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Article from Shape -- The Downsides to meeting your goal weight...

Monday, July 09, 2012

I found a lot of this relevant to my mindset right now. I'm not at my "goal" weight -- but I'm damn close and on a plateau that I'm okay with.

The Downsides to Meeting Your Goal Weight
You've worked hard to reach your goal weight. Now what happens?
By Rachel Wilkerson

When I started losing weight, I often looked at women who were thinner than I was and thought, Wow, her life must be so easy. I knew that once I got to my goal weight, Id feel awesome, and healthy living would be just as easy for me as it was for all the I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight women around me.

Now that Ive lost 75 pounds, I can say that I do feel awesome... but I cant say that a healthy lifestyle comes easy. Weight maintenance isnt as simple as I expected. While being at my goal weight has its perks, I have to admit: I failed to appreciate some of the great benefits I enjoyed along the way. If I did it all over again, here's what I'd do different:

Celebrate Better Health Just as Much as a Smaller Dress Size. I always thought I worked out for the health benefits (mental and physical) as much as I did for losing weight, but now that I no longer have thinner thighs as a goal, Im seeing thats not the case. Ive actually been pretty disappointed in myself for not finding lowering my cholesterol as compelling of a goal as looking hot at a social event. (Wait, am I really that shallow? I ask myself at least once a week. Yes. Yes, I am, is my response.) It turns out knowing that I was doing something to change what I didn't like about my body was a huge source of motivation.

Relish in Being Able to See My Results. When I was losing weight, I actually looked forward to my weigh-ins and the feeling of my pants getting loose. It kept my motivation high. But now, I dont really see results. Now I have to find other ways to measure my progress, whether its focusing on more toned shoulders or shaving a minute off my mile time. I wish I could say these things are just as motivating as seeing the scale change, but thats not always the case.

Embrace Change in All Aspects of Life. Or a new anything. While youre losing weight, youll probably find yourself shopping for new clothes and trying on something that youd never even considered before. And then you find yourself trying all sorts of new things: new hobbies, new foods, new friends. Its such a great time to redefine yourself. Now that Im at my goal weight, life seems a little ho-hum. Sure, I could go out and try something new, but I find Im less likely to do that when Im not out buying new jeans too.

Remember: You Can Eat More When Youre Still Losing. Though I feel a bit less concerned with what I eat now, I have to eat fewer calories overall because I no longer need the energy to sustain myself and, well, a fourth-grader. With every 10 pounds or so that I lost, I needed to eat less. And that is hard for me because I really like to eat.

Enjoy the Support and Encouragement Along the Way. When I was losing weight, I felt like everyone was cheering me on. Now I feel like at best, theyve lost interest; at worst, theyre waiting for me to fail and gain it all back. New people I meet assume I can eat whatever I want and dont think I need any cheering on in a workout class, but the truth is, I have just as many moments of Id-rather-have-slept-in-and-oh-my-god-why
-can-I-just-give-up-now as I did when I was 20, 30, and 50 pounds heavier.

I remember how frustrated I often felt when I was trying to lose weight, so I am happy that I finally hit my goal. That said, I wish Id appreciated more of these benefits when I was feeling impatient about my weight loss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VLKSHA 7/17/2012 11:25AM

    Sure the maintenance goal isn't as glamorous, but if you put yourself out there for support, it will come. I believe fitness goals/teams would love your support too.

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BLUEROSE73 7/17/2012 12:03AM

    It's too easy to forget to enjoy the journey. Thanks for the reminder

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CRYMENIA 7/16/2012 11:42PM

    I like this! It raised a question for me though: Is it because we enjoy seeing our results and being cheered on that most of us gain our weight back?

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JULIA1154 7/9/2012 4:48PM

  I don't find it whiny. Instead it sounds to me like someone who's rather unsettled and unsure of where to go now that she's met a major goal (and that's not uncommon, no matter what the goal).

There's a lot of talk on SP about losing weight, not so much about maintaining that loss and the truth is that it's just as tough at times to maintain as to lose. Thanks for raising the topic, Sara.

