I bet Shakespeare never had to struggle with his weight. Even if he did, he definitely didn't have to lose weight or maintain loss in a society where 68% of adults are overweight!
One thing that I have found extremely difficult in my most recent chapter of weight loss is the instability that the maintenance stage can bring. Trying to switch from a 'diet' to a 'lifestyle' is an issue that I believe every person struggling with their weight faces. For me, stability brings control and control brings results. But life surely isn't that simple, if it was, I would be a size 2!
When one is able to actively plan their meals and know ahead of time what they will be eating and when, maintaining or losing weight is that much easier. However, throw holidays, birthdays, family parties, nights out, hell-even forgetting your perfectly packed lunch for work with the points already calculated (insert picture of my perfect lunch sitting at home on the dining room table) can throw your weight loss challenge for a loop! For me, I try to find as much stability as there can be in the instability that is called life.
For example, Tuesday was Valentine's Day, or Single's Awareness Day-whichever holiday you observe I am not one to judge. Either way, it is a day of extreme happiness or self-loathing...both of which can cause people to throw their dietary judgement onto cupids back and send it flying. Many people will say (and I tend to agree) that a splurge now and then is OK, which is seemingly the main concept of the "80/20" strategy of maintaining weight loss (this will be discussed in a future post) but splurging can be a slippery slope. Therefore, I try to find as much stability there can possibly be in the instability that exists.
Take my Valentine's Day for example. I knew my hubby-to-be and I were going to be going out to Olive Garden for dinner (shout-out to one of my best friends for giving us a 'congrats on your engagement gift card' to OG)! The day before, I looked up the menu online and calculated the points (again, I'm an old WW member and count points on my own-can't afford the meetings anymore). I knew exactly what my choices were going into the restaurant and it allowed me to be 'good' while I was there.
But looking up the nutritional information did another thing that I think is even more important. As I looked around at what people were ordering around me I KNEW EXACTLY how many calories they were consuming-and let me tell you, being healthy is way more satisfying than chicken Alfredo at 1,440 calories; 82 grams of fat! (http://olivegarden.com/Menu/Nutrition/) I allowed myself to go "wild" and have an extra bread stick (making 3 all together) since, they are addictively good. Overall, I skimped where I could and splurged where I wanted-this, I think, is the true key to general maintenance.
But there are times when instability will creep into your day without you being able to create an action plan for it, and adapting is essential. Everyone hears people say that portion control is pertinent, and I agree it is, but sometimes it's harder than it seems-put me and a bag of Salt and Vinegar Cape Cod chips in a room together and I'll show that bag who's boss!
When faced with situations where I have no control on what is being served, how much is being put on my plate, or how it is cooked, I try to eat slow and consciously. At Olive Garden, I ordered one of their tiny new deserts (it was Valentine's Day, I wasn't about to settle with the after dinner mints they give you) that are only a bit over 200 calories; and yes they are TINY! I ate it at a glacial speed with my cup of coffee (coffee/tea-another trick to having something sweet and filling) and at the end I felt as though I had eaten an entire slice of cheesecake! I enjoyed everyyyy, singggggle, bite and avoided the downfall of eating 500 calories to receive that same enjoyment. Slowdown. Think. Enjoy.
The world of food is a fairly unstable place and forging through it finding ways to maintain weight loss is very difficult. I try to explain to my friends and family, that I am not one of those lucky people that can eat whatever they want-I have to fight for the healthy body that I want. It is a constant battle but one I am trying to come to terms with. I just know that one day I will be sitting on my future back porch looking onto the lake of my nonexistent vacation home and will be eating a slice of fresh apple pie; and I won't be thinking twice about it because I will have mastered maintaining!
But until then....still trying to keep the bulge at bay!
Welcome to 'Keeping the Bulge at Bay'
This blog is designed to discuss the hardest part of losing weight...keeping it off! To understand my story and what my reasons are for creating this blog, please follow this link to my first post: "The REAL Beginning..." It's raw, real, and honest.
Hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please feel free to leave any feedback you may have!