People are very curious to see if I’m still trying to lose weight. I am here to answer that question: no! I’m in maintenance mode and I’ve been that way for almost two years now, I think. Two years seems like a really long time. It took me 13 months to hit my first goal weight and I continued to shed the pounds after that, not intentionally but I did still have more to lose. At some point my body just stopped and that is how I knew it was time to maintain.
It was a hard switch to make because I had been focused on the weight loss portion for so long, it was kind of hard to go back to “normal” especially because I didn’t know the definition of “normal.” Normal consisted of fast food 3 -4 times a day and ending in a food coma before, but now normal is something different. During weight loss mode, I kept my calorie intake to around 1300 – 1400 calories plus the working out. I started to workout more, so I had to eat more food.
In maintenance mode, I upped the caloric intake to 2200 calories a day. When I started training for my marathon, calorie counting went out the window because it was important to me to remain healthy and strong and not hungry and injured. It was the choice that I made and not everyone does that. Now I’m in a constant state of training and I have used that as an excuse to maybe indulge in more frozen yogurt than I should but I’m going to put an end to that right today.
When the switch occurred it was hard for me to grasp because I was still interested in weighing myself weekly and I often wondered if I was eating too much. Sometimes I wonder the same thing. I have to give myself pep talks every once and a while about it too. I have to remember on a daily basis I do continue to make healthy choices (besides that froyo) and that I’m active. After losing the weight, it’s about maintaining that healthy lifestyle and not going back to the fast food habits. I am very watchful over the foods that go in my mouth.
Are we as strict as what we use to be? Not at all, but that doesn’t mean we throw it all out the window. We are trying to be a little bit more accommodating to others when we go out. We scope out the menu for healthier options and mostly order everything “on the side.” And if we can’t find something that works for us, then we just don’t eat. Just last night we went to a party at a mexican restaurant, not really much there for me to eat. I got a fajita taco salad and put everything on the side. What I really wanted was rice and beans though. I should have just ordered that!
As far as working out goes, I probably work out more now than when I was in weight loss mode. I still do the same stuff, I probably just do a lot more of it. Yes, I run but I also cross train. I teach cycle classes (twice a week), I attend cycle classes (when I have a chance), I strength train (2-3 times/week), yoga (2-3/week) and on occasion I get on the elliptical. Truth: I just started to reintroduce the elliptical into my routine. I actually despise it but I can watch TV while I do it which is the only saving grace.
People ask me if I’ve gained any weight back and I have. At my lowest I weighed 130 pounds but I stopped my strength training during that period. I was a stick and I wasn’t happy. I’ve gained some of the weight back and I’ve dropped it and I’ve gained and dropped. It’s a yoyo but it’s never more than 10 pounds. Plus after all that running my body swells VERY badly!
So maintenance mode to me really isn’t about maintaining my weight, it’s about maintaining my healthy lifestyle. It’s about putting to use those lessons in self control, dealing with moderation and just getting active! I still struggle with it all sometimes, but I’m only human. Weight is going to be something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, but now it’s just not THE STRUGGLE of my life.
I just know I don’t want to go back to where I was before so I will continue to look forward and keep developing the person I want to be, inside and out!
How do you maintain your weight? Do you every struggle with being in maintenance mode?