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Maintenance "Funk"

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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Sometimes I wonder how long I can keep up with myself. How long will I be able to keep up my current physical activity? How long will I be able to continue with healthy eating and meal planning? Will I be able to keep up with this maintenance life-style as my girls start school, get older, and I continue working more hours?

The fact is that I like my new healthy life-style and I use my free time to keep up with it. So, when my free time begins to dwindle, I wonder if I can stay with my maintenance. I know we all struggle with this worry at different times and in different ways. And I do not dwell on these questions for long. The only reason these worries are rearing their heads is because school starts on Monday for my girls. This means I will be working more hours. The transition takes time to get used to again.

Instead of watching television at night, I review new recipes to make for dinner or prepare my breakfast for the morning. Instead of grabbing a quick bite to eat at a local deli to save time, I come home and make myself lunch. Sometimes I even make my microwave flaxseed muffin for a snack after the gym. When I am at my best, I plan my meals for the next day tracking all of my food. I like doing these activities to stay healthy and keep my family healthy. I want to keep reading recipes and shopping for ingredients. I love exercising at the gym and I want to keep challenging myself to reach new levels of fitness activity.

I do not want to worry about the fact that I need to maintain for two years before the percentage of long-term success is on my side. I do not want to worry that when life takes over and my free time is limited that I will let my eating habits slack. I want to maintain my mental strength that I have right now, so that I do not get into a maintenance "funk." I am afraid of this "funk" because I have set high standards for myself. If I cannot keep up with myself then how do I maintain?

These are some of my thoughts as I approach 5 months of maintenance. I know living a healthy life-style does not mean perfection, but sometimes it is difficult to remember this point.

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  • _LINDA
    emoticon emoticon on your maintenance and popular blog!
    Maintenance is harder then losing weight, as nelljones said. Life can easily pile up and get in the way as you said. Planning is the key. Plan meals (big batch cooking) and snacks ahead on the weekends or when ever you have time off. Sneak in exercise where you can, on breaks, at lunch, park further from your work, climb stairs, all the usual.. Tracking everything is a must and the quick tracker makes it fast and easy.
    I wish you all the best in your maintenance, you are aware of what you need to do and that is great!
    emoticon emoticon
    1632 days ago
    Ive finally come to the realization ( at least for today) that this journey is for a lifetime. Some days will be easier than others, but with the tools and support of Spark People, the road will be a lot more pleasant than it was 40 lbs ago!
    1635 days ago
    Thank you for the post and congrats on best blog acknowledgment. I have just started on maintenance weight and I realize that I never really thought through the issues the last few times I was at this weight. I did not really want to acknowledge that it is about the planning and making good food choices every day. Maintenance "funk" is another issue to watch out for. I like NELLJONES response. Working at maintenance requires the same mental commitment as working to lose only the weight stays the same. It certainly can bring on a "funk" but I am happy with the person in the mirror and hopefully that helps get through the "funk". Positive thoughts to you on your journey.
    1636 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Congrats on being featured blog emoticon Being on spark you learned many new skills to lose weight, and you did it, as time go on these skills become healthy habits, and hopefully you can worry less and less about regaining.
    Good job on your 5 months, keep it going, we will cheer you on. emoticon emoticon
    1637 days ago
    You can do this. Keep pushing
    1637 days ago
    When we are losing, we spend a huge amount of mental time on the task. Once you get to "goal" that mental time isn't rewarded with visible results. You don't see numbers going down on scales all the time. After all, that was the point of all that planning and recording and doing. Now what? Am I supposed to keep doing all the same things without the reward? The reward is now just staying the SAME? Staying the same sounds like a non-goal, something that should happen unless you do something active to change it, yet we have to keep doing the same stuff results? I lost my weight back when "exercise" wasn't part of the equation for weight loss, just food restriction. Restricting food takes a little more planning, but it doesn't take any more time than eating the way I used to eat. Exercise, on the other hand, does take a chunk of time. You can lose weight with food restriction only, but you cannot lose weight with added exercise only. I think of weight control as a food intake issue only, and exercise is something I do in between. I can adjust my food intake to the most minute detail with no additional time cost, which is where the "control" comes in. There are some things I just don't do: I eat fast food once every few years (not weeks or months). I don't eat packaged snack foods EVER. I got over the "deprived" concept while I was losing, and THAT is what has kept me at goal for decades. While I was losing I made sure that the idea of "just until I hit goal" wasn't even a shadow of an idea in the back of my mind. I will never eat another potato chip for the rest of my life. That idea could germinate into a craving for potato chips, so I just put it off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow. It takes very little mental time.
    1638 days ago
    Keeping it in your mind will definitely help you keep that body fierce. Great success to you.
    1638 days ago
    Your words sum up much of what I'm feeling right now, as I find myself slacking off on tracking food. I can tell I'm somewhere close to where I need to be, but without the numbers, I have no real measurement, and 100 calories here, 300 calories there eventually adds up to weight gain. Like you, I certainly don't want that. I like 4A's approach of making the bulk of actions automatic and not striving for absolute perfection.
    1639 days ago
    Steady as you go Kimberly! Just stay focused on your goal. If I've learned anything at all here at Spark.Com, I've learned you gain so much strength here just by reading the many different comments and blogs. Everyone tells their own story. It gets your mind off of whatever it was you were anxious about.
    Sounds like your doing a fine job to me and I believe you will carry what you have achieved with you as you move forward. emoticon
    1639 days ago
    1639 days ago
    You're doing great, five months and counting!
    Your fears are realistic and not unexpected especially when you first start maintaining. Even now, after maintaining for five years I still get those fears, that some stressful event in my life will send me back to my old unhealthy eating habits.

