As most of you know, I recently completed my weight loss journey, losing sixty-five pounds and going down five sized. The post A Fat Girl No More covers the experience.
I’ve been on the maintenance phase since May 27th, and I’ve managed to maintain within three to five pounds. But it hasn’t been easy. The maintenance phase is essentially healthy eating, and when you’re turned loose after six months of being monitored, the temptations start to creep up again.
My sweet tooth is growing back nicely, but so far I’m still in control. If I do crave the evil demon known as sugar, I reach for an apple or berries. If I’m feeling hungry (something I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating more), then I have half a protein bar and a big glass of water. I’m exercising regularly too, a first for me.
And yet, every day, I want to eat more, more, more. Now that I can have bread at night, I want two pieces. Cheesecake for desert? Bring it on. After all, I’ve lost so much weight, a little cheating now and then can’t hurt, right?
Wrong. My plan allows for one cheat day a week. The rest need to be spent eating responsibly, because it’s very easy to gain one or two pounds a week and before you know it, you’ve put on thirty.
I won’t let that happen again. My friend says I worry too much about food, that I know I can go back on the diet or work hard with exercise to lose five or ten pounds if I need to. I don’t want to do that. I want to be able to have willpower and maintain what I’ve worked so hard for.
So I say no to that second piece of bread and pass on desert. Then I complain for a while. How it’s not fair some people can eat anything they want, that I thought I wouldn’t be this structured after I hit my goal, yada, yada, yada.
That’s when my ‘before’ picture pops into my mind and I vow never to go back. Life’s not fair. I gain weight easily and have a slow metabolism. If I want to look and feel good, I have to accept that and do whatever I need to in order to stay healthy.
Low carb, low fat, low calories. Lots of fruit and veggies. Vitamins and calcium. Daily exercise. We all know the drill. The problem is that it’s easier said than done.
On the days you want to binge or say to hell with it, just remember how much better it feels to be at a healthy weight. Remember what it’s like to feel like the slug in the crowd, how no jeans fit right because your stomach blobbed over them, and how miserable you were. No one is happy being overweight. It affects the mind as much as it does the body. Think about how your mental state is now compared to when you were heavier and consider the differences in your life.
And then ask yourself, “is it really worth it? Is having that extra piece of bread or chocolate bar really worth sending myself back down that slippery slope?”
It’s not, I promise.
Maintaining is hard as hell. Arm yourself with healthy snacks, and if you can’t control the chocolate craving, (trust me, I understand this pain), get a Special K protein bar. I love their Chocolatey Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate. And then have a couple of bites. Save the rest for later. You’ll answer the craving and won’t have the guilt that usually comes with it.
Keeping our weight down is going to be a lifetime battle. We’ve got to arm ourselves with everything we can to win, and most importantly, remember you’re not alone. We’re in this together.