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So scared of maintaining...


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lately I've been stressing out over maintenance. I have about 40 pounds to go and even though that may take me a few months... I am still really scared of trying to maintain that weight. Yes, the eating healthy and the working out isn't going to stop after I get to my goal weight, but where is that happy medium?

As sad as it sounds... I feel like I'm missing out on some great food right now. It sounds pathetic, but I feel like to be this person I want to be, I can't have more than one piece of chocolate in a week or more than 1500 calories in a day. That's not normal though. There is gonna be a party or a special occasion and I don't WANT to have to track. I don't want to manage every little thing I put into my mouth. Right now I do cause I know that if I don't, I'll pay for it. It shouldn't be like that... should it? How do the always skinny people do it? They don't track... they don't not go out because they are afraid that they will gain. Why do I have to be?

I feel better about the stuff I eat right now, but I would also like to indulge in a hamburger every once in a while or go to the Chinese buffet without being scared of the repercussions. I weigh myself once, sometimes twice a day just to stay on track. I am afraid that if I don't, I'll lose sight of what I'm doing here.

I know, this blog sounds whiny and I should be happy for all the weight I've lost... but I'm so scared of the rest of my life. It took 7 months to take off 100 pounds, it could switch in an instant and take 7 months to put that right back on :-/

How do you maintain and still be happy?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ANGELWENDYMAMA 4/30/2012 2:16PM

    The SparkLive class was about maintenance this week. I think they said exercise 2-3 times a week and track a couple times a week. Keep within a 3 lb range of your goal weight and if you go above that, start to pay more attention, track daily, and work out more. You can do it!!

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BLUEANNIEDOG 4/22/2012 1:49PM

    "Once in a while" is the key. Do all the things that help you be healthy 90% of the time. The other 10% can offer some flexibility.

Just be careful. Warning signs of impending regain for me are:

1. When I stop weighing daily.

2. When I hear myself saying or thinking, "I'll get back on it tomorrow. . ." and tomorrow doesn't come for a month.

3. When I eat a cookie and find that I can't stop at one or two.

4. When I stop tracking food.

You can do it. Just be honest with yourself and get right back on your plan ASAP.

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BAILEYS7OF9 4/20/2012 3:48PM

    hey! I have been maintaining for 2 1/2 yrs! You can do it. You will be surprised at how ingrained healthy eating and working out becomes. You will be aware of things are not not 'right' but will know to keep them in moderation!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 4/20/2012 12:50PM

    I completely understand your fears and frustrations about this... I've been there (one of my big fears is stressing about the need to purchase all new clothes when I lose more weight and knowing I don't have the money for it; and what if I put weight back on and don't have "fat" clothes?). I try to focus on the here and now, the fact that I need to focus on eating healthy and exercising and losing the weight. I will deal with the other stuff when it's an issue. Too often, when we worry about what might/could/will happen on top of the things we need to deal with and focus on right now, we become super overwhelmed and then give in to all temptation and bad habits. I don't wanna see that happen to you after all your hard work.

As for your questions "How do the always skinny people do it? They don't track... they don't not go out because they are afraid that they will gain. Why do I have to be?" There's really an easy way to look at that... Skinnier people don't tend to have the dependent, bad, obsessive relationship with food and eating like many of us on SparkPeople do. Perhaps they were taught good nutrition and healthy eating when they were kids, perhaps they resort to other unhealthy habits (such as cutting, eating disorder, etc.), perhaps they've been through therapy, or any number of other things. The thing I've learned is that everyone is different, everyone has their own vices, demons, saving graces, and what not, and I need to work to not only change my habits (exercise more, eat less, eat different foods) but I also have to look at what makes me overeat and eat unhealthy and be a lazy lump on the couch to begin with. Change the behaviors, but also change the source of the cause.

As for being able to splurge sometimes, I honestly think that splurging is something that makes life fun, as long as the splurges are occasional. Eating a burger or Chinese buffet ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE may change your weight slightly, but you can take it right back off as long as you follow your healthy habits MOST OF THE TIME and only RARELY splurge. And it's important to truly enjoy the splurge, rather than feeling guilty or worrying about the result of it. The result should be that you're truly enjoying that occasional treat. Besides, what fun is a splurge if it's a regular thing?