    Keep up your great healthy attitude and your love of your new healthy lifestyle. That should help you when obstacles jump in your way.

    Great job!
    1640 days ago
    Wonderful job. You got this! You can do it!
    Have a terrific day!
    1640 days ago
    Successful maintainers have elevated, but not excessive, vigilance about these things (according to the NWCR). So I'd take your concern as a positive thing. I think you sound pretty realistic. When I was around 5 months, I thought I saw research about a steep falloff around 6 months, but when I dug deeper, it turned out to be about weight loss instead of weight maintenance. I think a lot of what we go though in that first two years is getting to know ourselves. We get a lot of different advice.
    1640 days ago
  • LESLIE871948
    You are wise to be aware of the pitfalls. As one who has fallen into more than one over the years, I can tell you that each time I land in one I find myself amazed to be in it. Life throws challenges at us. I have learned to Get Out of them these days as quickly as possible, and that has allowed me to be happy with my body even when I am a little over where I want to be, and it is truly not hard to get back to my goal from the little potholes that still crop up.
    1640 days ago
    Super blog on a key topic that many of us maintainers struggle with: how long can I keep this up? I've had to acknowledge that (except, maybe, for short periods of extreme work crunch or other crises) the tasks maintenance requires can't just be relegated to "spare time" but have to be allocated priority time. And that's because MAINtenance is really my main thing. Yes it is!!
    1640 days ago
    You are doing emoticon in making Healthy your new Habit! emoticon
    1640 days ago
    It will eventually 'just be what you do' and not something you think about.
    Well done on your attitude and just keep it up! It will be absolutely worth it, not only for you, but for your girls too!
    1640 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1640 days ago
    1640 days ago
    Congratulations on all your success so far! emoticon emoticon
    1640 days ago
    Thank you for your honesty! As I get closer to maintenance, I fret that the weight will all come back. I just need to remember: one day at a time, one healthy choice at a time.

