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I realize I've been in maintenance before, kind of

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I didn't lose 30 pounds and keep it off for a year (The NWCR definition), but I made modifications to my lifestyle and lost around 15 pounds, moved from the obese range into merely overweight, and my jeans were falling off so I gave them away. But I'm a little fuzzy on the details because for for many years, I didn't have a scale at home.

But I know I got a pair of size 20 jeans sometime in 2003 or '04 and then in spring of '04 (can you hear me saying "aught four" sitting on the porch sipping lemonade?) I eliminated sweets and white flour from my diet. A few months later I was offered whole wheat chocolate chip cookies at a party, and in the ensuing puzzlement over my reaction to them I decided to eliminate chocolate altogether. "Eliminate" is an interesting word. We think of it meaning "kill" but the Latin roots mean "away from the threshold". I don't let them in.

So eating that way over the next year, my jeans started falling off. Things were going smoothly until I started working as a bookkeeper in 2005, and there was often free food around at work. So I held onto my rules about chocolate and candy, but flexed on white flour and cookies. And then I started training to run a 5k, and for some reason that made me really crave sweets. I think understanding what I do now about muscle recovery, I could have timed my snacks better to contain the cravings without resorting to sweets. But I figured since I was running, I could relax my rules a bit.

Nowadays I am actually a little leery of the "move more to eat more" concept. I know I said something like that at the end of my last blog, but it was more in the spirit of "strength training is awesome". I have a new appreciation of cardio, I find the people who feel they have to prove one is better than the other baffling.

But getting back to this time that I maintained an improved body composition, when we were getting ready to move in March 2006 my husband brought his scale home from the massage therapy office and I weighed myself with it, and I was 190 (my obesity threshold is 195). And then just after the move, I had an immobilizing injury on some playground equipment and then next time I weighed myself in November of 2006 I was 203. In addition to the accident and a Thanksgiving road trip, I also turned 36 and didn't have a regular exercise regimen.

And I just kind of struggled from then until spring of 2010, when I weighed in at 212 and did my "turning 40" Spark push until I got pregnant. So I guess what I learn from this, looking back, is some things to watch for in maintenance. Getting older, changes to work and home environment, injury, and not having a self-monitoring method. I mean, I wasn't trying to watch my weight, I just wanted to be healthier in a much more radical sense.

The more important change, for me, was that my chronic depression went into remission in the spring of 2005. I don't know how much of that was from 12 step recovery from codepency or how much from not self-medicating with sweets and chocolate. I do credit the recovery with making it possible for me to stop self-medicating for thatfirst year for sure, because there was a year between eliminating most of the junk before I started feeling good nearly all the time. There was a role as well for cognitive behavior modification of my anxiety.

Now I did have a rough patch after when the baby was in the NICU in 2011, and I went on an antidepressant supplement. A lot of people would say "oh, well it's natural" but I took it because I was freaking the heck out. I took it hoping it would have a measurable effect on me, so I don't think it's honest to say I am depression free without chemical intervention. I don't think that's a reasonable standard to strive for, and I very much consider therapy and 12 step recovery to be forms of treatment. I was still on the antidepressant treatment when I started tracking my food in 2012, and then I tapered off it when winter was over, and at the end of summer I started exercising and I have exercised 5 or 6 days a week for 6 months now.

Well, if you're still reading, I will totally send you a goody.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TANYA602
    I just read an article that said 30 min of hard cardio does more than hours of working out. I am in the same boat with you - that working out more doesn't equal eating more, at least for some people.
    Thank you for sharing your story, your insight, and your wisdom. You look fabulous, you sound like you are figuring things out, and I'm proud of you for sticking thru the last 6 months and finding the positives. Spring is just around the corner!
    1897 days ago
    Love your blogs always full of good info. thanks for sharing your story.
    1897 days ago
    Sorry. Goofy.
    1897 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 11:36:47 AM
    I'd love to know if eating more foods on the anti-angiogenic foods has help you at all with your health or weight loss.
    1897 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 11:36:10 AM
    I love your blogs, of course I read them through then end. I'll send you a goodie!
    1898 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Our morning tv is just having some tips on how to avoid emotional eating as I read this! I think a lot of us would be thinking "This rings a bell" reading this blog. All kinds of factors influence us as we age and adjustments to lifestyle as we go are a necessary part of life.
    1898 days ago
  • CDCSMITH2013
    I think when you start making better food/fitness choices and they are pretty march part of your routine, it's a form of maintenance.
    1898 days ago
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