It's been a while (Musings on maintenance)
Friday, August 18, 2017
To start out I'm going to make a socially taboo statement...
Losing weight was easy. It wasn't a monumental task. It didn't take loads of willpower. It didn't stress me out daily. I didn't feel deprived. Sure, I put some effort into it, and once in a while I channeled my anxiety into it, but overall it was easy. I had clear parameters, lots of choices, and if I stuck to my rules I generally lost a pound a week.
For me, maintenance is much harder. Not necessarily the maintaining my weight part. Give or take a few pounds whenever I weigh in I'm right where I want to be. But the making good choices part has been a real struggle. I still eat mostly the same things, so I am still getting my needed amounts of protein, fiber, and produce (though I keep finding I'm letting the produce slip, especially when out of the house). But then I have this caloric gap that I can't help see as "free" calories. I start out with a little treat, which turns into too big of a treat and triggers my binging tendencies. When I only allowed myself 100 "treat" calories a day I was fine with 2 chocolate nuggets or 1/4 cup ice cream. Now I see 300-500 extra calories, I go nuts. Then I increase my activity level to balance out the caloric equation. It feels like I'm running around trying to balance a teeter totter, when before I could calmly stand in the center. I've lost my center. I know tracking is super important because if I stop I will gain it all back. I just really miss the sense of calm that the structure of caloric limits gave me. But I'm also always aware of my fear of taking it too far and falling back into my eating disorder pattern.
So yeah. Losing the weight was easy. Maintaining is taxing my mental health.