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Keeping the weight off is harder than losing it

As most of you know, I recently completed my weight loss journey, losing sixty-five pounds and going down five sized. The post A Fat Girl No More covers the experience.

I’ve been on the maintenance phase since May 27th, and I’ve managed to maintain within three to five pounds. But it hasn’t been easy. The maintenance phase is essentially healthy eating, and when you’re turned loose after six months of being monitored, the temptations start to creep up again.

My sweet tooth is growing back nicely, but so far I’m still in control. If I do crave the evil demon known as sugar, I reach for an apple or berries. If I’m feeling hungry (something I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating more), then I have half a protein bar and a big glass of water. I’m exercising regularly too, a first for me.

And yet, every day, I want to eat more, more, more. Now that I can have bread at night, I want two pieces. Cheesecake for desert? Bring it on. After all, I’ve lost so much weight, a little cheating now and then can’t hurt, right?

Wrong. My plan allows for one cheat day a week. The rest need to be spent eating responsibly, because it’s very easy to gain one or two pounds a week and before you know it, you’ve put on thirty.

I won’t let that happen again. My friend says I worry too much about food, that I know I can go back on the diet or work hard with exercise to lose five or ten pounds if I need to. I don’t want to do that. I want to be able to have willpower and maintain what I’ve worked so hard for.

So I say no to that second piece of bread and pass on desert. Then I complain for a while. How it’s not fair some people can eat anything they want, that I thought I wouldn’t be this structured after I hit my goal, yada, yada, yada.

That’s when my ‘before’ picture pops into my mind and I vow never to go back. Life’s not fair. I gain weight easily and have a slow metabolism. If I want to look and feel good, I have to accept that and do whatever I need to in order to stay healthy.

Low carb, low fat, low calories. Lots of fruit and veggies. Vitamins and calcium. Daily exercise. We all know the drill. The problem is that it’s easier said than done.

On the days you want to binge or say to hell with it, just remember how much better it feels to be at a healthy weight. Remember what it’s like to feel like the slug in the crowd, how no jeans fit right because your stomach blobbed over them, and how miserable you were. No one is happy being overweight. It affects the mind as much as it does the body. Think about how your mental state is now compared to when you were heavier and consider the differences in your life.

And then ask yourself, “is it really worth it? Is having that extra piece of bread or chocolate bar really worth sending myself back down that slippery slope?”

It’s not, I promise.

Maintaining is hard as hell. Arm yourself with healthy snacks, and if you can’t control the chocolate craving, (trust me, I understand this pain), get a Special K protein bar. I love their Chocolatey Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate. And then have a couple of bites. Save the rest for later. You’ll answer the craving and won’t have the guilt that usually comes with it.

Keeping our weight down is going to be a lifetime battle. We’ve got to arm ourselves with everything we can to win, and most importantly, remember you’re not alone. We’re in this together.

Good luck!

7 comments on… “Keeping the weight off is harder than losing it”

  1. I know how you feel. My weight fluctuates by itself, without the sweets – I don't have a thyroid, and it depends on my whim of a stomach whether it's going to absorb my synthetic thyroid or not. Very frustrating because I have to eat like a bird to stay fat. Keep up the good fight!

  2. Thanks for this post Stacey. I know what it's like to have a slow metabolism and a lifelong battle with my weight as well. I was overweight all through high school, then was anorexic for a few years in university, got healthy, put some weight back on after my recent wedding, and am now struggling to get back to a healthy weight without falling into my old destructive patterns. Finding balance is a lifelong challenge, but you're right – when you're at a healthy weight, everything else feels better. I'm rooting for @MarcyKennedy

  3. ElizabethMy weight fluctuates without the sweets, too. I have to remind myself daily that 3-5lbs is water weight, but it's still frustrating. You're problem sounds tough to manage, though. Keep up the good fight as well, and thanks for posting!MarcyYou're welcome. I've been overweight the vast majority of my life, so I can't imagine what it's like to deal with such swings. Why is it that we all seem to put weight on after we get married? I blame the men!I'm rooting for you as well. We can do it!

  4. I know it's easier said than done, but you said it nicely. Thanks for sharing your journey. My son is a year old now. I've joked a couple of times that I'm not at the pre-baby weight. At some point though, it's not the baby weight. It's the chocolate chip cookie I ate, etc.

  5. Stacy, I hear you. Having kids just creates havoc on our bodies. I only gained about 25 lbs with Grace, but then I started piling it on after she was born. It's so easy to let it get away from you.Thanks for commenting!

  6. As someone joined at the hip with Weight Watcher's I hear you. Food is my comfort, and there are time when a bowl of blueberries can't compete with a cookie. Good luck with your journey. I'm sending you a virtual piece of celery.

  7. Thanks, Leslie. I've done all right on vacation, but I could have done better. I'm definitely getting back on the wagon when I get home tomorrow!And I'm the same way – not much can compete with a cookie.

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