Friday, December 14, 2012
Yesterday I received an email from SparkPeople with an inspirational blog titled "Not Gonna Relax- Gonna Beat the Odds". The member had reached her goal weight in September and was working very hard in maintaining her weight loss. She was talking in her blog about pressure from people to "relax" over the holidays and have some extras or pressure to eat "normally". She made an excellent point about working so hard to reach the last 10 pounds, why would she make "stupid choices" and put some of that hard earned weight loss back on. One point she made that made me start thinking (and thinking!) was that only about 5-20% of people who lose weight can maintain their weight loss.
Well, here I went with my Internet searches! The first place I looked, of course, was www.sparkpeople.com. The very first article I came upon was titled, "5 Secrets of the 5%". Now, when I sit and read that only 5% maintain their weight loss, I wonder why and how I can and will be one of those 5%. I'm not working this hard for this long in order to go back the other way EVER again! So, while I'm on my journey on the way down, I feel that I need to prepare myself for when I get there. I know this will be a life long battle with me. I know that lifestyle changes need to stay. One thing different that I'm doing this time is the exercise. That is the key for me. I've dieted before. Most of us have to some extent unless you're one of those lucky ones with natural skinny genes!
Here's the 5 Secrets:
1. Make it public - Well, you're reading my blog, aren't you? I've been trying to be honest about good and bad and when I'm having a tough time. I've talked about struggles and stresses... Here I am!
2. Pay attention - I've been trying to do that all along by being prepared for events
3. Enjoy themselves - I am learning to enjoy myself while eating out and having company. For me, it's all about planning in my head how I'm going to handle events.
4. Make gradual changes - Although I've been more consistent losing weight over the last 16 weeks, prior to that I was making small changes. I started by joining the gym last November which turned out to be the wrong gym for me. I found sparkpeople.com in the spring.
5. Allow themselves to fail - I've had some setbacks along the way. I did really well on Thanksgiving, but then ate about half a pumpkin pie over a 2 day period which showed a little on the scale.
I'm far from perfect on this journey. Mike and I had a spat a few weeks ago resulting in me renaming my other blog (twice) so that he wouldn't read it any more. He got onto my laptop and deleted one of my blogs because he didn't like that I said he was the cause of some of my stress which was only one of the reasons for my weight gain over the years. He's already planning how he wants to go out to eat next summer at the beach because I will be at or near goal weight. I'm not sure that he quite understands that this is going to be an ongoing process.
When I get to that magically size, it's not like things can ever go back to the way they were. We eat fairly healthy most of the time. It's been those Friday night pizzas or the clearance cake from Shaw's that start the weekend off badly. Then comes the "I'll start again on Monday" attitudes which promotes "let's overindulge" attitude. It's a vicious cycle. In the summer, you can find ice cream in our freezer most of the time. MMM.... That will probably have to change. What we did talk about was seriously finding a walking route near the campground as well as doing high-energy walks on the beach. I reminded him how stressed I've become when we plan to eat out because of the high calorie and fat content of the dishes, including salads, that restaurants serve. I just plain don't want to be doing that no matter what size I am.
They biggest key for me will be the activity level. In past years, we have sat ourselves on the beach for 2-3 weeks at the lake. "Happy Hour" on the beach did change over the years to become a little more healthy. The big "exercise" was walking out to the boat or going on nightly strolls around the campground. I did bring my sneakers and took a few walks with a friend, but that didn't last too long. I'm not making excuses, but this summer was especially hard because my shoulder was recovering. It was painful to swing it while I was walking. This past summer's vacation started with 3 days of rain. Each day we made a trip either to Walmart or Hannafords for some comfort food. We had only brought "healthy" foods with us in the trailer because we were going to eat well on vacation! HAHAHA! On the third day of rain and depression about the weather, we took a ride to Walmart in Windham, Maine. We bought a single layer cake and a box of plastic silverware. Do you remotely think there was even a bite left by the time we got back to Naples? Nope!!! We even got into the box of cookies and ate a majority of them too! It was bad! No wonder I topped the scales by the time we got back after 2 weeks!!!
When I think about how much I currently weight, it blows my mind. I'm in the mid range of the current 10's digit. I haven't seen this number for many years. I don't know. It's just surreal. Sometimes I just feel like I'm going along. This is how I eat now. This is what I do for exercise. The scale and my clothes take care of themselves after that. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I'm not "trying" this. I'm living this lifestyle. I'm not preaching to anyone. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else at this, because I'm not. We're all individuals and this is what's working for me. I share where I am and what I do. I feel that my blog is focusing me. My weight is slowly coming off and for me that's what's working.
I read articles about quick weight loss, but I feel for me that to maintain the lifestyle has to be sustainable. Otherwise, the weight would return. My big clothes are going in a bag. I'm not sure where the next bag is going, but I'll know when the opportunity arises!
Today, I'm planning a night out with friends that we haven't seen for a long time (too long!). I've already got an idea about what I"m going to order since the restaurant has low-fat and low-calorie choices right on their menu. Oh, that makes me sooo much more relaxed about eating out!!! Tomorrow we are entertaining the neighbors. I'm planning the meal so voila! I can "control" what I eat!
For me, the point is to "not relax" and make bad choices. I'm still plugging away. When I signed up for the trainer at the gym, the regional manager for the personal trainers at Workout Club, promised me that if I follow the trainer's advice I will be at my goal weight by my birthday in April. I'm fairly certain that I won't be the "number" that I want by then at the current pace of weight loss that I've been experiencing. I'm somewhat certain that I will be looking a LOT different than I did for my last birthday! Slow and steady wins the race! I'm in this for the long haul and I'm determined to be one of the 5%!
Thanks for reading my blog today!