Monday, July 9, 2007

Just when I thought I had this eating thing all figured out...

I had a really harsh realization this past week. After working this WW program for a couple of years now, I thought I had mastered this whole weight management thing. I sure was wrong...
I started Weight Watchers in October of 2005. I had no trouble getting my weight off, and lost consistently until I reached goal in June of 2006. I started maintenance just as I was going on vacation for a week. I gained throughout my 6 weeks of maintenance, but did manage to keep my weight under the two-pound threshold so that I would become a lifetime member. I blamed my gains on vacation, meeting my boyfriend, camping, my B-12 deficiency that had sidelined my running, moving back to the city, etc. - anything I could find as an excuse for not maintaining my loss.

Over the course of my first 6 months of being a lifetime WW member, I continued to weigh in monthly to keep my lifetime status, but I continued to gain in small increments until I had regained a little more than 20 lbs. by last Christmas. That's when I decided to get back on the WW program full-time and get myself back down to my goal weight before I gained any more weight and was back to where I had started. I was tired of weighing in monthly and paying for it - I mean, what had I worked for anyway? I definitely hadn't worked so hard to lose the weight just to gain it all back! I knew the WW program worked, and I knew I could do it again, so I got back on the weight loss train.

I knew how to get the weight back off, so I started running again and watching what I was eating. And once again, the weight came off pretty easily. It has continued to come off until now. I am now the smallest I ever remember being, and until now I was still trying to lose a few extra pounds. I'm well below my WW goal weight.

This past week has really opened my eyes. I decided I'd go off plan for a couple of days while we were on vacation and that I'd eat what I wanted. What an eye opener! I was so sad to have to go back on plan when we returned that I had some kind of breakdown or something. I am allotted 19 points a day if I want to continue losing, which really isn't much anymore. It's been very difficult to keep it up week after week, as I'm constantly watching every single point. I haven't been enjoying myself, and I've been feeling quite deprived to be honest. It's summer time, my favourite thing to eat is ice cream, and although I know I can eat it if I use my flex or earn the APs for it, I find myself in a strict eating mode, depriving myself of a treat to save the points. It's crazy and needless and I know it, but that's what I've been doing.

So I'm going to switch my focus and concentrate more on improving my fitness and my body composition while switching my program to maintenance for a while. This is where the new realization comes in. I've been a lifetime member for over a year now, and I've never maintained! Not even for a little while! I'm scared to death of maintenance because I think I'll gain some of my weight back again! What if it doesn't work?!? I know it's supposed to work, but I'm just so scared of it! When it comes to losing weight, I feel like an old pro - I know all the tricks and everything you need to do to lose, but I'm not so sure of myself when it comes to maintaining a loss. I'm just so scared of gaining... but I'm going to bite the bullet and risk gaining a little bit until I can figure out this maintenance thing. I'm going to add the 4 points to my daily amount, giving me 23 points, and I'm going to eat half of my APs earned, and as many flex points as I want throughout the week. Just the extra 4 points a day will allow me to treat myself without feeling so bad about it. I know I shouldn't feel bad, but I'll admit that I sometimes do feel guilty for indulging in a treat. I'm working on that...

It was a rough week mentally finally figuring this out, but I'm gonna conquer this new issue too! I'm going to learn to maintain and finally learn how to live healthily without gaining or losing for a while. I'm going to learn that success isn't always measured with a loss - the hardest part of this whole thing is maintaining the loss. It's going to be harder to put the work in to living a healthy lifestyle without feeling the success of a weekly weight loss. I'll have to learn to love maintaining the loss as much as I have loved losing the weight to begin with - it's going to be tough, but I'll have to revel in the new victories I'll experience.

Glad I got that off my chest...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What a Great Run This Morning!

I got up early this morning and watched a re-run of X-Weighted. The person on the show was a woman who refused to follow the eating plan accordingly (she was all about low-carb dieting at 800 cals/day!), but did discover that she liked running, which eventually led her to lose the weight she wanted. At the end of the show she ran a 10K.

After the show, I headed out for my regular Sunday run, my long run for the week. I was aiming for between 7-8K today. I also decided that I would not pay as close attention to my heart rate, so I turned off the heart rate alarms I had set in my Garmin, and off I went.

I felt fantastic! About 1/3 of the way through the run I decided I'd add a bit more distance to my regular route. I figured worst case scenario, I just finish with walking. So I stopped to chat to a couple of bikers on the trail I was on to ask about the best loop I could do to add a little bit of distance. Friendly they were, helpful not-so-much. So I figured out my own way to add a kilometre or two.

I ended up running 10K! Me - 10K! Random! It was awesome! I felt great, wasn't too tired, wasn't struggling to breathe, nothing. It was great, and I was so proud. I have been so down on running since my co-worker told me my heart rate was running too high, blah, blah, blah. And today was the first day I stopped paying such close attention to it - and I had the best run I've had in about a month and a half! I'm just going to keep things the way they are, add distance when I'm comfortable, and carry on. Woohoo!

Friday, July 6, 2007

My 2-Day Eating Frenzy Has Come to an End

As I metioned on the WW boards the other day, I decided I'd take a couple of days off of counting points and just enjoy myself while I was on a brief camping trip, away with DBF. I figure I can do this since I'm quite a few pounds under my goal now, was on vacation, and both DBF and I love it when I take a couple of days off and just eat what I want.

I had someone show concern on the boards as to why DBF likes it when I decide to go off plan. I'm going to respond here (and I posted a response on the WW boards). He just likes it because I allow myself to let loose a little. I'm usually pretty strict with my diet and he respects that (in fact, he eats all the healthy stuff and checks NI on everything with me - he's extremely supportive). We both think it's very important that we eat healthily, so we both do at home. But we also think it's fun when I take a couple of days off from counting everything, so that we can enjoy eating a few of our favourite "unhealthy" foods together without me worrying about how much of it I'm eating. We enjoy being able to indulge a little together, share what we've ordered at a restaurant, etc. We think it's fun to share treats together, even though he could easily eat this food anytime on his own, since he doesn't have to worry about his weight (yet! LOL).

My DBF is extremely supportive of my weight loss efforts, and I appreciate him so much for that. I know I'm lucky because I'm not one of those people who don't get the support from their significant others that they need and deserve. I don't have to worry about cooking more than one meal at home to satisfy both of us. He's happy to eat what I prepare, and we both choose healthy options for our meals at home.

Today, I'm back on plan and counting again. Today isn't nearly as much fun as yesterday was! I'm just going to put the couple of days behind me and start the week from now. If I gain a pound or two, I'm fine with that, and it was totally worth it!