I am lucky. I like to exercise. I like to eat healthy foods. And as a result, it is relatively easy for me to lose weight. Where I get in trouble is with maintenance. I have been here before. The above photo is from July 2012 – weight from my pregnancy with J was long gone, I was going to Bikram five times a week, and I was looking GOOD lying by the pool in Hawaii with my bestie and a bunch of books. Reading for pleasure for the first time in years – years!
I was back to my non-pregnant self and celebrating with a little vacation (and a few drinks by the pool). However, fast forward six months and my husband and I decided to add a fourth member to our family. It’s tough to work so hard to get the pregnancy weight off only to see it come back on again. Of course, you’re gaining weight because you’re pregnant. But it’s still tough to deal with – or at least it was for me. Add in a couple of miscarriages before I was finally able to carry our Little Man to term and the whole losing and gaining weight and eating for two and eating for one again (but a sad “one” who just had to say goodbye to a maybe baby) was that much harder to deal with. And then there are the comments you get – oh, you lost the weight, what happened? Well, I was pregnant for two months but never said anything and have now lost the baby and the way my body works is I gain weight at the beginning of my pregnancy not the end but thanks for bringing this all up in the middle of my work day. Off I go to the bathroom to cry. Being pregnant for the good part of two years was not easy.
Another two years removed from that photo, on the other side of successfully having G, I am now back down to my pre-pregnancy self once again. Down to my post-college self, actually. But now comes the truly hard part. Maintenance. I have returned to My Fitness Pal as I realized I was becoming a little too relaxed with my diet and exercise routine. I can eat another doughnut, I don’t have to go to yoga today. No – NO! Yes you can eat one doughnut and YES you have to go to yoga today. Or spin class. Or put on those sneakers and go for a run – scary. Luckily, MFP has a “maintenance” option so I am trying to learn what it is like to eat enough calories to stay at this weight – no more, no less. I am working on understanding what it is to exercise to maintain my weight – not go down. To keep a healthy body and mindset – not just cultivate one for the short term. To make this all a permanent part of my lifestyle – not just a diet. To find a feeling of success in keeping the weight off, not just losing it.
We are done having kids so this is it – I will never have some big number to slough off again. Or, hopefully not.
I love to get on the scale and see the numbers go down. Who doesn’t!? It isn’t as exciting to get on the scale and think – hurray, the number is the same. But I have to remember – it’s better than that sinking feeling when you get on the scale and the number goes up. And more important than that number is how I feel – it’s so much nicer to feel clean and healthy than it is to feel gross and full of garbage. Salad lunch, here I come!