Living Maintenance - Maintenance & cockiness do not go well together




lin43
04-16-2013, 07:35 AM
A few months ago, I posted a thread about how surprised I was that maintenance was "easier than I thought." Well, I jinxed myself because almost immediately afterward, it began to seem hard. All of a sudden, I could not control my eating---not so much binging or anything, but just those "bites, licks, and tastes." Also, I've avoided the scale for a couple of months now (I usually weigh in once a month). Just this week, I noticed that ALL my pants and skirts are getting more snug. So, as of yesterday, I was back in "dieting mode" (which, for me is about 1400 calories per day). I even had the courage to step on the scale this morning, which is something I would not have done in the past when I knew I had gained (I decided to try something different this time since avoidance didn't really work in the past). I was 138, which is only about 3 lbs. above my comfortable weight, but then why are my pants & skirts so snug??? I cannot believe 3 lbs makes such a difference (maybe because I'm short ---5 ft 3?).

Anyway, this getting back to dieting mode has actually been somewhat of a relief for me. I stopped all "negotiating" in my head about food (e.g., Me at night: "I'd like some popcorn. If I eat that, I'll just deduct 200 calories from my total tomorrow" or "I want some extra bread and butter w/ dinner. I'll just cut back tomorrow"). Fourteen hundred calories doesn't leave much room for negotiating.

Anyone here ever become too complacent with maintenance?


Thedollylala
04-16-2013, 07:50 AM
Same to me! I attribute mine to not working out as much! I lost that muscle that kept things tight but stayed the same weight but was much squishier

sacha
04-16-2013, 08:06 AM
Oh yes! I think it is a natural phase.

1. Getting overweight without really realizing it (although some have been overweight since childhood)

2. Having that "holy crap!" moment

3. On again & off again trying to lose

4. Losing

5. Getting to maintenance and celebrating - new clothes, wow I did it, man I look great, I'll never look like that again.

6. Setbacks (baby, wedding, vacations, general life events)

7. Complacency

8. Drifting back to old weight or getting right back to old weight or more

9. Recognizing complacency and returning to normal (the "new" normal - maintenance).

I've done this twice (my 2 pregnancies, I let them spiral out of control). I think I'm in step 9 right now. I'm sure tehre are different steps for different people, but complacency bit me in the *** twice.

You know how some people, at or near goal, still feel like a fat girl trapped in a slim girl's body? I think the reverse happens too. "Well, I'm doing fantastic".... hmmm... are you??? Or were you??


traveling michele
04-16-2013, 09:53 AM
Oh yes..... every time I see someone post that maintenance is easy, I think Oh Boy... they're in for it. I was happily maintaining my happy weight for a couple of years (118-120)-- now I just want to get back to my red line (125). I'm promising myself that if I can EVER get back below 120 that I won't blow it again. We'll see....

Sacha-- I love your steps. I think they are very true and I think I've experienced them all.

Shannon in ATL
04-16-2013, 10:01 AM
Sacha, I also love the steps.

Lin - I was another one who said that maintenance was easier than I expected way back when. Not so much now. LOL But you can figure it out. I know you can.

bargoo
04-16-2013, 10:15 AM
I have not found maintenance to be easy, I have to work on it all the time.

freelancemomma
04-16-2013, 11:29 AM
A few months ago, I posted a thread about how surprised I was that maintenance was "easier than I thought." Well, I jinxed myself because almost immediately afterward, it began to seem hard. All of a sudden, I could not control my eating---not so much binging or anything, but just those "bites, licks, and tastes."

Your brain seems to work the same as mine. I've been experiencing everything you describe. Just like you, I've begun to find maintenance more difficult, and I'm not sure why. Is it just psychological fatigue? Does a mild sense of deprivation, day in and day out, have some kind of cumulative effect? I wish I had the answers.

Freelance

JenMusic
04-16-2013, 03:16 PM
As a fellow shortie, I find that 3 pounds can make all the difference in the world, especially with my work skirts.

