Post 5: Fear of regaining

Sunday, February 14, 2016

For some time now I have been putting a lot of effort in educating myself about weight maintenance. Even the most optimistic statistics are quite discouraging, as they show that the vast majority of people who lose weight regain at least some of the weight, and many times even more than they lost.

When it comes to personal accounts of how difficult maintenance is, I have a "favourite" trilogy:

"The Fat Trap" which I referred to in my first post

"The Unfarness of Weight Loss Maintenance"

and "I Once Was Obese"

I have read these texts several times to remind myself that I can't lose focus once the time comes to maintain, and that time is now quite close. From the experience I've gained in the last 8 months, I know that it doesn't take too much for me to regain and I dread the day when I don't have as much time to exercise or prepare my meals with the nearly mathematical precision I do now. I have learned to fit my macro and micro (this is tricky!) nutrient needs within my caloric range, to vary my workouts and include cardio, strength and flexibility (another "sacred" trilogy), to learn what a healthy portion is for me and to weigh my food whenever possible. Come to think of it, it is a lot of work. As one of the authors above says, its' a part-time and often full-time job.

My greatest concerns are potential changes in my daily routines. The reason why I have been able to make these changes now is because at the moment I am a full-time doctoral student with pretty much total control of my schedule. I work from home a lot, almost never need to eat out and when I do it is usually planned and I already know the caloric/nutritional value of what I am going to get. I do get up at 6.30 to go the gym or the pool every day and prepare my next day meals every night, and some times when I just can't find time to workout because of seminars or other activities, I use YouTube videos to exercise. In other words, I am developing some skills that will help me cope when, unavoidably, I have to return to the crazy working market. I'm scared: before starting my PhD I had an administrative post and a teaching job at a university, and these occupations were so demanding that I would usually work 12 hours a day and then go home to mark exams and essays.

Rationally, I know that something can always be done. That there is always a way to prioritise what you choose. Emotionally, I am scared to death.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you girls, your encouraging words make a huge difference for me. I will focus on today and try my best to reduce the anxiety about a more or less distant future. It helps a lot when someone understands how big (and good) the changes are!
    1919 days ago
    I fully sympathize with your fear, Silvi!
    You built a great healthy lifestyle that is quite different from how you used to live before the change. And you wonder how you are going to keep it up long term.

    All I can say to encourage you is this: as you keep going, your habits will be imprinted deeper and deeper, become your second nature, you will not have to think about them, just like brushing your teeth every evening and morning.
    Also, once you mastered one thing, you will be ready to learn something new, that makes maintenance easier and more pleasant.

    Don't worry about weeks and months!
    Just do your best today, and you will be healthy and feel great today.
    Leave the work of next day and next week when it is already here.
    1919 days ago
    I tried very hard not to stress too much about maintenance personally and absorb what I can from others' accounts on here, which serves me well so far. Take it one day at a time! You are doing research that will benefit you down the line and take comfort in the fact that you CAN and WILL figure what works for you! You've come this far and you can certainly go the distance with maintenance as well :)
    1919 days ago
    That was such an encouraging comment, thanks a lot for sharing your experience and for all the good wishes!
    1920 days ago
    I remember experiencing the same fears you
    are feeling now. It was nearly six years ago.
    I had lost nearly sixty pounds, more than
    I had ever lost. Every other time I had lost
    significant amounts of weight, I had regained
    all or most of it with in two years.

    This time I really wanted it to be a permanent
    change, but I was scared. The first thing I did
    was to move into a transitional phase. I was
    not yet in full maintenance (I lost another 10
    pounds during this phase and early into
    maintenance.) I took it very slowly. I changed
    nothing except I started eating a little more
    until I found the amount of food that would
    keep me in maintenance.

    Even after that understanding, I changed
    nothing else. I ate the same foods; did
    the same workouts; tracked everything on
    Spark. I am really enjoying maintenance.
    With the great support and aids here at
    Spark and the many benefits of losing
    weight (including a new wardrobe!), I find
    maintenance much easier that regaining
    the weight would ever be.

    Do I overeat sometimes? Absolutely. Do
    I always workout? No. Am I perfect?
    Not even close. Am I still having fun?

    Do not pay any attention to statistics. You
    are you. And you can be successful. emoticon
    Stay here and stay with all those wonderful
    people that are creating a whole new set
    of statistics. Believe in yourself and believe
    in all of us. emoticon
    1920 days ago
    Thanks both for the sympathy. MARINGAL: it's nice that you can maintain in such a relaxed way. For better or worse that's not my case; maybe it has to do with the amount of weight loss, the time spent dieting, etc. For various reasons I do need to watch my nutrients closely and if I don't work out as much, I do tend to gain. My story resonates more with the ones in the articles I linked. I do not live in a state of fear but I do get scared when I realise the effort it takes, which of course, I have chosen to make and has been one of the best decisions of my life.
    1920 days ago
    Oh My, living in a state of fear is not a good way to be. I am on maintenance and have been for about 7 months. I have no fear. But I also am not obsessed with macros, time schedules, workouts, etc. I do what I do, eat healthy, take walks and do a little exercising in my home at night. Period. It won't do any good for me to tell you not to stress out with weight gain. That is totally up to you. Life it too damn short to waste time and energy worrying about a pound gained here and there. At least it is for me. I hope you will find a way to manage your life stress free in the near future. If there is a will, there is a way.
    1920 days ago
    Yes, you're right. It's always our choice.
    1920 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    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.