Thursday, October 29, 2009

10/20/09 This Week's SERVING up a SMILE:

This week in Serving up a Smile, read this writer's take on having companions in the journey toward improved health and/ or weight loss. Click here to view: Along for the Ride

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on Weight Loss and Maintenance

Today I am reposting a journal entry from NutriMirror, the website that I use to log my food.

Part of celebrating my food obsession has been coming to terms with many years of obesity, followed by weight loss and finally finding balance and enjoyment in foods that are good for me.

This was an emotional posting for me but something that I felt is relevent to this food blog as it is at the very core of what drives me to eat well and still find enjoyment in both health foods and lack of guilt over discretionary treats.

My post on maintenance follows:

"I made an important decision yesterday that (thanks to Kel) I have decided to share with my NM family. After weeks of staying at the same stubborn weight that is a mere five lbs above my ultimate goal, I am declaring that I am officially on maintenance. I changed my settings and have decided that--at least for now--I am no longer trying to lose any additional weight. I am happy with this decision.

I know there remains some fat that needs to go but I also know that after carrying around so much extra weight for so many years that there is skin (how much, I do not know) but I also can tell my body is holding onto this weight.

This might sound like the ramblings of a insane person--especially if you are still losing and feel you have a ways to go. This is why I decided to share. Once the weight comes off, the emotional baggage doesn't magically disappear. The skinny-fat-girl syndrome runs deep and I know that I don’t see the same person in the mirror that other people see. I went coat shopping yesterday. Now that 80 lbs is gone, it turns out I have a really petit frame. Many of the size small were too large in the shoulders. I was trying on size XS and S and, when numerical, size 4. I once wore a 44 EE bra and size 22 pants! As I processed this in my mind, I thought to myself, “this is INSANE that I am frustrated over five lbs of (mostly) belly fat—I wear a FREAKIN’ extra small!” I weigh what I weighed when I graduated high school. And since I am sure I have at least two pounds of extra skin on me, I am certain that I am probably smaller that when I graduated high school. And as my husband just added--I now have far more muscle.

Seeing Kristal's pics of her rockin’ back gave me something to aspire to (yes, I made Joe photograph mine to compare!). I know that I still have to strength train and eat well if I want my body to continue to transform. I am now able to run at least 6 miles (at least I have done it once!) so I know that my body is improving and doing things I never thought it would. Plus, I have finally learned to spell the word ‘maintenance’ so the grammatical concerns I had are no longer an issue!

This is what Kel said to me about my maintenance musings:

“Your maintenance decision does not mean you will stop strength training. As you continue to strength train, you will be swapping fat for muscle. The gain of muscle will boost your metabolism more; I think you will continue to lose even once you decide to maintain. You can always restart later if you don't get to where you ultimately want to be. This is your time to celebrate this! Look at your amazing progress and how beautiful you are! Kick that phantom fat to the curb and celebrate!”

PHANTOM FAT. It is oh so real. I cannot tell you how many times I find myself wandering to the “plus” size section of the store only to realize I am obviously lost. And just because I am on maintenance, does not mean that I am going to go back to old habits and eat poorly. I will continue to love the foods that love me back and “eat clean.” I will continue to strength train and run. I will tell the evil fat girl in my ear to shut the hell up and let me enjoy the fruits of my labors and feel great about my body the way that it is. And next time I won’t try to hide my struggles with my NM family because I was too embarrassed to share. I guess I just felt that I had no right to bitch and moan when so many are out there still trying to get the weight off. Thank you Kel for helping me come to terms with this and to not only accept but find joy in my accomplishments.

Today I celebrate m-a-i-n-t-e-n-a-n-c-e. I celebrate that I can finally spell it correctly and that my NM food logs no longer advise me on how many calories I must stay within for weight loss. I celebrate my success and I celebrate the love and support of my NM family. Thank you for all of your continued support and encouragement."