And, yes, I really, truly think maintenance is harder than losing weight was (for me). There are so many reasons for that, and it IS worth it, but it's hard. And now that I'm trying to lose 5 pounds to get back to goal weight, it's even harder.

But to "give up" and be overweight again, with all that that means? The health effects I was already having at age 32? To lose my fitness and never run again? To have to buy bigger clothes again? No, to all of it.

saef
04-16-2013, 04:01 PM
I think it's hard because trying to keep one's weight stable no matter what happens & no matter how much time passes is inherently unnatural.

We want a single, unchanging weight. No matter what.

In other words, we are trying to prevent change from happening. (Or at least from happening in what we consider the wrong direction.)

If there's one thing I relearn in life over & over again, it's that you cannot stop change.

LockItUp
04-16-2013, 04:55 PM
I maintained for a whole 9 weeks (what a joke right!?). I felt like "Oh wow this is so easy, I can eat so much more, how wonderful". Didn't take long for me to stop counting my calories for too many days at a time, eat a few too many treats, and go past my red line of 142. It was kind of a relief to start losing weight again; when I saw that 143 on the scale it was almost like the worst thing I'd ever seen yet the best because it gave me a reason to start losing again. I needed the break from trying to lose, but I can see how hard maintenance will be, mentally, when I go back to it. It's very easy to think "Oh I'll just work this off tomorrow". In just the very very short amount of time I attempted maintenance I found that 2000 calories was like a freakin feast at first, it started to not be enough, so the 2500 I'd eat on tough workout days felt like a lot, but then not enough. Old habits die hard. I'm just thankful I caught it so quickly! I may have to be one of those people who has to eat in a deficit 5 out of 7 days a week forever just to ensure I don't continually gain and have to lose again. How exhausting it all gets!

lin43
04-16-2013, 05:44 PM
Dollylala, yep--I think that if I were to stop working out, I would really be in for it. Fortunately, even though the eating part has become difficult, I am still enjoying working out and have consistently done that, so I can only blame my weight gain on my eating!

Sacha, you have really analyzed this! The fact that you're still at your goal weight after so many years is an inspiration to me, though.

OI was happily maintaining my happy weight for a couple of years (118-120)-- now I just want to get back to my red line (125). I'm promising myself that if I can EVER get back below 120 that I won't blow it again. We'll see....

Thank you for sharing your experience. I must admit it depresses me a little to know that I will probably have to struggle indefinitely to stay thin, but I suppose it's better than the alternative.

Shannon, thanks for the support!

bargoo, I appreciate how straightforward you always are about maintenance. Thank you.

Your brain seems to work the same as mine. I've recently experienced everything you describe. Just like you, I've recently begun to find maintenance more difficult, and I'm not sure why. Is it just psychological fatigue? Does a mild sense of deprivation, day in and day out, have some kind of cumulative effect? I wish I had the answers.

Freelance

Freelance, I notice that you and I often follow the same patterns/thought processes. If not for the fact that you're taller (and slimmer), we would be diet "twins."

As a fellow shortie, I find that 3 pounds can make all the difference in the world, especially with my work skirts

Funny, I had always thought that I was the type to gain even ten pounds and not notice so much. This is the first time that I've noticed snugness in my clothes, weighed myself to face the reality (which, again, I usually avoid), and found that I'd gained so little. Wow! I would really notice if I gained 10 lb!

We want a single, unchanging weight. No matter what.

Agreed. I think it's the paranoia that comes with a history of yo-yo dieting and exposure to depressing stats about how few people maintain. I know that it has taken me a long time to develop any trust for myself; I've gotten better at it, but I still struggle with it.

In just the very very short amount of time I attempted maintenance I found that 2000 calories was like a freakin feast at first, it started to not be enough, so the 2500 I'd eat on tough workout days felt like a lot, but then not enough. Old habits die hard. I'm just thankful I caught it so quickly! I may have to be one of those people who has to eat in a deficit 5 out of 7 days a week forever just to ensure I don't continually gain and have to lose again. How exhausting it all gets!

