100 lb. Club - When does this become "normal?"

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09-27-2007, 01:25 PM
I have finally learned that significant weight loss is possible for me, and that's a huge relief. Now I'm wondering if my life will ever be "normal" again. I've spent some time in the maintainer's forum, and it seems like maintaining is all of the work without any of the glamor of weight loss.

I don't want to spend my life obsessing over calories and exercise. I do it now because I know I will get good feedback from the scale, and I am tired of all of the negatives associated with being obese. But I really just want this to become a routine part of my day rather than an obsession. I worry that once I get to maintenance and don't get my daily fix of a dropping scale needle, I won't have anything to hang my obsession on, and will start to gain the weight back. I also worry that I won't be able to sustain my obsession long enough to get down to my goal weight.

So any thoughts on how to "normalize" the process? Or do I just have to accept that in order for it to work, I need to always make it a major part of my life?

09-27-2007, 01:37 PM
I think this is something that has to be done for life, in moderation of course. I have learned over the years, each time I have lost weight, I felt good, stopped exercising and eating right, what happened? I gained the weight back + more. If I do not exercise, watch what I eat ( calorie counting), I just gain.
Now do I forsee me doing this for the rest of my life?? Yes to a point, I think once I loose all the weight I probably will play around with my calories, until I notice that I can eat at a certain # without gaining, or loosing weight, I also think I will have one day a month to treat myself to something, I am not sure what, maybe a slice of pizza, or something I really like, but this is just a thought, I am still loosing. Exercising will need to be part of my life, maybe not 60 minutes a day, maybe 30-45 minutes a day.
Do I get angry at times, because , like you said, this is hard, I miss eating some things. Right now they have pumpkin ice cream, I love pumpkin Ice cream, and I am angry I can't eat any, but I need to face the fact right now I need to be healthy and I can't be eating anything. Maybe in the future I can have a small serving of pumpkin Ice cream, when I am no longer obese, but now I can't. There is nothing I can do, but accept it , and look forward to having a body that I can live with, and enjoy into my old age.

09-27-2007, 01:50 PM
I have a lot of the same worries that you do. I will be interested to see what others have to say.

I do think about it a lot. But I also thought about food a lot before also. I was always planning what I was going to eat (gorge on) next. Then I would beat myself up over what I ate. I also always had so much guilt! Almost every day was "the day before I was going to start". So, I don't think about it any more or less, just differently. I feel empowered about it now, because I call the shots, not the food.

But I also know it will be hard when the scale is not rewarding me. So, I know I am not helping you any, but I just wanted you to know your not the only one with these fears. Jelly

09-27-2007, 02:18 PM
I"m totally with you all. I have been eating clean for 22 days... I count them every day. My workout buddies, tell me I have to stop looking at it as when you ge to a certain point you get to eat whatever. It's hard for me to think of this way of eating as everyday life.

09-27-2007, 02:23 PM
Well, it does kind of become an obsession to make sure that scale stays at the same number. I'm accepting that it will be part of my life.

Although I still want to lose a few pounds, I have started working on fitness goals more than anything. I want to be able to bench press a certain amount, do a pushup (still cannot do even 1!) and until my knee went wonky, run a 5K in a certain time. I don't think you ever need to give up setting health goals--they're just different goals than the one you're focused on now.

09-27-2007, 02:32 PM
I don't normally hang out in this forum and just stumbled on this thread because the title really spoke to me. I'm right there with you on when does this become normal because I'm still waiting for that to happen. I lost the weight by replacing my obsession with all things food and munching to exercising and eating right and watching the scale drop, smaller sizes fit, etc. Maintenance isn't nearly as exciting because the scale doesn't drop, you stop getting as many compliments, your clothes fit and you just can't keep buying more and more.
I'm trying to focus on fitness goals, instead of weight loss goals. For example, how many pounds I can lift and how long I can go with my cardio. I'm also trying to experiment with different work out regimes, such as doing really high intensity workouts instead of longer, easier ones. That keep things interesting. I'm also trying new recipes and learning how to cook healthy foods. I think we just have to keep our head in the health and fitness game and not go back to the old ways, which I admit, I sometimes miss. I just have to remember how miserable I was.

