Maintenance for a year


Walnuts. Coconut. Peanut Butter. Pasta. Rolls. Cheese. Sugary fruits. Chocolate covered almonds. Raisins. Salad Dressing. Olive Oil. Ice cream.

All of the above are foods that I know I need to eat in small, controlled portions or I would eat too much. With the liquidy foods, it is just easy to pour out a lot, with the other stuff, it is just really hard to judge what a portion is, and a small difference makes a big difference calorie-wise. And with the, ahem, chocolate covered almonds? I just don’t have self control, and I am not afraid to admit that.

I consider myself to be in part 2 of weight loss mode. In part 1, I measured and logged my calories in and out every day (food + estimates on exercise). It worked for me since I am a scientific person and the math (less calories in + more calories out = weight loss) was a winning success for me. A food scale was my first official weight loss plan purchase, and now I have one for R.I. and one for Philly! I will enjoy both for years to come, and PB will indirectly enjoy them too hahaha.

Now, in phase 2, things are a little more difficult. I kept putting on and taking off the same 3 lbs, which I consider to be maintenance. For months I would be extra careful and log everything for a couple of days, only to have the weekend come around with no scale in sight and portions a little too large, preventing me from reaching my goal weight (not that I hadn’t briefly considering the odds that someone would notice a food scale on the table. Kidding. Really.) Or I would try and not log or measure my calories and just listen to my body, but that is much easier to do in maintenance mode rather than weight loss. And I still want to lose weight! About 3 weeks ago I decided that I needed to find a way to rely on only myself to lose weight. I couldn’t use tools that wouldn’t be available to me all the time, well, because sometimes life gets in the way. I don’t want to live my life measuring my food and I don’t want to have to rely on exercise in order to maintain or lose weight. Here is my solution, which so far has worked. The scale is 1 lb below my maintenance range of the last year without exercising more than 3 times a week or measuring every bit of food. I want to lose a total of 7-8 lbs, which is completely reasonable and sustainable to me. I could lose 10 or 15 if I really wanted, but I just don’t think I’d be able to maintain that, or have fun doing it. And after all I’d like to live my life each day with laughter and fun, not spend my days thinking about my future or worrying about my past.

My plan has been two-fold, and today I share it with you:

1. Play games with yourself.

I take out the food scale and throw on what I think is 1/2 oz of walnuts or 2 oz of bread and see if I am right! By doing this I am teaching myself to rely more on my eyes than my scale. That way I will know, without a scale, how many calories are in a food I am eating, or how much is too much. While eating I am trying to listen to my internal cues, but knowing the actual portion means I know the actual caloric intake which helps in teaching me to listen to my cues. Plus I know that my whole life I have struggled with portion control, when I was thin and when I was a chubster, so this is something that works for me.

and

2. Find your exercise bliss state.

When I exercise too much, I eat too much because I am always hungry. When I exercise too little, I eat too much because I am slightly out of touch with my body. Some people exercise every single day. I have found that 5-10 minutes in the morning every day plus 3-4 solid workouts a week is just right for me. My body feels strong and I feel happy. Not to mention I am enjoying the time I now have available to tackle my to do lists! (By the way, every weekday morning for the last 2 years I have done a few minutes of exercises. Butt blasters, abs, etc. For a girl with a soft belly, you wouldn’t believe the difference it has made.)

Other lifestyle changes that have helped me maintain my weight loss and will help me reach my ultimate goal:
-Eat with a small fork or spoon.
-Share entrees with friends/PB/my doggie bag when out to dinner
-Eat a salad before dinner out to fill me up a little
-Dress up more often (this is a newer one)
-Try out new recipes so I never get bored
-Don’t get peer pressured with food! If my friends are eating sundaes it doesn’t mean I am too.
-I limit special treats to one meal (sometimes 2, like last week) a week.

Why do I post this today? Well, it was exactly a year ago today that I reached my original goal of 139 lbs and a loose size 6. Now I varyΒ  between 138 and 140 lbs. Two years ago (believe it or not) right before I met PB I weighed 155 lbs. (WOAH) At my peak at college graduation in 2005 I weighed more than that. Yes I weigh more than many, but that does not matter to me. We each should have our own goals and not compare ourselves to one another!

Now that I have proven to myself that I can maintain my weight over time (after a few years of up and down and all around), I am ready to rid my body of these last few lbs…. right in time for my hot honeymoon with my gorgeous PhillyBoy.

