, my Motivational Match Up Partner courtesy of MizFit and lovely Jen Prior Fat Girl, on Monday:-

“Now I'm at goal maintenance must surely be about balancing weight and activity with real life. The hard slog is done - ie the getting to goal, but now the consistent approach is needed. I've prioritised this above pretty much everything else for the past year and especially in recent months, but now I feel like I can give myself permission to slow down a little...this in itself is a big revelation, but the immediate automatic thought that follows it is 'this is what happened last time and you gained all the weight and then some back again' !! Abject terror of being fat again will keep me on plan but the pace I was going at is not sustainable for every single day of the rest of my life !

So I feel a bit at a loss really. I also feel....scrutinised? People notice and comment on what I am eating more, people notice me and comment more, I find it weird, disconcerting and downright rude in some cases. !!

I've spent so long wanting to get 'there' and now I'm 'there' it's weird! I feel as if I have to reassess my relationships with people, my wardrobe, my attitudes to people, my life, my goals.....very very odd feeling! “

That pretty much sums up where I’m at with the maintaining thing! It’s like starting again and is just as much a psychological shift as a physical one.

On a practical note I upped my points from 18 to 21 per day. I should be on 24 according to the book you get but it also suggests a slow increase, maybe one or two points a week to see how your weight and body fares on that increase. It’s all a matter of experimentation I guess. I suppose my experiment was successful this week judging by weigh in, but I desperately want not to live week-by-week from weigh in to weigh in and to be able to do this instinctively rather than by counting. I want to be able to let go of the control enough not to have to track and to use the tools I have to monitor my intake and activity. Can that happen do you think? I really admire the Gold Members that I weigh at our meeting a couple of times a year or every month. I would love to be in that place, but right now I’m just learning – a whole different kind of learning than when I was trying to lose. There’s a lot of it that’s about (for me at least) accepting that I’m DONE with losing weight, and resisting the temptation to go further. I’m not anywhere near skinny and have 8lbs before I hit the minimum weight for my height, so I’m not in the danger zone or anything but accepting that the losing thing is now over and trying to stay on track and be healthy is the priority. Of course, gaining all the weight back freaks me out and helps me to err on the side of caution.

I really don’t want to lose my impetus or motivation, but I also can’t realistically sustain the pace I was going at – I miss my life!! It was all well and good for the final ‘push’ to get to goal but now I need to be realistic. I need to figure out a routine that works for me. Of course, I won’t be spending 2+ hours in the gym every night as the Spring comes (no sign of it yet though – still bloomin’ snowing!) and as the nights get lighter – because I’ll be able to whizz home, throw on my running gear and hit the pavement! I can’t wait for that! I’ve never been into running when it’s Spring or summer – I’ve never really been into running before ever so it’s a whole new journey to be excited for!

Yesterday I lost the plot a bit with eating. The reason? I was annoyed at the weather. Yes it was THAT irrational. I sabotaged myself with pitta and houmous and a few glasses of wonderful Sauvignon Blanc on top of a day’s healthy and filling eating because I was pissed off. ERROR! How stupid is that!! I haven’t done that in yonks! So today I need to hop back on it and be strict with myself – not to mention get my backside in the gym! Yesterday evening is exactly what I used to do 3 or 4 times a week! No wonder I gained flipping weight! Ridiculous. I imagine I’ll have gained this week at weigh in – all the more reason to keep counting those points. I am an idiot!

Maintenance hey? Who’d have thunk it’d be trickier than the weight loss in the first place!??!

Love L xoxo


Weighting Around said...

You are exactly where I want to be! I will be checking in to see how you're doing, mainly because I am just 10 pounds away from my goal and nervous about maintenance. You've done so well and I appreciate the fact that you are here and I can read about someone else's trials and tribulations. Congratulations on making it to goal! I agree with you that keeping it off is a challenge, but a challenge I am waiting to experience. Thanks.

Sal said...

YOu're doing great my love - I'm so happy to see the words balance in that post so much. Been thinking of you alot.

Love you so much lady - well done

MB said...

You'll figure this maintenance thing out and show us the way to do it right. Keep the faith that it will get easier to eat intuitively the longer you do it.

Kyle Gershman said...

Congrats on making your goal! I can't believe I missed commenting on your prior post.

Anyway, maintenance is my most feared as well. I actually blogged about calling in preservation since I really want to preserve the loss, but also keep getting more and more fit.

I'm still working on lifestyle pursuits that demand being fit. I've slipped many times in the past when I reached "goal" without having a new goal to focus on.

I'm looking forward to hearing more of your journey.

Salina Lyn said...

Huge congrats on reaching your goal. That's super exciting. I am absolutely terrified of the maintenance stuff. Good thing for me, I have about 40 more lbs to lose before I have to worry about it but just knowing that it's coming is scary to me. I'm looking forward to reading about how you find that balance for yourself.