Sorry, I made this longer than I wanted, but I hope it helps you at least a little. Live in the now, and enjoy your weekend!

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TIDESONG 4/20/2012 12:07PM

    I'm very scared of that, too, though I have quite a ways to go. I'm trying not to worry about it right now, but I worry about everything, so... I don't know what to tell you, and I'm hoping others will have great advice for you. I wish you the best!

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AHTRAP 4/20/2012 1:31AM

    Worry about it when you get there.

I don't say that to be mean, it's just the attitude I'm taking for myself.

Here's the thing, you're losing weight now, and you have another few months of effort to get there. You're obviously obsessive about your weight (again, in this case, you're a mirror of myself, as I check 1-2 times a day, too, so I'm not calling you anything I don't call myself), so WHEN you get to that goal weight, you will be very cognizant of a) what you're eating, from all the practice you have from getting TO that point, and b) what effect it has on you.

By that point, the good habits you're using to get there are going to be ingrained. But, AT that point, those habits will need to be modified, since you're no longer going to want to lose further weight. And, as such, at that point, you'll have a bit of leeway in terms of what you eat, and what you leave on the table. Or, to put it a different way, you may have the leeway to nibble on that chocolate, or to go out for that special occasion, without needing to burden yourself with the guilt that may accompany such actions now.

I'm using the same thoughts, to some degree, laying off some foods, turning down an invite out to dinner on occasion with the idea of having those be a reward for when I get to that goal weight, with that exact thought - when I get there, I won't be looking to lose even more weight, so I'll able to enjoy some of those yummies....but, with the practice to do so in moderation.

Don't know if that makes sense for your mindset, but since you seem to be a mirror of me in a few not unimportant ways, thought I'd share those thoughts.

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BADSEEDGIRL 4/19/2012 9:33PM

    Maintaining is hard, and when I was less than 20 lbs. from my goal weight, I fell off the wagon hard. That is when I learned that I will ALWAYS have to measure my foods. I am not an intuitive eater. If I was able to push away from the table, I would not have been in a size 16 to begin with! I do not consider measuring my food a burden. It is a life style choice. I also forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the past. When I make a mistake, or overindulge, I forgive and move on. That is the biggest thing to learn, and I am still working on learning this lesson.

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BADSEEDGIRL 4/19/2012 9:32PM

    Maintaining is hard, and when I was less than 20 lbs. from my goal weight, I fell off the wagon hard. That is when I learned that I will ALWAYS have to measure my foods. I am not an intuitive eater. If I was able to push away from the table, I would not have been in a size 16 to begin with! I do not consider measuring my food a burden. It is a life style choice. I also forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the past. When I make a mistake, or overindulge, I forgive and move on. That is the biggest thing to learn, and I am still working on learning this lesson.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 4/19/2012 6:21PM

    I am about 30 lbs away and I believe I may track for the rest of my life. Some people can eat intuitively, but I have not been blessed with stopping when I'm full or not overeating. I didn't get to where I was by tracking, portion control and eating healthily. I traveled this road once before and it was only when I *stopped* tracking and weighing my food and myself that I gained it all back. And then more. It is such a slippery slope for me. So I can't look at tracking as a bad thing, I look at it as one of the KEY things that I will do to help keep me on track. ...and it could take less than 7 months to put back on 100 pounds. I blogged a couple weeks ago lamenting the loss of food as I once knew it as well, so this blog speaks to me.

Maybe maintenance for you will be tracking in a low range of calories and enjoying a guilt free meal out or social situation out once a week? I don't know. I've been mulling around my maintenance ideas in my head as well lately.

We can do it. We will do it.



