Thursday, June 21, 2018

Maintenance Update

Time's been getting away from me and I am long overdue for an update on my weight. Last time I posted, I weighed 189 pounds (the Sunday before last). I missed posting my last Sunday weigh in but I did weigh, and got 191 pounds. Today I weigh 188. All good in the realm of maintenance. Speaking of which, I am ready to make a change.

When I decided to maintain at a higher weight back in March, I had lots of reasons, but the main thing was that last time I did this, I did not honor my feelings and kept losing so quickly that my emotions could not keep up with it, and I ended up with a rapid regain. It was all about getting the weight off *pronto.* This time, it is all about *keeping* the weight off and being comfortable doing so. I knew I needed to take time to get used to being smaller, deal with my feelings on the loose skin and the clothing issues, just take it easy and learn to live in the body I have before changing it again. This is working really well for me.

I have weighed 199 or less since the end of March... almost 3 months!
I have been maintaining within a ten pound range (188-198) for over two and a half months.
I have stayed at or below my "line in the sand" weight of 195 pounds for 2 months and one week.

That's pretty good! Maintenance success. I am at 90 pounds gone right now. And lately, I have felt that I might be ready to try maintaining in a slightly lower window... say, under 190. So that's my goal right now: to drop another 5 pounds or so and just stay in the 180's for awhile... maybe the rest of the summer, we'll see. I feel like I've taken the time to get used to my body, accept the way my loose skin and mushy fat has been, and am just fine with the clothing choices I will have 5 pounds lighter, so why not? If it stresses me out or I lose my calm, I will just go back to the 188-195 maintenance window.

Slow, calm, gentle. No forcing and no angst. This is how I hope to gradually get to goal: small stepdowns with maintenance windows, only changing them when I am 100% ready and comfortable doing it! Can't wait to see how the rest of the summer goes!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Lose, Gain, Maintain

I'm a day late for reporting my weekly weigh-in, but I *have* been weighing every day as planned and have been charting it in My Fitness Pal. It's been an interesting week. I like to look at data, so a quick rundown on my weight and phentermine use:

My first week on phentermine (August 2017), I lost 8 pounds.
From August through February, I lost an average of 8 pounds/month taking phentermine.
In March, my last full month on phentermine, I lost 3 pounds.
In April I weaned off phentermine and only took it half the time or less, and lost 7 pounds.

When I stopped taking phentermine, I weighed 192 pounds. Since then my goal has been to maintain and stay under my "line in the sand" weight which is 195; whenever I hit that weight it becomes *urgent* to reverse course immediately! Get it back under control! I never want to see the 200's again. Well, since then, I have gotten down to 188 (pics) on the 11th, but then hit 194 on the 17th and took 1/2 dose of phentermine that day to get my appetite under control (that's the only time I took it in May). Got back to 190, then hit 195 on the 29th after vacation, and then spent a week going between 192 and 195. I think it *is* success, because my weight is going to fluctuate a few pounds here and there. But when I got to 195 again last Thursday, I said to myself, "Nope. I am not going to just keep hitting that line like it is a game. Time to get back away from the line." So that morning I took half a phentermine and have been taking it since.

Staying on a half dose of phentermine over the last 4 days got me back to 189 on Sunday, which is also what I weigh today. I am pleased with that and am planning to stay at a half dose for a little while.

Today I went to see my endocrinologist, who was thrilled with my weight loss since the last visit, especially since I took a month-long (plus) break from phentermine! I got a refill and she said I was handling it exactly right by taking it for awhile, then taking a break, and then restarting. She said it is fine to just take it as I feel it's needed, keep tracking my weight, and start losing again when I am ready. She also said that phentermine may "fix" your metabolism so that even after you stop taking it, you're burning more calories than you did before. Makes sense to me!

Going for blood work soon (for thyroid) but everything looks good so far. I'm very happy to be 189 and hope my new range is between 185 and 189 for a month or so!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Update on the Weight

Well it's been a whirlwind of a week, battling kidney stones (major pain), getting settled back into routine after our trip, and getting ready for school to end (finally). I am making my health a priority and working my maintenance plan; as of this morning I weigh 192 pounds, which is down 2 pounds from my return from vacation. I weighed 192 last Sunday and the Sunday before that. I'd call that maintenance. Fluctuation a few pounds up and down over the summer is fine by me as long as I don't cross that high line of 195 and don't drop much below 188 either. I think ideally, 186 to 190 is a perfect range for me over the next couple of months. I am not ready yet to lose below the mid 180's, but I will know when the time is right. I am working on the mental and emotional side of things with my counselor, and working on the diet side by learning how much sugar or carbs is "too much" (meaning not worth it for the effort I need to get back to baseline) and eating more produce. My daughter and I planted strawberries, tomatoes, and basil this year and I also have a network of friends who have offered me extras from their gardens! I get a CSA box each week and pick up a few things from the farmers markets too. I'm enjoying being able to be comfortable in my clothing without it getting too big or too small and the loose skin right now is slightly noticeable to me (in half sleeves) and not causing me any distress. It's all good! Happy. Thanks for the support!

