Plucking another great question from the pool of suggestions this week. This time, it’s one for the maintainers.
A few people had specific questions, so I thought I’d take a stab at them individually and then let other maintainers chime in.
How do you transition into Maintenance?
This question can go in bunch of directions, but I’ll approach it from the "Technical" aspect of maintenance for someone following Weight Watchers.
Once you reach goal you have to find your specific maintenance point/calorie range. According to Weight Watchers you should increase your daily point range by 4 for one week and then assess your weight. For example if your weight loss point value is 20, then go up to 24 for one week. At the end if you still lost weight, increase by 4 again, to 28. If you gained then decrease by 2, down to 26. Do this until you find a level where you maintain your weight.
Sounds simple, right? HA!
I had more of a hard time with the mental aspects of the transition. For as long as I could remember I wanted to LOSE weight. That made sense to me. Staying the same was just a foreign concept. I had to learn how to eat and by going through the above process and weighing myself regularly I started to learn what my limits were. It was a long journey that took years to master, and I’m not even sure I did that yet!
What keeps you going after the compliments have stopped coming?
Great question because, for me, this was a huge hurtle. As my awesome Weight Watchers leader once told me…. No one pats you on the back and says "HEY! looks like you are maintaining nicely!" LOL
I’ll admit it the compliments are nice. They kept me going from week to week. I’ve always been a "pleaser". I like it when people are proud of me and I’m on of those people who just enjoys doing the best I can at something. So from week to week at the weigh ins, the weight loss celebration was something I looked forward to.
Now, I have kind of the opposite problem. People see me now, never knowing I had a weight problem. They don’t see the chubby girl who struggled with body image, and yo yo dieted for 15 years. I’ve talked about this before, it’s in some way depressing that I lost a peer group I felt such a part of for so long. I even feel like an outcast at my Weight Watchers meetings.
So what do I do? What keeps me going now? That’s easy. I’m reminded, dailyby the toddler, why I changed my life. I want to be the best person I can be, for him. That means accepting myself, eating the best I can, being active and living consciously. I want to be the best example of human being I can be for him. DO I make mistakes, yeah, sure I do. But part of being the best I can be is accepting the good with the bad. That’s called life and we all know the changes you make have to be for life.
What keeps you motivated to continue to be mindful of what you eat even though you’ve achieved your goal (or a significant chunk of your goal).
As I stated previously, for me eating consciously is an important part of my life. I want to eat for health and nutrition. I want to teach good habits to the toddler. That keeps me motivated.
How do you keep from going back to your old eating habits when you are finally thin? (and not reward yourself with food.)
I still use food as a reward. I try not to, but it happens. I try to disconnect the connection between food and celebration. Food and sorrow. Food and loneliness. Food and ‘insert any event/emotion here’. It’s hard but I try! and after 3 years it’s getting easier and easier.
I also have to add, celebrating with food now and then is inevitable. When I go out to eat with the husband on a date, we split a dessert. I bake a cake for the toddler’s birthday. I’m not throwing these traditions away because I want to watch my weight and be healthy. One thing I learned since starting this journey is just because I indulge now and then does NOT mean I’m returning to my old habits. It means I enjoyed a piece of cake. That’s it.
Any other maintainers want to take a stab at this weeks questions? Comment below or answer on your blog and leave us a link!