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    4A-HEALTHY-BMI   41,624
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40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
 
 
Regain happens. The most important thing is what you do about it.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

I started at 335.6 lbs in 2007, got down to 326.2 in late 2008.
I reached my initial goal weight (under 160) in early 2010.
I have been up and down both above and below 160 several times since then.
I eventually moved my target goal weight to 150 and made 160 my “scream weight.”

docs.google.com/spreadsh
eet/ccc?key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgd
EF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCWDZ
NUlE#gid=8


Currently my moving average is 12 lbs above my “happy range” between 145.5 and 154.5 (+/- 3% around 150), and 6.5 over my “scream weight” of 160. I haven’t lifted weights regularly in the last four months, and I can tell. This isn’t muscle gain. In fact, according to the BIA trends on my scale, I’ve been losing muscle mass.

While I still am technically maintaining according to some criteria, I’m not happy with where I am at the moment. I’m generally healthy, but not in the athletic shape I was in last year. I wrote last December about why I wanted to get back into my “happy range” and continue getting stronger.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5173009

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry. Unexpected things happened, some of them very positive. Plans changed. Priorities shifted. I briefly did get back into range this spring but did not stay there.

For the past six months I’ve been treading water, trying to balance my new distractions with moderate food control and a mixture of cardio activities, and it has lead to gradual gains. This "strategy" clearly isn't working. The time has come for action.

So what am I going to do about it?

One option is to decide to be happy right here, where I’m at, and try to avoid gaining any more weight. But I suspect that sort of approach will lead to denial and continued weight creep. I know myself. This isn’t my first rodeo. I gained and lost over 100 lbs in my 20s, and regained them plus almost 100 more in my 30s. That’s how I got to 335.6 in the first place. And deep down inside I am not liking what I see when I look in the mirror. I am not liking that I can no longer wear my favorite pants. My self-esteem is taking a hit here, and that can be more damaging than anything else, in the long run.

Another option is to drop the new positive things in my life and go back to the exercise schedule and food plans I had before. That would give me back the body I want, but not the life I want. I LIKE the new things in my life, and I want to keep them there.

My main problem with the way I’ve been trying to manage my food and exercise is that I have been easily distracted from doing the positive behaviors. There hasn’t been sufficient incentive to skip the cookies on the snack table at contra dances, avoid the chips and beer after kayaking all day, stay out of the dried cranberries and almonds in the bf’s kitchen, take the time to lift, etc. So I think the solution is to set something up to help me stay more engaged with the process.

When I lost 160 lbs in 2009 I did it by making a spreadsheet with a whole bunch of little milestones, such that there was always a new goal and reward just around the corner.
docs.google.com/spreadsh
eet/ccc?key=0Au5Li0CuTA4qc
klULV9DZEJaMnRVZU1VeFE3VEc
tMUE#gid=0


If this strategy worked in the past, then something like it will probably work now because mentally I’m still the same person with the same kind of psychology.

The difference this time is that I don’t want to over-restrict my calories. That leads to bingeing. Losing those last 10 lbs and doing successful body recomposition goes extremely slowly. And over the past six months I have been unsuccessful getting back into my “happy range” partly because the thought of continuing the effort for months is kind of overwhelming.

So my milestones are a lot closer, this time. This is what it looks like:

168.00 (start)
166.32
164.66
163.01
161.38
159.77
158.17
156.59
155.02
153.47
151.94
150.42
148.91

docs.google.com/spreadsh
eet/ccc?key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgd
EFQOTNLZkMxZWpXWi13QnAyVmt
jZXc#gid=0


I have set a mini-goal of losing 1% of my body weight from my recent maximum (167.6). Then another 1%. And so on, until I get under my scream weight (160) and back within my “happy range” (between 145.5 and 154.5). I will use the trend weight from my moving average since that reflects where I actually am, smoothing out water fluctuations.

These mini-goals are measurable and achievable. They are the trail of breadcrumbs I will follow back to my “happy range.” The gap between them is small enough that there’s always another one, if I just go a little bit further.

My rewards will be a new Buff headband each time I get to or below a milestone. I like wearing them to control sweat and keep my hair out of my face during workouts and dances. They come in a bunch of different pretty designs and colors, which is fun.

I will eat between 1500 and 2000 calories per day on my plan:
www.fatsecret.com/diets/
member-diet/Default.aspx?d
ietid=4355344


I will continue the cardio I’ve been doing (a mixture of contra dancing, Tae Kardio, spin class, and kayaking) and add back in lifting 2x per week.

And I will continue to administer and participate in the maintenance challenges in the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. teams.sparkpeople
.com/maintaining

Although I’ve been out of range for the last few of these, the accountability is helpful to me, as is seeing so many of my teammates successfully staying within their own happy ranges.