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SMUSSETTER 7/9/2012 4:42PM

  Good article. Thanks for sharing!

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QUIERRA 7/9/2012 4:42PM

    This blog was very enlightening, especially the part about no longer having to look forward to the weight loss. I found that to be interesting. As someone who is still on the weight loss journey, I'd say that this was very helpful so that I can prepare for what to do in the future.

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IACTA_ALEA_EST 7/9/2012 4:12PM

    I liked it. been there. lost 60 lbs and didnt know how to maintain it.
Now Im back. Learning some of those lessons.
Doing things differently this time for me would be thinking
I want to work out, not I have to.
stuff like that.
thanks for posting.

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SHRINKING_SARA 7/9/2012 4:08PM

    It's a little whiny no?

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Public + Bathing Suit = Scary times---that I conquered

Sunday, July 01, 2012

I am one of those people who always are covered up. I'm getting better. I started wearing shorts last summer. People were shocked! They always used to bug me about wearing jeans in 90+ heat and humidity in St. Louis -- and I shrugged it off. I mean honestly I was used to it, so you just deal. Plus who wanted to see my fat legs in shorts, right? At least that's what I used to think.

Well shorts/legs -- okay. But upper arms. Heeeeeeell to the no. That's probably my worst body image issue that I have, hands down. I inherited my southern grandma arms from the Oswalt side of the family. No matter how skinny my aunts or mom has been -- they still have jiggly, large upper arms. Its our genetic curse. Seriously, my one aunt got down to 120-130--toned all over... except for jiggly upper arms. I should start researching that jello gene and get rid of it! But I digress...

Yesterday was a float trip with my grad student friends. Now for the past four years I've skipped. Why did I skip -- two words. Bathing suit. Those two evil little words carry so much power. Now every female hates to go bathing suit shopping. Hands down, worst experience we all have to go through. I think it has to do with the fact that you can't hide in a bathing suit. Its literally all on display for the world to see. There's no cardigans on a float trip either. So I would have to go in a bathing suit (with no sleeves) or wear a t-shirt and a)look like a boy and b)get a rocking farmers tan.

So I sucked it up (and in!) and went bathing suit shopping a few weeks ago so I would go on this float trip. I found a cute one at Torrid -- super tight with built in Spanx-like technology -- and ruffles to hide lumps and bumps. Its cute. It completely smashes my boobs down so my B-cup was an A-cup yesterday, but it also smashed down my stomach so I dealt.

When I started the float I had on a ridiculous caftan. It was long sleeves, but suddenly I was like -- screw it. I took of the caftan and let my upper arms see sunlight for the first time in public since... I dunno... EVER! And I am not joking about that. I will literally not go in public with my upper arms exposed. I used to not even go around family with my upper arms exposed. I will eventually take a picture and show you all what I mean, but this was a huge deal for me.

So now I was not only on a float trip, in public, with cute guys around, in a bathing suit, but my arms were flapping in the breeze as I paddled. My friends were like "no one cares" and I had to think to myself. Okay -- on this float trip will the most important topic of discussion be my upper arms. No? Okay then shut up inner monologue and deal with it.

I had a bit of self-consciousness as we passed other groups on the river, but honestly I saw a lot of women with stuff hanging out left and right -- and they were having an amazing time and probably couldn't care less what the heck I thought about them -- so conversely -- they probably didn't even register a comment about me either.

So I dealt with my issues -- had an amazing time -- and really wished I would have gotten over my issues a long time ago and stopped missing out on life.

All told yesterday I had a workout! We got on the river at 11AM and finished at 6:30PM for a 10 mile float. I know I didn't burn a super amount of calories as we floated, but I did a bit of swimming, some paddling, and dragging of the canoe -- so I feel like I did pretty darn good yesterday. Today my shoulders are like -- what the heck was that!?! Even my upper arms are joining the complaint brigade -- and that feels great.

