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My Maintenance and Weight Loss Tips

Friday, June 07, 2013

A recent blog post of mine about maintenance accountability was voted as a most popular SP blog post. That came about NOT because I am not a super-popular sparker, but because my blog was featured by the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team. I call them AGMTTM.

emoticon Thanks AGMTTM for that vote of confidence!

Several of the comments on that blog thanked me for my tips on weight maintenance. Today I realized that the blog included very few of the day-to day things I do to keep the weight off. That blog focused mostly on how I keep myself from slipping back into old accountability measures. Yes, it has been almost 5 years, but the old habits are still lurking...waiting for the right moment to attack and send me back to fatdom.

emoticon NOT!

In the chance that readers may come back now that they have "met " me...I decided to write a little more about the day to day life of CAROLISCIOUS in maintenance mode...and even weight loss mode...because there are times when the scale does creep up and I have to take ACTION. If just one person comes back and finds a gem of helpfulness, then the time spent writing will be worth it. Plus, It's just good to write it all down or my own reference.

Most of what keeps the scale in check for me revolves around food. Food is 80% of the battle. So I will cover the "moving" part of this deal before we get into the piehole part of it.

emoticon I am not a fitness star. I don't love it, but I do it, because I know it is important for an "old" lady like me to keep moving...lest one day this body decide, way before my mind is ready, to STOP moving. God forbid.

My tips for sticking with the workouts:
emoticon Find something you love...or maybe just like a little bit. Eventually you will love it...or you will move on to something else.
emoticon Mix it up...try something new from time to time. Be brave. I have done everything from Yoga to Spin. I go through periods of "like affairs" with different exercises. It's always changing. Right now it's running and a class called RIPPED. Next year it might be something different, but it will be doubt.
emoticon If you can afford it, get a heart rate monitor. Knowing the exact number of calories you are burning based on your heart rate is so motivating, and it makes it so much easier to set and reach goals.
emoticon Look for apps that track your workouts. I use the free version of Runkeeper and post my runs to facebook. The little trophies I get from Runkeeper and the positive response to the fb posts keeps me going.
emoticon I plan my workouts...and pack up my workout clothes in my gym bag for the whole week on the weekend and put them in my car. If I have an early morning workout on my list...I have been known to sleep in my workout clothes...hubby says...verra schexy!
emoticon Enlist friends/coworkers/family to join you. On the days you don't wanna just do it...they will...and you will too.
emoticon I reward myself with new work out duds. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx have good deals. New workout duds make me want to what? Work out! WooHoo!

That about covers it for the moving part of far as time spent working's really up to you. My workouts are usually an hour 3-4 times a week. It really depends on where you are in you weight loss journey. If you still have lots of pounds to lose...the more you work out, the better your chances of losing the pounds. I know I need to do better at the strength training part of it. I'm working on it.

Now on to the piehole part of it.
emoticon I like to eat. Period. 60 pounds off for almost 5 years...and that hasn't changed at all.
emoticon Limit eating out. The sodium in restaurant foods is disastrous to any weight loss plan. If you do eat out, check the on-line menu beforehand and choose wisely. And drown yourself in water before and after (kill the evil sodium).
emoticon Fruits and veggies are your friend. Pick a day and eat nothing a whole dang watermelon if you wanna.
emoticon Reinvent the foods you love. I love Mexican food...particularly nachos. I swear if I had some serious illness and the docs found a way to give me chips and salsa intravenously, I would get better. So...instead of a 700+ calorie and bazillion milligrams of sodium plate of restaurant nachos...I make them at home with salt free chips, (Xochill or Bearitos brand) and low sodium salsa (Enrico's brand is superb). I sometimes add black beans (sodium free and rinsed) or grilled chicken...and ALWAYS lots of yummy fresh veggies on top. I get my fav food, portioned controlled, with no guilt. My weekend treat! Be STILL my heart.
emoticon I generally eat the same foods every day during the week...yup...boring...but I know how many calories I am getting without having to track every day. My very favorite dinner is a lovely salad...with a boiled egg and grilled chicken...and Bolthouse Farms honey mustard dressing...low fat, low calories....and not the sodium monster that many salad dressings are. Bring it on! I try to be the best I can be during the week at work. I say "no" to office treats and I don't eat the occasional catered lunch meetings. I bring my own food and eat it at the meeting or afterwards. Weekends are harder for me because of social activities, so the better I can be during the week, the more leeway I have on the weekends to indulge a bit.
emoticon Cheese...I must talk about CHEESE! I stick with Weight Watcher's brand. Not only is it low fat, but yes, you guessed it...low sodium.