The fat won’t come off overnight. But I believe the little goals along the way are achievable within every week or two, and that’s what I need to keep myself going over the long haul to get back to where I want to be.

Finding strategies that work is all part of the big process of learning how to keep the weight off. While I’ve definitely gotten better at it over the past 3 years, there is still a whole lot more to learn. I won’t even start to think of myself as a “successful” maintainer until I’ve passed the 5-year mark. And even then I’ll still have to stay engaged, because statistically about 20% of maintainers regain after that point. By that time I hope to have a lot more skills and experience under my belt. And kept less body fat under that belt, too!
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UPDATE:
Here is a spreadsheet of my progress
docs.google.com/spreadsh
eet/pub?key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgd
EF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCWDZ
NUlE&output=html


and a graph
docs.google.com/spreadsh
eet/ccc?key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgd
EF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCWDZ
NUlE#gid=22


To see more about using trend weights, visit the Hacker's Diet spark team: teams.sparkpeople.com/ha
ckersdiet
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SADWHITEWOLF 8/20/2013 2:16PM

    I too have been struggling past the dreaded re-gain. Starting to bounce back a bit but I now have about 7lbs to re-shed before I can start feel like I am making Real progress again. Still, everyday that we are still her and still trying is a victory!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 8/18/2013 3:56PM

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GOOSIEMOON 8/12/2013 8:05PM

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ADAPTINGANNIE 8/11/2013 9:06AM

    Amazing accomplishment. Amazing tracking! You must be a very motivated and data driven person. Great work. I am in awe.
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LIZZIE138 8/10/2013 10:02AM

    You are so motivating to me! I know you can achieve what you are setting out to do. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. emoticon

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AMARILYNH 8/9/2013 12:40PM

    The interesting question to all maintainers is who HASN'T experienced a gain of more than 5 pounds? I tried very hard to keep it under that and for the most part have, but twice my weight snuck over that mark. So like you I'm not in weight loss mode again.

I find SparkPeople SO helpful in this effort - I'm a member of the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) and find that weekly accountability along with support really helps. As does being a member of the Maintenance team - there is a LOT of combined knowledge here! emoticon emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 7/29/2013 5:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WRITINGRUNNER 7/27/2013 10:11PM

    I love this, you have done so well, it's inspiring . Congratulations!

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IS1GAR 7/24/2013 5:50PM

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CORNERKICK 7/23/2013 12:31AM

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LIVELYGIRL2 7/23/2013 12:07AM

  Wow, someone has the guts to figure out a plan to do something or themselves,,, but not be so strict as to be overwhelming. Good for you!!! emoticon

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SCRAPBECCA 7/22/2013 9:59PM

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KANOE10 7/22/2013 3:49PM

    I love your tracking tools. Good for you having the strength to get back on track and following your own guidelines. You are developing great habits that have kept you maintaining for 3 years.

I am going to check out the hacker diet tool...I have been using weightgrapher.com

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 7/22/2013 12:56PM

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RENATA144 7/22/2013 12:45PM

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THEWWWAY 7/22/2013 11:45AM

    I love the charts.

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ROXYCARIN 7/21/2013 10:10PM

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SARAWALKS 7/21/2013 5:01PM

    Excellent plan. You'll get there! Baby steps are the way to go. Love your Japanese dragon background, BTW, and thanks for starting the contra group. Here's to lots of dancing in weeks/months/years to come!

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WATERMELLEN 7/21/2013 2:33PM

    Great blog!! Love the way you use your brains to make your life work -- and your scientific analysis.

Since you reference the (newish!) bf publicly here may I just add one thought -- it took me a heckuva long time to acknowledge that I cannot eat the way my long-term (43+ years) DH can eat. His metabolism is not my metabolism. He is naturally thin and I am not, not even close. So although it's very romantic and enjoyable to organize couple time around shared food/bevvies . . . it won't work for me. If we go out for dinner, he can have the deep fried fish and chips and the beers and the cheesecake and I can have the Moroccan chicken and arugula salad and the single glass of white wine and the berries for dessert!!

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ISHIIGIRL 7/21/2013 9:30AM

    I think your blog is so relevant for many of us who have experienced weight creep. Thanks for being brave enough to write this blog. i can't wait to see where you are in the next few weeks. I love your plan

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SHOAPIE 7/21/2013 8:57AM

    emoticon

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KICKINGKILOS 7/21/2013 8:44AM

    You can do it girl
xo

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MARYJEANSL 7/20/2013 4:16PM

  It sounds like you have a great plan in place. I hope it goes well!