09-27-2007, 02:44 PM
I feel I NEED to weigh at least three times a week. I look at it as being "accountable" for my actions. If I eat something not so great during the weekend and I go up a couple of pounds..I feel it is important to see that...I think we all know that it is soooo easy to slip back into our old ways of using food for comfort. Knowing when you reach your goal..you MUST keep doing the same thing you did to get there, to stay there.

09-27-2007, 03:00 PM
Hmmm... All of you are right, of course. I just have to wrap my mind around it. It's not that I miss my old ways of eating necessarily. As JellyBelly says, I was always thinking about food anyway - how I needed to lose the weight and wondering how much damage this (insert food I don't eat now) would do, or implementing random strategies, etc. So it's not like thinking about it is new. On the other hand, I feel like I have to be responsible almost all of the time. For example, I can't leave it up to chance if we're traveling, because I know I won't succeed if I do. Cheryl, Patty, Sheila, Pam, and Skinny4Baby - y'all are right, though. I do need to accept that I will have to be responsible forever and ever and ever if I want to get to goal weight and stay there. (Although, Pam, looking at your picture gives me tons of motivation to almost accept that - You look AMAZING!) The idea of setting fitness goals is actually a really good one. I do that now, but it's always with the idea of burning the most calories in the time I have available. But I can see myself getting excited about being able to kick some butt at a triathlon or something. That could potentially replace the scale as my mental picture when I just don't feel like doing it on some days. Thanks, everyone, for the food for thought. Weight loss is so mental.

09-27-2007, 03:04 PM
The fact is that 95% of ALL people who lose their weight will gain it back. Why is that? Because we live with the illusion and the desire that once we lose our excess weight we can then be like a "normal" person. That will never be the case for those who have spent a great portion of their lives being obese. Obesity changes the body in a way where "normal" just isn't going to happen.

I spend a lot of time in the maintainers forum because the people there are our best source of information on how to lose the weight and keep it off for life. I really recommend that forum for it's amazing wealth of information. To start with I think everyone should read this thread made my Meg, a moderator on 3FC, and who is an incredible inspiration. http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51478

I miss pumpkin ice cream too!! I don't like that I have to count calories or put my body through at least an hour of exercise 6 days a week. I'm basically lazy and I like to eat!! But, I really like seeing the scale go down, the incredible energy I now have, and my boyfriend's comments on how he can really see my body changing. I could name a dozen more advantages to how I feel now that I have started to really lose this weight. I have a long ways to go to goal and the rest of my life to keep me there!

09-27-2007, 03:17 PM
Hey folks,

LaurieDawn, I think what we learn to do, if we stay with this, is to redefine normal. The old "normal" is how I gained weight. It included:

A. Not thinking about what I was eating, except in terms of what really yummy thing I could completely devour.
B. Using pleasure as the yardstick for whether I was "eating right."
C. Eating too much at every meal and in between.
D. Not paying attention to what a whole pint of ice cream means.
E. Not moving enough--sitting on my butt!

When you get to maintenance, you'll find that things ARE more flexible in many ways--and the reasons are first, that you'll have more calories to work with, and second, that you'll have changed your habits. So, if you go on a trip, say, you won't have to be quite as careful about planning every little thing in advance. You'll have practice in figuring out the calorie content of foods, and your changed tastes will mean that you naturally skip some foods. You couldn't pay me to eat a fast-food french fry, for example! :p

So--think of it as a different normal, if that helps.


