Saturday, August 7, 2010

keeping it off ...

As you probably know, I wasn't always thin. I once weighed in at 220 lbs and wore a size 16. I got the way I am today entirely by hard work. I work out and eat well (usually). I wish that there was some secret to it. But really, it's just science. Calories in vs. calories out.

And since it all comes down to calorie intake, I live by one simple rule: MODERATION. I eat what I want, when I want. But I keep my portion sizes in check.

With that said, I still have my moments. Times when I let myself go overboard. Times when I fall back into my old eating habits. And when I do, I feel nothing but guilt. I hate that I didn't treat my body as the amazing specimen that it is. I hate that I lost control. I hate that I knew I had had enough but still went back for more. I guess what it really comes down to is that losing weight is the easy part, KEEPING IT OFF is the challenge.

It is something that I think about a lot. I am not fearful that a day of poor eating, or even a month for that matter, is going to make me balloon up again. The fear comes from the thought that over time the little things will add up without me noticing. I mean, that's how I ended up weighing 220 pounds in the first place, I didn't see (or chose not to see) my weight creeping up.

Obviously, I shouldn't be as concerned as I am. I balance my calories in vs. calories out quite well. The proof is on the scale. I have run just shy of 1000 miles this year and haven't lost or gained a single pound. Which means, I am fueling properly. But my eating and exercise balance hasn't become second nature. It takes quite a bit of effort to perfect. And I'm starting to wonder if that will ever change ...

27 comments:

Marlene said...

I hear ya! I find myself wondering all the time if it will ever be easier. I still feel like it's a challenge every day.

Kenley said...

Very good Post! I still have about 20 more pounds to go for my happy weight or whatever you call it. The first 50 was easy to lose with Hard Work I mean. Every now and again, though, I will treat myself and go out to Red Lobster, or whatever and indulge. I just don't make that a life style as was before. Now when I eat more than what I usually do, it just comes out a few hours later, not as before. I love running, and I love that I am getting faster and healthier, but I also kick back sometimes, while I watch it MOST of the time and that keeps me in check. Thanks for sharing and have a good one.

Jodi H said...

Great post!!

Hunnybee said...

Wow, congrats on all the hard work! You're doing an amazing job.

Silly Girl Running said...

Love the post! The eating habits will come naturally to you in time, don't worry! :) You look great, that's what counts! :)

~ Jill said...

Interesting post. I never would have known you weren't so fit at one point in your life. You are an inspiration. I understand the concern as I am now weighing more than I ever have before (though I am pregnant). I just hope I will be able to get it all off a few months post babies!

S Club Mama said...

I completely understand. I was 193 and size 16 or 18. And then this past week, I took a rest from running so my knees could recoup. And we were on vacation so I ate like crap (I know fruit/granola bars, fruit cups and rice cakes aren't AWFUL but there was very few fruits & veggies). Now I'm going to have to get back into it.

Angie Bishop said...

maintenance is a bitch since there are no real goals to shoot for.
I find that my weight changes in about 2 weeks time.
If I eat a bunch of calories for a week or so I see it actually look like I gained weight or see it on the scale about 2 weeks later.
It makes it hard since there is no automatic feedback that I went overboard.

Mama Hen's Nest said...

I am still finding the way back too!! I think like brushing our teeth, it has to get easier, something that is second nature, rather then something we always have to think about. You just have to keep positive on how good you've done and where you've come from. Thanks for the inspiration...like I said I am still coming back, had my baby a year ago, but looks like I had him yesterday. But training for a half is definitely motivation! Keep it up you look great!!

Cynthia O'H said...

Calories in and calories out is such a science - both ways. I have the opposite problem. I find it hard to get the calories in so that I don't lose weight when my mileage climbs. I know, no one ever feels sorry for me.

track coach and adorable wife said...

Eating is definitely the hardest part for me too! I LOVE food. I use to always be thinking about my next meal, but now I don't eat enough meals, and it shows when I try to run. So, like you, I have lost most of the weight i want to, but now need to learn how to healthly maintain while still letting myself indulge some (because I can't survive without some ice cream now and then!) Great post, and good luck to you!

mommaof3ontherun said...

