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RAVELGIRLY's Recent Blog Entries

First Maintenance Anniversary

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One year ago today I hit my goal weight. My goal was to get my weight down low enough to be in the "healthy" BMI range when weighed fully clothed at the doctor's office.

Not only have I maintained that initial 85 pound weight loss, I actually lost 15 pounds more in maintenance! So my ticker goal now is 98 pounds lower than my starting weight (what I weighed in the fall of 2012). That means that today I'm down 100 pounds.

I am elated to have a year of maintenance under my belt!

So what have I learned?

Maintenance is actually harder than losing. Why? Maintenance is pretty much the same effort as losing, if not more, but without the reward of seeing the numbers drop on the scale and applause from friends and family.

So far, maintenance for me is basically doing the same things as when I was losing. I am exercising more than I did in losing because i added half marathon training. My weight never stays the same - it's up and down by as much as 5 pounds with my hormonal shifts. Using Weightgrapher.com has been a big help in spotting the patterns.

I still struggle with knowing where my calorie target should be. I should be eating more, according to both Sparkpeole and my doctor, but that resulted in rapid weight gain when I tried. I think I added too many calories too quickly, so I am going to try again with just 50 calories at a time.

I know the odds for regain are still high so I will continue to be vigilant. I am determined to beat the odds. When I was born three months premature, the doctors gave me a 25% chance of survival. I beat those odds so I know I can do this if I fight for it!

Next goals: Reach 2 years of maintenance at goal! Run two half marathons in 2015!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAUTIFUL_REINA 12/10/2014 2:15PM

    Way to go on losing that 100 lbs, what an accomplishment!! Also, you have kept it off for a year, which a very small percentage of ppl have done which puts you in an elite club!! You so totally ROCK!

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Half marathon goal achieved!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Sunday I ran my first half marathon! Me, a klutz and former couch potato! 100 pounds ago, I could not even imagine walking three miles, let alone running 13.1.

I finished in 2:10:33 and I'm proud of the fact that I paced evenly and was able to finish strong and with a smile on my face.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNWOGGER 10/9/2014 1:16PM

    Wow that is fantastic! Congratulations! emoticon

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LEMONMOUSE 10/8/2014 8:11PM

    How totally awesome you ran your first 1/2 marathon! Way to go.

Are you already planning your next one?!

Keep up the great work.

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GMINYARD 10/8/2014 7:04PM

    WOW! What an inspiration! Great job! emoticon

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Delayed Onset MENTAL Soreness & Bare Minimum Maintenance Strategies

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I read an excellent post about maintaining from TINAJANE:


I just had a two day migraine that redefined my "bare minimum" and "mental toughness". I was feeling like a failure because I missed two workouts, but TINAJANE's words helped me see I still succeeded at maintaining because I didn't give in to the urge to self-medicate with empty carbs once the nausea passed. I've been in maintenance mode for 5 months now and it is still really tough.

When I first started working out, I had DOMS all the time because I was using my muscles in new ways. I was awkward and wobbly. Maintenance feels much the same but that's okay - it's only a place to start. I'm building mental toughness the same way I built muscle strength - through repeated USE.

TINAJANE talks about the bare minimum. I'm not sure what that is, but I suspect it is food tracking, staying within calorie range, and meeting nutritional macros. I say that because I hear long time maintainers say that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

I'd add almost daily exercise as a bare minimum for myself because that's what it takes for me to manage my fibromyalgia and migraines. Except that the migraines mean missing workouts at times, so maybe the bare minimum really is just nutrition and tracking?

What's your bare minimum to maintain in the tough times?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVELGIRLY 5/8/2014 4:51PM

    Thanks for the input, TINAJANE76. emoticon

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TINAJANE76 5/7/2014 8:24PM

    I was just about to leave a comment on your page when I saw this blog, so I thought I'd leave you some feedback here instead. I'll blog about this soon when I have a bit more time (work's nuts at the moment!), but yes, for me the "bare minimum" is all about calories. I know that if I keep my calories within a certain range, I can still maintain my weight even if I'm doing practically no exercise or even if my food choices aren't optimal. That gives me the flexibility of eating more convenience food to save time when I'm really tired or stressed out or just not home to cook rather than feeling like I have to follow a totally "clean" diet. And there are times when trying to fit in exercise causes more stress than it alleviates it and it's just not worth it, especially if it means I'll be very sleep deprived. My "bare minimum" periods rarely last more than a week or two, but it's good to know that I have an emergency plan that works if I need it. My "bare minimum" plan also works well when I've been off track for a stretch. I find that if I try focusing on too much all at once, it feels overwhelming. Just focusing on calories, then gradually adding back everything else is much more manageable.

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Epiphany: Why I Was Obese

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I just had an epiphany. I was obese for close to 15 years because I ate to numb the pain. I have fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. Not even prescription pain medicines could numb the pain, but Supersize fast food and lots of sugar numbed it for a while. What I didn't know is that my poor food choices and sedentary lifestyle were actually making the pain worse!

