A Year of Maintenance

Thank you for the bee-day wishes for my mommy! She appreciates them all :) Sounds like we all have some pretty stellar moms!

I was up at 6am today starving. I contemplated just getting up and eating, but forced myself back to sleep to get over the 7-hour hump. I woke up again at 7:30 am ready to eat my arm off. I was weak with hunger! Isn’t that crazy? I blame doing an evening spin class. It revved up my metabolism too much before bed (which doesn’t quiet down at night much to begin with).

I wanted something quick and big, which led to a giant bowl of PB&J oats.

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  • 3/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • peanut butter
  • blueberry jam

As per usual, I put half of the PB&J in the centre of the bowl, then the rest on top. I’m really digging oats sans banana these days. Instead, I add more oats and it keeps me fuller longer!

Of course, Waffle Wednesday didn’t go unnoticed! I had a couple plain maple cinnamon waffles as a snack.

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Just a little earth balance and fake syrup on there. Butter + syrup is how I ate my toaster waffles growing up, and this took me back! Sometimes I get so caught up in dressing my food up, that I forget how wonderful it is plain.

After this digested, I went out for this week’s long run – 80 minutes. I figured I could get away with waiting until later in the day since it was only 18 C (64F) and overcast out. But that changed within five minutes of being out there. It got hot and sunny! I checked when I came home, and it had gone up to 23 C (73F) just in that short period. Too hot for me. Especially with the sun beating down on my skin. I got a sunburn! It’s almost October!

Anyways, needless to say, this was not my best run. I’m okay with this. I mean, I work out 5-6 days a week, it’s expected to have a few bad ones in there. My heart rate was up in the 170s for the last half of the run, which is just too high for too long for me. I did my usual 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking. But had to throw in an extra walk break towards the end. I’m sure plowing through bad runs are character building…or something…

At the 50 minute mark, I tried out some GU energy gel in chocolate outrage.

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It was really tasty. I was surprised! It went down easy too. However, I did temporarily cramp up immediately after. And it wasn’t quite the energy hit I was hoping for. Although, I was feeling pretty drained by this point, so I’m sure it at least helped me get home! :P

The stats:

Distance: 8.07 miles
Duration: 80 minutes
Avg Pace: 9:54 min/mi

I could not stomach the idea of eating right away when I got home, so I had a handful of craisins for a little immediate nutrition.

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By the time I’d foam rolled, stretched, (cold) showered and put my face on, my tummy had come back to life. I went for my version of “comfort food” – eggs!

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Or you can call this my “third breakfast.” Hey, September is breakfast month after all! A breakfast sandwich with marble cheese, egg, veggie sausage patty, ketchup and a verrrry ripe pear on the side.

I was still feeling very “off” from my run, but I had appointments and errands to attend to this afternoon. I decided to treat myself for supper and make a real hamburger on my new George Foreman :)

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Seriously, there is nothing like a real beef burger sometimes!! I think I may have overcooked it a little though. Red meat sketches me out, I’m scared of getting salmonella :P

Now I am feeling muuuuch better. I realized during my run today, that I have been eating in maintenance for almost a year now. It was last October that I hit my goal weight and stopped eating in a calorie deficit.

Back then, I was weighing myself once a week, and had watched the scale consistently go down for three months. But when I started increasing my calories, the scale started nudging up a little. And I started to freak out. I did not want to gain my weight back.

So, instead of retreating back into a calorie deficit, I got rid of my scale. I knew a couldn’t eat a low-calorie diet for the rest of my life, and I didn’t want the scale scaring me into that.

I think I may have gained a little that first month, but shortly after that, I lost an additional 5 lbs without even trying. I was eating a comfortable amount of food, and exercising no more than regularly.

Last April, I gave up calorie counting altogether. Again, I was scared I would lose control and gain the weight back. And again, I stuck with it, because I knew logging my calories was not something I could do for the rest of my life.

I fell into a natural eating pattern, eating the things I craved, when I craved them. I have the calorie counts of foods ingrained in my brain now, so I still find it easy to make good choices, without having to see the numbers in front of me. To my amazement, I lost an additional 5 lbs after giving up calorie counting.