Today I'm going to try and get my virtual 5K in for Spark. I made a 13:45 mile on Friday night -- which is again -- my fastest yet. I think my goal is to be under 50 minutes. Anything under will be great. I can usually get one 14 minute mile in... one 15 minute mile in... and one 19 minute mile. I just can't keep up the quick pace the whole time. But hey--as we all like to say--that's still faster than everyone still on the couch!

Last thing: I've come to the decision that as a reward for losing 100 pounds I am going to go see a plastic surgeon about brachioplasty to remove all of my extra upper arm skin. I reached this decision after I realized that I no longer have an elbow! Its practically disappeared. My arms my biggest hang-up, and as my mom put it "yea if you do that then it will actually look like you've lost a lot more weight" Ouch -- yep -- thanks mom.

I know what she means though. She's got the same fat arms as me--but as I'm writing this I'm in a size small t-shirt that matches one that I used to wear that was an XXL. I just visited my college, and wanted to get this shirt to wear in public. Going through the sizes and picking out a small was the weirdest feeling ever. This is officially the first small shirt i've ever bought. Now granted its unisex, and runs large, but still. Holy crap. I need to take a picture with a size comparison and post it on my wall somewhere. Anytime I start to feel like crap --- look at the photo.

I'm still readjusting to my new size and life... but the small steps to get over the mental stuff (like wearing a bathing suit in public) seem so much tougher than running a 5k or doing 100 squat thrusts... am I right? Yesterday to me was a major therapy session for me to get over some of my hangups. a) not everyone is talking about how you look and b) if they are--they might be positive things about your weight loss or your attitude or a joke you just made. I need to take the negative narcissist out of my brain and start focusing on being present and active in my life.

Here's to July being even better than June and finding another place to wear my cute swim suit ;-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RR1_RR1 7/6/2012 1:11PM

    Sounds fun! I have problems with my upper arms too, I dont know what the deal is.

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    So proud of you! Congrats on not letting your arms get in the way of having a fabulous time with your friends! You are doing so fantastic, you'll be at that 100lbs lost before you know it!

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SUSIEGKORN 7/1/2012 1:01PM

    I couldn't be more proud of you than I am right now! That was a MAJOR win for you! I've got the arm issue too, but for some reason, I got over my swim suit issue a few years ago ~ maybe because water workouts were about the only thing I could do for a while besides walking. Now I just figure people know I'm fat in my clothes or in my suit and hey, I'm trying! I still won't wear sleeveless tops or dresses though.

So happy you had such a revelation, and had a great time with your friends. Life is so short ~ and I can tell you're beautiful ~ inside and out ~ just from knowing you on Spark! Keep on enjoying life!

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Two steps back... maybe two miles forward?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Okay so I've been lazy. I'll admit it. I was away from home and didn't necessarily make the best choices. I had to go up to my old college town for a friend's wedding... and who doesn't revert to their old ways when surrounded by the college town food that made them fat in the first place? Okay, I wasn't that bad. I managed to eat a small breakfast on Saturday so that my lunch at One World wouldn't be so detrimental to my waistline. Then I had a movie and the wedding... which was outside, but luckily not too hot. I ate smart the rest of the night, but completely blew my calories away with booze. Like waaaaay went over on booze alone. I didn't track it so I can't no for sure... but I know.

Sunday I was hungover (surprise, surprise). I ate okay... okay not great, at all.... I also drove in a car for six hours so there was NO workout. Then I ate some pizza from Saturday which was in my car off and on for those two days... and guess what. I should have just thrown it away. It freakin' fought me for the last two days. Monday I was down for the count home, not sitting upright at all, slowly dying. Tuesday food and I sort of became friends again... today we seem to be doing alright.

So now my mom is staying with me. I've blogged in the past about how she's a negative influence. She wants to lose weight, but will cram her mouthhole full of anything after about 6pm. I think its some of her meds, but she'll eat good all day, then blow it after dark. Luckily I'm not a night-munchie person--I'm usually working out--so I don't know exactly what to tell her. She's staying for an indefinite amount of time. Their getting their roof replaced at home from the hail storm damage, so she brought her three dogs to my house to play and keep them away from the mess/workers. So now I have five dogs, two cats, and my mom in my house (crowded much!?)

