Sunday, October 12, 2008

Maintenance..Or Is It?

When people undertake a new fitness or weight loss goal they always want to know how they can 'maintain' after that point. They want to know if they can go back and eat cookies, candy, cake, more fat, more carbs, etc... They think that once they've reached their goal, they can start to 'enjoy' again. I was one of those people too--which is probably why it took me so long to get the point of taking it off and keeping it off. I also used to refer to the post diet glory as Maintenance too-oh if I only knew then what I know now. These days I try to refer to my post diet simply as 'this is how I eat now--this is the new me'. It really is a life style vs. just the simplicity of maintenance. Once you reach your goals, you have to keep moving forward along that same path. You can't just go back and start eating all the things that got you into this fix to begin with. Would I love to be able to eat bread, pasta and candy on regular basis--you bet I would! I'm a sandwich kinda gal--could eat them for lunch and dinner every day--the bigger, wetter, messier the better..yup, those were the glory days! Now I know better. I know that if I do want to 'maintain' what I've achieved, I have to continue to eat the way I have been eating. I've learned how to make healthy, albeit satisfying choices. I learned how eating in moderation is not a bad thing..I can still feel fulfilled without eating the whole cow. A lot of people have the mentality that if they reach their goals, they deserve a reward. Am I saying that you can never have a snack or treat again--no way, that's just not realistic. But this is where you need to be careful so that the cycle doesn't begin to repeat itself. A reward here, a little treat there, then the snowball tends to get bigger and bigger. Try and think of it like this--you undertook a new endeavor. You succeeded at accomplishing your goals. Do you really want to go back to the old ways? I don't think so. You've taught your body a whole new it really seems to like. It makes you feel better, look better, and your heart probably thanks you every day..try and hang on to that for as long as you can.

You've created a whole new you--it's worth more than just some routine maintenance..this is a 'Lifestyle' for you now. It's something that's going to take you toward a longer, more happy, healthy future. Don't let the old ways overtake the new--hold on to what you've accomplished.


Rachel said...

totally agree with you.
fitness and nutrition is a LIFE changing decision if done correctly

Sheila | Live Well 360° said...


Great post. I agree with you, maintenance isn't about going back to your old ways, its about continuing on this life changing journey.

I have found that what works for me is to continue to track my calories and while I am fairly strict with my meal plans Mon-Fri, on Sat or Sun, if I want a "treat" I will have it as long as it fits within my calorie expensiture for the day. This helps me to loosen the reigns a little if I am out with friends, etc.

I aim to find a balance between doing and eating what I know is good for my body, while also enjoying life and all the experiences it has to offer.


m said...

"You've created a whole new you--it's worth more than just some routine maintenance..this is a 'Lifestyle' for you now." Absolutely! Nice post!

LindaM said...

Rachel and Sheila,

Just when you think you are 'there', the game still isn't over is it? You have to just keep on doing what you're doing. You continue with what works. Thanks so much for added insight!

Jough Dempsey said...

Linda, this is another great post. I'm so glad I found your blog. I'm on my way to a healthier body after having been overweight for most of my life.

I've noticed that even little slips, as little as a single unhealthy meal shows near immediate signs of backsliding and weight gain for me, so when I hear about people being in "maintenance" I've been wondering what that's about, and if there will ever be a period where I won't be watching what I eat.

Of course, even after just a few months of my diet and exercise regime I'm finding that I enjoy healthier foods, and feel bad (physically) when I eat wrong. Eating things that are delicious and make you feel good are pretty good motivators.

Thanks for your excellent blog.

LindaM said...

Thank You M! You are a very positive force!

LindaM said...

jough, thanks for your nice words and for stopping in. Glad you found me! I agree, once you start eating healthy, the other food just doesn't sit too well in the bod anymore when you overdo it. Valuable lessons here.