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Why gaining one pound feels like gaining 100 pounds; Accountable, not hysterical maintaining

Sunday, December 09, 2012

I am in year two of maintenance and in my second month. 90 percent of the time I am happily in my range. However, now and then I tap into old emotional reactions.

A few days ago, I noticed that I was one pound above my maintenance range.. I am very serious about keeping this weight off and I was upset. I logically know it is only a pound gain, but emotionally it felt like I was gaining all of my hundred pounds back! Feeling blue, I went onto Spark..read some wonderful blogs and smiled with my warm Spark Friends. I returned to being cheerful and resigned. I took steps to conquer this gain..ate really low carb, exercised more, cleaned the house and mailed presents.
Later in the day I glanced at myself in the mirror. I really am thin! I am wearing size 6 stretchy jeans. I had to laugh at myself for my earlier hysteria. Yes, it really is only a pound no matter what it feels like.

The other reflection I had at that moment was that when I really did weigh a hundred pounds over and would see a weight gain, I had considerable negative self talk. Now when the scale is up, I may get discouraged with the effort, but gone are all the negative feelings towards myself. I am eating healthfully and mindfully each day.

Emotional fear number two. I grew up being told ncver ever wear stripes as they make you look fat...especially horizontal stripes. I needed a new pair of pajamas and loved a wild zebra pattern with stripes going in every direction. I am happy to report that I love my pjs. The growth for me is that I tried them on and did not worry about looking fat. Later i remembered that old childhood directive, and smiled. That fear is now gone.

My third emotional reaction occurred while driving home in freezing fog. Days and days of fog depress me. So on the way home, I think, I am depressed with this weather and I really want something good for dinner. Fortunately my sweet husband had made fish veracruz which is one of my favorite dishes.
However, later I told myself that here was a lingering symptom of food addiction, using food to comfort yourself. Here is my Aha moment. {TinaJane's blog} When I wanted something "good" my thoughts were all of low carb spicy healthy foods. This was not wanting to binge on sugar or refined carbs..rather just wanting something very tasty. I realized that it was Ok to seek food that I enjoy. That is what I am doing everyday..enjoying food.

So I can laugh at myself and tell myself that maintenance is being accountable, not being hysterical. I am enjoying learning the tiny steps in this road towards health.
Thanks to all of the wonderful people at Spark who offer such great support.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I was shopping alone just before Christmas and I noticed the majority of sweaters and tops at JCP were horizontal stripes. I took one muliticolor sweater off the rack held it out and said out loud "Pat, That Cuts You Right in HALF!" and then I chuckled. That was a comment my dear departed MIL used to make.

    1948 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/23/2013 4:06:21 PM
    It's amazing how regaining weight can have an emotional toll.
    1960 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this! It really inspired me.
    1974 days ago
    Thanks for this blog and for commenting on my blog. I've just made my first Spark journal entry. I always thought when people talked about journals on Spark they were talking about blogs! :-)
    1984 days ago
    I definitely needed this blog today. Thank you! :)
    1984 days ago
    Wise title, great blog! It's really weird how a slight gain can make us feel that the whole weight we've lost is going to come back. I guess being able to control this hysteric reaction is another lesson that we have to learn while in maintenance.
    Thank you for bringing this point to our attention. It's really important, especially during the holidays.
    1984 days ago
    OMG I hear you so much on so many accounts - from the one pound above range (AAAAAHHHHH!!!!) to the dreary days (like the bout we are in right now - icky!) Added you to my friend list - looking to reading some more blogs of yours and getting to know you in the Maintenance Journey!!
    1984 days ago
    I think I had a similar reaction to seeing 1 lb over my range when it first happened. Sadly, I assuaged myself with the reassurance it was only 1 lb and nothing to freak out over, and rather than knocking it down swiftly, I let additional pounds accumulate.

    So great to read about your changes in how you dress and turn to new comfort foods.
    1986 days ago
    I understand where you are coming from! We all have worked so hard to lose the weight and none of us wants to go back! I'm glad you are "ok" now, but we all deserve a little "vent" here and there. One pound isn't very much, but I remember when one became two, two became ten, etc.

    You have it all under control! Now your zebra jammies can be a reminder of your success and hopefully, keep you from having emotional turmoil in the future.