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ANGELFMABV 7/20/2013 10:03AM

    Wow! You are amazing and are doing a great job. Keep up the great work. One day I hope to be in the maintain stage of my lifestyle.

Hugs, Penny

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SANDYCRANE 7/20/2013 7:30AM

    Great blog.

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/20/2013 4:22AM

    Great job getting back on track to reach your happy weight. I am a maintainer, too and it does take balance and work to stay in that healthy range. I can relate to a lot of things you're saying. Thanks for posting this in a clear, organized way. You are a great planner! emoticon

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SIMONEKP 7/20/2013 12:25AM

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BLUEJEAN99 7/20/2013 12:02AM

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 7/19/2013 8:59PM

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MIMIDOT 7/19/2013 7:47PM

    Good plan. You can do it! Thanks for sharing.

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KIKIMAV 7/19/2013 5:55PM

    Great plan!!! It really made me think about my approach! I also have a reward system , but I think my goals are too far...It is like a reward every 8 lbs or something like this, but it seams that i've lost my momentum...
The 1% goal seems very appealing to me, and much more motivational! I am a little tight on the budget, but still I think if it will help me reach goal, it is worth it!!! emoticon

emoticon for the inspiration!!!

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DIANNEMT 7/19/2013 5:26PM

    I hope you won't mind if I copy this idea!! Come fall (yes, I am putting it off a bit) I am going to focus on the 1% losses to get to my "happy range" as you say. I am close but close is still so far!! Love the mini-rewards--maybe I WILL get an Ipod and then could download a new song every min-goal.....

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LDRICHEL 7/19/2013 5:09PM

    emoticon

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MSBEKANATOR 7/19/2013 4:27PM

    Inspiring! Thanks for sharing. I love the charts and graphs, I think I am going to do some for myself. What a great idea. :)

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LISA_FRAME 7/19/2013 3:53PM

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DEEDEE1102 7/19/2013 3:33PM

    I love how you are attacking this. You may have gained and lost weight in the past, but you are doing just what you need to do to make the yo yo a thing of the past!! Congratulations and I know I do better with plans and charts, etc. so I feel like you will be successful!

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CORNERKICK 7/19/2013 3:13PM

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SUSIEMT 7/19/2013 3:00PM

    Yea you! You can do it! I can do it! We will do it together!

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JOANNHUNT 7/19/2013 2:36PM

    WOW

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PATRICIAANN46 7/19/2013 2:20PM

  emoticon It sounds like you have a very workable plan.........

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FIFIFRIZZLE 7/19/2013 2:08PM

    This is so interesting for me, I am not at maintenance yet but I will be soon and I see that as my biggest task.
So your approach is really relevant to me.
One thing I am doing now is reframing my thinking. I release the weight instead of losing it. I ddn't mislay it and I don't plan to pick it up again later. It is gone. And if I put on weight, that's what it is. NEW weight. It hasn't got resident's rights, it has turned up, and it ain't sticking around long, I'm seeing to that!
Amazing what a difference in attitude this mental trick is making for me!
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JSEATTLE 7/19/2013 1:36PM

  WOW, you have really put all your stats down so well! Great analysis and sounds like you're totally in charge. Good for YOU!!

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_JODI404 7/19/2013 12:30PM

    Breaking it down like that makes it seem so much more doable!

I love all your analysis! I am sure you can have the best of both worlds with the right amount of planning.

Hopefully the new positive things in your life, and exercising and healthy eating don't have to be mutually exclusive!

I believe you will be on track quite quickly. In my last blog, I describe how I had to push a reset button too!

Best wishes, I look forward to cheering on your success!!!

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LILLIPUTIANNA 7/19/2013 12:25PM

    My gawd! You are organized! All those graphs and math made my head spin!

I do like that you see danger approaching, and instead of giving in, you renew your goals, and take action. I tell Sparkers all the time to be strong and to claim their personal power. I'm going to send people to this blog from now on, so they can be inspired by your well organized battle plans!

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JANEMARIE77 7/19/2013 11:25AM

    best of luck

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NEPTUNE1939 7/19/2013 11:23AM

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TINAJANE76 7/19/2013 10:43AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic, realistic and sane plan to get back to where you want to be. I've bookmarked this for future reference so I can have a look at it when the regain monster inevitably comes knocking at my door down the road. I'll thank you again for this when it does!

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CICELY360 7/19/2013 10:42AM

  Good blog

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CHERIJ16 7/19/2013 10:32AM

    You have a good, reasonable plan and right now that is what I need. I can relate to what you've been experiencing because that's me too. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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TERMITEMOM 7/19/2013 9:55AM

    Great ideas. I really like the 1% project, And your tracking graphs are awesome!

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