Jan 04, 2012
The following is an excerpt from a response I made to someone who asked about getting back on track. This person has been very successful in her weight loss journey, but has recently experienced some regain. Statistically, her regain is within the norms for 'bounce back' weight, but it was how she regained the weight that distressed her and it was nearly a mirror image of what happened to me a few years ago. I really felt her distress and fear, so I wanted to reassure her that all is not lost, that we always have our tool and we can get control of it now, even when we couldn't for so many years before. So if you have have arrived at maintenance and are struggling with some unwanted regain or if you are only thinking about WLS or in the process of losing and want to know if you can and will be able to maintain your weight after you lose it, read on...
Okay, so the real question is how to get back on track and if it's a realistic possibility and probability. I'm here to tell you that it is both possible and probable that you can reverse the tides and get back to where you are happy and be able to stay there. I have to tell you that I too was just terrified because I knew from my previous experience that 'diets' just don't work for me. I'm an overgrown 3 yr old and if you tell me I can't have something, then.... I will. That scared the proverbial pants off of me. After mulling it over a bit, I decided to try a new tact. One to get the unwanted extra pounds off and another, related tact to keep my weight where I want it to be.
So, to take off the weight, the two biggest things I did were to log my intake and activity and to cut back on simple carbs... cut back, not cut out. I made sure to 'take care of business' with every meal and snack, making sure I was eating 5 to 6 times a day. When I say 'take care of business' I mean that I made sure that I got in 4 to 6 ounces of protein, then followed that with colorful, complex carbs. I also made sure that I wasn't drinking any fluids within that 30 minute window before, during and after my meal so that I could allow my pouch to work for me and help me really regulate my intake to ensure I wasn't taking in more calories than I needed. I maintained a caloric intake of about 1000 to 1200 calories a day when I was working on losing the weight. Logging really helped me think about what I was ingesting and if it was supporting my goals or undermining them. This helped think of things in a positive light. Is this choice going to help get me to where I want to be or submarine my attempt to achieve and maintain a healthy and active life? If not, I often would think twice and let it go without the burden and baggage that comes with feeling deprived. I have to say that I did occasionally indulge while I was losing, but not often because I had my eye on the proverbial prize and I was delighted at the result I was getting; most of the time the 'indulgence' I wanted at the moment faded when I 'weighed' it against my goals. To be honest, the weight came off relatively easily. Much more so than I thought it would.
Now that I've taken the excess weight off, I don't really log anymore unless might weight ticks back up out of it's normal range. If that happens, I start logging again and am able to easily trim off the few pounds.
I honestly think that losing the weight and then maintaining it, all comes down to awareness and accountability. If you think about it, I'll bet that you've been playing a bit of 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil' as it relates to what you are consuming. You 'know' you are going off track, but tend to not want to see the evidence of it. We all have to find ways to be aware and accountable and to be honest what works when we are losing is not necessarily what works in maintenance; I think that this is one of the main reasons we tend to falter in maintenance. Whatever we did to maintain awareness and accountability in our weight loss phase may not necessarily work for us anymore. Unfortunately, no one has told us that we need re-evaluate how we are going to remain aware and accountable as we work to maintain our new found weight and it's resulting health and quality of life benefits. It took me a while to find what works for me. It may take you a while to find what works for you, but I'm sure that you can and will.