Continuing from www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
As long time Sparkfriend 4A-HEALTHY-BMI can attest, the job isn't over after losing weight. You have to learn how to maintain it. She was recently on the Joy Bauer show to spotlight this very issue. If you haven't seen her segment on Today or read her very informative blogs yet, head on over!
Quick timeline before I get into the meat of the subject:
2000: Gained weight very rapidly from ~125lbs to 160lbs by overeating fast food, chain restaurants, soda pop, snickers bars and margarita mixes. Bodyfat ~44%, size 12 jeans.
2003: Obese, broke, jobless, and single, moved to Seattle. Stopped eating all fast food, snickers, and soda pop. Walked everywhere. Lost 15lbs without tracking a single calorie. Size 10 jeans.
2004: Got passport photo taken so I could go to Seoul, S Korea for my birthday. Completely mortified by my passport photo. I still looked obese. Weighed 145lbs.
2005: Decided it was time to get serious about weight loss. I bought cooking utensils, cookbooks, watched the Food Network, and joined eDiets to track my calories. Watched "Biggest Loser" season 2 for motivation. Exercise was difficult due to extra weight putting strain on my knees. Bought "Dance, Dance Revolution" for my PS2. When DDR became too easy, I bought a bike. Lost 10lbs. Weight 135lbs. Size 8 jeans. Bodyfat 35%.
2006: Rode bike 1 hour every day after work. Weight loss stalled. Couldn't budge from 135lbs, or if I did, it wasn't for long. My food choices, calories and activity level maintained my weight. 135lbs seemed to be my body's "set point" that it kept going back to.
2007: Switched from eDiets to SparkPeople.
2011: Still ~135lbs. Cut back wheat, grain and starches from my diet. "Set point" broken. Process discussed in previous blog. Weight 125lbs. Size 4/6 jeans.
From October 2011-June 2012 I went on an unwitting 'maintenance' experiment. Statistics show that 95% of dieters fail to maintain their weight loss and rebound within 3-5 years.
The following events came up that had a very high likelihood of reversing my progress:
Holidays: Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving food. How would this work with my new low bread diet? (Smaller portions.)
Visited UK and France: Went with future-DH to spend Christmas with his family. Went on a side trip to France. Ate pastries and coffee for breakfast every morning. (Didn't gain weight. Miraculous!)
College Course: Enrolled in a very difficult project based course. Little time for food planning, exercise, or even spending time with the SO.
Wedding in May: Because of my wedding planning, I didn't even have time to finish the last section of my project (I still got an A).
I stopped tracking food, calories and weight in October. I just had to hope that my weight would stay stable long enough for me to get into a wedding dress!
In previous years, I gained an average of 8lbs over the holidays.
In this graph from Oct 2010-Jan 2011, I went from ~131 to ~138.
From Aug 2011-May 2012 just before I went on honeymoon, I went from ~125 to ~130.
Ut oh. What happened? Maintenance fail?
According to my spreadsheet, I bodyfat was 26% in August. In May, it was 28%. There was a weight slide, but it wasn't happening as fast. It took 3 months on my high carb diet to regain 8lbs, and 7 months to gain 5lbs on lower carb.
Because I wasn't tracking my data, I don't really know what happened. I think I was eating the same, limiting breads, pasta, and potatoes as much as possible. That is just speculation and relying on memory, which is a terrible record keeper. If I didn't track, then I don't know.
I'm pretty sure I maintained my weight when we went to the UK/France. We went out for beers one night with a friend of SO. He later told me that his friend texted to him: "Mate, I thought you got a new girl. She's a lot hotter than I remember!"
Here I am at Windsor castle. I'm all bundled up, so it's hard to tell about my shape, but I don't think I gained any weight. My new clothes all still fit.
The weight creep was either very slow, or it happened from January to May.
I suspect it was the latter.
Once I started my class and wedding planning, more and more fast food entered the picture. Being a big fan of "FatHead", I tried to follow Tom Naughton's strategy. Just stick to the burgers and skip the fries.
Except over time, a few fries started entering the picture. I thought it would be ok to have occasionally.
I *seemed* to be maintaining so effortlessly. Probably getting over confident. If you think there are no consequences, you do stupid things.
I *think* I had fries occasionally, but who really knows? I wasn't tracking during that time. It probably was more frequent than my dietary amnesia wanted to admit.
Just like my husband not being sure whether he had 3 or 4 slices of pizza.
In October, I was almost ready to drop out of size 4 pants. In May, my size 6 pants fit better.
I still managed to get into my wedding dress in May. Like any bride, I wish I could have lost more weight before the event. But I was certainly a much happier bride at 28% bodyfat than I would have been at 35%.
When I resumed detailed tracking in June, I dreaded the rebound. I was afraid I gained weight over the honeymoon, and I'd have to do a lot of work.
To my surprise, I weighed 128lbs. I lost weight while on honeymoon, despite vacationing at an all-inclusive resort.
More calculations revealed 28% bodyfat and 92lbs lean mass. Even though I gained weight during my 'maintenance' break, I managed to retain my lean mass.
This is a huge deal. More lean mass means burning more calories at rest, making it easier to maintain and lose weight.
In Part 1, I explained that I gained lean mass when I changed my diet.
Lean Body Mass:
May 20,2011: 86lbs
July 7, 2011: 91lbs
July 2, 2012: 92lbs
My advice if you want to keep the weight off in maintenance? Keep tracking. I can do intuitive eating to a pretty decent degree short term as I've described in my blog "Understanding the Language of Fat"
But long term? If you start slipping, it's easier to make a course correction if you see it coming.
After losing weight and failing to maintain, many people reported that it's harder to take the weight off the second time. The body seems to stubbornly hang for dear life onto those pounds.
In Part 1, you saw how rapidly my weight dropped last year. How has restarting weight loss mode worked out for me?
I'll let you know next Wednesday after my 1 month progress report is up.
Hint: It is good news.