    Thank you for your wonderful post!!
    1640 days ago
    Your fears are reasonable. To maintain takes time and commitment and finding ways other than eating to handle stress and life. I'm now at 4.5 years of maintaining an 80 pound loss after 5 decades of overweight/obesity. In some ways it has gotten easier, but it still takes a daily commitment and the realization that quitting is simply not an option.

    Congratulations on a great blog. Realistic and a view we rarely read. Thanks for posting. Congrats on all your success to date. Your daughters are beautiful and you, healthy you, are being a great role model for them. It may not always be easy, but it is definitely worth it!! -Marsha
    1640 days ago
    Wonderful! Keep up the great work!

    1640 days ago
    I can relate to a lot of what you said.

    Congratulations to you! Let's keep on keepin on!

    1640 days ago
    If we push ourselves too hard to maintain something that's not sustainable, fatigue will definitely set in.

    At 3+ years myself, I'm also treading this line. And when I do I look to the people who have been maintaining for a Very Long Time, like NELLJONES and the other folks on the Hall of Fame who have many years under their belt.

    These folks seem to have figured out how to make their healthy habits and behaviors automatic, for the most part. They don't have to think about doing them, they just do them, like brushing their teeth and taking showers and washing the dishes and the clothes.

    I've been doing a lot of thought about this, too lately (because I've regained some over the summer and want to go back to where I'm happy). And I think for me it will also involve making the healthy stuff more automatic - that's the one thing that's really changed in the last 6 months - I started adjusting my schedule and behavior to accommodate a new relationship and had to rely a lot on making decisions.

    I can only make "good" decisions and rely on will power and discipline so long before I start to break down and make "bad" decisions. And the result has been regain.

    So I'm going to try and make 90% of this stuff automatic and then boost my motivation for the 10% that involves decision making by reminding myself of why I like being at goal and fit and healthy.

    There are some nice resources on the team's Big Page of Links about motivation and inspiration and strategies for continuing maintenance. Maybe something on there will help you?

    Hang in there! It's worth it! No matter what happens, or what curve balls you encounter, just do not give up!

    1651 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    Great blog!
    I can relate to so much of it. In my year of maintenance, I've learned that It seems like the longer we live this lifestyle the easier it gets. Something that I have to remind myself often is, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And something you are already learning (not getting to attend your class) is that we have to be flexible and adapt.

    Finally, maintaining for two years sounds so difficult. So I just focus on maintaining for this week. I'll take on next week when it gets here.
    1651 days ago
  • KANOE10
    You have already developed successful habits by maintaining for 5 months. I hear you about worrying that you will have trouble keeping them up when your life starts getting busier. I just returned back to work and am swamped as well. Your best bet is to batch cook and freeze things ahead. I do a lot of prep on the weekends.

    Great job on keeping your weight off for 5 months. I know you will make the two year mark.

    1651 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1651 days ago
    Kimberly I like this blog because it is so true. We may not admit it but yes, this is what we think about from time to time. Right now you are still creating HABITs that you will want to continue on in your journey of life! As you know this has been a lifestyle change! From planning what we are going to eat to how to prepare it and what's more getting that exercise in and I want a few more steps! How do I manage that! It all takes time and now is the time to start training your family to help you and them achieve these things. I wish I could say I am always perfect but LOL like that's gonna happen! If we remember only one thing and that is calories in vs calories out and get a bit more exercise. Keep moving! You get the idea. As you keep going along these habits will be just that habits that you will continue to do. Great job on your weight loss and maintenance! We will get this together!
    1651 days ago
  • THOMS1
    I am not at goal yet but I guess I wouldn't worry so much about what if. Take each day as it comes and continue to eat healthy and make that extra time to get that exercise in. I wish you continued success. emoticon
    1651 days ago
    I think first of all you need to apt yourself on the back for 5 months of maintenance. Whoo hoo!

    Second, i am still working on getting to goal, but the sparkfriends in maintenance still rely heavily on each other and the sparktools. Those that continue to do so are beaing the odds. You can too!
    1651 days ago
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