Saturday, September 15, 2012
So, today is the start of Week 3 of Maintenance for me. When I first began losing weight over 18 months ago, I didn't even have a clear goal in mind other than at over 300 lbs I needed to lose weight. I finally found my commitment due to a few different health concerns and the weight came off steadily with only a few plateaus.
Then I began to formulate goals -- pretty vague ones at first. 200 lbs might be ok for me, I thought. I'd like to be below 200 by New Year's. And I was. Or 180. Anything less than a size 16 probably isn't maintainable, I later figured. Ok, size 14 seems to be an easy weight for me and then on it went.
The more weight I loss, the more activity I did, the more I clarified my goals. Finally, I settled on a goal of 150 which was about what I weighed the last time I had been at a healthy weight, even though it was 10 lbs over the BMI upper limit for healthy or average weight at my height. The heck with them, I thought. I look fine at 150. My blood pressure has gone from being barely controlled to almost too low at times. My physical endurance is great. The only thing limiting my activity is the arthritis in my knees. Plus, at my age, going much lower probably wouldn't be attractive what with wrinkles and sagging skin. 150, it is.
Then I thought, as I sat on a plateau through most of August, watching my weight move UP two lbs for NO reason I could discover (I was totally keeping in my calorie range and exercising persistently), I had better lower my goal a bit to accommodate these fluctuations.
So I settled on 147 as the top limit of my weight range but was strangely silent (given my at times obsessive nature) on what would be my lower range. On September 1st, 2012, I hit 147. I was officially in Maintenance. And it was a three day holiday weekend! Happiness!
In the past two weeks since entering Maintenance, I have lost over 5 more lbs. After a plateau, my body tends to lose weight at a good clip and I always do what I can to encourage that sort of attitude. ;-) I am now only 1.6 lbs over what that darn BMI chart says would be a healthy weight. Totally doable. So now I have again revised my goal to 137, but my secret goal is 135 so I will be that much more likely to stay in the healthy, if high end, of the BMI chart.
The BMI chart isn't perfect, of course. Chosen weight goals are just numbers. Same with clothes sizes, though there you have to wonder if the Size 6 or 8 is really a10 or 12. The most important thing for me, is to concentrate on the actions and the results will follow. There may be frustrating times like the three plateaus I hit over the past year and a half. And there are measurements other than the scale that I need to remember. Inches lost. How clothes fit. New sizes. Better health and higher quality of life. But goals are still helpful, even when they are vague and easy so as to be attainable like my original thoughts on what I wanted to achieve. Those vague goals led me to the point that I am aiming for a weight I haven't been in 30 years.
So 137 (135) here I come. Or not. I decided if I hit another plateau, I'm not going to get frustrated. Hopefully that will come after I sneak past 140, but either way, I plan to live the healthy life, stay in my calories, and keep active. The moving targets are just part of the fun of maintenance now.