Hi -- here's my brief story. I've always been active and liked to eat "healthy, " but like many I had little idea of the nutritional or calorie content of food. I figured as long as it was home cooked and included natural ingredients, I would stay at a healthy weight. Before losing weight, I spent a lot of time preparing exotic meals. I loved to bake, and never met a stick of butter that I didn't like. After 15 years of marriage my weight had slowly crept up. I'm 5'2", and I was starting to look pretty jolly at 130.
My husband is in the reserves and was deployed to Kuwait. Due to a combination of worry and just learning how to live alone, I unintentionally lost 20 lbs. I liked the result, but didn't really lose the weight in the best way. I often just did not eat or would subsist on mocha lattes. I realized that this would not be sustainable when my husband returned, and I worried that I had really slowed down my metabolism. My hubby got back safe and sound in January '04. Since then I have struggled to keep my weight at its new level and to learn about maintenance.
This site is a godsend. There is so little information on maintaining weight loss. Two lessons I have learned: (1) I cannot just have one big cheat meal. My body thinks I am "refeeding," and gears up for days of overindulgence. After a meal where I overdo it, I will be ravenously hungry for the next 2 to 3 days; (2) balancing my carbs, fat, and protein in the Zone fashion keep the hungries at bay and lets me eat a pretty big volume of food. I've been working with the Zone plan the last four months and have felt much less deprived and had better energy.
Maintaining is hard. I look forward to learning from all of you and to helping others in the future!