Friday, October 16, 2009

2 Week Maintenance Update

So, I thought I would take an opportunity to talk a little bit about how maintenance is going for me. As some of you know I entered maintenance a little over 2 weeks ago once I received my results from the “Know Your Numbers” thing I went to at work. Check back to that post if you want more details.

Once I got those results I made the choice to stop attempting to loose weight and try to maintain where I am. The body fat percentage is really the number that made me make that choice because it is in a good range and I really don’t want to go too low since hopefully in the near future I’ll be looking to start a family and would really hate to find out my body fat was too low to conceive. The reading I got was 20.7 %, which if I round up, falls into low part of the healthy range for a fit woman in my age range. You can do some research and find that if a woman goes too low with her body fat she can loose her menstruation and it can affect her ability to conceive.

It is strange to say I’m in maintenance when my original goal weight I was working towards was 145lbs. I selected that weight because for my height it would put me at the upper limit of the normal range BMI for my height. Currently, according to BMI, I’m still considered overweight. However, it was explained to me that BMI isn’t always an accurate measure for everyone since it doesn’t take into account body composition. So for me in the last two weeks it has been a bit of a mental shift when I look at the scale’s reading. Before I was looking at my current weight as being so close to where I was suppose to be. Now I have been looking at it as where I need to stay because I’m at a healthy weight.

I’m happy to report over the 2 weeks I have been able to stay pretty consistent weight wise. Taking into consideration that my weight can fluctuate 1-2lbs from day to day I have been seeing my weight staying in the same range for the past two weeks. That’s right people I weigh everyday, but I have since the start. I am not one of those people who let the number have a huge effect on my mood for the day so I don’t find it to be an unhealthy behavior for me like some might. Prior to me trying to get healthy I never got on the scale because I was trying to stay in denial about my ever growing problem. I plan on getting on the scale everyday still because it’s going to be one of the ways I keep myself accountable. Plus, now it is such a habit for me to get on the thing every morning I think it would feel really strange not to. So I guess what I’m doing is working.

So what am I doing you ask? Well honestly it isn’t too different than what I had been doing the weeks before. I’m eating clean about 90% of the time and I’m getting in my workouts like always. I’m still focusing on my stress management plan, which means consistent sleep, taking time for myself everyday, talking things out, and getting in some “fun” every week. 

I know that changing my eating habit of 90-10 would lead to a backslide so I know I need to stay disciplined in that area. I think that because I lost the weight slowly (2yrs 10 months) that is to my advantage because I made changes gradually and took the time to really see what works for me nutritionally. I also have learned so much about the science behind nutrition that I also understand why I need to eat the way I do. I never made types of food off limits which has helped me in a lot of ways. I can still enjoy foods that might not fit the “healthy” category on occasion which really helped me get off the diet mindset and onto a lifestyle one instead. I think another big shift when it comes to food is that I admitted that I used food to cope with emotional crap in my life and worked towards finding other coping mechanisms for it. I’m sure in other posts I’ll go into my past a bit to talk about this further, but I’ll save that for another day.

As far as working out I’m following the plan I outlined in my post last week. The new routine is working well for me and I feel like I am becoming much more balanced with my fitness already. The craziest transformation for me over this journey is how I went from a very sedentary person to this very active person. I love working my body and being active. Heck, I’m to the point that when my rest day comes up I get a little sad because I know I’m not going to get all hot and sweaty that day. I might still get in a nice walk or another low level activity in that day but it just doesn’t give me the same rush I normally get. I love how I feel like I’m strong and I get excited when it’s time to bump up the resistance in my strength training. My activity level has really been something that those around me have been trying to get used to. They adjusted to my change in eating much easier than to my new activity level. I’m the one who is always trying to get my friends to do active things when we hang out, when before I was the one who was always suggesting very sedentary activities. Overall my friends are not very active so a lot of times they think I’m crazy but oh well I like my new crazy self!

Like I said above, the biggest change as been a mental one. It is kind of strange for me to look at myself in the mirror and think that I’m no longer trying to loose weight and that I’m in a healthy place. I have spent a large majority of my life being overweight and unhealthy that this new person I have become is a little bit of a stranger to me. I’m not going to lie there are still days when I look in the mirror and think that it is lying to me. Or I step on the scale and think it must be wrong. Those days happen less and less as time goes on but they still creep up. Those are the days I might break out the one pair of jeans and shirt I saved from my heaviest and try them on. Once I do that I snap out of thinking that the mirror or the scale is lying. I think that it’s just my mind sometimes hasn’t caught up to all the physical changes my body has gone through. Since going into maintenance, I now have had to shift from the thinking that I’m almost to my goal to I am there. I’m still in shock I made it because it takes a lot of conscience effort to say I’m there. I’m sure as time goes on that it will become automatic. Also, shifting from working towards the goal of losing weight to a goal of maintenance requires a different mindset.

Since I have went into maintenance I have shared that to several people in my life and their reactions have been interesting. Some have said they are really glad because they think I’m getting too thin. Some are really happy for me and have told me how inspirational I am. I find the getting too thin comment to be interesting for a couple of reasons. First off, I’m no where near what would be considered as too thin. Granted, with the fact that a majority of my country is overweight, I might appear as being thin but I fall into a healthy range and not even close to being underweight. Second, I look at those who are making that comment and I realize that they are all overweight themselves so to them I seem thin I guess. Which leads into my third thought that some of them say it out of their own insecurities and I say this because some of them are the ones who where saying I needed to stop loosing weight when I lost like 20lbs. Throughout it all I have been careful with how I take other’s comments because sometimes what they say is more about them than it really has to do with me. One of these days I’ll write about my thoughts on how our relationships with others can have an effect on our efforts to change to healthier habits, because I have a lot of thoughts on that.

Question: For those of you who are healthy or working towards it what kind of comments do you get from those in your life about the things you are doing to keep or work towards better health?

Well that is my maintenance update for now. I’m sure I’ll do these updates as time progresses. I think it will be interesting to see what other challenges I will face as I am working on maintaining my new healthy self.

Just a quick update on my studying before I go. This week has been pretty challenging. Even though it is just part one of human anatomy I feel like I have had a ton to learn. I finished up work with the Manual and the workbook. I’m going to be working on the Anatomy book stuff tonight and tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be ready to move on to the second part of this topic by Monday. This week also has been challenging because this weather (ie: rainy and just plain gray) has had an effect on my energy levels. When I get home I’m just feeling downright tired and that is when I do most of my studying. In a perfect world I would study in the morning hours but those are when I’m at work so that doesn’t work for me unless it is the weekend or I’m off. But I have been trying to work past the lower energy levels and still get in some good studying. I think it’s time for me to break out my light box for the winter season which will help with the energy thing because I’m starting to feel my Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms kicking in.

Alright people I got to get going. Hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Quote of the day:
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. ~ Jim Rohn


  1. Oh I get so many comments it's ridiculous. I eat healthy 90/10, like you, and so many times I get people commenting on my healthier choices or lack of bad choices, "Gina, what are you doing? Trying to loose weight?!" Umm...NO, trying to be healthy you fools!!

    Yes, the mental battle is the toughest, and themost important when it comes to maintaining weight and staying healthy. I'm glad you are at a good spot right now, that's great news.

    I am sending you the ADA position paper here in a second!

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