I hope I can succeed at continuing to maintain my healthy weight. I think I can because now when I am in pain, I no longer reach for something sugary or head to the Golden Arches. I know I need endorphins to cope and I choose to get them from exercise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIHIKES 4/29/2014 12:39PM

    Great blog, and great insights

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BIGDOG18 4/29/2014 11:51AM


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DCWILLIAMS831 4/29/2014 11:50AM

    Congratulations on your epiphany. My mother suffers from fibromyalgia as well. Unless you have it, you cannot begin to imagine the pain - for no reason - that is experienced/endured.

emoticon emoticon

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Perfectionism and Maintenance

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

My natural inclination to be a perfectionist is making maintenance stressful.

I'm told it's normal for a woman's weight to fluctuate with hormones, sodium intake, etc. Having lost and gained 20 pounds and 33 pounds in the past, I am petrified that I will gain back the 90+ pounds I've lost this time. I know this time I did it the "right" way - good nutrition, reducing and tracking food intake, and adding in lots of exercise - but still, the fear is there.

Every time the scale goes up, I panic, thinking this is the beginning of the end. I know that I can expect up to a 5 lb jump for PMS and a 2 lb jump for sodium but still, it makes me panic and go back to 1300 calories until the number comes down. This cycle means I'm still losing weight, albeit slowly.

This drive to be perfect has kept me from increasing my calories to where the doctor and Sparkpeople say I should be. It's stressing me out and causing friction with my loved ones. I'd love to be more relaxed and let myself have a cookie now and then.

How much did the scale vary while you were finding your maintenance calorie range?
How do I let go of the idea that my weight should be at the magic number every day?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 5/7/2014 8:34PM

    The best confidence booster in maintenance is time and I found the first year to mentally be the toughest in terms of feeling afraid of regain. Even after more than two years on maintenance, my weight is still all over the place in any given week (I can fluctuate by at least five pounds), but I generally seem to come back to pretty much the same number unless I've overdone it over the holidays or while I'm on vacation. My best advice for you is to stick to what you know works for you and if you find that you're a bit out of whack, make small, gradual changes until you feel like you're back in your comfort zone. Little tweaks are often all that are necessary in maintenance and once you understand your body's natural rhythms and your cycles of motivation (I find it easier to stay on track certain times of year than others and have accepted that my average weight will be a bit up or down at those times of year as a result), it gets easier to ride out your jumps without panicking.

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MALAMI518 4/9/2014 9:51PM

    I am in the same position that you are right now. I'm interested to read the other answers that you get to help me figure this out.

I hope that you get it all figured out for you, too!

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GLORIAMAJDI 4/2/2014 7:22PM

    Wow, your story sounds so familiar to me. I have gained and lost a few times and I have lost about 90 pounds this go round. I am terrified of gaining. My original goal weight was 145, which I reached in September. Now I am down to about 132. I also continued to lose, albeit slowly. But I don't need to lose anymore and so now what I am doing is adding calories. I weigh myself daily and I have an app that records TRENDS. I use the trend line to decide how I should eat. If the trend line goes above 132, then I cut back on the calories for seven days. If at that point the trend line is back where I want it be, I increase the calories again. This might not be the best way to do it but as I am learning how to maintain, I find that this has helped me not be so scared and gain confidence that what I am doing is working. I still have to track each day and I still need to weigh in because if I don't, the accountability isn't there and I start making bad food choices. I am not sure if any of this helps you but I AM sure that you can do this - just take the steps to add the calories and if you find yourself gaining, just cut back for a few days.

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MNCYCLIST 4/1/2014 5:50PM

    I'm a man and this fact might temper the usefulness of my comments. But when I have reached my goal weight in the past, I have worried less about small fluctuations (3-5 lbs) over several days of time, and more about large fluctuations (5+ lbs) over weeks of time. If I know that my nutrition and exercise habits are healthy, then weight becomes one measure that helps me ensure that I am living a healthy life. I don't live or die by the scale.

And furthermore, wow, is this awesome or what? You're talking about maintenance which means that you've really achieved something! That super-inspires me today, so thanks for sharing and for giving me some needed motivation to keep pressing on in my life and journey toward health!

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ROSEWAND 4/1/2014 2:38PM

    It is normal to be nervous in the early stages
of maintenance. I remember how daunting
the idea seemed to me. I had never been
successful at actually maintaining a weight
after a significant loss, so I had good reason
to be nervous.

I was determined this time to succeed and
with the help of Spark, I am now nearly four
years in maintenance. Over time, you start
to trust yourself.

One challenge is learn how much you can eat
while maintaining. At first, as you have found
you might be eating to little and still be losing.
Keep close track and over time how much
your can eat will be clarified.

My calorie goals are set as a weekly average.
My calories will vary from day to day. I eat more
on the weekend and lighter during the week. I
plan ahead for holidays when I know I will eat more.
When I overeat, I simply go back to what I know
works. It consistency over time that helped
us lose the weigh and it will be consistency
over time that keeps us in maintenance.

You have the option of only weighing once
a week or even once a month. Pick a time
of the month, when you know your weight
will not be affected by PMS or sodium.

I always weigh on Fridays as I know that
normally I will eat less during the week
and not be as affected by water weight.
This minimizes the scale stress. And
yes I trust myself to keep to my goals.

My clothes are a great feedback system.
They gently tell me if my weight is up
or down. That is enough stress to keep
me motivated. emoticon

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