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Diets don't work if you stop using them

Monday, April 22, 2013

Have you ever found yourself to be waiting, in a holding pattern? I used to think that once I lost the weight I would then do all of these other things. But, you know what? I gained weight back instead. When I stopped feeling connected to life, I didn't have a motivation to work hard to stay alive. I used to expect something to change. I thought I would find somebody, my career would happen, and I would finally be grown up. I had this great expectation which was never fullfilled and when it wasn't I felt betrayed by life. emoticon I stopped working so very hard. I gained emoticon weight.

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain my weight, I have what I call an 'advanced' body. Its not a beginner's body, its not for someone without skill. My body is hard to take care of, to maintain, and to fight against. I don't get a break from watching out for it. There is no 'off' time. I must watch every morsel of food, I must exercise not once, but often twice a day, I must take supplements, I must meditate just to keep myself sane so that I can tackle it every single day. I used to think that once I lost the weight I would be normal.

What I didn't realize is that just because I lost weight my body was not going to be a new body. I must continue to care for it all the time. Its like a delicate house plant or exotic flower, it requires care and feeding or else it will die. Many of us in Spark have the idea (I used to!) that if we diet the weight loss should last. But, you have to ask yourself, 'why?' Why should it last if you aren't using the same techniques you used to lose the weight to maintain it? Just because you adjust your calories up doesn't mean the exercise goes out the window, that the calorie counting stops, or the self care stops, or the new good habits stop.

Let me put it to you this way: if you bought a new tires for your car and they worked great until you took them off the car, would you say the car was defective? Would you be mad that it wasn't working anymore???? Thats like stopping your Sparks and being mad at your body for not staying slender. Why should a diet or a weight loss plan continue to work if you stop using it????

For me that includes:

emoticon Cardio 5x/week in my aerobic zone for 45-60 minutes, at least one is an interval style workout.
emoticon Yoga every other night before bed. It shifts lymph fluid and it helps rev up your metabolism.
Counting the calories: weighed emoticon not measured. Don't forget measuring spoons/cups can be deceptive.
emoticon Journal/log my food: I am using Spark more often than Fitday now. No particular reason. Fitday has a better set of charts than Spark. But Spark has cute little emoticons. emoticon emoticon emoticon
Meditation: emoticon I use it to help bust my self out of bed in the morning to workout, to remember to cook, to remember to eat at home, and to banish self abusive talk in my own mind.
emoticon Daily weigh ins: I haven't been doing this, I plan to start next month. I don't like them but the information is invaluable.
Using my 'Do or Do Not' emoticon Eat emoticon list, following my own diet plan. For me the worst offenders are commercial foods, certain brands of ice cream, bread, cheese, and rice. YMMV. Lols emoticon .

I can't tell you which one is the most important.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i can't lose without a lot of exercise plus extreme detail to my eating habits. It's very irritating as some people, like my hubby, cut out a single item like a sandwich and lose weight.
    1823 days ago
    1824 days ago
    Wow! This is just what I needed to hear. I went on a road trip last week and was joined at the hip with a colleague, so I didn't get to track my food or workout. Since I've been back, I haven't been able to get back into my routine, and all the weight I lost this month, I've gained back. Thanks for helping me to get back onto the right track. I'm going to start right NOW! emoticon
    1825 days ago
    You've obviously put a lot of thought into caring for your body and mind and that will ensure your success at both weight loss and maintenance. Good for you! I know that I'll have to work hard at maintenance when I reach my goal as well. I'm not looking forward to it but it won't be any worse than the hard work I'm doing to lose weight. We just have to get rid of the mindset that says our bodies are self managing. WE manage our bodies or we fail.

    Thanks for the well thought out post. It made me think! emoticon
    1825 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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