So now that I've achieved my goal weight (after 18 months of effort) and can actually present myself as a thin person, how do I maintain it? Well, the first major hurdle was cleared when I made it through my 20 year high school reunion weekend without putting any of it back on in celebration of having reached the goal and convinced my former classmates that I've looked this good all along. And the reason I didn't do that is because:
1) My stomach won't currently hold that much food all at once as its shrunken from all those days of curbing calories.
2) Whether or not the previous statement is actually, physically true, I've gotten in the habit of paying attention to when I'm hungry and when I'm a quarter full, when I'm half full, when I'm 98% full and when I'm completely full, and that kind of attention stops me from becoming uncomfortably stuffed.
3) My emotional need for sweets, sugar, and general self-medicating with food continues to be absent (hypnotherapy was the answer for me) and that goes a LONG way towards keeping me from going back to old binge-ing habits.
4) I'm still working out every single day for an hour (even on vacation) and counting every calorie that goes in my mouth and keeping a food log (even on vacation).
5) I have genuinely developed the habit of eating whole grains, lean protein, lowfat and nonfat dairy products and fresh produce instead of highly processed and refined foods, yes, even while on vacation.
And all of that is what I believe they call "maintenance" and that, I believe, is what people often don't do after they've lost weight which is why they put it back on. Now I've never really dieted before and lost weight and gained it back or kept it off, so I'm not saying this from personal experience, but I believe the following is true: whatever I did to lose the weight, I will have to keep doing or I'll gain it all back. I'm going to have to take the habits I formed to lose the weight, and make them permanent habits for the rest of my life.
I am committed to doing this. Let's see if it works.
I think the reason I'm writing this all out is that I'm motivated by a blog called "Losing the Cow" and I'm specifically motivated by a post called "Off the Field of Battle." This post talks about how women look at each other and compare ourselves all the time and when we see women who are thinner than we are, we think things like, "I hate her." So I'm trying to keep women from hating me. Please, don't hate me! I worked very hard to get to where I am right now and I'm 38 and am facing an uphill battle for the rest of my life as my metabolism slows down a bit more every year and my spine shrinks a bit so I'll lose height, too. It's going to take a lot of focus every day to maintain this weight and it will take ever more focus to keep fit every year for the rest of my life until I die. So I'm actually hoping for the privilege of living a long life (to at least 100) during which I will count calories and exercise and eat well and not depend emotionally on food and try to stay height/weight proportional even as my height decreases.
So, if you see me looking thin and healthy and great, please know that it isn't luck or genetics or surgery or any magic solution that I've found. It's plain old diet and exercise, plus the incredible (for me) tool of hypnotherapy that got me off the food addiction. It's just a matter of priorities and I decided to make being healthy more important than anything else in my life. And keep in mind that I don't have husband, family, kids, etc. to pull my focus. It's just me here and that makes it easier for me to put my health first before everything else in the world. Lots of women have things they have to prioritize before their own weightloss and that's fine, too. We all do what we have to do.
Okay? Is this working at all or are there still people out there hating me?