Monday, August 5, 2013

AIM: Show Me Your Maintenance and I'll Show You Mine

This month's topic is pretty self-explanatory.  We are all different in how we approach maintenance; what works for me might not work for someone else, and vice versa.  That's perfectly fine and part of what makes us all individual, even as we come together in our efforts to lose weight and keep it off.

I take an overall approach to my food...I figure that everything will balance out in the grand scheme of things, so I don't stress over making sure I eat exactly what is recommended by the FDA guidelines each day.  I'm partly an intuitive eater, and partly (OK, mostly) a lazy eater.  Because I eat a lot of my meals alone, I can't be bothered with assembling or cooking anything very elaborate; every meal does not need to be a gourmet thing for me.  I eat what I like, sure; I don't force myself to eat something just because it's good for me, and I go with what I'm wanting for the day (hence, not a lot of veggies on this particular day).  The overall balance comes in the way of cravings - you might think it strange, but I will crave a big salad in the way I used to crave Taco Bell.  Sometimes I'll eat a veggie-laden salad for a few days in a row; then I'll switch to Greek yogurt/fruit/granola for both breakfast and dinner, with half a cheese sandwich for lunch.  I'm hungry, I eat, and I'm done. 

I don't make food a big deal anymore, and I try not to center my life around it.  Again, this is what works for ME.  I spent too many years being overweight, and to continue focusing on food as the be-all and end-all is detrimental to my ability in keeping the weight off.  Most of my socialization does not revolve around food...even the Saturday morning breakfasts after our long runs aren't completely food-centric, despite the silly pictures I post of bagels and cinnamon twists.  We eat because we're hungry (I'm usually up by 4:30 am on Saturdays, so by the time we're having breakfast anywhere from 8:30 to 9:00 am, after having run many miles, it's definitely time for food), but we linger long after the food is gone.   

Here's what I ate one day last week  - and it will quickly become apparent that I am not a food blogger, nor am I talented at styling food for pictures.  But this will give you a good idea of what a typical day is like for me and my maintenance:
 First of several cups of black coffee...
I was hungry for something salty for breakfast - I'd run 2.6 miles that morning, so I guess my sweating was a factor in that craving?  Homemade egg mcmuffin, yum.
Lunch - Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries (quite a few, as they were on their last day before getting too old to eat), granola.  One of my standbys that I can pretty much eat for any meal!
Snack 1 - cherries.  I love them, and eat them pretty often while they're in season!
Snack 2 - homemade nonfat iced latte and a chocolate mint Dove Promise.  
Dinner - I actually cooked!  Jeff was home, so that helped.  Herbed chicken tortellini, mixed with fresh tomatoes, homegrown basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Served with a slice of Parmesan cheese bread.
Dessert - watermelon.  This plate was shared with Paco - he loves it almost as much as I do!

Full disclosure:  I almost always have two Dove Promises after dinner, but I think I got busy (probably was knitting) and forgot that day.  And I don't count calories, but I pretty much know what how many are in my standard meals.  I still check nutrition facts on new foods, and especially treat foods, just to be aware of what I'm putting in my body.

The other part of my maintenance is exercise.  Yes, as you have seen by my Wednesday Workout Update posts, I do exercise regularly - anywhere from 4 to 6 days a week, depending on what I'm doing and who I'm hanging with.  It's become an integral part of my life (not something I would have predicted five years ago, that's for sure), and I like it.  Anyone remember when the Fonz tried to say "I was wrong" but couldn't?  That's kind of how I feel when I say that I like to exercise.  Or maybe it's more along the lines of when my future second husband was reading the teleprompter and said "I'm Ron Burgandy?"  It's the right thing for me to do; it feels good (when I'm done, bwahahahaha)(that joke never gets old), and it reminds me of how much I like having a body that is capable of lasting through a run or workout.

So, that's how I'm managing to maintain my weight loss.  If you're thinking that it doesn't sound all that complicated, you're correct.  It's pretty simple, and it works for me.

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you'd like us to address!

30 comments:

  1. I think that keeping it simple is the key to success to maintain the weight as you are maintaining for so long now.

    You're still and always will be my inspiration.

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  2. OHMYGOSH.
    laughed out loud at the FONZ reference.
    that is precisely me and cardio.

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  3. I have a question: do you think your weight loss and maintenance would be as easy if you still had your boys at home to feed? I feel like if I didn't have to feed 4 other people, this weight loss thing wouldn't be such a struggle! Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. :)

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    1. And wondering if I should just wait until all my kids move out before I focus on losing weight!!

