A Year of Maintenance

This has been quite a year. I have maintained a 50 pound weight loss within 5 pounds. And a 70 pound weight loss since my very highest. Exactly one year ago, I weighed 149.6.  That lasted for a nano second and I think it was a fluke.   I decided that I wanted to maintain that weight for one year and see how I would feel. It is one year later and I am up 5 pounds.  Maintenance is a bitch.

In my past years I would have been devastated by a 5 pound “gain”. I would have thrown in the towel. I would have gone back to my old ways of eating. I would have said “this is just not working for me” and dove into a pizza – and it would be an Imo’s Supreme.  I would have avoided being around people in fear that they would look at me and say “she’s putting her weight back on.” “I knew she couldn’t do it”. “Once a fatty, always a fatty”.  “Fatty, fatty, two by four.” And the list of sayings goes on.

But today, I have a new outlook on “maintenance”. I have allowed myself to have a window of 5 pounds to play with. It gives me a sense of freedom without a fear of gaining everything back. I will admit when I hit my goal weight, I was scared. My main thought was how can I maintain this weight? How can I go through life without eating some of my favorite foods? Do I have to give up bread forever? What about popcorn – I love popcorn. Wine – oh – wine. How can I give you up? Ice cream – Ted Drews – Abbaca Mocha concrete will I ever see you again? Pasta, cookies, sweets, baked potatoes loaded with butter and the list goes on.

So one year ago, I made the decision that I wanted to stay “thin” forever. Ok not thin – just normal and slightly on the higher BMI side. According to the weight chart, I am still above normal. Maybe even fat.  I decided that if I lost more weight that would be great but maintaining was more important to me. So to stay “thin” I needed to make a decision what foods would keep me the healthiest and would serve my body the best.  But first, I needed to decide what foods were non-negotiable.

Here are my non-negotiable items. I love popcorn. But I have found that I cannot eat popcorn everyday. When I eat popcorn I can not eat just two cups for 110 calories. That is like eating two handfuls. I love to eat a bowl of popcorn. And a large bowl.  That makes eating popcorn worthwhile. So I eat popcorn on an average of once a month.    And my beloved wine.  This is definitely non-negotiable. I love my wine and I enjoy coming home from work and sitting down before dinner and having one or two glasses of this delectable nectar.  I have become an amateur wine maker which makes drinking wine even more pleasurable.

Pasta has been replaced by spaghetti squash.  Pizza crust has been replaced with cauliflower crust – delicious!.  Wheat is pretty much a thing of the past.  Sugar is a definite no, no.  Snacks have been replaced with Sugar Snap Peas, which I could eat all day long.   My go to snack every day is plain Greek Yogurt sprinkled with a bit of Crystal Light.  And sometimes I will add some berries.  And I do end most days with a 30 calorie no sugar popsicle.  It is such a treat.

Let’s talk bread.  I don’t eat bread.  I decided that this was very easy to give up.  However, on occasions I will indulge in a 6″ Subway Club.  That sandwich is delicious but I choose not to eat it all the time.  But here is the dilemma.  My son has become a bread maker and his pics on Instagram and Facebook have been making my mouth water.  He has perfected his breads to the point he could sell them commercially.  And shouldn’t I support him in his new endeavor?  So I have decided that one day soon I will have a slice of his bread.  I may even put butter on it.  And this is ok.  Because I will only have it on special occasions.  Thank God he lives an hour away.

My outlook one year into maintenance is not what I had to give up to stabilize my weight.  It is more about what foods will empower my body. It is more about making a choice to eat foods that make me healthy.  I am off of my cholesterol and high blood pressure medicine.   I feel great.  I look a whole lot better.  I like fitting into smaller off the rack clothes.  Yes I have “gained” five pounds, thank you very much to my beloved scale.  But that is ok because I know those five pounds will eventually leave me.  I am confident that I will be “thin” (ok not thin – just smaller), for the rest of my life.

Maintenance is really not a bitch.  It is just a life long journey.

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