Superbowls, Lou Ferigno, and Space Mountain: Moving on to Maintenance
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
In 1987, after Superbowl XXI, victorious Quarterback Phil Simms was asked, "What are you going to do next?" His answer was an ad slogan Disney paid him $75,000 to say: "I'm going to Disneyland." I have to admit that I felt a little like a Superbowl champion when I got on those scales Monday, even though I haven't been at the bottom of any linebacker pile-ups. I had a lot of first downs, reversals, and turnovers (mmm...turnovers...cherry ones, with frosting and... Oops!) in my journey, but ultimately, I reached that 155-lb. goal line. The thing is, it's not the end. Also, no one is paying me to say I'm going to Disneyworld. (Frankly, I'm mad at the mouse for getting his grubby gloved hands on STAR WARS anyway, but I digress.)
Since I hit my goal weight Monday, a lot has changed, externally and internally. I have gained some weight back due to a day of celebration for another personal matter, as well as the day after, when we had to gobble up all the bad food in the house to get rid of it. What can I say? I'm a cheapskate who lives gig to gig, and throwing food away is simply not acceptable. I cannot explain the reasoning, but the theme of our celebration day Monday was potatoes, so our house was full of things like pierogies, hash browns, tater tots, twice-baked potatoes, potato skins, and so on. We even had a pineapple upside-down cake with a candle in it, and we stopped by Arby's for tater cakes and curly fries. The result of this mostly spud-spawned carb-and-calorie fest? I am no longer at my goal weight. It's not surprising, nor is it even upsetting, because I knew it was going to happen. I also know it will come off, because I know how to get rid of it. Thus, for the next two weeks or so, till I get back to my goal, I will be back on my 1,200 calorie regimen, and Spark will help me heal that tater hangover; by "hangover," I refer to that chunky roll that hangs over the top of my jeans now.
Here is the issue though: When I hit my goal on Monday, I was happy, elated, and otherwise ecstatic. I really did feel like I'd just won a trip to Disneyland. In the wake of that, though, there was another feeling: panic. "Now what?" I asked myself. For the better part of 28 months, I'd been counting every calorie, reading nutrition labels, avoiding certain foods, etc. and so on. Now, at my goal weight, I would have to restructure something that had become part of my everyday life. I don't want to get too far below 155 lbs. at any point, because at 5'10", that is a healthy weight for me, so I have to figure out how to move into maintenance. That is frightening. I am literally terrified of gaining the weight back, as I did before. I lost about 150 lbs. in 2003-04, but somewhere between then and 2014, I leapt back up to a monstrous 329 lbs. I don't ever want to do that again, and I am scared of maintenance even more than I was scared of weight loss. Not only that, but my daughter is still in the midst of her own weight loss journey, and since we live together and I provide the food here, I want to make sure I don't sabotage her efforts in any way. This is why a diet must be a lifestyle change rather than a temporary remedy. The changes I have to make now are as follows:
-- Eat 1,500 calories or so a day for maintenance. So I'll have to keep counting my calories every day for the rest of my life? Yup. But it's worth it, and Spark makes it easy.
-- Do not buy foods that will sabotage us or overpower our willpower. So I can't buy muenster cheese and fill my freezer with Moose Tracks? Nope. But it's worth it, and we can still have treats every once in a while, just as we have all along.
-- Move. So I have to actually attempt to do something physical instead of wallowing around the house all day in my PJs, watching reruns of THE INCREDIBLE HULK on Hulu? Yup. But it's worth it, and it might keep me from weighing as much as Lou Feringo.
-- Stay connected with my supporters and the Spark Community. So I have to keep thinking about my weight all the time and keep sharing what I know? Yup. But it's worth it, because I've learned a few things that might help others, and in doing so, it will keep me accountable in a practice-what-I-preach sort of way.
My panic and terror with maintenance were rooted in an uprooting of what has been my routine for the past two and a half years. It is frightening to think about what to do now. We can't just all jaunt off to Disneyworld! My weight will be something I will always have to keep an eye on, but keeping an eye on it is a comfortable routine for me, and I have no intention of ever allowing it to get out of hand again. I love food far too much to develop anorexia or bulimia, and I don't lecture others when they eat cal-high foods around me, because every person's size and health is really their own business, but I will always, always have to be cognizant, so I don't end up inflating back to the size of Space Mountain. So, for the next couple weeks, the mantra is: "Back to goal! Back to goal." Then, for however many days God plans to give me beyond that, it is "Hold the line! Hold the line!" I really would love to contact Mike Ditka and record him yelling these things at me so I can play them daily, but I doubt he'd comply...