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At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance

A Guide to Posting in Your SparkTeam Forum

  FORUM:   General Team Discussion Forum
TOPIC:   reassurance... 


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SARAHANN32
SARAHANN32's Photo Posts: 1,023
6/16/08 11:55 A

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This is what I do when I'm not tracking - I just guess at about what a meal is and work my day that way. Like today - I had a homemade banana muffin for breakfast and I know I'm going to have a piece of grilled chicken tonight with some veggies - so for lunch (I have to eat out with a friend today) I know that I should be ok if I stick within about 400 calories and I can kind of judge the menu because I kind of know that when we go to Camille's I can get a handful of items off the menu (I look them up online before I go)
It isn't tracking per say, but I still have to think about what is going in my mouth. It isn't easy - but it honestly gets easier just to think about your day and not have to enter every calorie every single day.
I still do track every few months for about a week just to keep myself in line and to judge new recipes etc.
If you don't like being a slave to the numbers then slowly move away from it. I liked the idea from one of the last posts about tracking every other day and then once a week. Maybe even review what you ate on your days that you were in your range and loved everything you ate, keep those meals in mind and you'll be ok.
We are all here for you, and I do think a lot of us know what you are going through too. But take a deep breath - it will get better :)


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KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,372
6/14/08 1:06 P

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"guesstimating" is what you would do if you stop tracking. When I stopped tracking, I had to still eat as if I were tracking, no real changes there. I think the goal for me was to free up the tracking time, not the concept of continueing to eat heathy amounts of healthy food. If you think of not tracking as a free for all to eat whatever you please, then it's no wonder you would be anxious about it, that is not what it is! It is using what you learned from tracking, and applying it without actually logging it in to the computer. I don't think an occasional splurge in food is bad either, sometimes that is where life takes us. And if you really go overboard and start to gain, the tracking tool is right there and ready to go!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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ULTIMATESPICE
ULTIMATESPICE's Photo Posts: 145
6/12/08 8:23 P

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Would it still be considered tracking if I were to guesstimate the amount of calories I consume?? I know that would not be so exact, but would that be more lenient on my part? And should I allow myself to go over in calories every once in a while? I am not even sure how that works. I am scared to go over in calories- for fear of gaining...even though, logically one day more than likely wont do anything on the scale... Am I correct in this way of thinking?

Thanks again!
Jilian



OUTOFCONTROL
OUTOFCONTROL's Photo SparkPoints: (83,341)
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6/12/08 12:52 P

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If you set a goal to maintain your weight without tracking calories, you can reach that goal the same way you reached your weight loss goal. Maybe start out by tracking every other day. If you manage that for a week, reward yourself. Do that for a few weeks, and then maybe cut down to tracking once a week. You will gain confidence when you see that your weight stays in the same range even without the daily tracking.

Michelle
Be as you wish to seem.




SARBAH77
SARBAH77's Photo SparkPoints: (124,211)
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6/12/08 10:48 A

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I agree with WWOFPITCHER, but I look at it less like being a "slave" Jillian and more like how I track my bank account. I keep an eye on it daily (partially because my last bank screwed up HARDCORE) to make sure I'm within my limits. There are the occasional days I don't track my bank account and that's fine.

Same idea for tracking food. I enter my food at the beginning of the day and see what's left over (if anything). Once in awhile, I don't log, and it's not a big deal. For me, the calorie tracker/food log is a tool that lets me stay healthy. It's nothing I'm enslaved to.



ZUCCHINIQUEEN
ZUCCHINIQUEEN's Photo Posts: 7,425
6/12/08 6:56 A

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Hi Jilian,
Even if you feel as if you are a slave to numbers, that is a small price to pay for being healthy and slimmer.
You may have to accept that most of us are not "normal" or we never would have gained so much weight in the first place. So you are comparing yourself to those who never had a weight problem instead of those of us who have a problem.
If you had a disease and had to take medicine to keep it under control, would you not take the medicine because it was not what "normal" people did?
We are so lucky to have a program which helps us lose the weight and keep it off. As far as I am concerned, if I have to count points the rest of my life, so be it. My brain has to compensate for what my body doesn't handle by itself. I'm cool with that.