09-27-2007, 03:26 PM
I watched Season Two of "The Biggest Loser" Australia and the winner from Season One came to talk to them all ~ he'd maintained his weight loss for 1 year, and commented that maintenance is so much easier than losing it in the first place. He said "staying on top of 5 pounds is so much easier than tackling 120" It was really cool hearing someone talk about maintaining that huge of a weight loss

On the other hand, a woman I work with has this weird obssession with dieting ~ to the point of gaining/losing/gaining/losing close to 75 pounds over and over and over again! it's insane she's going to have a heart attack, but she says she can't help herself, she's addicted to the "praise" and the "oh my god wendy you've lost so much weight you look fabulous"

09-27-2007, 04:42 PM
Food is my own personal cross to bear so to speak. I may never be "normal" in that way compared to people who don't have to think too much about food, but life isn't fair. I'm hoping that once I get down to a maintaining weight I'll have been working on these new healthy habits for so long that they will stick easier, and it will be second nature to eat healthier. However, I have to be honest with myself that it is quite likely that I will have to be more conscious of food and how much I eat than a person who has been a healthy weight their whole life. Even given that though, it's worth it.

09-27-2007, 04:55 PM
I really like Pita's response. I am also spending time in the maintainer's forum and it has been very informative. It was a real eye-opener to learn that research shows formerly obese people have to eat 15-20% fewer calories than others to maintain a normal weight. If we think about this, it is no surprise because most of us see how quickly we can pack on the pounds the minute we take our eyes off the ball. But for me, seeing it in black and white has been amazing...scary...and strangely a relief, in knowing that this is the reality but I can work with it.

I think at this point I am finally coming to terms with the idea that this is the new normal for me. I will never be normal the way many other people are. My weight will always have to be actively managed, and I will not be able to eat with abandon. I'm also inherently lazy and have to work at keeping an exercise program in place. So be it, I now accept that this is the way it will be.

As Faerie says, this is my personal cross to bear. Everyone has at least one. We all have challenges. Some things are hard for us and some things are easy. I am over being resentful and unhappy that this is my cross to bear. Rebelling against it has only made me miserable and unhealthy.

09-27-2007, 06:44 PM
You're right. Weight loss is so mental. Thank you for your nice words.That was so sweet, and I'm so jazzed to know that I can be a motivation to someone! You know, if you're interested in running a triathlon someday, start reading about running and immerse yourself in that world. That will really help take the focus off food. When I find myself slipping, I buy a bunch of fitness magazines or buy a new workout outfit. It's materialistic, I know, but gosh, I used to think a lot about food and buy a lot of food. So that's how I rationalize it. I really think that most people are into something to keep their minds active and their lives interesting.

I really enjoy the maintainers forum and think that everyone could benefit from reading about how maintenance works, because that's what we're going to be doing for life. I have to admit that it has been hard to accept at times, and to realize that these changes we've made have got to stay with us for life or we will end up back where we started.

BattleAx, you're so right that most people people have challenges to deal with. It helps to remember that!


09-27-2007, 07:34 PM
I want to be normal like Joe. (Joe is and alcoholic people just don't know this)
I want to be normal like Jane ( Jane struggles constantly with thinking she is fat but she only weighs 100 lbs)

I want to be normal...

Who is normal? We all have our demons that we struggle with. So don't think about it as being normal. Just realize this is our life and we need to live it the healthiest way possible. We are who we are and we know how to live a better life. Yes there are some things we will always need to watch but who doesn't have something they have to watch or worry about. So don't think about it to much and just go on doing what you know is right.

09-27-2007, 07:34 PM
So many of you have said it so well. For me, maintenance is just like losing, but with a few more calories. I have to be vigilant or I can easily pack the pounds on. The 'fat chick' is still just waiting inside me, and I believe she always will be.

Sometimes it gets me down -- this constant feeling of having to stay in control. But then I start to compare this area of my life with other areas. I don't love paying the bills every month, monitoring our money. I know if I don't keep track, we could easily get into big debt. There are always things we want to buy. And yet, in that area of my life I can control myself. I see the consequences of spending too much -- going into debt. And I see no choice. I won't go into debt just because I want some bauble. And I don't resent it the same way I resent sometimes exercising and calorie counting.

Some thing with my health and life. I am no longer willing to do the equivalent of going into debt --gaining weight -- and will do what I can to avoid it.

09-27-2007, 08:39 PM
Heather's debt parallel is a really good one. I think we just have to recognize that for a long time this was an area of our lives that we did NOT have control over, and control means constant awareness of what's going into our bodies and how much we're moving them. So yes, it's for the rest of our lives as long as we want to maintain good health.

