Living Maintenance - Establishing 'New Normal'




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Exhale15
03-05-2013, 03:11 PM
I see a lot in the media, and even 3FC, of women characterizing themselves by their bad eating habits: 'I'm a (volume, junk food, stress, etc. etc.) eater.'

I used to characterize myself by being someone who had to eat fatty sweets in the evening, who couldn't give up the iced coffee and constant carbs. And, more importantly, someone who had to maintain the status quo, because others 'my friends' would question the feasibility of some of my plans to get healthy. It wasn't 'sounds interesting...give it a try', it was 'oh, people don't keep up with that type of diet'. By this I mean a clean, non-processed heavy on the produce diet.

Lately, I've been realizing that these habits have been becoming less and less engrained in me, and I feel better when I eat differently.

So, instead of steeping my identity in old destructive habits, I've begun to cling to my new successes, and question my shift from this 'new normal' when I backslide.

For example, today : 'Hum, I usually have a light dinner, wake up the next day feeling really good; what happened last night?' or 'Hum, I've been feeling really good since I've added more fruit and greens to my diet, how come I'm thinking of taking a short cut and eating this junk?' And I sit down for at least 10 minutes to see if I can come up with what's going on. Sometimes, I've over-booked myself and am short on time, sometimes I'm worried or disappointed by something and want the 'comfort' of the feelings of earlier times.

I continue to add to my 'new normal' with each success, each good choice, and it's working for me.I'm not 100% and probably will never be and that's fine with me. But I do expect myself to own my successes with at least at much intensity as I've owned my failures, and to acknowledge each success with great gusto to keep my progress going.


krampus
03-05-2013, 04:15 PM
Interesting topic!!!

I love to eat and always have. I don't think that will ever change, and I don't want it to. But now I love to eat healthy food 80% of the time, and my supermarket staples are greener, leaner and cleaner than when I was living off pasta and sauce-from-a-jar.

LockItUp
03-05-2013, 04:54 PM
Oooo, I like this topic!


I'm at the point where I'm starting to feel like this is my new normal rather than the over eating crap foods being normal. I'm not quite as "scared" I'll revert back to that old way of eating and being sedentary. Lke you said, Exhale15, those old habits are becoming less engrained.

I also love to eat, always have always will, but it's the amount of indulging that has changed. If I'm doing it "right" I don't feel deprived. I've gone through plenty of times where I have and that's when the old habits creep in.

Finding the balance between the over indulging, and over restricting, has started to become more my norm and it sure feels a lot better than either of the other options!


dstalksalot
03-05-2013, 08:13 PM
How long have you all been on plan and how long did it take to feel a new normal?

I have been on plan for 16 months. I feel like I am headed to a new normal, but I still fear relapse if I am not super diligent. I cycle calories so I am not deprived, but I used to eat with no regard to what or how much. I am waiting for that feeling of a new normal!

Exhale15
03-05-2013, 10:05 PM
How long have you all been on plan and how long did it take to feel a new normal?

I have been on plan for 16 months. I feel like I am headed to a new normal, but I still fear relapse if I am not super diligent. I cycle calories so I am not deprived, but I used to eat with no regard to what or how much. I am waiting for that feeling of a new normal!

I have had very many false starts, but each brought me a bit closer to more consistent change. I've been at this for about 2 years of trying different approaches. For me, it's better to stick with unprocessed foods, to not try diet foods but to just get rid of the sugar/salt/grease/processed carbs. It's also good for me to not count calories, but to focus on clean foods. But I find that I cycle food types. For example, I'm not so into eating animal products, but every so often I find myself really wanting some lean beef, so I have it for a couple of days, after which it's not appealing to me. Same goes for dairy.

I think that, because habits are such a strong thing, relapse is always possible, but what exactly would constitute a relapse? For example, a visit to a really good bakery for some goodies once or twice a month is, in my mind, a normal variation and not a relapse. Instead of thinking 'relapse', I think in terms of needing to work on how to make the healthier habit easier to stick with. But I know how you feel...I have to be really diligent with the 'breads'.

HungryHungryHippo
03-05-2013, 10:18 PM
I've been on plan for 13 months now. It feels good. :-)

memememe76
03-06-2013, 01:03 AM
I've been in maintenance mode for almost 3 years but this was not my first go at it. I haven't had this confirmed by anyone else, but if you regained but you're back to your desired weight/health levels, you are especially keen on not going backwards again. For me, that means being extra sensitive to and aware of my own weaknesses, limits and those environmental factors that will more likely cause me to crack.

If left to my own devices, I can eat and exercise on plan with relative ease and I'm proud of that. And I generally enjoy what I eat and what I do for exercise. Going to a restaurant where I order my own meal? Fairly painless. Restaurants that emphasizes communal eating (i.e. Chinese food)? Tougher, but doable.

Going to a friend or family member's house for a dinner party? Still very tough for me. Why? I'm not particularly great at portion control. I will finish off a plate. Despite complaints that restaurants serve these gigantic servings, if you do the research beforehand one can accommodate for whatever the restaurant offers you. It's easier for me not to order that slice of cake at the restaurant--harder to decline that slice that your best friend made especially for you.

That said,for myself, I don't need to emphasize the positives too much. Being healthy and thinner, you get plenty of positive reinforcement from within (after completing a workout) and society at large. No one other than you will say, "I know you don't like having sweets in your home so I won't give you a box of chocolates for Christmas." Yep--I still get plenty of boxes of treats because I'm skinny and could stand to gain a few. I can be the only person to be accountable to myself and that means recognizing your weaknesses.

freelancemomma
03-24-2013, 10:11 AM
I'm still not there. I've never had a problem with junk food -- it's just quantity that's my undoing. I've faced the reality that I can't eat more than 2,000 cals per day if I want to maintain my weight, but it always feels like not quite enough. I've done some experimenting with protein vs. carbs and some of my meals are "volumetric," but it doesn't seem to make any difference. So I'd say that I've accepted rather than embraced my "new normal." For now.

F.

neurodoc
03-24-2013, 07:46 PM
Certain things definitely feel like the "new normal" for me. I genuinely prefer chewy whole grains to the processed variety regardless of the grain, I prefer my meals with lots of veggies (even leafy ones; yum), and I no longer love all my food slightly sweet (e.g. barbecue sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, sweetened cereal, etc). But, just like Freelancemomma, I continue to struggle with quantity. I maintain, even with vigorous exercise 4 days a week, on 1500 cal/day and start to gain as soon as I go above that.

Freelancemomma, I'm with you 100%. I feel resigned rather than at peace with my "new normal." I agree that it never feels like quite enough -and that's when I'm ostensibly maintaining. But then I inevitably gain 2-3 pounds and the only way to get them off again is to go back to weight-loss mode, which is even more challenging (1200/day). I wish I could just forget how I used to eat, but of course, I see it modeled in front of me every day by most of my friends and acquaintances.

Sorry to be a downer Exhale15. I DO think that many many of my bad habits are truly "cured" (see description above), and that by keeping up an awareness of good habits, I perpetuate them.