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What do you mean I can’t eat it all After-I-Finally-Get-

Friday, October 11, 2013

First thanks to everyone who liked my blog and made it a Featured Blog Post and thank you for voting me a Motivator. It really does mean a lot when someone posts a comment and shares their story. Thank you.

In my continuing process to figure out how to keep myself healthy and at a good weight, I realized that the After-You-Get-To-Goal is just the beginning of another phase. As I thought through this I have spent some time “getting in touch with my feelings.” How many times have I been through a workshop --on all sorts of topics -- that the leader has brought this up? Often it is easy to be active during the exercises during the workshop or training but it is really, really hard to apply different strategies during the chaos and messiness of day to day life. But it has become apparent to me that keeping the weight off is partly about managing the feelings that food evokes.

I see apple pie and lemon meringue pie and it reminds me of helping my mom in the kitchen when I was young. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, fried chicken and potato salad bring back pictures of picnics and big family gatherings. A simple thing like the smell of beef stew with dumplings cooking on the stove on a cold winter night is very comforting. Pumpkin pie is all of those Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings. Nowhere does a bowl of broccoli bring up memories (unless it is a wonderful high fat cheese casserole). So whether I am happy, sad, stressed, bored, angry, lonely, nostalgic or ecstatic there is some food that will help reinforce my feelings or bring me comfort while I work through them.

What I realized as I work through the first part of maintenance is that I have to give up the foods that are tied to my memories because many of the foods do not fit into my healthy lifestyle. So my first reaction was total DISBELIEF that I could not go back to the way I ate before and it made me very angry. I have to permanently Change my Food choices. As I worked through these emotions in my blog it seemed that the Stages of Accepting Change really apply. I found the list on the Internet and have rewritten them to apply to me.

The Stages for maintenance are:

1. Shock and Anger, I learned that Change in Food Choices is permanent and I still do not get the 20 year old body back.

2. Denial, I wanted to be in a comfort zone, it will be different for me “I can still eat all the cheese I want”.

3. Depression, feeling depressed and negative about giving up foods I love to eat and only having them occasionally in small amounts if I really want to keep the weight off.

4. Insight and Acceptance, realizing that without Change in Food Choices, the road will lead me back to an unhealthy place while Change in Food Choices leads to a real chance of success and I am in charge of making those choices

5. Learning and Actualization, a positive mind state, adapting and figuring out strategies for Change of Food Choices and incorporating them into a healthy balanced life

I can see that in previous weight loss situations, I had never worked through the phases and really got stuck at number 2 or number 3. I am working through the Depression of giving up foods I have always loved to eat and working into Insight and Acceptance. Part of this process is learning to cherish the memories but not indulging in the calories. Also, it is about recognizing emotions and acknowledging them with something other than food. And recognizing hunger and choosing wisely most of the time trying to push out the Food Demon (Eat both donuts!) from my healthy self-talk (Have some fruit and ½ of a donut).

What struck me as I read through the comments was how many Sparklers have moved to the learning and actualization state. It doesn’t mean that maintenance is always easy. But the bottom line is you’re weight’s always going to creep up. You just have to keep pushing it down. We have to do the best we can with whatever information is available and what we accept about ourselves. You can read through all the wonderful comments but these are the ones that really resonated with me. Thank you all for sharing I posted your Spark name at the end of the comment.

Stick with what you know is truly fair and that you can live with for a long time. It really doesn't have to be a terrible struggle every day. OOLALA53

But I think in the end it is about doing the best that we can do to stay healthy without killing ourselves or injuring ourselves to lose the fat. HMAZIS

Fortunately as humans we've got free will and intelligence and grit, and we get to decide if something is worth the effort. 4A-HEALTHY-BMI

It is clear that the same rules for weight loss apply whether you're 30 or 60 -- reduce your calorie intake and increase your activity level. TORTISE110

Mother Nature can be such a meanie, but I will accept a healthy body and organs and let the shapers and camouflaging clothing handle the appearances! We will not give up, even though time is definitely not on our side! MNNICE

I can totally relate to what you say. It's the same for me. Losing weight means exercising my butt off - literally- and starving myself to death - literally. LOL. I have scaled back my expectations. MORTICIAADDAMS

I just keep moving and strength training at a moderate rate. I have stopped focusing on the scale number and rely on how I look and feel in my clothes. RACINGTODOIT

I enjoy and appreciate my new body, my new muscles. I'm not going to lose sleep over what I have not achieved so far! NICKYCRANE

I have learned to enjoy my cup of lasagna, and just a tablespoon of each component in a Cobb Salad. The one upside, I guess, is that time seems to pass faster at my age, so "a couple times a year" doesn't feel so onerous. NELLJONES