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GETFIT2LIVE 4/19/2012 5:36PM

    I am at a point now where maintenance is staring me in the face, and I've come to the conclusion that I will probably always track my food, at least generally, so I know what I'm doing. Some people can get by without tracking; I know me, it's too easy to "forget" what I ate and overdo it. I DO splurge occasionally and have the piece of cake or fries or other high-cal goodie; it's a choice that I make sometimes, and that's fine. I adjust what I'm eating the rest of the day or the next day to accommodate the extra and know that as long as I'm eating well most of the time, occasional splurges aren't going to undo everything. That's where tracking and weighing in regularly comes in; knowing what you're consuming and how your weight is affected lets you know whether you're still on track or need to make adjustments. Good luck; you can do it!

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TANYA602 4/19/2012 5:05PM

    Oh how I wish I could reach out and give you a hug!
The comments before me really sum it up best. I think we will learn so much through this journey, and that we will be at a point one day where we can splurge every now and again (or even again and again) and then get up the next morning and get moving and shaking and eat what we know is really good for us.

Every Thursday we have a science teacher meeting over lunch and someone brings in lunch. I work with those skinny people you mention, and today I watched as they ate one piece, if not two, of chocolate layered cake alongside a giant sub sandwich. There was a delicious green salad so I took some of that, ate a small slice of sandwich with no bread, and told myself I don't even like chocolate to begin with. It's a daily choice we make, and you really can't beat yourself up over it. Yes, splurge on that hamburger or Chinese food every once in awhile. Stay away from the scale when you do, and just remember that we only live once. There have to be some simple pleasures. You are in control of them, though.
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MMARIE73187 4/19/2012 4:07PM

    i can relate to that feeling for sure. i haven't really gotten that far but once i do i'm scared i could put it right back on. and while now i track, i dont ALWAYS track. sometimes i just kind of...keep track in my head and do my best to stay accountable. no, no one person is perfect. and all those skinny people who don't have to track, they were blessed with better metabolisms and they've never had to change their eating habits.

maybe it's not such a good thing to weigh yourself everyday. i know you feel like it's keeping you accountable, but it could be bringing you down. your weight will fluctuate every day regardless of when you step on the scale. i had to force myself to stop stepping on the scale every day. now i only step on the scale first thing saturday morning, and that way i don't have to feel guilty or bad about the fluctuations in the middle of the week too. if i've lost 1 lb then i celebrate that 1 lb and strive for 2 the next week. reflect on if i indulged too much over the week, but it's really not worth worrying about so much during the week. maybe allow yourself one over-indulgence each week so you've got it planned out and you're still sticking to your plan. i know i overindulged on taco tuesday at the local tavern. nachos and tacos, a d sweet potato fries! but i didn't run home to the scale to rub it in my own face. all i can do is hold out for the end of the week. and if it turns out the scale says i gained, then so be it. it's a lesson and i know i have some adjustments to make for the following week.

it can't be an all of a sudden move to stop tracking. maybe once a week for now you just don't track, or only track the big things. i find that if i spend too much time fretting about the 3 chocolate chips i ate then i never even got a chance to enjoy them. this is the best advice i can offer for now. don't lean too much on the tracking if you plan to stop it one day- you may be surprised at what limits you stick to in a day without the numbers! and PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself and the scale. of course you're going to weigh more on a day you had a heartier meal, but at the end of the week- it's all the same. just try to relax and not make your goals look so mean. :)
you can do it. one day you won't need to track and you'll be fine!

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THINNYGINNY 4/19/2012 4:01PM

    I think about this too - what I have heard that makes sense is that skinny people don't eat when they're not hungry - and when they overindulge - they eat less the next day. That seems do-able to me - to eat clean and careful most of the time, and then when there is a party or whatever - enjoy in moderation (instead of oh - well I've blown it, might as well eat everything that isn't nailed down...) and then eat a little less and exercise a little more the next day. But yeah - the idea of maintaining scares me too - Cause right now I am jazzed about losing and getting attention and rewards when I lose... but will anyone care when I maintain - and will I build a system of rewards for myself to maintain? How to be excited about maintaining is my question!!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/19/2012 3:57PM

    WOW, I ask the same questions ALL the time. I too don't want to track the rest of my life and I don't want to live in fear of gaining "it all" back once I've reached goal. I think, part of the answer is in what we already know and live now ... moderation is key. I look forward to hearing from everyone else on this blog.

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