This is completely me. I can eat 2200 per day to maintain my weight, and that is certainly, logically "enough," but for someone like me, I think even 3,000 per day would eventually not be enough.

krampus
04-16-2013, 07:13 PM
I always fear the unpredictable snap and binge. I feel like I've "beat" binge/restrict cycles but sometimes, specifically around TOM, it's almost like I'm dangling by a thread over that horrible place, about to drop into a pit full of vipers.

Of late I want to drop some body fat as summer and nudity season are coming up, which = eating at a deficit. I have started drastically cutting my lunch portions so that I can just gorge myself after work. We'll see how this goes. I want to do everything in my power to never lose control again. My weight will do what it wants but I don't want to feel like I'm at the mercy of something as dumb as junk food.

ReillyJ
04-16-2013, 07:37 PM
i'm newly at maintenance and find it "not that hard" probably because i'm eating basically the same things all week that i lost weight with except for Fridays which is a free day (and has been for a long time) BUT..i am finding that i am having to constantly say NO to a BITE of this and a NIBBLE of that. I'm really wondering if 2 potato chips extra that day or a nibble off of my husbands muffin another day will really add up? maybe not but i know that i have to tell myself i CANNOT take it further than that and also have to keep all my snacking reserved solely for Fridays and not carry it over, i guess that will be my constant vigil for life.....
i'm trying hard to look at it as a GOOD thing and put a positive motivational spin on it instead of thinking of myself as a victim. i think that is the key but i have to work on that, also!! oy

workingmom1008
04-16-2013, 09:10 PM
I'm starting my 5th year of maintainence & it's always been hard. I'm 5 ft 3 too & I'm only 4 lbs over my ideal weight of 134 but & it bums me out my favorite skinny size 6 black jeans are very snug. Thankfully I got down from my redline weight of 140 lbs - something I swore I'd never ever want to see on the scale ever again 5 years ago but it finally happened this year.

Since I reached my maintenance weight it's been very challenging - largely due to injuries (runner's knee, baker's cyst, ankle sprains, vertigo). Each time I've been injured I've had to adjust (e.g. stop running/start walking more, avoid my favorite lower body exercises like squats/lunges & find more knee friendly exercises, learn to eat better versus eating whatever I want & burning off the calories later). I've even had to adjust my maintenance weight upwards because my body just couldn't do all those high intensity workouts anymore since my injuries - a few pounds was just not worth it.

Now I'm battling tennis elbow so I can't lift weights - which was my favorite type of exercise & probably contributed to this injury. I went into a mini depression & ate more than I should've this past weekend. However, I woke up Monday & I asked myself what is the alternative? Gain back the 30 pounds I worked so hard to lose? I made an appointment with a sports therapist next week & went on-line to find some tennis elbow exercises to help relieve the pain until my appointment. I drank a lot of water (I was so thirsty from eating so much salt during the weekend) & ate a lot of fruits, veggies, & lean protein the rest of the day & I felt so much better about myself.

But I have become complacent too - I'm finally back on tracking calories on Fitday.com (something I stopped last year). Complacency sneaks up on you slowly. I used to have only 1 cheat meal on Saturday & Sunday but I then I also starting having one on Fridays too. I used to check the calorie count for restaurant meals so by the time I reached the restaurant I knew exactly what I would order & skip dessert. Now I realize I would just go to the restaurant & order whatever I wanted along with dessert.

However, I have a plan - I envision myself fitting back into my skinny black jeans & buying a nicely fitted top once I reach my goal. I'm aiming for the June at my daughter's birthday party surrounded by jealous relatives who have been waiting for me to gain back the weight for years - I'm determined to feel good about myself not to give them the satisfaction.

