Challenges in weight loss and maintenance

I was going to title this something like struggles in weight loss and maintenance, but I really want to focus on reframing that word.  

Debby wrote an eloquent post on this subject the other day, and she commented to me about how it was good to hear someone else with the same issues.

I get emails or comments from time to time about how I stay so focused and determined.  Here’s the secret – I struggle, too!  I really think being a successful loser and maintainer is understanding that you are going to face tough times and you won’t always win.  Put me around certain foods or in certain situations and I will face plant into enough food to make me uncomfortably full – even when that was not my plan.

Sometimes it is just the urge to let up and eat.  When that happens, I refer to it as the old me having a temper tantrum.

Old me:  I want to just eat without thinking about it.  It’s not fair that other people can eat food and not gain weight.  Why can’t I just eat what I want when I want?

Following cues from the Beck book, I try to reason with said self with things like:  You know you don’t need to eat 6 servings of cereal, 1 is enough.  Of course it isn’t fair, but you just have to accept that and move on.  You can eat whatever you want when you want, but you have to be prepared to weigh 250 pounds again.

The old me sounds pretty petulant, right?  That voice pops out from time to time and sometimes reasoning with it just doesn’t work.  It’s much easier to give in.  We’ve all been there.

I have learned that when I do give in, it isn’t the end of the world.  I won’t gain back 100 pounds with 1 day of bingeing.  I do seem to be able to stop it pretty quick these days, though, and I think that is the result of years of practice.  I am not like a lot of the bloggers or people on forums I read that charge on down to goal losing a large amount of weight and keep it off.  It’s been such a long process (years) for me both physically and mentally.  This blog has actually been a useful tool for me to ponder things and get feedback (so thank you, gentle readers!).

I do win sometimes, though.  And all that good food you see on my blog is the result of learning to love different foods and making them taste good.  If you haven’t read my food philosophy, you can here.

I guess I would leave you with the thoughts that even when you get down to a happy weight, don’t expect to magically stay there, or that you are completely changed.  Heck, the journey down is the same way.  As imperfect beings, there will always be challenges, but what will make you successful is how you cope with those when they arise and learning how to speak to yourself with kindness.

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17 thoughts on “Challenges in weight loss and maintenance

  1. Lillian

    It’s great to be reminded that weight loss (and maintenance!) are a journey. I know there are many people who just made a decision to lose weight one day and have plowed through and never look back, but I know well that it’s going to be a struggle that I face daily and that the best thing I can do for myself is continue to change habits and make decisions based on what’s best for me one day at a time. And slowly(ever so slowly!), the pendulum is swinging more toward the majority of days being days that I don’t give in to the temptations. That’s a huge step. Thank you for the reminder of this – it’s so nice to know that others out there feel the same struggles, even beyond the initial losing weight:)
    .-= Lillian´s last blog ..Got Myself Some New Kicks =-.

  2. Pingback: Weight Loss » Blog Archive » Challenges in weight loss and maintenance | Finding Radiance

  3. Roxie

    Great post, Lori. This truly is a journey and a daily, I don’t want to say struggle, but there is no “set it and forget it” at least for me. My desire to overeat hasn’t left me, I’ve just learned some new tools to make it a bit easier. And sometimes I end up face first, too. And I have that same bratty inner-teen. And like you, I found good wisdom in Beck’s book.
    .-= Roxie´s last blog ..On the Mat =-.

  4. Arianne

    Wonderful post! I’ve got a question–how do you know when you (personally) reach maintenance? I think I’ll be at my maintenance weight by the end of the year, but how do you switch your mindset from losing to leveling out? How do you know when to stop and not let yourself continue to lose and get too thin?
    .-= Arianne´s last blog ..Allow me to Reintroduce Myself… =-.

    1. Lori Post author

      It’s really a personal choice. I would like to be lower, but my body is actually maintaining on its own. Could be telling me where it wants to be? I think you have to decide if you want to do what it takes to maintain the weight that you are at. If you have to eat too little and exercise a lot and aren’t enjoying life, then you may want to increase your weight.

  5. debby

    Wow, Lori, you posted this after I wrote my post this morning about all the encouragement I receive from my blog friends. I think this statement is key ‘ As imperfect beings, there will always be challenges, but what will make you successful is how you cope with those when they arise and learning how to speak to yourself with kindness.’ I am finally starting to learn how to speak to myself with kindness, and to understand that it is really important for long term success. Thanks, twin!
    .-= debby´s last blog ..Life Today =-.

  6. Karyn

    My weight loss of 35lbs has taken me a year and a half. Yes, I would have liked to lose it fast but, the benefits of it taking so long is that I am learning a super lot about healthy eating, how my body reacts to certain foods and all about exercise and what works for me. Plus, there is the fact that research has proven that those that take longer to lose the weight more healthfully, keep the excess weight off longer.

    I think you have done a great job Lori and come a long way in learning about yourself. Way to go!
    .-= Karyn´s last blog ..H1N1 vaccine? =-.

  7. Susan

    Agree with everything you’ve said!!! I like your reference to “old you.” There are days where I approach food in a manner “old me” would have, and it’s actually quite frightening to have those feelings toward food again. But I at least now can recognize what I’m doing and move forward from there.

    I’ve also come to realize that there isn’t one person out there who doesn’t struggle with food and body image. There are actually few thin women who feel like they can eat whatever they want without gaining weight, and even those with the “fast metabolism” and “good genetics” often look in the mirror and don’t like what they see. Coming to that realization has (selfishly) helped me a lot too.

    /ramblings 😛
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Onward and Forward =-.

  8. Running for a Cause

    Lori, great information as always. I think people sometimes assume that its easy for you but its not I can tell. But you are doing an awesome job! Especially finding foods that you like to eat that are healthy, great idea!

  9. PTG1002

    Life, in and of itself, is a journey…and weight loss (and maintenence) is no difference, I’m sure.

    And just so you know – the “old me” sounds an awful lot like the “old you!” They must be playground buddies. ;o)
    .-= PTG1002´s last blog ..HOLIDAY HEALTH NUTS CHALLENGE =-.

  10. Kat

    This is a great post. I really need to open up the beck book more often. Thank you for honestly sharing, it is really helpful stuff.

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