Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ah, I get it.... Maintenance chapter two

 Ahhhhhh, yes.  I see now.

I have had a really hard time the last couple days.  I have been hungry, I have been expecting to feel different, I was thinking I could relax.  I was wrong to expect that any of these things would change.

I get it now- I will be eating a little more, but it will continue to be a struggle every day.  Every day is a battle with myself.  A battle to stay in control, a battle to make the right, healthy choices.

OF COURSE, I have had a jillion people TELLING me this, but until I went through some things yesterday, I had no real comprehension.  I have to keep doing what I have been doing.  I have to continue to exercise like a fiend, I have to keep my tendency to eat mindlessly under control, I have to drink a lot of water. Of course this sounds totally obvious now, but for the last couple days it was not clear.

 I was caught by surprise by a plate of coconut candy- 

My focus had been temporarily distracted by this attainment of my goal weight. I felt like I should somehow magically be different, that I should feel or look or think different.  I must be a differentdebi since I no longer needed to lose weight, right?  But how different could I be from Friday to Saturday?  How different could I be when one day I weighed 145.2 and the next I was 144.6?  How is that even possible?  Confuseddebi imagined that suddenly she could just go on with life and magically have the instincts to eat like a "NORMAL" person!  So she didn't really think that she should be having some wild swings from being starving to full to hungry in the course of an hour.

I have made an interesting analogy in my mind.  This attainment of goal, while exciting and cool, is a little bit like Christmas..... it was a big letdown after the excitement died down.  Not that I am wanting the hurrahs from people or feel the incredible joy or break into happy tears every day, but it definitely was a "now what" feeling.  Similar to Christmas, where you often have these little scenarios of what things will be like in your mind, those little Hallmark images of how you imagine the day should go and how you should feel and how perfect every thing will seem, my goal weight attainment should have some lasting glow.  But like Christmas, where the horse needs to be fed, the dishes need to be washed and at some point you just get tired of the whole thing and you want to take a nap or tell the entire family that they should really go outside or something,  reality has reared its head. And you have the urge to find the bag of chocolate that you think could be left in the cupboard, or the box of Triscuits that are up on the top shelf.  Aren't those feelings supposed to be gone and I should CERTAINLY have a more "normal" relationship with food by now......??!!!!  I should be able to avoid all of this angst!

So after a few days of uncertainty in what to eat or how I "should" feel (I surely am using a lot of "Quotation marks" today!!) I had a forbidden moment with a plate of coconut candy in the teachers lounge.  I was innocently checking my mail in the morning  Wednesday (there is no innocent at this time of the year, though, there is always a chance that there is a plate of something in that lounge) and there it was--- with a little glow from above shining down on the little glass plate and some angels singing in the background.  The most perfect candy in the world: like a little homemade Mounds bar- adorable little white discs of coconut deliciousness with a sweet little dark chocolate "kiss" in the middle of it.  So pretty and so perfect.

 And before I knew it I had eaten 2.

This was a moment in time that transcended the entire joy and torture cycle that I had been experiencing.  I realized at that moment that there was a problem with my thought process, that the feeling of confusion I was having was being straightened out, being resolved and I wasn't real thrilled with the conclusion that I was being faced with.  I was no different that I had been last Friday.  I sort of tortured myself, and possibly a friend or two, with this little unfortunate coconut escapade for quite a while.  But my mind was processing the event and after a wise comment or two from afore mentioned people, I had an aha moment while driving to ballet class.  I have to keep doing what I have been doing.

Somehow this seems unfair, but it is logical.  If you spend your entire life trying to be thinner, and you finally get to somewhat thinner, what ever makes you think that you will suddenly have to stop trying?  Why would you have a different metabolism, or no longer have all that history with food marring your eating habits or all those latent fat cells hanging around waiting to be refed?  You don't.  So, carry on, woman, you have more work to do.  EVERY DAY.  It will be a BATTLE every  day.

So now I know, that I have to be on guard against plates of candy, and cookies and bags of chips.  I have to watch out for unguarded moments and well meaning friends.  I always have to be vigilant about logging my food (I figured out that probably those 2 coconut candies were probably between 150 and 200 calories for both) and mostly plan to be prepared for those moments of the unexpected.  I can't really relax, one pound can become 5 or 10 and that just cannot happen.  But the one unexpected thing I do need to do is not be so hard on myself if I consciously decide that a treat is ok to have.  And I am amazingly hard on myself.....

I need a new goal.  I am not sure what that is going to be.  If it is a fitness goal, or an exercise goal or a body fat goal......  I just don't know yet.  But I will have one soon, because I do well when I am aiming for something specific.  For now, for today, I am going to get out my food for the day and plan to succeed.  I will attempt to ignore my hunger pangs, will spread out my good, healthy food through the morning like I have been, to stay really active and drink a ton of water.  I will be finding joy where I can and give my students the love, understanding and information that they expect from me.  I'll continue doing what I do best and keep attempting to do what I want to succeed at the most. Then I will go to the gym and take all my frustrations for the day and throw them on the floor underneath one of the stacks of weights, along with those of 10 or 15 other great people who are doing the same thing.

I know that there really is no differentdebi, that the confuseddebi was just a few moments in time and that the same old me is here: just like last week and just like next week. And I think that is ok.

By the end of the day, I will find a little zen time, connect with a few of my friends, finish logging my food and exercise, feel some success in my day and relive the joy that I found. And that is no different than last Friday.

Until next time, find your joy, be a joy giver and do the best you can...... that is all we can ever hope for.


  1. LOVE this!! It is sooo true. Everytime (and there have been many!!) that I reach goal, I maintain for awhile. THEN....I somehow become less aware of myself and what I am doing and the weight is back-along with the guilt and recriminations. :( So happy to be able to share this journey with you. You are able to put your thoughts/feelings out there so eloquently. Hugs to you

    1. Oh Pamela, thank you so much. How lucky are we to have randomly partnered up?? I am FULL of joy over this! :)
      I think the key to keeping it off for me and probably for you (this time, which is your last time!! I have faith in you!) is to keep logging it on loseit. That is an easy way to stay accountable!
      Hugs right back.

  2. You are dead on, Debio! I remember going through the exact same thoughts... you reach goal and Lose It increases your calories by several hundred. Okay so on Friday I can only eat 1300 and on Saturday I can now eat 1800?! Why would I not just gain the weight right back? Really?

    I really think maintenance is harder. Because it's forever. And your only object is to STAY THE SAME... not lose. Very tricky. Plus the whole emotional aspect of feeling fat and hating your body, then suddenly you are where you always wanted to be... but how do you change your attitude about yourself?

    So complicated.

    And, by the way, you CAN have a couple coconut candies now. It's okay. The hard part is not having TOO many and ending up right back where you started. Eating more, but not too much more. Reining in the urges and temptations. Detecting whether you are really hungry or... bored, anxious, feeling deprived, lonely... or just falling back on bad habits.

    I really appreciate you sharing your journey. We're all in the same boat. Remember that. You are not alone.

    1. Kathrynne, thank you so much! You totally get it! It is SOO complex. Who knew??

      I know I CAN have the candy, the thing was the MINDLESS way I found myself eating it. It blew my mind and scared me half to death. I know I am not alone in the journey, thanks to all of you! :)

  3. So true! I LOVE how you have this heavenly light shining down on this incredibly delectably presented plate of TOTAL SIN! LMAO!!! Two shows an incredible amount of inner fortitude. Don't beat yourself up too much!

    1. Like I said to Kathrynne above, it is more the way it happened than the actual amount! But thank you!! :)