I realize I've been in maintenance before, kind of
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I didn't lose 30 pounds and keep it off for a year (The NWCR definition), but I made modifications to my lifestyle and lost around 15 pounds, moved from the obese range into merely overweight, and my jeans were falling off so I gave them away. But I'm a little fuzzy on the details because for for many years, I didn't have a scale at home.
But I know I got a pair of size 20 jeans sometime in 2003 or '04 and then in spring of '04 (can you hear me saying "aught four" sitting on the porch sipping lemonade?) I eliminated sweets and white flour from my diet. A few months later I was offered whole wheat chocolate chip cookies at a party, and in the ensuing puzzlement over my reaction to them I decided to eliminate chocolate altogether. "Eliminate" is an interesting word. We think of it meaning "kill" but the Latin roots mean "away from the threshold". I don't let them in.
So eating that way over the next year, my jeans started falling off. Things were going smoothly until I started working as a bookkeeper in 2005, and there was often free food around at work. So I held onto my rules about chocolate and candy, but flexed on white flour and cookies. And then I started training to run a 5k, and for some reason that made me really crave sweets. I think understanding what I do now about muscle recovery, I could have timed my snacks better to contain the cravings without resorting to sweets. But I figured since I was running, I could relax my rules a bit.
Nowadays I am actually a little leery of the "move more to eat more" concept. I know I said something like that at the end of my last blog, but it was more in the spirit of "strength training is awesome". I have a new appreciation of cardio, I find the people who feel they have to prove one is better than the other baffling.
But getting back to this time that I maintained an improved body composition, when we were getting ready to move in March 2006 my husband brought his scale home from the massage therapy office and I weighed myself with it, and I was 190 (my obesity threshold is 195). And then just after the move, I had an immobilizing injury on some playground equipment and then next time I weighed myself in November of 2006 I was 203. In addition to the accident and a Thanksgiving road trip, I also turned 36 and didn't have a regular exercise regimen.
And I just kind of struggled from then until spring of 2010, when I weighed in at 212 and did my "turning 40" Spark push until I got pregnant. So I guess what I learn from this, looking back, is some things to watch for in maintenance. Getting older, changes to work and home environment, injury, and not having a self-monitoring method. I mean, I wasn't trying to watch my weight, I just wanted to be healthier in a much more radical sense.
The more important change, for me, was that my chronic depression went into remission in the spring of 2005. I don't know how much of that was from 12 step recovery from codepency or how much from not self-medicating with sweets and chocolate. I do credit the recovery with making it possible for me to stop self-medicating for thatfirst year for sure, because there was a year between eliminating most of the junk before I started feeling good nearly all the time. There was a role as well for cognitive behavior modification of my anxiety.
Now I did have a rough patch after when the baby was in the NICU in 2011, and I went on an antidepressant supplement. A lot of people would say "oh, well it's natural" but I took it because I was freaking the heck out. I took it hoping it would have a measurable effect on me, so I don't think it's honest to say I am depression free without chemical intervention. I don't think that's a reasonable standard to strive for, and I very much consider therapy and 12 step recovery to be forms of treatment. I was still on the antidepressant treatment when I started tracking my food in 2012, and then I tapered off it when winter was over, and at the end of summer I started exercising and I have exercised 5 or 6 days a week for 6 months now.
Well, if you're still reading, I will totally send you a goody.