Apparently It’s That Time of Year Again
Happy Friday! It’s a very happy Friday for me because this time next week I will be off on my hols and I’m very excited. I have a few organisational things to do this weekend in preparation that will no doubt make me even more excitable. Just four more days at work to go …
I’m also over the worst of my cold thank goodness. For a while there I thought that the sofa was going to swallow me up. I worked out that I spent a solid 12 hours on Monday catching up on all my favourite TV programmes. Thank goodness it’s autumn, if I’d been relying on the summer TV schedules then I would have been in trouble. I know everyone gets colds multiple times a year, but it’s never pleasant when you have one.
I have a feeling that this post might end up a bit random, but it feels like time to once again address how problematic maintaining weight loss can be. First of all, being a glass half-full sort of person I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for managing to stay within a healthy weight range for three years now. I haven’t had to have a major wardrobe overhaul in that time, although jeans have over time become snugger, then looser, then snugger again. There have been some changes in my diet in the past three years, but overall I think I have got into the habit of eating a balanced diet that I think I can eat for the rest of my life.
Despite those positives, maintaining is still hard and can be incredibly frustrating. More or less this time last year I decided to jump on the scales. I wasn’t too shocked to discover that I was right at the top of the healthy BMI range (yes, BMI is flawed, but I won’t get into that now) and about ten pounds over my goal weight. I started tracked my calories and weighing in weekly, and by the time Christmas rolled around I was back to goal. Super.
I stopped tracking and weighing because life is too short and went back to my normal mostly healthy diet with the occasional indulgences. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that I hadn’t weighed myself for several months and curiosity got the better of me. I was just a little bit frustrated that I’m back where I was last October, just bordering on having an overweight BMI. I wasn’t too shocked, I have had a few indulgent weekends recently.
I decided to try to get back on track and weigh in weekly again. Within the first week I had gained three pounds – doh! That was the week of the wedding with the endless sweets and cake, so that probably explains it. The next week I stayed the same, so this week I’ve been tracking calories again. Things seem to be going better now. I’m still eating heartily, but tracking seems to help me to avoid the random snacking that really adds up.
Being the sort of person that over-analyses everything, all this got me thinking about maintenance. Maybe I’m just meant to be a slighter higher weight, seeing as that’s what I tend to bounce back to. On the other hand, it’s also the weight where my clothes start to feel uncomfortable and I decide to do something about it. If I didn’t get back on track would I continue to gain weight and end up obese again? That’s a real danger as it happened once before over a period of about three years after I lost weight as a teenager.
Also, should I be keeping a closer eye on my weight when I get to goal? Previously I’ve had the attitude that it’s a bit sad and controlling to weigh-in regularly, but it’s something that is advocated by a lot of people who successfully maintain. To some extent I think this is something that I have to experiment with to find what makes me happy and doesn’t make me insane.
The other issue is that weight is just one measure, although I think it’s an easy one to keep track of. As I’ve got older, and possibly as a result of running, my legs have got leaner, but the fat has redistributed to my tummy. This is annoying, but hopefully having a more rounded exercise routine might help with that.
So, if there are any conclusions to my twitterings, it’s that keeping a balance between eating well, maintaining a healthy weight and not letting the number on the scale dictate your life is tough. After three years I’m still fumbling my way through all this stuff and trying to find what works for me.
If you’re maintaining a weight loss what works for you?