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ULTIMATESPICE
ULTIMATESPICE's Photo Posts: 145
6/11/08 10:41 P

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All of this advice has been so helpful. I had planned to not count for tomorrow and see how I do, but I have already chickened out and logged some food for tomorrow. I feel so insecure. I feel that I will never be "normal". I have worked so hard to be where I am today, and what do I have to show for it: I am a slave to numbers. How is this living- when I have to worry about a number that I have to reach at the end of the night?? This is ridiculous. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry that I can't be upbeat. I think this is making me have a mental breakdown.

Thanks again for all the support.

Jilian



KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,372
6/11/08 10:20 P

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My computer didn't like the link, so couldn't see what it said. But for me I'm taking a pretty relaxed approach, although I'm eating really "clean" having cut out most processed foods, all HFCS, and hydrogenated oils, and pretty much sticking to fresh fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains, I don't track my calories anymore. I feel great eating and living this way, and don't think I'd be happy on a restricted calorie diet. I guess I don't mind cutting back here and there when I've gained a few pounds, but even on my most recent "gain" I was able to get back in check w/ just measuring portions and eating what I know works for my diet.

I hear you on both sides, so do what works, but I guess I can see the point that Lucubatrix was making about the "based on solid science" statement, that should not be thrown around lightly, or it becomes meaningless.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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LUCUBRATRIX
LUCUBRATRIX's Photo Posts: 613
6/11/08 5:10 P

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It is absolutely and totally up to each individual what they do or do not want to put in their bodies, I totally agree with you there, Porkchop!

As a scientist, I only object to people throwing around "scientifically based" when things are NOT at all scientifically based. If claims like that are made, they'd better be backed up by some peer-reviewed, publically available data!

Lucubratrix: one who studies by night.
Height: 6', Highest weight: 245.
(Ticker reflects maintenance range after losing 80 lbs!)

Fort Lewis Army Half Marathon, September 13, 2008 - 2:12:41.
Bellingham Bay Half Marathon, September 28, 2008 - 2:11:59.
Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2008.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." - Elvis Presley


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VANESSAANN83
VANESSAANN83's Photo Posts: 593
6/11/08 4:20 P

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Porkchop, that's very true. I have a friend who prefers not to work out so much, and maintains by eating 1000-1500 calories a day...day in and day out. I would definitely starve!! But she's happy :) We're all different, and congrats for finding what works for you!!



PORKCHOP_4
PORKCHOP_4's Photo Posts: 384
6/11/08 3:50 P

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Hey "Special People"!!

Like I said "This is not for everybody". It works for me. You have to do what works for you.

Edited by: PORKCHOP_4 at: 6/11/2008 (16:05)
Greg "Porkchop" Smith



VANESSAANN83
VANESSAANN83's Photo Posts: 593
6/11/08 3:15 P

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Wow, I know my body, and if I cut my calories down to 500 one day, I'd definitely be eating 4000 the next!!! I couldn't do that diet, no way.



VANESSAANN83
VANESSAANN83's Photo Posts: 593
6/11/08 3:14 P

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Wow, I know my body, and if I cut my calories down to 500 one day, I'd definitely be eating 4000 the next!!! I couldn't do that diet, no way.



VANESSAANN83
VANESSAANN83's Photo Posts: 593
6/11/08 3:14 P

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Wow, I know my body, and if I cut my calories down to 500 one day, I'd definitely be eating 4000 the next!!! I couldn't do that diet, no way.



LUCUBRATRIX
LUCUBRATRIX's Photo Posts: 613
6/11/08 3:01 P

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Calorie cycling: useful. Calorie restriction: also useful.