I'm totally with Sheila on the fitness goal thing. I'm close to my goal weight, and I worried for a long time about keeping up the momentum long enough to get here, but I did. Now I worry about making it the last few pounds and then maintaining. So instead of freaking out about it, I'm concentrating on goals related to my running and I feel like maintenance will follow. I have realized, however, that I'll have to be vigilant for the rest of my life, and that has to be my "normal."

09-27-2007, 10:05 PM
Lisa's post reminds me, I'm focusing on fitness goals too! I'm enjoying yoga and having fun (!) incorporating corework into my weight routine... (talk about a "new normal"! The old Heather couldn't fathom saying that! :))

I think if I'm not going to have a scale to focus on, I need something else to sustain me!

09-27-2007, 10:15 PM
Just for clarification, I am very much aware that I will never be able to eat like a "normal" person, and have been okay with that for a long time. It's just that I want all of this to become a "normal" part of my life. I just can't sustain obsession mode forever - there's too many other things that get in my way.

But the posts have made me really think about things, and I love that. The debt parallel is a good one in many respects, and I hope it holds true for this one as well. I know what I can and can't spend, and have never really struggled with that. I hope that someday soon I will struggle less with the food choices. Exercise has really been a part of my life forever, though I'm better with it sometimes than others. But controlling the food is really, really tough, and I hate the idea that I will fight the same battle every day for the rest of my life. I want to get strong enough that I can win the battle without as much of a struggle, just because the struggle takes so much energy away from all of the other aspects of my life.

I have gotten hope here, though - Jay's post especially. And I can really see the fitness goals giving me the same type of high that I get from the scale movement, so that gives me hope for long-term maintaining. Trazey - I can so see that woman gaining and losing like that. I don't blame her. There is so much more support for losing weight than for maintaining weight loss. I guess I'm also encouraged that I'm finally far enough into the weight loss part of this to really believe to my core that I will do it and will have to worry about maintaining.

Thanks, everyone, for responding with such insight.

09-28-2007, 10:37 AM
Interesting thread.

Hmmm. Let's see. Well for now I will adress the obsession part. LaurieDawn, I would love for this to all be "natural" to me. I wish I had the instinct to choose healthy foods in healthy sized portions and wouldn't have to plan and monitor my every bite. I wish I was such a natural athlete, that I played tennis, swam or rode my bike everyday without fail, just because I loved it. That I didn't have to actually pencil in my exercise. But unfortunately, that's just not the case with me.

I obsess. I simply can't do it any other way. I plan, I shop, I cook, I ponder, I read labels, count calories, I look at the clock (next meal), I weigh everyday. I rack my brains as to when to fit in the exercise, etc.. I OBSESS. Without a doubt. But quite frankly, this is my new normal. It HAS become my way of life. Again, I wish it didn't have to be this way, but it does. When it wasn't this way, I was unhealthy, unfit, inactive and miserable. Now I am healthy, fit, incredibly active, energetic, productive and extremely, extremely, happy.

As far as not having the scale loss to keep you going week after week, come maintenance time, having the scale stay the same is extremely, extremely rewarding - EXTREMELY. And oh so very satisfying. Getting through a week, a day, having made good food choices, having exercised and "kept up the lifestyle", is also extremely gratifying. Going to the closet and knowing all those gorgeous clothes will still fit me as another Monday rolls around is also delightful. So though that scale is not moving downward, having it not move upward - is pretty darn exciting as well. :)

09-29-2007, 03:19 AM
I'm one of those who has lost hundreds of pounds over the past 20 years or so only to gain it back and then some. This time around, I'm not doing anything I can't live with for a lifetime. Basically I'm eating a balanced diet and exercising and the weight is coming off. I can honestly say I'm not eating in a manner that I can't continue with for the rest of my life, I haven't really felt deprived this time around.

