AIM: You Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine!

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This month’s topic, despite the cutesy title, is really a look at what makes maintenance a unique situation for each of us – and any maintainer!  We all have that one thing that makes us different in our challenges to lose and maintain weight.  My biggest challenge?  Working from home.

For anyone new to the blog, I work as a medical transcriptionist.  That means a lot of sitting and a lot of typing.  Because I use a foot pedal for the audio files, I can’t use a treadmill desk (oh how I wish I could!).  I have tried standing while working, but because my right foot has to be flexed on the pedal, I end up shifting my weight to one side, which is hard on my back.  So, I have to face the fact that this job is sedentary.  Now, you all know that I do exercise.  I ride my bike most days of the week and do some strength training, but it really is hard to erase all that sitting, but I think I do a pretty good job at being active outside of my work time.

My biggest issue actually lies not as much with the sedentary part of my day, but the fact that I have food available to me all the time!  And it’s not just any kind of food like might be in an office environment, but it’s food that I eat regularly and enjoy (or it wouldn’t be in the house).  My working chair is maybe 400 feet from the kitchen pantry, which is also right by the laundry/bathroom.  It’s very easy to take a bathroom break and then swing by the pantry for some nuts or crackers or a piece of chocolate.  It’s just always there.

Now, I also don’t live in a vacuum.  Someone else lives in this house and there are some foods that I probably just wouldn’t have here if I lived alone.  Things like granola, chocolate chips, pretzels, sometimes potato chips.  And the occasional bag of M&Ms.  These are foods John enjoys and doesn’t binge on.  We do keep foods that are problematic for me up high so I can’t just walk to the pantry and get them, but I do sometimes pull over a chair and help myself, particularly when I am stressed.  And most of you know work has been pretty stressful for me lately on several fronts between computer issues and the constant barrage of how behind we are.  I stress eat.

I have had people say to me that I should just ask John not to have this stuff in the house.  My thought is that it isn’t very fair to him.  If he enjoys eating cereal, why should I say it can’t come into the house?  It’s not like packages of Oreos or a bag of peanut butter cups.  I do ask him to really hide those occasional M&Ms so I don’t go looking for them.  But here is the problem with that – John said to me that when he had to hide food, it made him feel sort of guilty for eating it.  Not good.  I don’t want to foster any kind of food issues within someone else.

Of course, if I want to binge on something – I can do it with any kind of food.  It could be fruit, dates, nuts, cheese.  I will even just eat nut butter from a spoon – which happened when I was so frustrated last week.   That is what people would classify as ‘normal’ food or ‘healthy’ food, and yet one can still overeat it.  In my world, calories count  – not just the type of food I am eating.

I do know that I am lucky in that I don’t have to worry about office potlucks or the break room loaded with food or an endless string of office birthdays/retirements, etc.  It is sometimes surprising even to me the difficulties I can have at times.  It’s not all the time (or I would be back at 250 pounds), but it happens often enough and is probably a reason I never got down to my weight goal.

I have worked outside the home and from home and for me, it is much more challenging from a food point of view working from home.  It’s something I will always have to work on -as long as I am doing this job, at any rate.

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Make sure you read more  at my fellow AIMers’ blogs for their thoughts on this topic!

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Debby @ Debby Weighs in

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you would like us to address!

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17 thoughts on “AIM: You Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine!

  1. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    You hit the nail on the head for a lot of people – even if you are eating healthy food… if you eat too much you’re going to gain weight. That’s what I learned over time. I made all these healthy swaps but the weight slowly went up, up, up and the extra servings of nuts and spoonfuls of peanut butter add up very quickly!
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..All Alone

  2. Joanne

    Happy belated B-day to John. It looks like he got to celebrate in style. 🙂

    You’re doing great with your maintenance. From what I see, you eat healthy. You are able to satisfy your food cravings without getting out of control. You’re doing a super job. Good luck to all the AIM-ers.
    Joanne´s last blog post ..Brewster Inn: Bike, Eat, and Run

  3. debby

    You are so fair minded about John and food.