My professional opinion, is, thought, that eating ONLY HALF of the recommended "minimum to avoid starvation mode" calories every other day, is basically part time anorexia.

If there were real scientific experiments explaining this method and its efficacy, it would be published in a publically available, peer-reviewed scientific journal... and not dependent on the sales of someone's weight loss book!

Lucubratrix: one who studies by night.
Height: 6', Highest weight: 245.
(Ticker reflects maintenance range after losing 80 lbs!)

Fort Lewis Army Half Marathon, September 13, 2008 - 2:12:41.
Bellingham Bay Half Marathon, September 28, 2008 - 2:11:59.
Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2008.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." - Elvis Presley


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PORKCHOP_4
PORKCHOP_4's Photo Posts: 384
6/11/08 2:53 P

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I can't begin to explain the science behind SERT1 gene activation and the Cal State experiments, LUCUBRATRIX. You would have to get Dr. Johnson's book and read it.

But everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Greg "Porkchop" Smith



LUCUBRATRIX
LUCUBRATRIX's Photo Posts: 613
6/11/08 2:17 P

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I just wanted to say, as a scientist, that JUDDD is not "based on science" in any way... and if there is science behind it, please do let me know, because I'd LOVE to analyze the bogusness of the experiments with my students.

Restricting yourself to under 500 calories is not sensible or smart, and although you may lose weight, it is not a good thing for your metabolism and general well being... read any number of articles on SP about this, and think about how SP does NOT set goals below 1200 calories in your nutrition plan, and does NOT let you go below 1000 if you manually adjust it. The 500 calorie limit is even way below the limit that the Calorie Restriction folks advocate!

Please be sensible, people. Take care of your bodies - after all, most of us are here because we want to be HEALTHIER.

Lucubratrix: one who studies by night.
Height: 6', Highest weight: 245.
(Ticker reflects maintenance range after losing 80 lbs!)

Fort Lewis Army Half Marathon, September 13, 2008 - 2:12:41.
Bellingham Bay Half Marathon, September 28, 2008 - 2:11:59.
Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2008.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." - Elvis Presley


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ZUCCHINIQUEEN
ZUCCHINIQUEEN's Photo Posts: 7,425
6/11/08 7:05 A

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Well, that's a new approach, and probably worth trying. Thanks for alerting us to this new thought that's out there! Another way that we maintain successfully is to be aware of new ideas and to be open at least to considering them.


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PORKCHOP_4
PORKCHOP_4's Photo Posts: 384
6/10/08 9:33 P

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Hi Folks,

I have been maintaining for about 4 months now. I was having trouble with it. My weight wanted to creep up on me. About two weeks ago I started the Alternate Day Diet and now I have a hard time keeping weight on.

This is a fairly new thing but it is based on solid science. Here is a link to the team
It is probably not for everybody, but it works well for me. TheAlternate-DayDiet,FriendsofDr.Johnson

Greg "Porkchop" Smith



VANESSAANN83
VANESSAANN83's Photo Posts: 593
6/10/08 6:44 P

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Jilian, I have been maintaining for eight months now, and I still count. I actually feel freed by counting. My weight fluctuates every day, within almost 7 lbs. Counting reassures me that I haven't actually changed, and frees me from worrying about the numbers on the scale. Also, I reeeeaaaally enjoy food. Sometimes I like to "cheat" and eat an entire frozen pizza, or get REAL ice cream...so I purposely try to eat about 100-300 calories under what I need daily (2400) so that I can really splurge every couple of days without guilt. That's just me though...it's almost like second nature to count anyway, I just can't help it anymore.



