Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Maintenance

An interesting thing has been happening as I've started to accept the thought of starting maintenance early. In my head, over the past decade (actually, much longer) I have always had this section of brainpower devoted to weight loss. It's always running in the background and depending on what my weight is and how I am doing with gains or losses and where I am motivation-wise, that weight loss sector of my thinking could range anywhere from 10% of the time to nearly 100% of the time. Usually, if I was in the 20% range it was because I had given up, was quitting, or was in-between weight loss efforts on some kind of "break" where I just let myself eat pizza rolls, cupcakes, and whatever else I wanted. I'd refuse to get on the scale and just put weight out of my mind as much as I could. I haven't done that in a long time, since I have worked to keep my focus on healing from disordered eating and, as an end goal, re-losing the weight I lost in 2010. But when I've been really focused on getting the scale to go down, the percent of brainpower and thoughts about my weight go way, way up. I think about it constantly: when I get up and weigh, when I prepare my food, when I eat, all day long as I think "what can I do to get this weight off?" Yeah, I actually tend to over-think it (and thinking it doesn't always translate to action). But this week, as I have accepted that I am super close to just maintaining, I've found I think about food and weight a lot less than ever.

I think that's a good thing. I mean, I've never really tried to maintain before. Sure, there were times when I told myself "I'll just try and maintain at this weight for awhile," but in the back of my mind I did not, ever, accept that. I was always thinking, "sure... but I am STILL going to try and lose weight, but if I fail and maintain instead, then it's more like meeting a goal, even if I really was trying to lose." This is the first time I remember actually, truly embracing a higher weight as a maintenance goal.

Before, stopping at 195 and just *being* there seemed just awful! I mean, I could lose ten or twenty more pounds and look soooo much better! Why stop now?? Well, I'll tell you, every time I have done that it has just stressed me out. Maintaining at the higher weight always FELT like a failure. It just did, because that wasn't my true goal. Now, I look at myself in the mirror and think, I can live with this. I look pretty good! I feel pretty good too. And it's kind of nice to just accept one's self and BE.

Yes, I still would like to drop five or more pounds below 200 to maintain, but I realize I won't look that much different six pounds from now. It's just about the number, not about my body or clothes, so if it happens that is great but if not, I can maintain here. I find myself really looking forward to the summer... *not* having to worry about my arms and skin getting worse (deflated, saggy, wrinkly), *not* having to worry about whether I will change sizes so much that I have nothing that fits, *not* feeling like a failure if the scale has a zero loss. A zero loss will be the goal! That's new, and honestly it's a big relief.

I'm slowly adapting my diet and exercise to a level that I think will support maintenance off the phentermine. I'm still taking it for now, although sometimes I miss a dose. But I am also thinking about weight loss less and less, and just being happy with my body where it is right now. I'm weighing in every day, as a lifelong habit and to correct any upticks quickly, but if I get a zero on the scale each week through the summer, I am going to count that a success.


8 comments:

Cris said...

I’m super excited to see this post. Not only because this is where I am in my journey, and I look forward to your blogs on it, but also because I think that it is a sound plan.

Realistically we are all going to get to maintenance at some point. If we equated it to a job, lots of people retire abruptly- going from 40 work hours to 0, and experience some stir craziness from having no real plan.

But if you go from full time to part time, and learn how to fill those other days... your head is in a much better place.

So I see ‘maintenance breaks’ as simply the stepping stone between all in and all out.

It’s really been nice for me, and I hope it is for you too!

Anonymous said...

What freedom and peace you must be feeling as you go from actively thinking through the losing process to embracing where you are today.

PamL said...

This sounds great, Lyn! I think this is exactly what I've read and heard about--just BE, and worry about losing later. It brings such peace, and it does take practice. So practice away, and enjoy life! It really is a nice break sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Lyn. You couldn't do yourself a bigger favor than to get a handle on maintenance. But don't kid yourself--maintaining a 57 pound loss will not be easy. It will be a tremendous accomplishment. Maintenance really is the hardest part.

LN said...

Loved catching up with you on this post. You are doing some wonderful work for yourself and sharing it with us. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lyn, I'm sorry I'm anonymous. I don't have a blog. I don't think I could stand the scrutiny--you are brave.

One of the advantages to having a blog is that you can look back at what you wrote 8(?) years ago when you tried to transition from Medifast to maintenance. It seems like you attempted maintenance thinking you could alter your food a lot, but you gained weight pretty fast. I think that, sadly, maintenance is where you ARE right now--your weight is changing very little. So I don't think you need to change anything at all. That's maintenance. It's the same as what you've been doing, at least for the past few weeks. What were you thinking of changing, apart from going off phentermine? I would assume that alone would stop the loss because you'd intuitively increase portions or frequency of eating a bit, without consciously altering the basic content of your diet.

Also, just from personal experience, my weight ALWAYS goes up once I increase intake after a diet. So, when I finish say a low carb diet, my weight may be 6-8lb below where it "really" is once I have carbs in my system again. So, that's something to consider also.

Betsey C. said...

I love this idea! Just relax and "be". Good luck with maintaining, and please keep posting on how it's going.

Kristi said...

Maintenance will the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You must be strong, you really can’t add much. What you are doing now is what you will need to do forever, unless you really up your exercise. I was able to add 200 calories and maintain only if I added 1 hour and 10 minutes to my 1 hour of exercise daily. I decided that some days I would eat the 200 calories only when I had time in my day for 2.5 hours of exercise.