Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A year later: Maintenance


Dec 8th will mark a year since having lost 100 pounds.  I have been excited waiting for that day, to do a blog post with a pic of me in my workout outfit, looking all fit and Sh#t.  I wanted to write a post filled with words of wisdom on losing weight and maintaining it.  

BUT...

I am tired of weight loss, and weight, and the scale, and numbers.  I am tired of every week thinking about what I will eat and all that jazz.  The truth is I have found this year of maintenance (and I am proud to say I have maintained) very challenging.  The 1.5-2 years that it took me to lose that weight, had a purpose, a focus.  I was driven to lose the weight, and rewarded with the loses.  Switching to maintenance and being ok with not seeing a DROP on the scale each week or two was something that took getting used too.  Learning to let go of the reigns and to not be so restrictive in what I ate and allowing things like wine, choc, carbs back into my regular nutrition took getting used too.  I really struggled with finding the balance between not eating to lose weight, and yet not binging on my favourite foods (and I have had many a Food Party for One). Throw training for 3 Full Marathons in there and fuelling for those and yep its been a bit of an experiment.  

It takes a lot of focus and determination to lose that much weight, and its hard to just switch that "mentality" off?  Not that its an ON or OFF way of life, I really have tried to set up a LIFESTYLE vs a short term diet.  I am scared of the weight returning, of the "fat" Katie coming back.  Most of all I am afraid of that old lifestyle and the way I felt coming back. Its silly really, because that girl is long gone.  That lifestyle is long gone.  My family and I have changed.  But the fear is still there.  Its the fear that get's me to stand on the scale to make sure I haven't gained that weight back.  I wrote recently on my Fit Mom in Barrhaven blog about changing behaviour and letting go of the scale.  I am happy to say that I have been doing well and have only been weighing myself once a week.  I want to move to once every two weeks and wean myself off it.  Like I said in the post, I don't "need" the scale, if I were to gain 10 pounds I would feel it in my clothes.  There are other ways to make sure that I am doing well, that are less harmful to my sense of self.  

This year has had many ups and downs.  In the summer, I needed to ask for extra help because I felt my mind slipping back into very restrictive thoughts and patterns.  I saw a counsellor for a few sessions and it was just what I needed to set myself back on a healthy course.  One thing that stood out in our chats was that I have an "Extreme Personality" (shocking isn't it...me? lol).  Running 3 Marathons in a 9 month period, is hardly extreme? But what I have learned is that I need extreme, its the way I am, the way I tick.  I just need to find "healthy extremes."  Being a size 4 and bulimic when I was younger was an unhealthy extreme, and being a size 22 and binge eating was also an unhealthy extreme.  So I think this year I have been trying to find what a healthy athlete looks like.  I'm certainly not a professional athelte by any means, but I like to think of myself in terms of an athlete.  The more I seek to move away from the idea of "weight" the more I find myself thinking of myself in these terms.  I find I treat myself much better when I do.  I think about how to best fuel this body of my mine to do the physical feats I want to accomplish.  A diet of fast food and sugar is not going to fuel my body, nor is a low carb diet.  So I eat to feel good doing what I love, which is running far, and pushing hard. I listen to my body better, as an athlete.  I rest, I scale back, I let my body rest and recover so it can preform better (where as before I would have kept pushing for the burn).  The more I make this mental shift the less important the number on the scale becomes.  Will gaining 5 pounds matter if it makes me stronger? 

The other truth, is I LOVE FOOD, and I like to eat.  I love choc chips, I eat chocolate almost every day.  I really love my oatmeal, and other carbs too.  I don't want to prescribe to a life without these things.  For me staying very active has allowed me to indulge in the foods that I love (did I mention how much I love cheese?) and to maintain my weight.  What I do struggle with though is that bloody idea of extremes again.  I struggle when my milage is really high at the height of my marathon training and I find myself wanting to eat 2.5hrs worth of running's calories.  I fully admit that one of the things that gets me through those really long runs is the thought of indulging in some of my favorite foods guilt free! (its not the only reason I run though, I truly love it all on its own). I struggle with "refueling" and "treating" myself and listening to the YOUR FULL NOW signal.  I tend to over eat on those days...but I'm figuring it out.  I am trying very hard to listen to my body and mind and what it wants and needs. 


So here I am, almost a year later, still just over a 100 pounds lost, 2 Marathons, and 2 Half Marathons under my belt.  I'm loving my runner's legs, and my strong arms.  I'm ok with my long tube boobs and "hang-y" mom pouch of a belly.  I think I can honestly say that I don't want wash board abs, unless they come with a magic wand option.   I am going to do my best to think of myself as an athlete,  to keep training and running hard, and taking care of myself.  I am going to share my love of sweat with my friends and with my clients.  I am going to live my most HEALTHY Extreme :) 

17 comments:

  1. Big congratulations, Katie! They say maintaining is harder than losing.
    I can relate to much of your thoughts, right down to the former ED. I'm 40 lbs down, on my weight loss journey..It is such a fine line, keeping those restrictive thoughts and behaviors in check.
    Thanks for being so open and honest. You're an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are exploring a subject I think every person who goes on a weight loss transformation deals with. How do you keep momentum when the reason for the momentum is, for all intents, gone? How do you not burn out thinking and focusing on food, fitness, health... How do you see past the worry it will come back if you slack off? how do you transition the mind from being a fat person to a skinny person? Not an overnight thing, right?