SARAHANN32
SARAHANN32's Photo Posts: 1,023
6/8/08 9:50 P

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I've been maintaining for at least a year now, and I don't count calories on a daily basis. I've found it is getting easier to remember portion control and what to order at restaurants. I'll take a week once in awhile and track things - just to make sure I'm on the right path and it helps remind me how many calories/nutrients are in some of the foods I like - or if I encounter new food options and I want to figure out how to work them into my food choices. Then I'll remember - "ok this meal has roughly 300-400 calories, so I'm good to go."
Next week I'm actually planning on doing my week of counting, and then I'll go back to not tracking again after next Sunday. I also weigh myself maybe once a week or every two weeks just to keep an eye on how things are going on the scale as well as to how I feel. I hope you can ween yourself of tracking, it is a liberating experience once you figure out that you can do it. I still keep in touch with my teams and read articles on spark even though I'm not tracking online everything I eat.


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WINDSURFNERD
WINDSURFNERD's Photo Posts: 770
6/8/08 2:57 P

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Like most here, I tracked for awhile (maybe 6 months) after hitting my goal weight and while I was trying to stabilize and figure out maintenance. But like LUCUBRATRIX, for me tracking is related to a behavior where I'm constantly thinking about food, which makes it harder for me to be healthy about it. Instead I try to focus on fruits/veggies, water and moving & challenging my body.

Also like others here, healthy portion sizing had become a habit, but sometimes I lose my "eye" and gain. When that happens I track for a few days to get my discipline back. I guess I'm trying to say that not tracking can work for you; you can always go back to using it if you find yourself gaining or missing something in your diet. Good luck!

A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for.

- Anonymous




KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,372
6/8/08 12:55 P

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I stopped tracking my calories a while ago. I am currently only tracking fruits and veggie servings, and time on exercise on the quick tracker, I just was spending too much time logging food that it got to be too much for me. I had some ups and downs with the process, but figured it out, and have been w/in my 5 lb maintenacne range since around November. I think the big issue for me with not tracking is remembering to continue to eat like I did when I was tracking. It's all about learning hou much to eat and when to eat it. Once you figure that out, you can do it on your own. If you have a good routine it makes it easier. I still measure a lot of food, mostly cereals, and dairy, and a lot of my containers I pack thinks in I know how much is a serving in there, so I can eyeball some of that. I also weigh daily, and if I see an increase that sticks around I know I can always go back and track if it gets out of hand. Ususally though it's just a blip and if I stick to what I know works it goes back to normal levels without that.

I think a lot of people tried not tracking on vacations or when they were away, and found they could do that, so just kept going when they got home. It's a good way to ease yourself into it. Just try it for a day, and see how it goes, if that is something you really think you want to do.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



 current weight: 10.0  over
 
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OUTOFCONTROL
OUTOFCONTROL's Photo SparkPoints: (83,341)
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6/8/08 10:55 A

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I counted for a few months into maintenance and then I was on a week long business trip and couldn't count. I didn't gain, so I decided to experiment and stop counting. I was so surprised that everything stayed the same whether I was counting or not. The lifestyle had become intuitive for me. Over time you will learn the equation for maintenance success. I gained some weight during and after marathon training, but my clothes still fit. I was able to determine that strength training was where I had slacked off and although I was the same size, I had gained a little fat and lost some muscle. But now i know not to panic and how to fix it.

Michelle
Be as you wish to seem.




LUCUBRATRIX
LUCUBRATRIX's Photo Posts: 613
6/8/08 12:43 A

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I've stopped tracking, and am just paying attention to my body - eating until I'm satisfied but not over-full, eating only when hungry, filling up on healthy foods and keeping treats as occasional treats. Tracking my calories was a VERY valuable tool to help me relearn how to eat, but it's not something I can see myself doing every day for the rest of my life because for me, it easily becomes too obsessive. (I'm not saying it's obsessive or unhealthy for other people, but FOR ME it can lead to putting way to much thought/mental energy into food.)

I've been maintaining successfully for 9 months and while I might occasionally track a day here or there, it's mostly to check that I'm getting enough of particular nutrients (or not too much sodium) and not to do with my calories. I don't feel like it's a constant battle anymore: I've found a weight that my body is really happy at, and generally returns pretty quickly even if I've had a couple of days of parties and eating foods I normally don't.

