I read this article recently on the NY Times, and it really shed some light over my struggles in the last year trying to maintain my 60+ pound weight loss. Namely, that my body hates me... haha.
But really, it does illustrate perfectly that people who have lost a lot of weight have a completely different battle maintaining it than someone who has been the same weight all along. One or two days of less than healthy eating and I'm up on the scale for a week. I can eat under 1500 calories a day and I'm just maintaining. Losing more requires extraordinary measures, and I'm still 10+ pounds above a healthy weight for someone my height at 5'3". Basically, my battle is never really over. I'm just hoping it settles down in time.
Lately, I've realized how easy it is to lapse and let the scale creep up a few pounds. It doesn't take much. A few meals at Christmas, a few extra beers, and a few less workouts. But I've still tried to pick healthy items, workout when I could... and the scale still jumped up. I can see this is how people get discouraged and start to give up. It's EXHAUSTING trying to do this 24/7, every single day. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't stop moving. And this is all to maintain my weight or lose a few of the extra pounds. I'm not even trying to get down to 140 right now because I'm having issues getting to 150 and staying there.
I'm writing this blog mainly to vent my frustrations, but to also show people that maintenance is almost harder than the weight loss. I was dropping 1-2 pounds a week for a good 6 months and it wasn't this difficult. Then once I got to 150 and got stuck, it stayed that way for all of 2011.
I'm determined to make 2012 different. I need to get back into my peak workout shape. I gave up the running around summertime, and I might need to start that up again. I was under 150 when I ran and it stayed there. That'll be painful to get going, I lost my stamina. I'd like to get back into 5K shape by the spring though, I did really enjoy running those races and it gave me a goal to work towards. And hopefully it will help me get back down to around 150 where I was really comfortable. Even if it's still 5-10 pounds above my initial goal, I know it's attainable and more importantly MAINTAINABLE! People forget about that second part. Sure, reaching your goal is important but you have to think about staying there for, technically, the rest of your life. If you get down to 120 and stay there for a day and go right back up again, it's better to stop somewhere that you feel comfortable maintaining. It takes a lot of effort to maintain a weight. If you have to go to extraordinary lengths to do it, it won't stick. I could never eat 1200 calories a day the rest of my life. But at 150, regular exercise and eating 1500-1800, it was very doable.
So the lesson I want everyone to take with them today, MAINTAINABLE goals are crucial, just not attainable.
My goals in the next few months are these:
- Get back into my running form (it's gonna require the gym, but I'm willing to commit, I did it last winter!)
- Work my way slowly back down to 150 without sabotaging myself
- Get my unnecessary eating under control. I really need to stop buying food I know I shouldn't be eating, especially in larger quantities. I'm better getting one small treat that's gone after I eat it.