Sodium = emoticon

emoticon Mrs. MRS. MIIIISESSSS DASH....we got a thing...going ooo-on. many new flavors. I love you Mrs. Dash.
emoticon When my weight is up, limiting carbs gets it back down quickly. I'm not talking about ELIMINATING carbs...but less than 180 grams or so is sufficient. (No ketones in MY urine , please!)
emoticon I drink water, lots of it, but I also drink other liquids to stay hydrated. I have cut way back on diet soda. Right now I drink club soda and water with squirt of Dasani drops to quench my fizzy soda craving. I also drink unsweetened tea and coffee....with stevia sweetener,
emoticon Alcohol...yes, I look forward to a relaxing adult beverage on the weekends. I stick with red wine (Muscadine grape from a local winery...the highest in antioxidants), lite beer, and my version of a skinny lemon-lime soda with a shot of tequila and a squeeze of lime. Who needs all that sugar and salt in a regular margarita? Not me!
emoticon Get your fiber...make sure things are moving...'nuff said about that!
emoticon It's just me and hubby at home now...and he does not expect me to cook for him every night...nor do I expect him to comply with my way of eating. If he decides he wants something crazy like take out he did's all good. I had my lovely homemade nachos. I know it's harder when you have kids in the house...or a hubby that expects real meals every night. I am reminded of that when my grandkids are here and I find myself wanting to eat the crust I cut off their PB and J sandwich. YOU have to decide that YOU want this more than the food in your piehole and STICK with it, cuz every bite counts. I wish that wasn't true, but, sadly, it is.

emoticon Sleep is know all that stuff about hormone levels that rise and fall when you sleep and make you fat if you don't sleep. Go Google it and read about it. I try to be in bed by 10. I try to sleep. Some nights, it just doesn't happen...but most nights, it does.

emoticon I weigh myself every day. I record the number in an excel file...average it, graph it...all sorts of geeky stuff. My weight always goes up on the weekends (water weight), but if I go right back to my consistent weekday eating plan, the pounds drop off. When I need to lose instead of just maintain, I stick to the weekday eating plan through weekends, and it gets me to the number I like to see on the scale.

emoticon I know I am not perfect and I still have a lot to learn...this journey is ever changing. I'm always out there on SP and other websites soaking it in like a sponge...experimenting...findi
ng what works and doesn't work for me. That's what you have to do to. Most importantly...never give up. The answers are there for your unique and individual make up. Don't be afraid to find them!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Terrific blog...soooo many helpful hints! I will definitely institute some of them ASAP!

    Thanks sparkling friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1669 days ago
  • MELJONES3478
    Thanks for sharing. I will read this blog again & again! emoticon
    1696 days ago
    This is a wonderful post made better by the fact that you are living proof of how it works and that it works. Also I can see many of these habits working for me. In fact when I am successful this is how it works. Thank you for putting it all in one place. I think you have really achieved what you set out to do here. Thank you for the mentoring.

    1704 days ago
    Excellent tips, thank you!
    I realized while reading your blog that I do some of these as well, but I got some new ideas to spice up my routine, too.
    How did you get these insights?