But I do more than an hour of exercise daily, including ST and I really watch what I eat. I am a size 8, but if I don't watch that will become a 10 again, and I gave all those clothes away. I think that it is important to watch what I eat and how much I exercise to make sure I feel and look good. I am 59 1/2 and find that every year it gets harder. But I work harder. LRSILVER

I hope I will be able to make good choices and live a healthy life and be content and satisfied with how I look, belly fat or no belly fat. I think the most important thing is how healthy I am and to continue to make healthy food choices and keep portion controls in check, and from there I'll take it one day at a time. OFFICECHIK

I am not in my 60s yet but as I creep into my 50s I am feeling all of the things you wrote here. It is really hard to maintain that first initial goal weight as we age and Mother Nature pulls her fast ones on us all. Great glob! Thanks for sharing. ISHIIGIRL

I refuse to live my life worrying about every mouthful of food. OOLALA53

Do I cut out all of the foods I enjoy across the board or do I eat healthy and enjoy some of my favorites, too? At my age, I'm thinking of enjoying my life a little more but I'm not liking the numbers on the scale or on my pants. My goal needs to be healthy not thin! BETHGILLIGAN

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD14294035
    I am new to SP and finding your biog give me inspiration to keep going. Thank you for sharing your struggling moments... which we all have!! emoticon
    2840 days ago
    Interesting to show the stages. That really rings true for me. There is definitely an emotional adjustment to the changes.
    2841 days ago
    It's eye opening to think that until menopause I was a person who could eat anything I wanted and not gain weight. I was also extremely active - always on the go and had a really active job. I actually didn't eat all that much back then and that it why I stayed thin. It's hard for me to mimic those former conditions because I no longer work and can't recreate that level of activity at home. And now I'm hungry. But I can't give into it and have to change my ways or die an early death.
    2843 days ago
    Reading about those early stages in the process reminded me that I really am lucky enough to have reached the learning and actualization stage. There are a LOT of foods that I don't even pine after any more. On another forum, we were talking about how we haven't had donuts pass our lips in 10 years or longer. Same, with me, for pancakes, muffins, heavily cheese-covered ooey-gooeys, beef stew, and so on. They just aren't allowed. Where I get into trouble sometimes (and pay for) is deep-fried or sauced things, like fisherman's platter and buffalo wings, or pizza, washed down with a glass of wine. Still, I'm staying in a sort of balance. It took years to get here, by the way.
    2845 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I loved your blog! Very insightful to the smells and memories of food and days gone by.
    You did a great job with the different stages that people/you go thru when deciding this is a forever maintenance lifestyle, not always easy, but oh so worth it.
    With the tools on SP and the support, I have no doubt that you will be successful!
    I love the quotes from different people and they really all hit home for me too.
    Thanks for sharing this great blog with us and keep up the great work and you venture on down the path of this awesome journey! Holly
    2845 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13099273
    Good Morning Sunny - what a lovely blog - you deserved both of those Honors . I agree with you relating food to Memories is a hard habit to brake. I feel like this Journey is like going through stages of Grief at some point , we want what we cannot have , and when we do have it that Guilt Word come s to play. Such a Dilemma , its feels like that at the end of this Journey a new begins we are always finding new ways to Create Ourselves . I too have associated many foods with Memories , Bousha's baked goods , peroggis etc. I feel this way at our age we now have the ability to start new Memories with the younger generation with Healthy recipes and habits . For example today is my Wedding Anniversary and opposed to a Heavy Meal we are heading out to a 11 mile Corn Maze in the shape of the Beatles - I am packing a healthy back pack but you know what I am having the Pumpkin Pie today - Great Potassium in that Pumpkin ! Hugs Karen - Thanks for the Mention emoticon
    2846 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/12/2013 11:59:38 AM
    This is such a generous blog. Quoting all of us struggling maintainers! How cool is THAT. Thank you.

    At 66 I LOVE food, and am realizing that smaller amounts are incredibly satisfying. I mean that. I really do. I avoid NOTHING that I truly want. I really do not. But if it is laden with things that clog my arteries or send me on a sugar jag, I do it in small (savored) bites. I do not suffer much. I really don't.

    Tonight I am alone. I am having a 4 ounce filet, brussel sprouts with bacon and sauteed mushrooms. Oh and a glass of wine. I feel no pain!! But saying all that, I think it was mindlessly stuffing myself of more that was good that made me fat. I know we are all different.

    Today I did a 4 mile walk in the rain. Felt so young (-: It's something really old people don't do. So. I must not be really old!!! Cheers to you and thank you for talking about maintenance.
    2847 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/11/2013 5:46:24 PM
    great blog.. I am in my late 50's looking 60 in the back door soon
    2847 days ago
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