Maintenance

photo-378I’ve written a few times over the last 6 months about my postpartum weight loss progress. I hit my goal weight (125 lbs; I’m 5’5”) at the end of May/beginning of June.

I’m really glad I got to that weight. We took family + newborn photos in late January, and I was 140 lbs then. I can see in these shots that I look quite a bit heavier. I was at 135-ish in late March/early April, and the scale was not budging. I was wondering if I would ever get back into the 120s. Then I changed up my eating habits, mostly by eating more vegetables and fewer non-vegetable carbohydrates (bread/rice/pasta/cereal/sugar). I subsequently lost 10 lbs in about 6 weeks. That was kind of fun.

It was also, as you might imagine, addicting. Why not lose more weight? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy having people tell me I looked good. I got down to 121.5 lbs by mid-June. However, I also realized that maintaining a low-120s weight was going to be a lot more work than a mid-120s weight. I didn’t like devoting precious mental space and willpower to it.

So I’m now generally between 124 and 126. This requires being somewhat careful about what I eat, but not over-the-top careful. I’m a moderator. I will eat really awesome carbs, like a fresh bagel from a NY deli (but not the grocery store bagels) or ice cream from my favorite ice cream parlor at the Jersey shore. I made banana bread with my daughter (see photo) and I ate a piece of that. I drink beer and wine. If I’m going out for a really nice dinner, I’ll eat whatever that is. I have the occasional piece of pizzeria pizza (not Dominos). I eat a lot of eggs, salads, and lean proteins with veggies. I generally stick to certain foods at home, and then do what works elsewhere. I’ll pack cheese sticks and almonds as a snack, or celery w/PB, or carrot sticks. You can often get wraps at sandwich spots (and then not eat the whole wrap), and some convenience places sell Greek salads or chicken or steak salads. Breakfast on-the-go is hard. I welcome suggestions!

I carb up before and after long runs.

I know maintenance is possibly the trickiest part of losing weight. You don’t have to do all the things you did to lose the weight, but you can’t stop doing them all either. That’s an invitation to ending up right back where you started. So it’s constantly a question of what’s in and what’s out. I think my moderator approach, which is probably the “80-20” rule people talk about, will work. At least it has for two months now. Part of me wishes I could weigh what I want without paying any attention to it at all. I weigh myself daily, though I anticipate doing that less often as time goes on. If I’m up to 126.5 then I modify a bit. However, I also know that wishing I could eat whatever I want and weigh what I did at age 25 is silly once I’m north of 35, even if I am running 5-6 times per week. It’s kind of like wishing for more hours in the day. It isn’t going to happen. I also realize how many foods I don’t miss. Now that in my mind having a bowl of cereal is the equivalent of having a cup of ice cream, I am happy to make myself eggs for breakfast — so I can have ice cream from time to time too!

Have you maintained a weight loss? How did you do that?

In other news: At his 6-month appointment, my baby clocked in at the 85th percentile for weight, 98th percentile for height (I think that’s wrong, but it’s still pretty high) and 94th for head circumference. That may be helping with my weight maintenance too — between feeding him and carrying him!

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