Friday, August 16, 2013
Five years ago was the last time I saw any number below 160 on the scale. It has been reading 156.5 – 157 during the past week. 157 has been my goal weight and here it is. I should be ecstatic, bursting with pride, or at least doing a happy dance. Instead I went out to lunch and ate a fattening entrée, the whole thing, disregarding the high calorie count. Then a coffee get together at my house with a few of my friends in the neighborhood was an excuse to buy a large package of mini-scones, and proceed to eat quite a few of them. At least I recognized that I would eat all of the left overs and threw them in the trash.
I can see that maintaining a particular weight is all about VIGILANCE EVERY DAY. I have been reading some of the articles on maintenance and there is a lot of helpful advice but it really comes down to getting up each and every morning with the thought that VIGILANCE is the only way to keep the weight off. Losing weight and keeping it off is a time consuming life- long project.
Several things I read outside of Spark People really made me see that without VIGILANCE the weight will come back.
First important fact is …“And it gets harder to keep the pounds off as the years roll by…” Life gets busier, you add more activities, the stresses get harder to manage, many social occasions include eating, hard to find time to make healthy meals, and fat, sweet, salty foods taste really good. Broccoli is not as interesting. The life issues and aging process are not going to go away and the weight maintenance issue needs VIGILANCE.
Second idea I recognized was that the maintenance articles are all about the choices and plans that you need to make and do to keep the weight off. But I found that there are reasons why it may be difficult to keep off weight I’ve already lost and I really need to be VIGILANT in watching my choices. There are weight gaining traps. In just a few days of seeing that 157 number on my scale I am already taking action to nudge the scale number back up.
Trap 1: Eating Larger Portions
For the last year I have been being careful when I go out to eat in restaurants. Then I get to a target weight and I pig out on a large, heavily sauced plate of spaghetti. It wasn’t even a great choice at that restaurant, something inside snapped when I was looking at the menu. Then instead of buying the right amount of food for the number of people at the coffee get together, I bought way too much for all of us to eat. That gave me the excuse to eat 8 little scones.
Trap 2: Consuming Too Many Calories
“Your weight loss management includes watching your calorie intake. Eat only lean protein, fish, vegetables and fruits for meals. Avoid sugary cakes, cookies and high-calorie sodas. Also resist the urge to add butter and other condiments to your food.” You can see where I totally fell into this trap by using a coffee get together to justify buying scones. I never have anything like that in the house or even eat it outside of the house anymore. The day before I made a vegetable stew for dinner and used full-fat mascarpone cheese instead of low fat sour cream. At least there is no butter in the house to add to sauces I like to make.
Trap 3: Exercising Less Often
I HATE to exercise and can find any excuse to avoid it. You can see where this is going. Yesterday I canceled the morning walk because of the coffee get together. Later in the afternoon, I was cleaning out cupboards, moving boxes and clearing out some items from the garage. I justified not doing a video or taking a walk because I was being active. Although I was very active it wasn’t the same as doing a fitness video and it is easy to find excuses to avoid doing the exercise.
Trap 4: Not Drinking Enough Water
This is not a problem, although sometimes when I get busy I don’t drink as much as I should.
Trap 5: Too Busy
This is always an excuse I use to avoid exercising. It takes time to eat healthy and exercise every day. Sometimes it is hard to incorporate them when the demands pile up. It is easy to get off track one day and then find that it is weeks later and you haven’t been making great food choices and your walking shoes haven’t been outside in quite a while. Somehow I have to motivate myself to work in the exercise. This will be a big struggle but I find that if I don’t exercise my eating choices deteriorate rapidly.
Trap 6: Buying Unhealthy Food
Oh this is so easy to do. Walking in the grocery store is an exercise in will power especially if you don't have a plan before you go in. Obviously choosing sugary, fat foods is one of my problems since I succumbed to the mini-scones. I generally make my list but this time I did not have a thoughtful plan before I went to the store. This is something I can avoid by not being Hungary when I shop and writing down what I am going to buy before I go in. I am beginning to worry about the holidays that begin in October and all of the social gatherings involving food. Bringing hummus and celery gets old.
Trap 7: Not Getting Enough Sleep
This is not usually a problem, although I am more aware of nibbling if I wake up in the middle of the night. I have a few go to small low calorie choices which help me resist the urge to eat half of a peanut butter jar (something I have done in the past).
VIGILANCE is going to be my mantra. Also, over the next few months I am going to watch my motivations and feelings as I continue on the journey. Breaking bad habits and making new ones that will stick is going to take a lot of time.