On Maintenance: Part Three

Forgive me if I’ve changed my mind so many times on the topic that it’s frustrating you. Trust me, I feel the same way. 🙂

I know I’ve gone back and forth quite a bit about maintenance, because for a while it was easy, and then it was really hard, and then I was so frustrated I just wanted to give up. Recently though, I’ve sort of been moving towards a happy medium and feel like my relationship with food is getting to a much more normal place than it used to be.

The key change for me has been mentally. I used to think of counting points as a chore, a negative thing, and something that stood in the way of me being just a “normal” person. Over time, a LOT of time, I’ve come to realize that tracking is actually just a tool for me that I can use how I see fit. I’ve been trying trying to look at tracking as a positive thing rather than a negative thing, and its been helping me a lot with my mentality about maintenance. Rather than looking at it as obligation and dreading it, I’ve been looking at it as something I can use to get myself back on track and to stay on track when I don’t have anything crazy going on in a day.

I still track every day Monday through Friday, and I usually stick to 29 pts+ a day when I don’t have anything going on (happy hour, out to dinner, office parties, etc). 29 pts+ a day doesn’t feel restrictive to me at all, because I eat a lot of fruits and veggies and have really learned to stretch my points. One day soon I’ll do a day of eats post so I can show you. 🙂

On the weekends, I don’t usually track, but try to be reasonable with my decisions. When I’m out drinking, I usually stick with vodka soda, captains and diet, or wine (with dinner), and since I’ve been going out a little bit more lately, I’ve found that I don’t look at it as a time where I HAVE to order Domino’s to end my night.

I almost don’t want to say this next part so that I don’t jinx this, but I feel like with maintenance I’ve gotten to a place where I can eat anything I want some of the time. For example, when I was in Boston for the Bachelorette this past weekend, we had pizza three (!) times over the weekend. First on Friday night, some leftovers the next day, and then again for dinner that night as we got ready for the party. At least I got the pizza out of my system?

Now that is not how I normally eat by any means, and I did show a small gain on the scale the day after I got back, but I am now back at my goal weight from sticking to the 29 pts+ a day for a few days, after indulging for pretty much the entire weekend. I do eat fries and pizza at least once a week (each) because I love them, but I try to eat healthy most of the time.

Could I possibly be getting my head around moderation??????

20 Comments on On Maintenance: Part Three

  1. Holly (Faith, Food, Fitness)
    August 5, 2011 at 8:36 am (8 years ago)

    I’ve had the most success with weight loss, peace with food, and general happiness when I do well with moderation. Unfortunately, moderation has kind of gone out the window for me lately–I hope I can reign it in!

    Reply
  2. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    August 5, 2011 at 8:46 am (8 years ago)

    Beth I really think as time goes by this will get easier and easier. I used to have a tough time with moderation (and there are still times when I feel I go a little overboard) but with time I have gotten better at listening to what my body wants at the moment.

    Reply
  3. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    August 5, 2011 at 8:47 am (8 years ago)

    Glad to hear you are getting the hang of maintenance. Getting on the scale regularly is key – it can really be a wakeup call and keep you in check, and it’s pretty easy to do. Keep at it.

    Reply
  4. Jodi
    August 5, 2011 at 9:09 am (8 years ago)

    Beth, I have been following your blog for a while and I am glad you are so honest. I have PCOS and am trying to lose weight in hopes of it increasing our chances of conceiving (we have been married for 10 years and have tried on and off). Food has been such a big issue for me! I love reading your uplifting blog and also hearing the truth that even after you lose it is still a struggle. However, I think you are doing GREAT! Thanks again for inspiring people like me!

    Reply
  5. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    August 5, 2011 at 9:27 am (8 years ago)

    That’s fantastic! Moderation is something I am constantly battling with, but I’m hoping my knowingly practicing it will slowly become me unconsciously doing it…

    Reply
  6. Leah: The Kind Weight Watcher
    August 5, 2011 at 10:49 am (8 years ago)

    How awesome that you’re doing so well with maintenance now!

    Sometimes I feel as if I have “everything in moderation” perfected, and then it goes away, but then it comes back… I guess the phrase should be: Everything in moderation, including moderation! LOL, at least that’s how it’s working for me.

    Reply
  7. Amy @ Conquering Self
    August 5, 2011 at 11:18 am (8 years ago)

    It sounds like you really have a good thing going with maintaining! I think even though people view maintaining as being tough (some say tougher than trying to lose), I love that you can have the satisfaction of indulging (in moderation of course! haha) while not worrying about a weight gain because a couple of days of eating right/workout out afterwards can balance it out…like this past weekend with the pizza 🙂 . From that standpoint, maintaining seems easier to me than actually trying to lose…because when we are in weight-loss mode, balancing out even doesn’t cut it because it means we don’t get to see a loss for the week. I’ve never really looked at maintaining that way before, but I am definitely going to from now on! Congrats on finding a good balance!

    Reply
  8. Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio
    August 5, 2011 at 11:35 am (8 years ago)

    What an awesome success!! To learn moderation is like you’re being set free from the controls of food. I’m so happy for you and your life.

