So, I’ve lost the weight, what do I do now? I’ve shed 90 pounds in 2 years. I’ve gotten here by making smarter food choices, working hard to have quality exercise habits, and including purposeful, proper, and healthy lifestyle habits. These choices have lead me to reaching my goal weight and size! These newly learned habits have become “My Habits of Success”.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading, studying, and thinking about what I need to do next as I get ready to enter the new phase of “maintaining my current weight” (since I think I have left the diet/losing weight phase...but I’m really not sure about this yet). My weight has stayed at its current number for over 2 months and I don’t think I will lose any more weight. But time will tell me if I will shed more pounds or stay at my current weight.
When I began questioning myself about when I would know I am in maintenance, I came across this perfect answer:
“When do you know you are in maintenance?”
ONEKIDSMOM said, “would you be happy eating about the way you are now, being about as active as you are now... for the rest of your life? Then you're ready to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Your body will decide what weight that puts you at!”. Her answer was perfect for me. Thank you so much!
I won’t keep you waiting in anticipation any longer for my new plan. I’ll give the answer right now...here it is...I WILL KEEP DOING THE SAME THINGS I’VE BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS!! That probably was not a surprise for many of you. But, it was actually a surprise for me when I figured it out! I was really thinking I would start doing something different! I know...it’s just common sense when you think about it! So, It’s really that simple and easy!! Keep doing what has been working for 2 years!! I may need to make some minor adjustments and tweaks over time as I monitor what happens with my weight fluctuations. But, I have truly changed my lifestyle since October 2016 and the result has been 90 pounds are “gone”. I feel better than I felt 20 years or more ago. I like the food I am eating and the exercise I get every day suits me and is sustainable. I like the new habits I follow every day. The old me and bad choices person is gone...she has been replaced by this new healthier version of me. I don’t need to change anything at this point in time, and I just need to continue with what I’ve been doing.
I have told myself many times during this work to create a healthier me and lifestyle that this experience is all about the “journey” and not the “destination” to cross the finish line and arrive at a goal weight and stop there. I even have that on my SparkPage to always remind me. But, there has always been that constant and nagging thought that won’t go away that I need to have a “Maintaining Weight Plan”. So to satisfy the planner and task oriented part of me and the “completionist” part of my personality that craves this, I will document what I have been doing for the last 2 years and continue doing these things as I maintain my weight.
At the very beginning of this current journey, healthy nutrition and daily exercise, that increased over time, brought big changes to my daily life. As I participated in many 5% Challenges, I’ve made lifestyle changes I learned from “Living the Good Life”. These new learned habits have made a major positive impact on my daily routine and changed so many of my previous bad habits.
So, here it is....the “Now Plan”.....It’s my “Now Plan” because it is what is happening right now, in the present. It’s not my “after diet” or “reached goal weight” plan. But, my “Now Plan” will go on forever, day after day, and it’s done daily...every day...I’m working hard on shifting my focus away from the “after diet is over thinking” and “reaching my goal weight thinking” to one of living and thinking in the present, right now.
MY “NOW” PLAN FOR MAINTAINING WEIGHT
-Continue menu plans that have become consistent and routine for me day to day, eat predictable food I know I can count on for both calories and nutrients, eat food that I like and savor the food’s familiar taste that I like and enjoy, be mindful and aware of what I am eating, stay in tune with the energy and calorie needs of my body to adjust calories up or down as needed
-Track all food eaten in nutrition tracker
-Consistently eat breakfast
-Include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, fish, poultry, other lean meats, and dairy foods in my meal plans
-Keep portion sizes small and check food labels to track the right serving size numbers
-Keep healthy foods in refrigerator and pantry
-Keep daily calories to the 1000-1200 range
-Limit red meat (once a week or not at all!)
-Take multi-vitamin, vitamin C, omega-3 daily
-Measure food servings with measuring cups and food scale
-Keep meals simple
-No fried foods
-No fast food or carryout meals
-Use George Foreman grill for meats
-No sugar (use Stevia)
-No soft drinks
-No candy, cookies, donuts, chips
-Add olive oil, lemon, cinnamon, and ginger daily
-No late night eating...the kitchen is “closed” except for a snack and tea
-Go to bed feeling a little hungry and know my stomach is not stuffed full
KEEP DOING LTGL (Leading the Good Life) Habits:
-8 cups of water daily
-Fiber Intake (at least 35 grams per day)
-Awesome (OSOM) (keep naughty foods out of sight out of mind)
-Use 9 inch plate
-20 minute meal (slow down eating for “eating awareness”)
-Get to Bed on Time
-Healthy Snack (under 200 calories) or No Snack
-Track all exercise minutes in the fitness tracker
-Walk 60-120 minutes daily (treadmill and dog walking)
-Resistance band exercises/strength training 30-50 minutes 3 times a week
-Callanetics muscle toning exercises 40 minutes 3-5 times a week
-Bat wing exercises 20 minutes 3-5 times a week
DAILY WEIGH IN:
-Weigh myself daily to track and find my daily weight fluctuations and learn from this
-Monitor weight and don’t allow more than 4 pounds (+/- 3% of my weight) of weight gain to occur without taking corrective action by reducing food intake and/or increasing my exercise level.
-Be prepared to handle unexpected weight gain, missed exercise sessions, sudden cravings
-Don’t get frustrated, feel guilty, and forget my plan and goals
-Take corrective action and make better choices to get back on track
-Plan ahead for special occasions that could be a problem
-Stay active with Spark
-Log in every day
-Read member’s blogs
-Continue with groups and challenges
-Support teams and members
-Continue Spark education by reading articles
-Try new Spark exercise videos
-Continue finding and trying new Spark recipes
-Spend more time doing the things I truly love and make me happy
-Be with the people I cherish
-Value the moments of my life and enjoy and savor the present
-Do not allow worrying about the future
That’s it...my detailed plan for maintaining my weight.
WHAT’S MY NEXT CHALLENGE TO KEEP ME MOTIVATED?
When I was losing weight, I remember the motivation of seeing the dropping number at my weekly weigh ins and this weekly checkpoint kept me motivated and challenged me to do better. I liked that “rush” and feeling I accomplished something new as the pounds disappeared and the number on the scale went down. When I think about the daily or weekly maintaining weigh in, I’m thinking I need something more to challenge me. I expect the number staying around the center weight will give some satisfaction. But, I’m feeling like I will need to find a new mountain to climb to get more feelings of not only satisfaction but accomplishment. This opens up a new area for me to think about.
Instead of weight loss, I’m thinking about shifting my focus to performance based goals. I’m not sure yet what this will mean for me, but it sounds like a new blog in the near future. I’m thinking that defining and working toward new goals will give me something new to look forward to. These are just my early thoughts.
New ideas I’m thinking about:
-Increase my flexibility, strength, and body movement control so I can do a cartwheel (this will be amazing if I can do it...)
-Include time, speed, and slope intervals for treadmill walking
-Increase strength training exercise with resistance bands (repetitions, sets, use stronger bands)
-Try a new sport
-Take a new class (Yoga, Tai Chi)
-Find new things to try to “level up my life”
THANKS TO ALL:
Thanks to all these SparkFriends for their helpful information they wrote on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team Message Boards and their Spark blogs...their insights and shared knowledge live on over the years to help other members like me:
& many more.....”Thank You” so much...more than words can say!
Good health and a happy life to all...blessings...