It's funny when people mention eating like normal people because I used to think I was eating like a "normal" person until I started counting calories...it was more like I was eating like 5 normal people LOL. I was clueless as to how much I was really taking in and not doing anything to burn it off. It seriously shocked the **** out of me. Anyone who could take in as many calories as I was and not get fat is probably not a normal person ;)

Every other time I took the fast route to losing the weight, and I never learned anything about how to eat properly. Inevitably I'd go right back to the same eating habits I had before I lost all the weight and before long the weight creeped back up on me.

I'm hoping that by the end of this journey when I am trying to maintain I will have learned enough about healthy eating and exercise that it will all be normal to me and I won't change much of what I'm doing now. *crosses fingers*



09-29-2007, 12:28 PM
Here is how I picture my own maintenance. Knowing a calorie range that works for me. Weighing in every morning with a specific weight range (that accounts for monthly fluctuations). As things move beyond that weight range, I anticipate stepping up the diligence in the food and exercise area. I will not allow myself to ignore a problem starting. Personally, the scale is going to be the biggest part of my maintenance program. Accountability, every single day.

09-29-2007, 02:14 PM
I was trying to find the post that said something like "5 pounds is easier to stay on top of than 150"

I have done a lot of thinking (already!) about my own maintenence and I have considered setting a 5 pound limit.. anything less than 5 pounds I will not stress about, but once I hit a 5 pound gain I will acknowledge that I am slipping up and bring my weight and nutrition into focus again.

I don't worry too much about it. I think I've done it. I have been here for a month and lost 8 pounds (well, actually 12 but its not official weigh in day yet!!!) and I already feel so much better I just can't imagine going back. My horrible IBS that used to leave me cramped and miserable in the bathroom for 1-2 hours a day has completely disappeared. That alone is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.

09-29-2007, 02:31 PM
If I really think about maintenance I get scared. Why? Because I will be back in the US.

Here, in a small town in Peru, I can get a pound of strawberries for a dollar. For 30 cents I get fresh squeezed orange juice without a hint of sugar, and it tastes great. I have to walk everywhere I want to go. Going out to restaurant doesn`t mean everything will be drowned in butter.

In the US? While I will have access to whole wheat foods, no cal soda, low cal yogurt, and all those things I miss here, I will also have Taco Bell everywhere. Friends who I haven`t seen in a year who want to go for some enchiladas and margaritas. Constant advertisement on chocolate. Deep fried everything.

I don`t know if I can handle it...

09-29-2007, 02:49 PM
It is irritating that foods that are good for you cost so darn much. Especially here in South Dakota... grains, meat, beans and dairy are cheap and easy to find, but fresh fruit (except apples) just doesn't grow here and has to be trucked in thousands of miles. A little box of strawberries here is about $6.

traci in training
09-30-2007, 01:03 PM
I've been thinking about this thread and I think my normal is shifting. I no longer have to make myself order a "special" meal, I just look for something that sounds good, isn't loaded with grease (it doesn't agree with my digestion anyway) and then listen to my body when I'm full. I carry my snacks with me (made it a habit), eat the same thing for breakfast (made it my routine), pack my lunch (no thinking about it when I'm rushed for time and hungry), eat supper at home six nights a week (or pack a healthy supper for a roadtrip to a ball game). It doesn't feel like a diet, it feels like how we eat now.

Friday night we went to our high school football game about 60 miles away. Our daughter at home (sophmore) had a friend ride along and spend the night. I made sandwiches in the oven, cut up fruit, and baked some chocolate chip cookies as a treat - one for me, three for hubby, the rest for the kids. She thought it was just fabulous - no McDonald's! Kourt says, "my parents are allergic to McDonald's most of the time, so this is what we eat on road trips". Her friend says, "You get to eat like this all the time!?!" It's all perspective, isn't it?

10-01-2007, 02:25 PM
I watched Season Two of "The Biggest Loser" Australia and the winner from Season One came to talk to them all ~ he'd maintained his weight loss for 1 year, and commented that maintenance is so much easier than losing it in the first place. He said "staying on top of 5 pounds is so much easier than tackling 120" "

Wow, I didn't think of this. It's so true...

10-01-2007, 04:51 PM
I've spent some time in the maintainer's forum, and it seems like maintaining is all of the work without any of the glamor of weight loss.