    Keep it up, you are doing emoticon !
    1986 days ago
    I love your attitude. I do the very same thing and your revelations are awesome. I usually have to pray my way out of an unreasonable mood when I see my maintenance weight exceeded. You are right, Sparkpeople always helps me gain my perspective again. Big Hug.
    1988 days ago
    You certainly have conquered maintenance and are doing it well. It's nice that you are able to assimilate new ideas when they appear and realize that you are still in control.
    1991 days ago
    Thank you for a great blog. Good to see you made good
    food choices. emoticon emoticon
    1992 days ago
    This is a wonderful blog! You really capture the internal conflict of needing to be vigilant but keeping a realistic perspective. it is no wonder that you are doing so great at maintenance. Truly, you are a success story both with your weight and your healthy, wise approach to life.

    1992 days ago
    Great blog! There definitely is a fine line between holding yourself accountable and obsessing about being at or below a certain number and becoming hysterical when you're not. I suppose part of our maintenance process is learning where we're the most comfortable maintaining and when a slight gain is worth getting upset over and taking action to undo.

    Although I generally don't stress about my slight ups and downs, there was a time a few months ago when I noticed a trend where these slight ups were not being sufficiently offset by the slight downs. After seeing hard evidence of that, I knew I needed to take some gentle action and, slowly but surely, I got back down into the comfortable middle zone of my maintenance range. Like you, I'm constantly working to reconcile my fear of being 240+ pounds again with holding myself accountable in a way that's sane.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and congratulations on the stripes. You've definitely earned them!
    1993 days ago
    I relate to this blog. The point in losing the weight, was to enjoy life, not become obsessive. I also am slowly learning, just a few months into maintenance. It is hard to realize I am thin, that one pound is not all thirty pounds back. It helps that my DH keeps complimenting me on being thin (I threatened him often when I was losing that I had better hear positives from him once the weight was off and he has taken it to heart).
    1993 days ago
    Great blog! I too am now into size 6 jeans and as a matter of fact I'm wearing a horizontal striped top today, who knew! I do find this to be a tough season to get through with all the tantalizing desserts but even if I gain a few pounds I'm confident I'll drop them with the tools and support at SP. Thanks for all the insight! You're doing great at maintenance!
    1993 days ago
    What a great blog. 'Maintenance is being accountable not hysterical'. You could make the the title of a book. There are a few SP members that need to hear this, I think...!
    1993 days ago
    Looking for something positive I could relate to and found your blog. Both your blog and the comments were exactly what I needed today and looking forward to this "difficult dieting" time of year. Thanks to all of you!
    1993 days ago
    "Maintenance is being accountable, not being hysterical": check!! And thanks!!

    I too am wearing size six jeans (NYDJ). I too freak out every time the scales shift upwards. I too worry that enjoying a half cup of coffee icecream (tracked! within range!) is the slippery slope to perdition.

    But (if you haven't seen it already) check out the picture on my Spark Page of me wearing WHITE (gasp) capris and HORIZONTALLY STRIPED (bigger gasp) golf shirt. There was definitely a time I would not have done either of these things . . . and this picture was a candid taken at a golf tournament flashed up afterwards at the banquet: I was stunned that I looked "ok"!!
    1993 days ago
    yes i have lost and put the weigh on many times . i vow this time if i get it off again i will never gain it back . I know that the first pound over the limit is the time to stop eating and grab myself by the fork and stop eating . longing to be thin again . you are doing a good job . emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1993 days ago
    Fabulous insights! I, too, have that fear of regaining, and sometimes it turns to the irrational. I find myself waking up in the morning in a panic thinking that I have gained my 80 pounds back. I thought I was alone with that emotional reaction. Thanks for showing me I am not. It's the things like that shared on SP that help keep me going.

    Congrats on your success and your ability to proudly wear your stripes!
    1993 days ago
    Seeing your weight up a pound isn't a signal for despair, but just an indicator of something you have to do next. When you come home and find the kitchen a mess you don't beat yourself up or wallow in despair. You clean it up. (and maybe have a few words with the person who messed it up.) Same with that scale. It just tells you what to do next, and you do know how to do it. And just like that clean kitchen, you will be able to look at the scale in a couple of days and see the job is done.
    1993 days ago
    That one pound gain turned into a lot of positive Aha's! You took a lemon and made lots of lemonade! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1993 days ago
    Great blog. And congrats on your success.
    1993 days ago
    I can totally understand the temporary fear of gaining...it's a slippery slope.
    And I congratulate your attitude choosing healthy treats as comfort food,
    I feel that even though I am nowhere near maintenance...
    My preferences toward better comfort foods is getting stronger.

    thanks for the encouraging blog, it inspires me to keep moving forward
    1993 days ago
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