I haven't run in almost a week -- I haven't worked out since Friday... And I am desperate to get back. I think partially due to the food poisoning, my weigh in this week was smack dab where it was last week 180.6. So luckily the weight didn't magically replace itself on my body. Also I think this gave me some time to heal up. I switched running shoes which killed my left ankle. So then I switched back to my old shoes. A few days into my run 60s, powerwalk 90s, I woke up with excruciating hip pain. Like I thought I dislocated my hip! I'm going to try running again, and if I can't walk tomorrow I'll go see my doc to see what's up.

I used to take an NSAID for hip pain -- starting at like 17. I thought it was probably just due to my weight... but now with like 100# gone (almost!) that's not an excuse anymore... wtf? Does anyone have hip pain with running? I also take a daily glucosamine chondroitin supplement to help with this -- and have for years. It's usually been enough--I just don't want to hear I'm developing osteoarthritis at 27.

So plan for today. Get better food in the house. Go home. Run! Walk... Run! repeat. I just have to make sure the puppy learns to stay the eff away from the treadmill.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLHENDY1 6/28/2012 10:26AM

    Hope it goes well with your Mom being there. We all have those people who aren't the best influences. You'll get through it, just stay strong!

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/28/2012 9:53AM

    I ended up doing a little over 2 miles yesterday in a half hour. I shortened my stride which a blog said might help -- then I did some of the yoga stretches after -- and surprisingly my hip doesn't hurt this morning!

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SUNRISE14 6/27/2012 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NIKKICOLE83 6/27/2012 5:11PM

    Other than the eating two day old pizza from the back of your car, I think you handled the college weekend pretty well. You have lost almost 100 pounds. That weekend nor your mother will stop you from being successful.

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RACHELRUNS26 6/27/2012 4:23PM

    My hips usually ache after running. Do you have a foam roller? I highly recommend getting one and rolling out your hips (you prop yourself up on the foam roller like you're doing a side plank) after every run. It hurts while you're doing it but really relieves the pain for me. Also, I do hip opening yoga poses after every run - there is a good spark article on yoga for runners. I found some good free podcasts too. Hope it helps!

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ALPINESALLIE 6/27/2012 3:48PM

    No worries, we've all been there my dear! My mom is also a HORRIBLE influence on me when she comes to visit, I completely understand! At least with your naughty behavior, you're admitting it so it makes it easier to learn from it, right? Just stay strong and stick to your goals, you can do it!

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    Sorry to hear about your hip pain. I have never had that so I can't help you out there! Good luck with your mom & the extra animals. Don't let her being there derail your workouts or healthy eating!

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LEB0401 6/27/2012 3:39PM

    I have hip pain when I run! I can't figure out what the deal is..

It's like it's almost popping. A few days ago I went to get off the couch and almost stepped on a sleeping dog. I jerked my feet up and OMG it hurt so freaking bad. And the motion it takes to put on shoes sucks pretty bad. It makes an audible noise when I move my leg from side to side.

I just had a physical and told my doc about it and he all but ignored me. Let me know if you find out anything.

Also, way to go for getting back on track.

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This is what I've been up to this week...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Okay -- so here's the last week or so of my Body Media armband data + my food tracker on Spark. Here's to hoping that this will keep me losing...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNRISE14 6/21/2012 7:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/21/2012 12:33AM

    They're running a sale right now on their website -- for $99 you get the armband + 12 months of tracking free.

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KNEY05 6/20/2012 11:13PM

    I need to get me a body media asap! Im gonna beg my husband lol

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$10 Bowflex Heart Rate Monitor

Monday, June 18, 2012

This was on my Groupon this morning. I bought a white one ASAP -- all of the cute colors sold out immediately. $10 for an $80 HRM is a steal!

If you do think you might end up buying one -- go through this link: and I can get a referral credit ;-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSCARCHICK 6/18/2012 4:55PM

    Thanks for sharing. I'm buying one now!

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