So here I am, a year after going into maintenance, and officially at a 30 lb weight loss. I think the key for me has been learning how to see the bigger picture. Before, it was all about hitting all the numbers on a daily basis. Whereas now I know if I eat a lot today, I can just eat less (or normally) tomorrow. If I have a carb-filled meal for breakfast, I can just make sure I get some protein in at lunch.

It’s been an interesting year, and I am fully confident I’ll be able to maintain my weight loss for years to come. I will embrace my body’s ups and downs, and continue to treat and listen to my body the best I can. Hopefully that includes forcing myself through a hot and tiring 8 miles! :P

P.S. I accidentally hit “publish” before I was done, sorry if you got two versions of this in your readers!

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Posted on September 23, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing your year of maintenance! I have been stuck at the same weight for well over a year now and it just doesn’t seem to want to budge. I think I’m at my body’s happy weight. Too bad it’s not my mind’s happy weight.

  2. Congrats on your year of maintenance! Being able to see the big picture of how food fits into your day sounds so easy but it’s hard to adjust to!

  3. Great job on the run! Can’t wait until I get those kinds of distances myself.

    And congrats on your maintenance. I’m still struggling to find that happy point–I’ll get there someday, but for now I haven’t been that lucky. Boo!

  4. Congrats on your run and on your maintenance!! Maintaining a large weight loss for a period of time is such a hard thing to do. Isn’t it so freeing to not count calories anymore? I think I’m in your same boat where I eat reasonably what I want, but know the calories/healthy aspects of the foods. It’s a struggle, but worth it.

  5. susan i loved this post! you have the healthiest outlook on eating and exercise, i think that is why i enjoy your blog so much. you make maintenance look so easy, i am still trying to get the hang of it but i appreciate your shining example. nice job on the run! i would feel that heat and totally give up, props to you for making it through. i need to try that 9/1 method sometime. love you girl!!!

  6. Congrats on a year of maintenence! Our bodies really are amazing in the way they tell us what we need.

  7. congrats susan – that is amazing! i agree with EVERYTHING you’ve sad above. weight loss habits are good for weight loss, but when it comes to maintenance, ya gotta do things you can live with. i can’t live obsessing about calories or jumping on the scale everyday – its about balance!

    i love your blog, love your eats and am not craving a hamburger, although its perhaps been over a year since i have eaten one.

    chocolate goo? i am really scared of goo. the texture while running skeeved me out once and i haven’t gone back since.

    happy day to you :)

  8. Congratulations to you, Susan. I am going to recommend you to fatfightertv’s weight loss Woo Hoos! Losing weight is the easy part really. It doesn’t seem that way when you are losing, but the truly difficult part is mastering maintenance and keeping the weight off. You have learned how to do this for you and in a healthy way. Bravo!!

  9. It is so inspiring to me that you have been so successful with maintenance. I have been meaning to write back to your email that you write me about ideal weights. Thank you so much for that. I think you are a shining example of healthy balance.

  10. Good job on a year of maintenance! It really is the hardest part!

    I’m with Leah, I’ve been at the same weight for a year now and I think my body is comfy with it but me not so much! lol! Of course I’ve not really made weight loss a priority this year so that’s my fault!

  11. Your amazing Susan! You’ve accomplished so much and definitely have something to be proud of!

  12. congrats on your year of maintenance! sounds like you have everything down pat and that over this year, things have become routine enough that you dont have to think about it anymore, which means that you’ve made a LIFESTYLE change as well!!!!! you rock :)

  13. CONGRATS Susan! That’s awesome… :D I love how you look back and reflect on the changes that have taken place- letting go of ingrained stuff is really hard (any tips on getting rid of the internal automatic calorie counter?!)

    I am scared of food poisoning too. Which is why I never cook chicken at home- I WAAAAAAAY overcook it and it’s gross :(

  14. congratsss!!! it is SO all about seeing the bigger picture, and of course finding something that works for you!

    8 miles! thats one accomplishment all by itself! those pb and j oats look uhhmazing and what an idea sticking half in the middle then the other half on top! its like a big surprise in the bowl! :)

  15. Maintenance is the prize for all of the work we do to lose the weight! CONGRATULATIONS on one year. That’s awesome Susan.

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