It's all the work, with all the glamor of SHOPPING. All the glamor of getting dressed every morning and every outfit looks GOOD. It's smiling doctors during your yearly physical. It's guys yelling WOO WOO out the car windows while you pump gas. It's getting pictures back from an event and actually liking how you look. It's not being afraid of high school reunions.

I know that I will "obsess" and count calories and weigh myself once a week for the rest of my life - that's okay, I do a lot of stuff I'm not crazy about (folding socks, flossing, getting the oil changed, paying taxes, cleaning the cat box).

If I ask myself - would I rather eat whatever I want and weigh 200 lbs or would I rather estimate calories every day, avoid fried foods, avoid fast foods and cream based sauces and weigh 127 lbs - it is a VERY easy question. Eating 700 calorie muffins for breakfast and M&Ms for snacks and pizza for dinner every day NEVER made me happy. I may work a lot harder now - packing lunches, endless trips to the grocery store for produce, cooking dinners, but I am sooo much happier. I will gladly stay "obsessed" to stay in my size 6 pants.

10-01-2007, 10:45 PM
that's okay, I do a lot of stuff I'm not crazy about (folding socks, flossing, getting the oil changed, paying taxes, cleaning the cat box).

This is the argument that makes the most weight with me. Most people are very disciplined. We get up; go to work; make dinner; pay bills on time-- but in this ONE area I think we are taught we should be *out of control*. Or exercise no discipline or eat according to what we are feeling or who we are with. I know that is how I thought for a long time. I don't drink; I don't do drugs. I am very on top of my health. But in this one area I was conditioned to think that I should do what I want and not apply any discipline. I think society has reinforced that especially in the last few years -- everytime I see an Olive Garden commercial I think of the glutton -- you can have friends if you are a glutton too -- quality that it has.

Part of my thinking now is that it isn't so much about eating. It is about incorrect and distorted thinking. It isn't so much that I have to obsess about dieting in the future -- but that I should have been mindful of my eating all along - like paying the mtg; paying taxes; or anything else that seems unpleasant. And I used to have this attitude that discipline was something bad -- but maybe it is something good and positive. It feels good to be disciplined. All those silent monks praying all day can't be wrong.

You have a spoiled and out of control kid -- you send him to military school and in the end both you and him benefit. Discipline isn't always a bad thing and we do it anyway about many things that aren't as important as what you consume.

Shy Moment
10-01-2007, 10:57 PM
I am a bit scared after reading all your posts and those on other threads on this site. Maybe I have been looking at things all wrong

What I have been doing is normal to me.

Normal is
Wanting to be a healthy weight
Wanting to be happy with how I look
Eating what I want but in healthy proportions

I have changed the way I do things. Seems easy to me. This is something I can do for the rest of my life. Doesn't seem like work. I am not doing without. This last few days I have been putting fine touches on what I have been doing. Things like making sure I am indeed getting my four basic food groups in. Making sure I am getting enough of the vitamins and minerals and trace minerals I need to be healthy.

I have thought for the last 4 of the 5 months I have been doing this. Darn this is pretty easy, not as hard as I thought it would be.

As far as maintaining the weight loss. I keep in touch with the doc. She usually has a few words for me twice a month at my weigh in. By the time I get to where I want to be, she and I should have me on the calories and such that is just what I need. I hope.

Now I worry, one day it is all going to fall apart for me because everyone seems to find it all so hard. My gosh what is wrong with me.

10-01-2007, 11:04 PM
Shy moment, I think lots of us feel that what we're NOW doing is "normal". At least that's what I took from this thread. I think even the OP feels that this is and can be a "new" normal. I'm so glad that you are able to take it one step further and feel that it's all so easy. So please, don't be frightened. No need to worry. It's all good. :)

Shy Moment
10-01-2007, 11:06 PM
Thanks. I really needed to hear that.

10-01-2007, 11:53 PM
Wow, Glory and AnnRue - you both said things that I really, really needed to hear right now. Thank you for taking time to make such thoughtful and inspiring posts.

