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Maintenance: Making the Weight Go Sideways

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I've weighed myself daily for a long time. I don't know when I started daily weighing, but I started recording the weights as of December 31, 2001. There's a blog worth of reminiscences in the history of how the records developed, but I don't want to go there today.

One of the pieces of information I get out of this history is a year over year change in weight. Over the years, I've had feel-good periods where the year over year change was negative, and periods where the year over year change was positive and I wasn't doing much about it. The weight didn't really become controlled until I started monitoring what I ate, which (not so coincidentally) happened when I joined SparkPeople.

Weight loss with SP was a smashing success for me. I took off 30 pounds in the second half of 2011, and have been in maintenance ever since. That quick weight loss gave me an extended period of seeing year over year weight loss numbers over 30 pounds. Then in my second year on SP, I saw that year over year delta shrink.

Today, I had a blip up in my weight. I weighed in at 162.4, which is in range but a bit higher than I have been. And today, the year over year change in weight was *zero*. That's right. This morning I weighed exactly the same as I weighed one year ago.

This is the first time the year over year delta hasn't been negative since August 24, 2011, when I weighed 0.2 pounds more than August 24, 2010. And that was at a weight of 186.2, which looked good then but looks ridiculously high now.

To be fair, today isn't precisely like a year ago. Today's weight is a blip up. A year ago, the weight was a blip down. I expect to see more negative year over year changes in April. Then in May, if things go well, I should see a mix of positive and negative year over year weight changes. That's because my daily weights in May 2012 were all in the range I'm maintaining in currently.

On the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Spark Team, I count my maintenance as starting October 7, 2011, when I achieved my initial goal weight. The weeks following that were an exercise in learning how to stop losing weight. I thought I achieved that by December 1, 2011; but if I look at the weight records, the weight trend still went down slowly till about May 1, 2012. After that, I have a pretty strong sideways trend in daily weights.

Many of my blogs have focused on the fitness side of things, and I could have written one of those today. But that year over year zero caught my attention this morning, and I wanted to take some time out to celebrate making the weight go sideways for a year. Even if a full year is closer to May 1 than April 18, the year over year zero change feels like a sign of maintenance.

And I really want to maintain this weight. Even if I have to keep adjusting the calorie range I eat to, it's worth it for my health. And it's pretty nice to not have to go clothes shopping before my current wardrobe wears out, too.
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