    You've got a handle on this, I think. Self-acceptance, self-knowledge and self-discipline to create a picture of your healthy extreme are things learned over a lifetime. You have all that well in the works. You have also discovered how much you love helping others, which, I think, is a big factor in how you will push through with a game plan for the rest of your life. Being your best you to help others be their best them is where you will excel and I think you can draw strength from that. That isn't pressure on you, (I hope), but a chance to, as they say, shine your light and let others see it! Be fed spiritually by the relationships we create to support one another.

    You've helped me, more than I can ever put into words, just by being your extreme you. I love that light you are showing, I love your enthusiasm for other's success. It gives me energy to keep going when I am tired of being so focused and dedicated to losing weight.

    Keep going, Katie. You've got this. With the odd handful of chocolate chips thrown in for good measure. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have me crying :) the good cry :) and I am so happy to have met you too....and to see you EXCELLING and shining and sharing your light too. I smile every time I see you in your rainbow socks!

      Delete
    2. What Mustansabby said. 250 gazillion percent!! You come across as very honest with yourdelf and very self aware. You are passionate about fitness not because of weight loss- don't forget that. You LOVE running! You LOVE trying new exercises, fitness equipment, and sharing that love with others. You are self motivated. In time I truly believe you will stop looking at the scale. It's ALREADY a non issue in that it is not the driver for the pleasure you get out of your training pursuits. Your mind just needs to take a bit more time to understand what your heart already knows. Thank you for sharing this part of who you are with us all. I hope you appreciate that when I say you are so inspiring it's not about the weight loss to me. Yes what you did was a great accomplishment. But the body transformation itself is not what inspires. It's your conviction, your quest for self knowledge, your openness with which you share your development as a person

      Delete
  3. Thank you, I needed to read this today. You are such a rock star and to know you are feeling the same thing I am is empowering. Sometimes I feel like such a fraud, I am not an athlete or a real runner but then I see my Disney Wine and Dine medal and my laundry basket full of mostly athletic gear and can almost believe it. The fat girl is still around but she is getting further and further away as each year goes by and trust me after 2.5 years of maintenance, I can not wait until she is gone for good. Rock on Katie, rock on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your post this am, pushed me to write this and be honest about how I feel... that it isn't all rainbows and lollipops. When I read your words, I thought of how hard it must be to have lost so much weight, another person really, and the pressure you must feel...although not intentionally put on you..but its there...all the positive feedback for losing weight etc...its a lot of pressure. Add your own fears into the mix and the fact that to have lost the weight in the first place takes a lot of discipline, drive, and maybe a little "obsession" and well frankly ITS FRACKING HARD not to get hung up on the numbers and being hard on ourselves. PS. you are most definitely an athlete and don't you dare forget it. :)

      Delete
    2. So now I am crying, thank you. I agree with the comment, maintenance is harder then losing it because you know how bad it can be and how much you do not want to go back there. We inspire each other and others, it's a great thing.

      Delete
  4. Thank you. I too needed something like this to read today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry my thought got cut off and posted anonymously! That was me - Lara. @viva_lara

    Anyway - what i was trying to say is I am inspired not by your weight loss but just your commitment to discovering, accepting and loving your one true self. And sharing that joy with all of us. The ripple effect is huge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have NO IDEA how much it means to me to hear that its not the weight loss that's inspiring...I "know" that in my heart...but to hear that and then get it to my mind..it just feels really good to hear. I think one of my insecure fears is that if I gain weight what then...? Thank-you Lara, you have been a very good "virtual" friend this past year. :)

      Delete
  6. I can't even begin to imagine the struggle, yet, that maintenance must bring. Like Caroline said, when losing, you have a goal and a focus and the drops in lbs and the increased fitness keeps you motivated. I do, however, think you have found many very important keys to success along the way. You've surrounded yourself with like minded people, your family has changed it's lifestyle as a unit, you've found activities you love, you've put a lot of your focus on others instead of on yourself, and lastly and probably most importantly-you CONTINUE to learn and grow and change. I love that you're so self-aware, Katie. You know there are still struggles, and you've pinpointed what they look like for you personally. You aren't just accepting them, you're continuing to examine them and evolve, seeking help when needed. You and I both know that other woman that you used to be isn't coming back. Let her completely and finally go. You aren't that person anymore-and not because of loss of weight. In your head...you've changed. You continue to change. That's what THIS is about, and that's what LIFE is about. Every single person I talk to that meets you Katie...myself included....is drawn to you because of your spirit, because of how supportive and encouraging you are, because of your quirkiness, because of how real and honest you are about...everything, because of your kindness. None of those things have to do with weight or weight loss or the woman you "used" to be. They are all totally because of YOU, Katie....who you ARE. There's no "going back." You're right on track....learning, changing, growing, accepting, tweaking as need be.....I'm SO blessed to have met you and you continue to inspire me in your everyday actions, not just your fitness ones. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank-you so much Tracey, so very much. Also really happy to have you in my life, I lead a charmed life when it comes to amazing friends like you :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welp, we know that life is not without struggle and self-doubt, but you are doing a fine, FINE job at maintaining your Awesome. Don't think of yourself as an *athlete* ... YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you so much, I get a serious KICK when you leave me a comment, I look up to you as a "fit celebrity" :) Thank-you :)

      Delete
  9. Hello, my friend! A great story and I'm sure you all had a great time on your cross country trip. I've never been to Montana, but it sounds glorious! I'm sure the chaps with the chaps will never forget it, too. Best regards to you. Ruby
    buy-college-essay
    online-writing-services
    Accounts Software For Small Business

    ReplyDelete