And, Robin, of course you are right. As the "OP" - I absolutely am looking for a new "normal." Shy Moment - I think you are doing all of the right things for you, and I'm thrilled that you aren't fighting against it like I do sometimes. I posted because I needed wisdom, as I knew that there had to be something better than what I was doing.

And, Traci, thank you for resurrecting the thread with your thoughts. It is great to hear that it can become part of a routine. Still planned more than I used to plan, but not so much of a monumental effort. As AnnRue pointed out, it's great to have the discipline to be able to plan without the pain of starting something new.

Again, I so much appreciate learning about how people are able to manage their lives and their weight. I'm still struggling, and may struggle for the rest of my life, but I prefer the struggle to the alternative.

10-02-2007, 11:54 AM
It's really hard to articulate - maintaining weight loss is easy in a way. I have good habits, I found healthy food I like, I'm really good at starting the day well with a good breakfast and bringing snacks to work and using the salad bar. I don't mind going to the store, I don't mind cooking. In my normal, planned, calm day-to-day, weight maintenance is easy.

I also really really LIKE eating healthy and doing good things for my body. I do a ton of reading, I'm interested in nutrition. I really don't want to eat the typical American diet anymore, it don't want a ton of preservatives, fake stuff and transfat. I can't believe I love non fat greek yogurt and fresh blackberries as much as I used to love scones. I can't believe how much I like natural peanut butter on a Kashi waffle. How much I love baked sweet potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, grilled salmon. The foods I eat feel very normal to me now, fast food seems weird.

I love the way eating whole foods makes me feel - I feel 100% physically better than I did when I was heavy (mentally too). The physical change is huge motivation to make this my new normal - I used to fall asleep everyday in my office after lunch, now I nearly zing with energy every day.

In another way, weight maintenance is really hard. Food is so much in the American culture, we are bombarded with ads, restaurants serve enormous portions with way too much butter, the aisles in the grocery store are arranged for maximum temptation. Lives are busy, convenience foods are....convenient. The social aspect is the toughest part - how do you turn down a sweet coworker who makes a lemon start "because I know how you love them?" How do I go to a catered 3 day work conference and eat just boring iceberg lettuce salads with limp pale pink tomatoes for lunch because the soup choice is cream and all the prepared sandwiches have cheese and mayo? How do I avoid the big cookies and brownies brought out every day of the conference at 3? How do I order at a restaurant? How do I turn down restaurants which I know have no healthy options? How do I decide if it's okay to have a glass of wine? How do I decide how many nights out a week is too many? (just a few of the hundreds of daily decisions).

While I was losing weight, it was actually easier in a way because everything was so black and white - I didn't eat this this and this and it was okay. Now that I'm maintaining, I have to balance some off plan items because I definitely don't want to live my entire life without chocolate molten lava cake. When I'm doing my own thing, it definitely feels perfectly normal, it only feels "tough" really when I'm interacting with other people (work, social, etc).

One of the biggest, most positives things I did with weight loss was lose the "black/white." Before, eating anything off plan was a sign of total failure, completely demoralizing. Now, I realize that life requires flexibility and forgiveness. I will be tempted, sometimes I will eat offplan, that's okay - as long as I get right back on track the next eating opportunity.

I used to beat myself up, hate myself, think I was a no will power loser, now I trust myself a little more. One off plan work meeting where I ate too much cheese/crackers is not what made me fat. My goal is to make 90% of my choices good, healthy choices and not overly sweat the other 10%. It has worked very well, my weight has stayed between 127-131 for almost 3 years with this method.

I did want to say, when I was heavy, I spent WAY MORE time obsessing and fantasizing about being thin than I do now that I'm thin obsessing about staying that way. At least my "stay thin" thoughts are mostly productive - what healthy thing will I make for dinner, do I need to go to the grocery store for berries for snacks? My "heavy thoughts" were pretty useless - "I wish I were thin, I wish I were thin, I wish I were thin."

Shy Moment
10-02-2007, 07:55 PM
Thank you, I need the encouragement sometimes.

I find it all so easy. Fast food yuckkkkkkkkk have you seen any of those people wash their hands. Basically same goes for eating out at all lol.