    1704 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/19/2013 3:37:30 AM
  • JO88BAKO
    Congrats for keeping your weight off! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and tips!! Phins up and have a really phun weekend!
    1709 days ago
    Hooray for all your tips! I have regained 5-6 pounds after keeping 55 pounds off for 4 years, so I totally identify with your statement about bad habits still lurking! Sad to say, over the last year I allowed a couple to sneak back in. But today I skipped a few tempting things by reminding myself that I really DON'T like the "love handles" that are currently poking over my waistband! And I'm on Day 4 of No Snacking Before Dinner streak. I WILL get rid of the pounds AND the love handles! Thanks for a great list!
    1710 days ago
    Thank you for you insight. emoticon
    1711 days ago
    Thanks for the sodium reminders ... been eating at restaurants a bit this week; scale looks so disappointing afterwards ... I know ... I fruit day to make me feel better!
    1711 days ago
    emoticon LOVE this Information, and BOPPY's Check List is Great!!
    1711 days ago
  • BOPPY_
    Let's see:

    * You write well.
    * Your metaphors are great.
    * Your content is interesting and important.
    * Great use of icons.

    Nice yob!

    Lee emoticon
    1711 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. Great info
    1711 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Wow! Thank you for a great post!!!
    I am finding maintenance a strange mix of emotions. The psychological pressure can be overwhelming at times. At the moment I "feel" as though I have put on weight even though the scale says I haven't ?????
    I am still trying to work out how many calories I can eat without putting on weight. Some days I think I have found the answer and then the pounds seem to come from nowhere!
    I guess it is always going to be a case of trial and error.
    emoticon emoticon
    1712 days ago
    This is a great post! Thank you for sharing your experience with real, practical tips. And you are living proof that it works. You look fabulous!
    1712 days ago
    Thanks, very helpful! I lost once before but blew it on the this time I am determined to do it right. And getting a lot of great ideas from the team! Thanks!
    1712 days ago
  • THECITYMOUSE effing goddessssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

    1712 days ago
    Good for you Carol. You're doing what you want to do and doing it well. I'm still hoping to find out what it is I want to do. : (
    1713 days ago
  • CYND59
    I can see how you have kept the weight off. Your plan is really good. I am on track and plan to stay that way. I do not ever want to be a Fat Girl again.
    1714 days ago
    So great to read what you do!! Bravo and thank you!
    1715 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon for sharing this!!!
    You are doing AMAZING and look AWESOME!!!! You are an inspiration!!!
    emoticon emoticon

    1715 days ago
    The best part of this post (which is golden through and through) is the end. It is a rather individualized journey, a thing that a lot of people do not get. We want magic bullets and easy plans but, the fact of the matter is, we all need our own thing(s) that work.

    Here's to 5 more years.
    1715 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That is a great blog. I love all of your tips. I also like the way you have experimented and changed exercise to stay motivated and in shape. That keeps you going. I am thinking of trying two new classes this summer. Like you I have come to like exercise clothes and shoes. I also keep a set in my car so I can exercise when needed.

    I also tend to stay away from eating out and eat the same things much of the time.
    Your nachos sound healthy and satisfying. I do the same..if I really love a food, I try to find a low carb version of it.

    You have established excellent habits and that is why you are so successful after 5 years. You are a great inspiration to me!

    1715 days ago
    Thank you and you are SO right about how a restaurant meal can lead to a big shock the next morning when you weigh in, even though you know you didn't go over your calorie limit and you wouldn't have gained two pounds of "real" weight, but it's shocking, just the same. It wasn't easy to learn that drinking MORE water would lead to LESS retention.

    Your posts are a great help! Thanks for taking the time to reach out!
    1715 days ago
    You are doing a wonderful job maintaining. I agree about limiting the menu. If you find things you like to eat that are easy to prepare and you are getting your daily nutrients then why not stick with it. I find I do best when I limit my choices. Would love to hear more about your homemade nachos. Sounds interesting.

    Thanks for sharing. Your tips are spot on.

    1715 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Thank you for posting this, great ideas, wish you continued emoticon success,
    1715 days ago
    My favorite is packing the workout clothes for the whole week
    1715 days ago
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