40,000-49,999 SparkPoints 44,271

In maintenance mode

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Figured it's about time to update this since it's been 3 weeks since I last wrote and even longer since I wrote about things being friggin awesome. And friggin awesome they are.

Tonight will conclude 8 days binge-free. More importantly - and contributing to the latter - my head's in maintenance mode. What's that mean? I'm no longer fighting myself. I believe. I'm trusting myself. I'm recognizing myself for and feeling like the warrior I am. I'm trying without letting the fear of failure or the pressure of attempting perfection dissuade me.

I can't say with certainty what catalyzed the shift (though I'm determined to ID it for future reference). I do know some things that helped:

1. I covered the full-length mirror in my bedroom.
There are 8 (yes, 8) wall mirrors in the house. I can't cover the rest or avoid most of them. But looking in a mirror that allegedly distorts reflections (which I've never detected but which 3 other people observed independent of each other), when my body image is already distorted in a prototypical ED fashion, was heightening my obsession with body dissatisfaction.
It's still covered.

2. I stopped weighing myself. For 8 days, anyway.
My worth's been so contingent on the number on the scale for so long that this was doing more harm than good most days. In addition to my weight affecting my self concept and coloring my thoughts and emotions, it added to to my interpretation of myself as a failure for seeing a higher-than-desired number over and over again. I think it actually contributed to the bingeing. So I ditched it.

As the binge-, mirror- and, scale-free streaks proceeded, physical changes clued me into the fact that I was losing weight. Once I noticed about 5+ cues previously corresponding with being in my ordained maintenance range, most of which I haven't experienced in the better part of a year, I decided to weigh in to see just what number corresponded. Because, while I'd set my maintenance range +/- 3 lbs of goal weight (145) I've been treating 158 as my "scream weight." Anything in the 150s made me unhappy, but it's not till I reach 158 that I freak out and resolve that no matter what, it ends now. Well, that's crap. I want a scream weight that's, ya know, the top end of my maintenance range. Leading me to...

3. I decided to reassess my maintenance range.
145 was my goal weight. By my standards, I successfully maintained for 5-6 months. However, I question(ed) whether it's sustainable given my physical activity. The weight regain started very closely around the time I stopped running regularly and really picked up after I had to give up kickboxing, Combat, and high impact exercise in general. Maybe the range I'd chosen was no longer realistically sustainable.

Problem is, the bingeing restarted around the same time. The only way for me to determine whether my weight goal is sustainable with my current level/intensity of fitness is to knock out the bingeing.

Also, I picked 145 pretty arbitrarily. I liked that weight quite a bit, but maybe I needed to re-evaluate whether it was necessary to be that light to be satisfied. Only way to know was to strip away the emotionality - meaning rely on other measures than the scale.

So that's where I am. 153 is my scream weight. I'm breaking from daily weigh-ins for at least the time being and am going to continue my assessment based on non-scale feedback. When I start looking and feeling how I'd like, I'll jump back on to find out what number corresponds with that weight. As I neared goal weight the first time around, I had no clue how to approach maintenance so I winged it. In retrospect, I think this is a better approach for me to take to find a satisfying, achievable, sustainable maintenance weight.

Oh yeah. On Monday I'm getting my body fat tested again. I haven't had this done since June. Totally avoidance. I'll be interested in seeing if the number's gone down. While I weigh about the same as then, the physical changes I'm seeing used to be reserved for sub-150 territory. So maybe my body composition's changed.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've been away from Spark for a while so I'm late reading/commenting, but I wanted to tell you I really liked this entry of yours. Thank you so much for sharing - an 8 day streak is *fantastic*!!!!

    It's great you identified these three things that may contribute to your success. Actually I can identify with all of them...I also do not have any full length mirrors around and try not to weigh myself too often (ugh especially with water weight fluctuation) since a lot of times it just upsets me and triggers a binge.

    I also am trying to deal with figuring out my healthy weight range again...well, not quite yet, and it is precisely because you are spot on with the observation that the only way we can really figure that out what that would be is to stop the bingeing/ed behaviors and then see where the body kind of wants to be. I need to be able to trust that if I achieve healthy behaviors, the weight will not be an issue.

    Great job again on this 8 day inspire me! emoticon
    1789 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    The need to be at a certain body fat can be just as tyrannical as weighing a certain amount. I am so impressed with your willingness to look at whether your target weight is sustainable. I worry for people who exercise in ways I'm pretty sure they will not be able to keep up for decades or who eat with constant restraint, not realizing that they actually have many pleasurable meals and contented moments. I've pondered that much of the difficulty people have with maintaining is that they are trying to be too thin. (However, I've been told by one person who was morbidly obese that she felt she had trouble maintaining even at higher weights.)

    The stats show that this is definitely a 2-5 year journey. It surely helped me to accept that when I had my turnaround 3 years ago. I think you are right on track. emoticon
    1790 days ago
    Love to read the insights Sparkers gain about themselves. Even though our journeys are individual, our common goal of a healthier future bonds us. Keep up the good work!
    1801 days ago
    Great blog: "liked" it!!

    The concept of "scream weight" is a great one . . . and you've got a great maintenance mind-set here.

    Congrats to you: it's working!!

    1801 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great blog. You are figuring out what works the best for you. You seem happy and self confident with your plan of not weighing! Your 8 days of good choices is wonderful. You can do it. You are taking care of your body and doing the best for it.

    emoticon emoticon
    1801 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    Excellent blog!
    Girl, I believe in you! Stay strong and remember, you're not alone!

    1801 days ago
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