A Day in the Life of Maintenance 1
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I so very much appreciate the feedback I got on my last blog. The feedback definitely got me thinking: I shared so much throughout my journey while losing weight, why pull back now? So many people suggested that maintenance is another tricky part--and one, many pointed out, we seem to often stay pretty quiet about! I hadn't really thought of that, but it's a good point. I think there's real benefit to sharing about THIS part of the process, perhaps just as much as sharing about losing...
I think the general silence is at least partly due to the fact that often, when we frame the discourse around weight loss, we mark "goal" as a sort of end point, as if you had a problem and now you're suddenly cured. I get this very energy from a lot of people who ask me questions about how I've done it, what tips I can offer them, etc, as if I've found the panacea and they can come visit me on my throne for advice and answers. The truth is, I found something that worked for me and helped me lose weight--but I haven't really "arrived" anywhere, and I realize that buying into this as an "end point" isn't ultimately healthy for me either. Framing it this way blocks out any space for understanding maintenance in its complexity: as a time of adjustment, of celebration, and of struggle (it's that last part that especially gets blocked out!).
In short, as I used this space to write about the process of LOSING weight, I will use it now to write about the process of maintaining--which is just as much a process as the losing was!
Right now my weight sits in a range of about 138-143, depending on what exercise I've done that week, what salt I've eaten, the temperature, my hormonal cycle, and my calorie intake. I'm pretty comfortable with that range. What I haven't figured out yet is how often I'd like to weigh in or check on that number. My weight loss hasn't fully stopped yet, although I lose no more than a pound a month at this point (for instance, two months ago I would have told you my weight fluctuated between 140-145 pounds). While I'm mentally pretty okay with seeing the fluctuation of a "weight range," there are days seeing a small gain upsets me, especially when I feel like I can't explain it. In the past, I used those small gains as a reason to restrict more, to be hard on myself or mad at myself, to beat myself up. I definitely don't want to do that, and while I want to stay vigilant and honest about my weight, I also don't want to hover over the numbers or allow them too much power in my life. I'm not sure yet whether weekly, twice weekly, once-every-other-week, etc. weigh-ins will help me strike that balance, but I do know that stepping on every day (or nearly every day) isn't useful, nor what I want to do. I guess that's a start.
Today's training happens at the end of the day. This afternoon I'll be going for a 5-6 mile run, doing some ST at the gym, and then doing a Master's swim class, which, at my current level, takes me about two hours to complete. I know for a lot of people, their workout is something to "get over with," but I'll be looking forward to these all day (well, minus the twenty minutes of ab work I'll do, ha). I am--every day--grateful for what I can do in this body!
Alright, full day ahead with lots of goals, and I'm going to get to it. Love and light, sparkfriends!