Friday, June 1, 2018

How Hard It Is

Today I weighed in for my monthly update and for the first time in 10 months, there was an overall gain for a calendar month. I've been losing steadily every month since August of last year when I started taking phentermine. Even in April, when I weaned off the diet pill, I still lost 7 pounds. In May, though, I am up 2 pounds overall to 194 as of this morning. One part of me, the old part, wants to jump out and create drama about this. "Oh no, a gain!! Now what will I do?? What if I go right back up the hell scale??" But the new, calmer, more peaceful side of me is saying, "Good job maintaining under 195! That was, and still is, your goal!" I am choosing the mindset of the latter.

Now about the title of this post: How hard it is. When I wrote that, I was thinking about how hard it is for me to get off sugar, and carbs in general, once I've overdone it. It's pretty easy for me to coast along eating smaller portions and lower carbs when I limit myself to the amounts I know don't trigger cravings for me: about 1/4 cup of starchy food (like potatoes or pasta) in a meal, keeping that to once a day, and if I do have something sweet it doesn't "bother" me if I eat the equivalent of, say, one cookie or a very thin slice of cake on occasion. Anything beyond that and I have joint pain, cravings, and a desire for more and more of those carb-heavy foods. I can even take an occasional... VERY occasional (once a month or less) indulgence day and eat higher portions of things like bread and feel fine if I go right back to my usual way of eating the next day. But I know that if I overdo the sugar, I want more. It's very hard to stop. It triggers cravings for lots of other things in me: bakery foods, fried foods, salty, fatty, greasy foods. And then it becomes difficult for me to get back to what suddenly seems like a very restrictive "diet."

Over the days on our vacation I pretty much let loose and ate what everyone else is eating for an extended period, for the first time in many months. It didn't feel out of control or "bingey" at all; the portions were smaller than others were eating, and I enjoyed the food. But after a couple days of that I just felt sluggish and food-focused. What can I eat next? Which food should I have because I won't be eating it again when I get home? How many flavors of fudge should I try? And that, more than anything, is a feeling I don't like. Even coming home and going back to my normal eating routine, I still am having cravings for sugar and fried foods. It's been hard to stop. The wake-up moment for me was this morning when I got up and made my coffee and noticed a Reeses peanut butter cup wrapper in the trash! Oh yeah, I did that last night! Stopped at a 7-11 because I *really* wanted a candy bar.

That flashed me back to those old days of eating lots of junk, forgetting about it, and then seeing the wrappers in the morning and feeling ashamed. I do not want to go back to feeling shame, regret, or "I can't have that" about food. I DO have a way to eat a candy bar on my plan, if I want one. The key is that the way I normally eat, I just rarely want some junky candy bar... but if I did, I could have a *portion* of one in an otherwise low carb day. It fits, and eliminates that feeling of restriction. That is what I am shifting back to now, because that mindset is essential for me to keep maintaining under 195 pounds.

I can never forget the way it used to be and that a food addict is hiding quietly in the shadows of my mind. Even after years of being a "normal" weight and eating healthily, I know I will have to watch for this carefully. The only way to keep that addict completely away is to stand by what I know works for me, and the next time I go on a vacation like this, keep any indulgences within those parameters.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Back! Update.

I am back from our vacation with a 3 pound gain (195 pounds). That makes me a little nervous as it is my "line in the sand" number, but on the other hand, I feel calm about it because I know what to do. I am confident it will come right back off, but I do think I'd like to stop bumping up against that line so often!

We had so much fun on vacation! One of the highlights was when my daughter and her friend were riding go carts and asked me to drive one, too. I said yes! They thought it was great to see Mom getting strapped into that cart and racing around the track with them. It was so fun and I had a great time, and although it took a little effort to get myself up from that low position, I did it! Yet another victory over the old, obese life.

I ate a lot of carbs, truly, including some amazing freshly made peach ice cream. It was nice to have some things I don't usually enjoy, but it also made me more sluggish and the sugar caused some joint pain from inflammation, and I came back ready to get back off the carbs.

That's my update for now. Hopefully the pounds will drop back off again soon and I can get back to maintaining in the 190ish zone.

*Editing to add: looks like I have kidney stones again. I wonder how much the diet change had to do with this? Last time I got them, it was after eating a whole "bunch" of beets AND their greens from the Farmer's Market. Not sure if going from very low carb to high carb + grains + sugar could cause this, but PAIN!!!!!!! Been miserable. Hope it literally passes soon.