Sunday, December 18, 2011
At different times in my past, I've set a goal to lose weight and reached the goal. And I've always eventually put the weight back on. I'm very tired of going through this pattern, so this time I'm really trying hard to keep off the weight that I've lost.
So far so good.
Since this time is the first that I've taken maintenance as seriously as weight loss itself, here are some insights that I've had.
--You have to figure out how to make maintenance feel rewarding. When you are losing, the change in the scale is rewarding. You see yourself progressing towards a goal. I'm still tracking exercise and my food and using Sparkpoints and exercise minutes as my reward.
--You have to contend with boredom. I've been exercising for almost a year now and am bored with some of my exercise routines. Exercise at home has been my strategy because I need to get it done in the morning before work and don't really have time to hit the gym. I don't love exercise, which is probably why I've so easily quit exercising in the past once I reached a weight-loss goal. I'm still figuring this solution out.
--You still need goals. My pledge to avoid the candy dish at work has been one of the best goals that I've set. I check off every day that I attain this goal. I've felt the compulsion on many days to reach into that dish--and then I remember my goal and snatch my hand back. That candy dish was part of my problem a year ago.
--You can splurge on occasion as long as you limit the splurge and get back to healthy habits. I always think through first whether the high calories in any given dish or dessert are really worth it. On occasion, I do indulge--feeling deprived would be counter productive. I do limit these occasions and try to be sure that the taste is really worthy of making an exception. (I just thought about the Seinfeld episode where Elaine would judge whether a sexual encounter was "sponge-worthy.")
--I'm blogging through this process. Losing weight--been there. Maintaining weight loss--just now figuring this one out. Losing weight seems to get harder as you get older, so I'd like for this time to be the last time that I have to go through that process. That means I have to be strategic about figuring out what you do to maintain weight loss. I have to continue to build on the healthy habits that I've developed during the past year.