My Weight Loss Journey: Maintenance

As I said in my previous post, I did not reach my goal weight by the date of my wedding. Since returning from our Mexican honeymoon (where the endless chips and guacamole no doubt did some damage), I have still not reached my ultimate goal weight; this is mainly because I have little incentive/motivation. Well, I suppose there is incentive (I’d love to go down a size or too and work on some trouble zones, and really, losing weight is always an incentive since you usually end up looking and feeling better), but ultimately, there isn’t a looming event date that keeps me motivated.

So, if I have no motivation and lack some focus, how have I maintained my weight? To be honest, I have gained a few pounds since the wedding, but nothing too major. For the first few weeks of marriage, I realized I did enjoy eating what I wanted and not having to count calories anymore, but I also knew that gaining the weight back was absolutely not an option. So we joined the local gym (less than a mile from our house, which is awesome), and I now work out 4-5 times a week. I’d like to say I also eat whatever I want, but to be honest, my diet will never be what it was before, since my stomach has shrunk since last year and I don’t require as much to feel full. But, I am definitely a little more lax with my diet.

While I’d love this blog to be full of my sage advice and suggestions on how to best maintain your weight loss, all I really can offer you at this point is my current plan: work out. a lot. If you want to eat whatever you want (within reason) then you need to put in the time at the gym to burn those calories. However, I realize this is not ideal for most people. With my schedule, I’m able to make it to the gym this frequently, but some people are not. So, here’s what I can suggest:

1) Start every day with a fresh perspective – realize that everyday is a new day, a chance to start over. Remember that just because you may have eaten a bit too much the day before, today is a chance to eat a bit less and get back on track.
2) Don’t let the scale be your guide. Sure, you may have put on one or two extra pounds one week, but if your jeans feel fine, then you’re doing ok. I always judge how I’m doing by how my clothes fit. Once the jeans get too tight, then I know I need to do some extra work.
3) Plan ahead for big events. If you know you’re going to a wedding this weekend and want to eat/drink more than normal, be sure to squeeze an extra workout in somewhere. Or, eat a little less the day before
4) When I was dieting, I had one cheat day a week. I was really good for 5-6 days, then I would cheat a bit on the other days. This keeps you from binge eating, because you know that you can eventually have what you are craving. The fact is, the “bad” foods we want to eat everyday are so much more enjoyable and tasty when we eat the on occasion – we appreciate and savor them more that way.
5) If working out five days a week (or even one day a week) sounds unreasonable, then consider how you can fit a workout in during the work day. Take the stairs. Walk around the parking lot on your lunch break. If it’s rainy/cold, get up and walk around the office. There are definitely ways to fit in exercise if you’re willing to restructure your day a bit.

Most of you are probably not new to these ideas/suggestions. And maybe I’m writing this blog for my own benefit more than anyone else’s – because I know that one day, I won’t be able to work out five days a week. One day, I may have kids who keep me insanely busy and don’t allow frequent exercise or help with normal eating habits. But, for now, I do have time to maintain this weight and to work towards developing good, healthy habits. I’d love to lose ten pounds before I get pregnant. It might happen, it might not. So today, I focus on what I have accomplished: 30 pounds of weight loss that I intend to keep off for as long as I possibly can.

If you’re in the same boat as me, what are your suggestions for maintaining weight loss? How do you get back on track when you’ve steered off in the wrong direction?

As I’ve said before – it’s all about the journey. This is a lifelong struggle, and everyday presents new challenges – it’s all about how you handle them.

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