    Its interesting to me that you have more problems with the food at home, since that’s never been as much of a problem for me. But stress is stress, whether its in an office or at home. LOL on the bathroom break/swing by the kitchen.

    Does your ankle ever get stiff from having to be flexed on the foot pedal?
    debby´s last blog post ..AIM: Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine

    1. Lori Post author

      No, my ankle isn’t bothered as it is flexed up just a bit and my heel rests on the floor. Not as much as driving.

  4. Grace @ Grace Dishes

    Great insightful post! I think maintenance is something that people struggle with because it’s forever. Moderation is key for me and it’s what’s been working for me thus far.

    Good luck with your week.
    Grace @ Grace Dishes´s last blog post ..Kitchen activities

  5. Lynn

    My computer is literally 10 feet from my refrigerator 🙁 The bathroom is upstairs, so at least I get 13 steps of movement, but it’s so easy to detour to the kitchen on my way back to my computer desk. I thought of you today when I was at the store. I bypassed the chip aisle (I wanted baked kettle chips SO BADLY!) because I knew if they were in the kitchen, I would eat too many of them. Even though I don’t have a John in my life, I am my own worst grocery shopping nightmare when I’m stressed. I bring things in my house that I wouldn’t feed my grandchildren! I can see you standing, perhaps at your sink, with a spoonful of nut butter and feeling the stress and taking a bite. What are you thinking in that moment? When I’m in that situation, all kinds of justifications go through my head along with an awful berating.
    Lynn´s last blog post ..AIM: Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine

    1. Lori Post author

      My thoughts usually are just wanting to eat and being annoyed at whatever is stressing me. I don’t berate myself about food anymore – it took a long time to not do that, but I just kind of accept the fact that I stress eat. I don’t like it, but I also know that it happens. I usually take my food back to my work chair and eat it (even the nut butter on a spoon LOL). You can tell when I am stress eating when there are a lot of little bowls and spoons on my side table 😀

  6. Bonnie

    Lori, is there a possibility to use your foot pedal with your knee, like some of those older sewing machines that used to be around?

    1. Lori Post author

      Like a thighmaster? LOL! It has 3 buttons on it (play, fast forward and rewind), so I don’t think it would work great, but fun to try anyway.

  7. Fran

    R. likes certain foods too that I shouldn’t be eating too. And like you, I do buy them and keep them in the house. My overweight is my problem and not his and he shouldn’t have to change because I can’t resist. That said, I’m lucky that R. doesn’t eat “bad” foods a lot. He has a cookie with his night time coffee, something I can resist easily on most days. He eats chips on Saturday night and I eat some of it too. That’s about it what he snacks and it’s not much.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Friday August 2, 2013: Hottest day of the year

  8. Karla

    Okay now I feel normal!!! I was thinking I was a bad maintainer…
    But the fact that you feel the same about having those naughty foods in your house is okay because it is not always about me (you, us the weight loss maintainer) this is real life, it’s tough sometimes and I fall on my butt BIG time on occasion

    Thank you for this post 🙂

  9. Marianne

    Have you thought about preparing all your meals and snacks in the morning and putting them in the refrigerator. That way you have everything prepared and ready to grab. I even put my snacks in little baggies for the whole week. A great way to relieve stress is taking a small walk around the neighborhood during the day. I am a Medical Coder who works from home and being stationery is terrible so when it gets too stressful the small walks really help.

  10. Biz

    It never actually dawned on me that if you asked John to hide his favorite foods to get out of reach, that even though he can control the portion sizes, it would make it feel like “cheating” by eating it because you can’t control it sometimes.

    I loved reading this post!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Recap

  11. Leah

    Having done medical transcription before I know it’s hard to work from home and stay healthy. I used to eat to stay awake late at night. :/

    As I read your post I realized you can really sympathize with us stay-at-home moms as well. You do a great job and every month you maintain you encourage those of us that change can happen and become permanent.

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