After living in “maintenance world” for almost four years now, I can verify that losing weight was easy and maintaining is damn hard.
OK … I guess it’s not too hard or I’d have gained all my weight back (not just 10-12), but my point is, it’s still not an easy feat and not one I take lightly.
I’ve said it before that when I joined Weight Watchers in April 2004, it was my first attempt at losing weight and worked like a charm. (Probably because I had never tried to lose weight before — even just skipping my daily sugary, whipped mint mochas was enough to cut calories back then).
In 2004 when I began, everything was beautiful. Magical. I loved the feeling of my clothes being loose, needing safety pins and then a new wardrobe, the attention from friends, co-workers, family, strangers … The way my body changed and with it, my brain. (Before the disordered eating behaviors and thoughts began, that is).
But keeping it off requires thought, preparation. Just like when losing — only magnified like twenty-fold.
Sometimes I think it’s not so bad because it’s just how I live now, always being cautious. But other days, like today (when I’m hormonal and annoyed that I am a woman) I get frustrated with myself for the weight I’ve gained and that I’m only maintaining a 20-25 lb. loss instead of a 30-35 lb. loss.
Days like today are when I feel like I’ve “flopped,” however ridiculous that may be. Ironically, they’re usually tied to my monthly cycle when, naturally I (like most women) feel ballooned like a Puffalump, am cranky, want to be left alone and am retaining more water than any human should.
And then I remind myself (my rational voice), “OK, Melissa, but you’ve kept 20 off and you still look good.” That’s Dr. G.’s encouragement in my ear, telling me to reframe my thoughts.
In other words, in a couple days I’ll be saying, “And now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.”
It’s just a vicious cycle; here I go, once again, toeing the line between accepting where I am and where I want to be. For those couple days every month I really just want to have a pity party. And everyone’s invited.
I think you know by now that I’m not suffering from bipolar disorder, but rather that I blog about this up and down, high and low cycle because it’s really what I’m feeling at the moment. Because it’s real, visceral, and a part of the healing process.
So I am sorry if I sound like a broken record … but I do want to get back to goal, and am truly disappointed that I’m still not there yet.
I’m not trying to be perfect; I just long for the day when the focus isn’t on my body. Where it is, indeed (as I vowed yesterday to get there) on my mind and soul.
A great workout tonight and a piece of good Godiva just might soothe my raging horomones. But until then, let me wallow just a smidge.
Hell, the only thing I feel I’m “maintaining” today is my sense of humor.
How about you? Do you find maintenance to be tougher than losing weight, regardless of if you’re a disordered eater or not?