Bayzee
04-16-2013, 09:22 PM
I maintained 111 @ 5"3 for one year! I felt fit, healthy and great!
Then, last summer, I ruined it all. In 2 months I gained 12-15 lbs. Hard to know the exact amount, because I avoided the scale and started cutting calories before my official weigh-in. I drank, ate and virtually did not exercise (unless you count the beer curls) all summer long and I swear I gained all fat.
I'm just getting back to the same feeling and weight (dieting on/off since Oct.) I had this time last year. In order to enjoy my weekends and maintain, I have to eat in a deficit during the week, which is much easier because of my work routine, then I eat, drink and enjoy more on the weekends. I think I am going to be a "lifer" with this routine for maintenance.

And now, I am extremely nervous about the summer. It's by far my "weak" time.

lin43
04-17-2013, 07:13 AM
And now, I am extremely nervous about the summer. It's by far my "weak" time.

Interesting that you should say this. I think most people believe that summer is an easier time to lose weight because of all the fresh fruits/veggies around, more grilling, and more opportunities to get outside and move. However, I'm the same as you with summer being more challenging. I teach, so I have summers off, and that extra time makes me more focused on food. Also, ice-cream is one of my top five favorite desserts, and I obviously gravitate toward it more during the summer. I've decided, though, that I will think of some strategies to get me through; I won't succumb to more weight gain.

lin43
04-17-2013, 07:15 AM
I'm starting my 5th year of maintainence & it's always been hard. I'm 5 ft 3 too & I'm only 4 lbs over my ideal weight of 134 but & it bums me out my favorite skinny size 6 black jeans are very snug. Thankfully I got down from my redline weight of 140 lbs - something I swore I'd never ever want to see on the scale ever again 5 years ago but it finally happened this year.

Since I reached my maintenance weight it's been very challenging - largely due to injuries (runner's knee, baker's cyst, ankle sprains, vertigo). Each time I've been injured I've had to adjust (e.g. stop running/start walking more, avoid my favorite lower body exercises like squats/lunges & find more knee friendly exercises, learn to eat better versus eating whatever I want & burning off the calories later). I've even had to adjust my maintenance weight upwards because my body just couldn't do all those high intensity workouts anymore since my injuries - a few pounds was just not worth it.

Now I'm battling tennis elbow so I can't lift weights - which was my favorite type of exercise & probably contributed to this injury. I went into a mini depression & ate more than I should've this past weekend. However, I woke up Monday & I asked myself what is the alternative? Gain back the 30 pounds I worked so hard to lose? I made an appointment with a sports therapist next week & went on-line to find some tennis elbow exercises to help relieve the pain until my appointment. I drank a lot of water (I was so thirsty from eating so much salt during the weekend) & ate a lot of fruits, veggies, & lean protein the rest of the day & I felt so much better about myself.

But I have become complacent too - I'm finally back on tracking calories on Fitday.com (something I stopped last year). Complacency sneaks up on you slowly. I used to have only 1 cheat meal on Saturday & Sunday but I then I also starting having one on Fridays too. I used to check the calorie count for restaurant meals so by the time I reached the restaurant I knew exactly what I would order & skip dessert. Now I realize I would just go to the restaurant & order whatever I wanted along with dessert.

However, I have a plan - I envision myself fitting back into my skinny black jeans & buying a nicely fitted top once I reach my goal. I'm aiming for the June at my daughter's birthday party surrounded by jealous relatives who have been waiting for me to gain back the weight for years - I'm determined to feel good about myself not to give them the satisfaction.

Sorry for the struggles you're having workingmom. I admire you, though, for pushing through. I have a tendency to give up when something doesn't go as I've planned. You're an inspiration!

Bayzee
04-17-2013, 09:32 PM
Interesting that you should say this. I think most people believe that summer is an easier time to lose weight because of all the fresh fruits/veggies around, more grilling, and more opportunities to get outside and move. However, I'm the same as you with summer being more challenging. I teach, so I have summers off, and that extra time makes me more focused on food. Also, ice-cream is one of my top five favorite desserts, and I obviously gravitate toward it more during the summer. I've decided, though, that I will think of some strategies to get me through; I won't succumb to more weight gain.