I'm still in the losing phase. It's not so easy for me to lose either. I have accepted that slow and steady so my changes are life changes. So cliche, but true. I have accepted that I will always have to journal to some extent and always work hard.

Great job! And thanks for sharing. I love the honesty!

ann said...

You rock! Keep it up!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You may know that I had some problems with body image/eating/control. That is all a nice way to avoid saying the real issues.
I do think about the "what if." What if I can't tell myself that what I see in the mirror is not really how I look. What if that montly flux of water weight suddenly becomes actual weight gain in my mind and I can't tell myself that it is only water. What if running a hour a day is not enough. What if...
Anyone who has every struggled with weight issues of any kind, struggles with that self doubt. I think that your issues are past you. Why do I think that? Because you openly recongize your triggers and have a wonderful "moderation" plan in place already. I am so happy that you voice your honest concerns here. There are many who think they have to hide those thoughts of self doubt and feel alone. Sharing our "weak" moments helps us all be stronger.

MCM Mama said...

You are obviously doing a great job balancing exercise and eating. It's so hard to figure that out when you are running major miles. Kudos to you! I know you'll catch any minor gains before they become major ones now.

Jamie said...

keeping it off is so the challenge! i too wonder if it ever gets easier. keep up the great work balancing. I find it so difficult when I'm ready to eat everything in sight after a long run.

Navy Wife on a Diet said...

what has made the difference for me is to think of my body as a real entity with thoughts and feelings. I know that sounds weird, silly or downright mystical, but its not.

I think we live in our heads too often. While this isn't entirely faulty, it creates a head-body disconnect. So when we want a doughnut, its easy to eat a doughnut because >>WE<< (meaning, our brain) wants a doughnut.

But what about our bodies? Our bodies do NOT want doughnuts. Our bodies go through a mini freak-out whenever we pump sugar and large quantities of fat in them! The extra work on our liver, kidneys and heart is tremendous.

So when I started thinking about my body, I started to break that head-body disconnect. I can hear it saying "give me an apple! Please!!!" and I'm less likely to feed it junk.
I'm still not perfect, and "head" still wins over "body" a lot, but its A LOT better than it was before. I used to be able to eat half a pizza, chase it with brownies, and wash it all down with Coke. Now a part of me dies inside just thinking about it!

(sorry so long)

Anabela (Bela) Neves said...

You can definately see your hard work has paid off and I completely understand. I am on vacation for a month and I am just over a week in right now and I have totally ruined my crystal clean diet......I hate that but I know when I get back home I will have to work extra hard to get back!

Her Name is Rio said...

Sounds like you're doing a great job at it! I will soon start focusing on some weight loss- for me, it takes a conscious effort because I have to control myself in a world with temptation.

Jen said...

Great post... and I KNOW it will be a lifetime issue... but i to believe in moderation and I DO NOT believe in deprivation!!!!

I cannot even imagine you 220.

Ness said...

Great post! You came from a long way... moderation is the best thing you can have to maintain a happy life without deprivation. Deprivation will cause to indulging even more afterward....

Becka said...

Pretty much how I am... calorie in vs. out balance, I also eat most of the time in moderation, but also have been known to overeat and then not only do I feel guilty, but a little sick for a few days. Losing that much weight and keeping it off is a huge accomplishment, great job!

funderson said...

ummmmm...nope...
I wish it were otherwise. Be ever vigilant! I'm right there w/ you

Liz Jones said...

You're an inspiration! I still have about 15 more pounds to lose and seeing that others have done it with running (which I love) and portion control (which I'm not so hot at) reminds me that I can do this! Thanks.

suzy@countdownto26.2 said...

I could repost this on my blog and it would be my story! We could have been size 16 buddies, but I like this much better! Good for you girl, it's not easy - and you're so right - keeping it off is the hard part. Keep truckin'!

Wifey said...

Great post as usual! Eating is such a struggle for me. I'm about 15-20 pounds from where I want to be and I know much of it is food (and drink) related. Thanks for the inspiration!

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Melissa said...

I am catching up and reading the posts I missed. I totally did not know this. I feel exactly the same way. I eat badly for one day and then can't peel my eyes away from the scale.