Thanks so much for all the nice comments on my maintenance post! I laughed a bit at the comments on my small waist. Some of that is how I am standing and when you have wider hips, your waist looks smaller 😀 However, strength training can define that much more for you.
Colleen had asked in the comments if I would elaborate on some of the changes that I have made permanently. You hear a lot about not dieting and making lifestyle changes, but I don’t know as I ever really understood what that meant until the last few years. When I was younger, I always thought a diet was something you went on and off of. Dieting was a special way of eating and only temporary. And you know what? That also means the weight loss was temporary.
These are the things that are different for me now.
Exercise and activity. I never was really lazy, even at my heaviest, but I did not go out of my way to do a lot of exercise. I always had the WATP videos and the like, but it wasn’t until I really tried sports-type exercises that I found things I looked forward to doing instead of just doing because I was supposed to. (cue rebellion). Biking and lifting fit that bill very nicely. While I used to run pre back injury, I never really loved it like I do the others. I bike totally for fun and the health benefits are secondary.
I also try to make a point to be active at times where I will eat more food. Like on Thanksgiving or Christmas. We like to take a walk that day now and not just lay around after eating. Never used to do that.
Measuring food. I know some people hate to do this, but it is such a habit with me that it doesn’t bother me. The scale sits on the kitchen counter (we both use it). I weigh out pretty much everything except fruits and veggies. I don’t sweat too much, though, if I get 17 grams of peanut butter instead of 16. It’s never an exact science. I have portion distortion and if I try eyeballing things all the time, I will start to lean onto the more generous side of portions. I also record my food pretty much every day on My Fitness Pal. Again, I don’t mind recording. I try to record any binges, overeating, extra snacks, etc., as well to the best of my ability. It keeps me pretty aware of what’s going on.
I choose small sizes of things when eating out. John and I split entrees or sometimes I will order an appetizer and salad as my dinner. I don’t really like to take restaurant leftovers home because I don’t want 2 meals. I just want one at the time, you know? Especially if it is a rich meal. When we go for regular ice cream versus yogurt, I almost always get the kiddie size. If I get the bigger sizes, I will likely eat all of it. That’s just the way I am, so better to limit it from the get-go.
Less processed food. Pretty self-explanatory.
Changing my beverages. This was one of the first changes I made eons ago. I used to drink sweet everything. Sugar in my coffee, regular soda, syrups in my lattes. You know that talk about liquid calories? Well, I had my share. I read the Sugar Addict’s Recovery book and decided to start eliminating a lot of sugar from my diet. I have always despised artificial sweeteners, so that pretty much meant cold turkey. To this day, I don’t put any sugar in my coffee or tea. I have unsweetened lattes (other than a honey or caramel drizzle on the top). I drink seltzer water at home and water in restaurants. Sometimes unsweetened ice tea or seltzer in a restaurant. I also don’t drink much any more. I love me a good mixed drink or beer (always hated wine), but it’s pretty rare for me nowadays.
I do not expect perfection. This is probably the biggest thing. I definitely used to be an all-or-nothing gal. Eat a donut for breakfast? Well, better go out for dinner and have dessert, too! Now I understand that it is all about progress in making changes. Yes, you backslide sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep going back. You just move on.
I know there are other things I do different now that I can’t think of off the top of my head. It’s really all very non-exciting isn’t it? No magic pills or secrets. Just small changes that stuck over time and each change brought a result.