I have the summers off too. I love the summer because I typically shop a couple days at a time for fresh foods and make amazing recipes because I love to cook and finally have the time. I NEVER eat "brown bag lunch foods" in the summer. I'm so sick of them, I can't even stand them in the house.

With that however, comes the extra calories...apps, cocktails, desserts, baking etc....that I would not typically eat when I'm working. We entertain a lot outside in the summer as well, so there seems to be snacks galore in the house. Plus, we travel more, so we eat out or on the road more often than usual.

Oh...I can relate to the ice cream. I actually bought an ice cream maker so that I can master a healthy coconut ice cream that will actually taste delicious. It's my summer goal!

And who the heck can workout when they are well into happy hour? LOL!

I haven't figured out how I'm going to maintain this summer. I'm maintaining now because I'm watching closely during the week and letting go on the weekends. If I let go all week... the results from last summer will be the same. I know one thing...I have to workout first thing in the morning or I won't end up doing it. I'm still trying to figure out how I will manage calories.

Moving Forward
04-18-2013, 12:43 AM
Oh boy. I just hit my goal weight this weekend and have NO idea what my plan is for maintaining. Like the last few posters, I also have summers off. I initially started my weight loss in September after porking up from my summer festivities. I am usually a planner and am able to execute what I plan. So far, I have not decided to start eating maintenance calories, mainly because I have no idea what that should be and I'm afraid to start gaining. I guess I have a little fear of failure going on here. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences, good and bad. Looks like I need to do some research here. Any advice would definitely be appreciated.

traveling michele
04-18-2013, 10:17 AM
Congrats on hitting goal Moving Forward!! I'm also in the Bay Area. There is no harm in having a little fear IMHO. You can certainly keep eating your maintenance calories for awhile and see what happens. If you keep dropping lower than you would like, you can slowly increase them. Most of us have a "redline" or a weight you don't want to go over. Mine is 125. If I hit that, I focus more on restricting my calories, etc. This morning I was 127.6 so I'm definitely in that mode now. My "happy" weight is 118-120 but I haven't seen that lately. I was dismayed when I looked at my log for this time last year and saw that I was in my "happy" place. Maintaining is really trial and error. Make changes slowly. Stay focused. Keep coming here. Post often.

Moving Forward
04-18-2013, 11:22 PM
Thanks traveling michele! That sounds like sound advice. It's nice to see a fellow Bay Area girl on here.

bargoo
04-19-2013, 07:55 AM
Oh boy. I just hit my goal weight this weekend and have NO idea what my plan is for maintaining. Like the last few posters, I also have summers off. I initially started my weight loss in September after porking up from my summer festivities. I am usually a planner and am able to execute what I plan. So far, I have not decided to start eating maintenance calories, mainly because I have no idea what that should be and I'm afraid to start gaining. I guess I have a little fear of failure going on here. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences, good and bad. Looks like I need to do some research here. Any advice would definitely be appreciated.

Welcome ! I lived in South Bay most of my life but moved a little farther North about a year and half ago.
Congratulations One thing on making goal ! I see you are a planner, I have found that planning is key in my diet, loss and maintaining. Learning what will work for you may take a little trial and error, there is no one plan fits all, Sorry ! One thing I do is weigh every day, if there any changes , up or down I want to know about it. Good luck !

lin43
04-19-2013, 08:13 PM
Oh boy. I just hit my goal weight this weekend and have NO idea what my plan is for maintaining. Like the last few posters, I also have summers off. I initially started my weight loss in September after porking up from my summer festivities. I am usually a planner and am able to execute what I plan. So far, I have not decided to start eating maintenance calories, mainly because I have no idea what that should be and I'm afraid to start gaining. I guess I have a little fear of failure going on here. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences, good and bad. Looks like I need to do some research here. Any advice would definitely be appreciated.

Congratulations on reaching your goal! When I reached my goal, I just kept adding in calories until I stopped losing (e.g., one week at 1700, next week at 1900, next 2100, etc.). Best wishes!