So, yeah, it's possible to stop counting and maintain! It's not really necessary to give it up, and I know some people like the counting as a daily part of maintenance. I just found I was generally happier to just take an approach of "I'm going to strive to make healthy choices most of the time." And I definitely do eat unhealthy things sometimes -- I just make sure they're really delicious and worth it, and that I limit myself to a reasonable portion... then really enjoy and don't beat myself up over it. I didn't gain weight by having a cupcake every now and then - I gained weight by consistently overeating.

I do weigh myself most days, and to me, that's a good way to make sure that I don't find myself drifting too far away from healthy habits. It works for me and I don't obsess too much about the exact number on the scale -- I know for other people, it can be very anxiety producing and it would be not a healthy thing.

I found this article to be a really big help in adjusting my attitude towards food, especially when I was transitioning to maintenance:
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=609


Lucubratrix: one who studies by night.
Height: 6', Highest weight: 245.
(Ticker reflects maintenance range after losing 80 lbs!)

Fort Lewis Army Half Marathon, September 13, 2008 - 2:12:41.
Bellingham Bay Half Marathon, September 28, 2008 - 2:11:59.
Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2008.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." - Elvis Presley


 current weight: 173.0 
 
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EEVEE1
EEVEE1's Photo Posts: 4,426
6/7/08 10:44 P

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I've been maintaining for about 9 months and for the last 2 months I have been able to get to the point of only counting once or twice a week, usually the day after I overindulge. The rest of the week I don't really count calories but I do pay attention to what I am eating, things like how many fruits and veggies and how many "bad" snacks I have had. It is working well for me now after a bad start trying to maintain.
Now if I could just do something about my need to stand on the scale a couple of times a day, I'll be all set.

Success consists of a series of little daily victories.

Laddie Hutar



co-leaderof spark bookworms bookclub
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=7956


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ZUCCHINIQUEEN
ZUCCHINIQUEEN's Photo Posts: 7,425
6/7/08 6:11 A

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HiJillian,
5 years and still counting. It's second nature now. I can go out to eat and enjoy it, but know I need to compensate by my eating the rest of the day. It's just what I have to do to maintain, and it's a small price to pay for staying at goal!


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LYNNWAT
LYNNWAT's Photo Posts: 4,545
6/6/08 11:37 P

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Hi Jillian, I have been maintaining for a little over 6 months and I too still count my calories. I still need that support system and it keeps me in check. Maybe one day I won't have to count as I'll feel comfortable with what I'm eating. But I'm not there yet.

Starting Weight: 235 on 01/01/07

Achieved Goal Weight: 140 on 11/29/07

Maintenance Weight Range: 138 to 143


"A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. "
William Arthur Ward


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CAROG424
CAROG424's Photo Posts: 3,012
6/6/08 8:10 P

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Hi Jillian
I too obsess over calorie counting. I have only been maintaining for 6 moths or so. I can't imagine not counting them. Great post, I hope you get some positive rsponses. I will keep an eye on this post.

Edited by: CAROG424 at: 6/6/2008 (20:09)
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. : Ralph Waldo Emerson


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ULTIMATESPICE
ULTIMATESPICE's Photo Posts: 145
6/6/08 7:15 P

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Hello everyone! I have been at goal and maintaining for over two years now, but I am still meticulous about counting calories. I am trying to get over this obsession, but the fear of gaining always wins in the end.
Anyways, I am trying to get reassurance that people have stopped counting after goal and also enjoy foods, eat out, and still maintain. I am extremely scared to even go over my calorie limit now while counting, so not doing so would probably add more stress in this department.
I just need to know that it is possible! Feel free to share what your lifestyle consists of!
Thank you SOOO much for all the support ahead of time!!

emoticon Jilian

Edited by: ULTIMATESPICE at: 6/6/2008 (19:16)


 
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