All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Lessons Learned

When I finaly reached my goal weight , I scoured the Internet looking for information about maintaining my hard earned weight loss. I found very little !

I found this very telling. The diet industry makes billions of dollars a year on selling all kinds of crazy diets and exercise plans to people who are desperate to get the weight off. Do you really think that they want you to learn how to KEEP it off ?

I started to get worried. No, that is putting it mildly, I started to freak out ! I’d worked my butt off , literally to finally become successful in this game …..there was no way I was going to back track now !

I realized that I was going to have to figure this out on my own. I was going to have to navigate my way through this part of my journey through trial and error.

The first thing I had to do was be honest with myself. I wasn’t home free. I didn’t have a free pass to eat what I wanted, as much as I wanted. I wasn’t going to be able to slack off on exercise or making an effort to live as actively as possible. I was still ON PROGRAM ! I would always be on program. I was entering a different phase of the program, yes.

Here are some of the Lessons I’ve learned so far :

  • Continue To Keep A Food Journal : Keeping a food journal through out my weight loss journey was definitely a key to my success. I had no idea how many calories I was eating until I began tracking them. I kept mine in a notebook , seeing it in front of me worked best for me , but there are many on-line tracking tools available if writing it down isn’t for you. The reason that I continue to track is because I don’t feel confident enough yet that I can judge portions and calories in my head.
  • Daily Exercise : Working out everyday is a MUST for maintaining weight loss ! I’ve made peace with the fact that I need to exercise 1 hour a day , 6-7 days a week , FOREVER ! It is that simple . For me, it has become a habit , but I still have days when I am not in the mood. I do it anyway! I try to change up my workouts to combat boredom. I’ve incorporated outdoor exercises like hiking and biking. I do circuits , HIIT, as well as some SS (steady state ) Cardio. I workout first thing in the morning so that I get it done and over with , and can forget about it for the rest of the day !
  • Calories : I eat anywhere from 1700 – 2000 calories a day. If I eat on the higher end of my calorie range one day I try to lighten it up the next day a little. If I splurge one or two days in a week , I keep my calories on the lower side for a few days to balance it out.
  • Weighing : When I first started maintaining, I weighed myself everyday. It gave me an idea of my body’s natural fluctuations day to day. It also gave me an idea of what a safe calorie range was for me. It was a little nerve wracking , but it allowed me to get to know my body. At this point , ( a few months in) I weigh myself once a week to keep track.
  • No Deprivation : With my history of binge eating , I know that living in deprivation leads me to unhealthy behaviors. I calculate my calories so that I can fit in dessert every night. I make it controlled and moderate, but I make sure I allow it because it makes me feel less deprived. I also eat what is served when I go to social events. I just try to listen to my body for the signals that I am full, and not eat just because it’s there ! I’ve come to the point now , where I get physically sick when I over eat . I hate that uncomfortable bloated feeling. It interferes with my sleep and makes me generally miserable ! That knowledge alone makes over eating unattractive to me. I still have my moments , but they are getting fewer with time.
  • Water : I drink a lot of water during the day. On a good day , I drink  24 / 8oz. glasses a day. I usually get at least 16 glasses in, no matter what. I did this while I was in diet mode, and continue it while maintaining.
  • Fruits and Vegetables : I am a former veggie hater ! I ate nothing but Iceberg Lettuce . Times have changed ! During my weight loss jounrney, I’ve made myself try things. My tastes have changed completely and now I enjoy them. I prefer my vegetables raw. They keep me full and satisfied to hours too , an added bonus ! The same gos for fruit. I try to incorporate them into breakfast, lunch , and snacks daily.
  • Preparation : I am a planner by nature. I like to plan menus for the week , I do a lot of cooking for the week on Sundays. This practice helps in many ways. It saves time and makes my dinners and lunch packing a lot less work. There are some nights when I get home from work and don’t feel like doing anything ! If I had to cook an entire meal , I would probably just grab something unhealthy if I didn’t have pre made food that all I had to do was heat up !
  • Processed Food : Although I eat less then I used to , I still eat it ! Yes I will admit it ! I like it, it is convenient, and I feel , for me, in moderate amounts, it is not going to kill me. I eat 100 calorie snacks now and them because I like that they are controlled portions. I eat Reduced Fat and Fat Free food items. I am not saying that everyone should or shouldn’t. I am just saying that I do sometimes.
  • Blogging and Reading Blogs : These two things have taken my weight loss journey to a whole new level. I read everything , Vegan Blogs, Weight Watchers Blog, Runners Blogs, Raw Food Blogs ……. you name it I read it ! They are incredible resources. Learning about different healthy lifestyles, different opinions, and taking a look into the lives of people who are dedicated to improving themselves has taught me so much. I can honestly say I have taken something valuable away from every blog I read. As for my personal Blog …… it keeps me honest, accountable , and makes me happy ! If you don’t Blog or read all kinds of Blogs , your cheating yourself out of a great tool toward achieving your goals !
  • Sleep : I get 7-8 hours of sleep every night . I am a night time snacker and an early morning exerciser, so I try to get to bed between 7-8 pm every night. The way I figure it, I am trading extra calories for a good night’s sleep and a good workout !
  • Be Good To Yourself : Don’t get down on yourself it you mess up ! Isolate the incident , and move on ! I acknowledge that I screwed up …………. and then just forget it ever happened. It does no good to obsess over and feel guilty for overeating or missing a workout. It doesn’t undo what’s been done, it just makes you miserable ! For me it is more constructive to just move forward .

 

* Disclaimer : I am not a a Fitness Professional or Registered Dietitian. These my own opinions and experiences.

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