Why is it so hard to lose weight when you are so close to where you want to be? I don’t know, but I do know I will get there.

What tips do you have? Are you at your goal? How did you get there and how do you stay there? Are you on your way there? Let’s help each other out! Here we go!

*By the way, I know weight is just a number, but we need something to be able to measure over time right?

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14 responses to “Maintenance for a year

  1. great advice as usual!

  2. Great advice! I reached my goal and now I no longer count calories…it’d drive me crazy! I try my best to eat based on hunger, space my meals out through the day and have lots of snacks, exercise frequently, and eat lots of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables. It has worked for me, but everyone is different.

  3. Great tips!
    And congrats on being at your goal weight for a whole year!

  4. gina (fitnessista)

    great advice and an EXCELLENT plan. i say another one would be to load up on fruits and veggies– they’re so satisfying and less calorie dense than other foods.
    it’s frustrating that the less weight you have to lose, the harder it is.
    congrats on maintaining your goal weight and best of luck with these new changes! πŸ˜€

  5. Congrats! I always look to your blog for tips like these… you seem to have a really good relationship with food and I really strive for that too. I think you can definitely achieve your goals. And aren’t you tall? So you have to weigh more than the 5’2″ bloggers πŸ˜›

  6. I go back and forth with the same 3-4 pounds just like you do.. im best weight wise when im eating all those yummy foods you mentioned- in VERY small portions.. lol otherwise it would be a free for all. big time!!

  7. hey girl!
    this was a great entry! as i’ve told you before i’ve lost alot of weight (www.self.com) check out the reader raves this month! maintinence has been my biggest challenge. i recently moved in with my grandparents–that means food around ALL THE TIME and that has been a huge struggle to not munch on something every time i walk through the kitchen. hearing that someone else has the same kind of problems is reassuring that i’m not crazy! i have that last pesky 5lbs to take off that i’ve gained since moving here…

    good luck with your few pounds (you look beautiful) stay motivated and i’ll try and do the same!

  8. Hi!
    I am also 5’7” and struggling to loose just a few more pounds. I exercise nearly every day and eat mostly healthy. I have a question for you: where did you come up with your goal weight? It seems a little low and I’m just wondering. My own goal weight is 138, which I came up with on the ‘happiest weight survey’ on self.com. I’m not sure if it’s realistic for me to go any lower… but maybe!
    Thanks so much!!

  9. rhodeygirltests

    Hi Amy!

    Good for you for exercising often and eating well! My original goal was 137/138, but when I hit that and still fit into a 6 sometimes/4 sometimes, I decided I wanted to lose a bit more. It isn’t really about the number for me, more about how I look and feel. I feel that I have a little extra weight to lose so I decided that 7 lbs would probably do it. If I get to 135 though and decide that I feel good I won’t lose any more!

  10. Thanks for responding! I appreciate the info.

    Also, for anyone: what type of scale do you use? When do you think is the best time to weigh?

    Although it may seem so, I’m really not too tied to the scale, but these questions come to mind sometimes. Also, does this happen to you?- weighing more at the doctor?! haha!

    Happy May πŸ™‚

  11. rhodeygirltests

    Amy- I use a cheap scale from bed bath & beyond, although I just received a Tanita scale at my bridal shower in Philly and am excited to try it out. I weigh first thing in the morning, wearing the same amount of clothes, but like you I am not attached to the scale so when it is really up or down sometimes it doesn’t really affect me. And my weight is ALWAYS up at the doctor. What is important to me when I am there is that that number isn’t higher than the previous visit!

  12. I didn’t realize you were still trying to lose weight!! I really love the idea of learning to measure with your eyes. I weigh food too, so that’s a really great idea because I get lost sometimes with no scale in sight.
    I love the dressing up idea too. I definitely learned that when I dress up and feel like I look good, it improves everything in my life and actually helps me with staying healthy.
    Thanks for this post!

  13. wow, i’m intrigued by your idea of finding the right exercise balance… something i’ve noticed but hadn’t considered in finding a balance…

  14. Great tips; as a nutritionist I myself have some great tips as well…let me know if you are interested. Congrats on your amazing achievements of weight loss, healthy eating and clean eating. Keep up the great work and the great new recipes!!!

    Best,

    Amie
    The Healthy Apple
    http://www.thehealthyapple.wordpress.com

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