    Reply
  9. Lauren
    August 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm (8 years ago)

    Makes sense to me. I’ve been on maintenance for a month or two and it’s going well. I do tend to track M-F and for the most part on the weekends, but I’m not as worried then since I eat quite well all week leading up to it. But I don’t worry about going “in the red” or anything. I tried to avoid that when I was losing.
    , though

    I am, however, working out alot right now as it’s summer, I’m motivated and I’m marathon training. Though, I often hear it’s hard to lose while marathon training so I guess the fact that I’m maintaing well is a good thing. Who knows what it’ll be like come winter! I will deal with that when it comes.

    I like how you talk about moderation. I tend to use the word “mindful.” I took a vacation last month and didn’t count points at all but I was mindful. Tried to get my veggies and fruits in. didn’t eat something if I didn’t really want it. But I also really really enjoyed myself. And I worked out while there.

    Reply
  10. Dani
    August 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm (8 years ago)

    That’s awesome! I’d like to hear more about how you are managing marathon training with maintenance… I know, for me, when I run longer distances I’m more hungry that day… how do you know how much more to eat without going overboard?

    Reply
  11. Aly
    August 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm (8 years ago)

    Beth- You are such an inspiration for me! I have been struggling since I gained some weight back that I lost last year. I had to go back to some pants that were a size up from where I was and I was feeling really discouraged but I read your blog daily and I know I can conquer this weight! It is great reading your posts about working the plan at any stage! I can’t wait to be in maintenance or even just be lighter than I am now.

    Reply
  12. Roz@weightingfor50
    August 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm (8 years ago)

    Hi Beth, you are a true success story. And I love your honesty about maintenance. I have no doubt in my mind you’ll figure it out and over time it will become second nature. Keep up the great work, and all the best for your weekend.

    Reply
  13. Dee
    August 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm (8 years ago)

    There’s a blog I love, refusetoregain.com, co-written by a successful maintainer of a large weight loss, and a doctor who treats and counsels obese patients through weight loss, and she also is a maintainer of significant weight loss.

    She has a dim view of “everything in moderation”. She makes a good case for her view; however, I am of the opinion that one must do what they can do CONSISTENTLY. I’m not sure I could consistently eat “Mother Earth foods only” diet she advocates. Your strategy of moderation with a quick return to using points/ calorie tracking as a tool, seems overall more sustainable to the average human.

    Still, one part of her argument is that modern foods are addictive, and we underestimate the power of continuing to use an addictive substance, to pull us back under. That part of her argument haunts me…

    Reply
  14. UK Teacher
    August 6, 2011 at 12:01 am (8 years ago)

    Beth,
    A while back I found your blog off of a link you had left on a WW discussion board. That was back when I was a hard core WW’er, and your posts always inspired me with great tips and ideas (hello, Green Monster!). I’ve had some pretty big life changes lately, and it is time for me to get back on track. The other day I found your blog address in my “favorites” so I started following you again…your words of wisdom and realistic attitude have been just the push I’ve needed. Since life is a bit crazy for me now (I’m moving to London in one week to teach for a few years), I’ve been focusing on the “easy” tips you’ve given, like filling up on water. One step at a time, I’ll get back to eating better, getting more activity, and feeling better! Keep up the great posts and best of luck to you!

    Reply
  15. Kim @ Imperfectly Perfect
    August 8, 2011 at 11:56 am (8 years ago)

    Sounds like you’ve reached a healthy state of mind with this! Saturday I had a bit of a breakdown (my poor boyfriend). I was frustrated how much I tend to focus on counting (more than what I feel others do) and just want to be “normal”. Once I got the cry out of my system I felt much better and was able to think more clearly. I’m sure I will keep tabs on my eats for the rest of my life. I used to tell my mom that I hope I’m not this way when I’m old. She said, “Are you kidding me? You’re going to be the old lady bugging the nurses to make sure they really gave you diet coke.” Lol. I hope not! Anyway, I’m glad that you found what works for you. You’re able to keep tabs, but also enjoy food without guilt. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Lisa
    August 8, 2011 at 11:59 am (8 years ago)

    I think the idea of “moderation” can change a lot. And that’s okay. Being flexible and open to changing things up sometimes help with the maintenance!

    Reply
  17. Sarah
    August 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm (8 years ago)

    I maintained my weight for several years in college and trust me I was not super healthy. But I found that as long I ate mostly healthy and exercised several days a week, I was fine. And I was drinking many nights a week. I’d recommend just trusting yourself. At first I stayed obsessive with counting points but I got exhausted and decided to give trusting my body a chance. And I learned that I didn’t need to worry too much because our bodies help guide us. It’s tough but you can do it!! Just don’t stress too much 🙂 Life’s too short!

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on On Maintenance: Part Three

  1. […] As I talked about in a previous post, I’ve worked hard on changing my mentality so that I no longer look at counting points as something standing in the way of me being a “normal” person. Weighing myself weekly/monthly (and sometimes daily) does not make me crazy (any crazier than normal, anyway) and it helps me stay in check and be able to respond when things get out of control. […]

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