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    2. Honestly, I do think it's easier for me now that I don't have kids living at home. I can keep a lot of the stuff that growing, always hungry teenagers liked to eat out of the house...back in the day, they would love to make a box of brownie mix and eat most of the pan, leaving just enough for me to have to fight myself over not eating.

      That said, no, don't wait until your kids move out - it might be harder, but putting something big like weight loss/health on hold for how many years? Not a good thing.

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    3. Thanks!! I'm not putting it off, but sometimes I feel like I'm running in mud!! :)

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    4. I've run in mud - it's not easy. But you'll be glad you didn't wait, trust me.

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  4. Yep, our dog Ed LOVED watermelon - he loved it more than me! I think you do great, especially being alone a lot of the time - with no one watching you could eat a whole bag of Dove bars and no one would know! That's a NSV!!

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    1. Very true - used to be that when Jeff went out of town, it was a free-for-all with food. Luckily I've moved beyond that way of thinking...although when I first read your comment, I saw "Doritos" instead of "Dove bars" and thought, hey... ;)

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  5. Good eats! I love cherries, and watermelon. Oh, and greek yogurt with your granola. And dark chocolate. And your tortellini idea with the fresh tomatoes and basil--YUMM! I have some raviolis in the freezer. Guess what's for dinner tomorrow night?

    I think you have a healthier relationship with food than I do. I'm okay with mine though. I am enjoying STILL learning new ways to eat healthy food that tastes really good to me.

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    1. It's all relative, this food relationship...it never buys me flowers, though. ;)

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    2. LOL. Sometimes it buys you chocolates though. : )

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    3. Haha, yes it does! And I appreciate that.

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  6. I <3 your granola :) And your approach to eating. And that reminds me, I need to buy a bag of Dove or Hershey Dark Chocolate Kisses or...what's that other kind I like? Dang it. I need to go hang out in the candy aisle at Giant Eagle. My point being, I used to be so afraid of food. You can't know how much your simpler, more intuitive approach has helped me find a middle ground over these last few years.

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    1. Glad I could help YOU after all the inspiration you gave me when I first started with my weight loss! :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing...you are an inspiration. I have been maintaining about 3 1/2 years and we eat alot of the same foods! Except for that nonfat iced latte, that sounds so good....would you share whats in yours?

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    1. Congratulations on YOUR maintenance - that's excellent! :)

      My iced latte has a large shot of espresso (my cup says 3 oz), and then I fill most of the tumbler with skim milk, and ice. No sweeteners or flavorings; I like it plain.

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  8. Your eats look good! I am very foodcentric, as you know. I do have those go-to meals, though, when I just want to be in a rut so I don't have to think about food. Sometimes it is good to take that out of the equation.

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    1. If I think too much when I'm tired and hungry, that's usually when I end up eating handfuls of this and that...not a good thing. Go-to meals are very necessary for me.

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  9. The simple route works for me, too, so I tend to eat the same meals frequently. I like them, they're easy, and they're nutritious. What's not to love? :)

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  10. The fact you share watermelon with Paco just makes me smile! Thanks for sharing your food day with us! Have a great day Shelley

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    1. Paco makes me feel so guilty if I don't share the watermelon with him - shoot, when I bring in the whole melon from the store, he starts doing a happy dance and tries to get me to cut it up right away!

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  11. You eat a lot of carbohydrates and not that much protein in comparison. You also appear to be a bit overweight. Do you think losing some weight and eating less carbs and more protein would benefit your runs?

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    1. It would be more honest and brave to post this under your own name.

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    2. To be fair, that was just one day's worth of eating - like I said, overall things balance out.

      As for the being overweight part of your comment - HELLO - have you not read my blog? Did you not see where I started? For me, being this size, and having been at this size for a few years now, is FREAKING AWESOME.

      And as for doing other things to benefit my running - sure, it probably would. Am I willing to get really stringent with my eating at the moment, though? No. I'm also not under any delusions of being a top runner...this is for fun, camaraderie and to get myself moving, which is something that I didn't do for most of my adult life.

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  12. Fair enough being overweight beats being morbidly obese. Long as you are happy. No need to be so sensitive about any criticism.

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  13. No need to be sensitive about criticism? Honest feedback and constructive criticism is welcome from people who know a person and his or her situation. Dropping in anonymously and offering "advice" to someone who's blog you've clearly not followed is rude and tacky.

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