I'm now officially just about 18months into maintaining 150lbs weight loss. All be it I'm up past my original goal weight (158lbs) I've added so much muscle and lost more inches and gained mega muscle everywhere on my body. I've focused on major strength training since hitting goal. My arms have transformed from mushy cellulite sag to strong thick hard muscle. My abs sport a six pack that I can feel under the leftover belly fat. I have focused on strengthening my shoulders and back. I do cross training exercises to build my glute's. Put it this way- my body has transformed so much since hitting goal weight.
Weighing myself and taking measurements are tools to monitor my ideal body weight since hitting maintenance. How often I check my weight changes on what I see on the scale and there are times when I focus and weigh in daily for a week or two and then I can go upward of one-two weeks without stepping on the scale at all. Ideally it feels perfect to go with how I feel in my own skin, how I feel in my clothing. If something feels snug It's a self check- what is different? Did I gain belly pudge or did tack a lb of muscle somewhere on my body? One can never truly know when they are this active with running and weight lifting.
One thing I do is take pictures of myself. I like to compare how sculpted I look in different places on my body and changes I can make with my body without just measurements or the scale. Truth be told I'm Up One whole inch around my entire mid section and up 5lbs since March/April 2012 to September 2012 where I was 164 - I am today just around 168lbs and was upward around 172 at one point....
I like to think of maintaining like riding a horse. You can guide the horse with reigns. The horse appears to know what to do - go straight in a great steady pace and perhaps the horse slows down and you whip the reigns a bit to speed back up again. Perhaps the horse goes so fast and one has to pull the reigns back in. My weight maintaining is the same way. Both with my Running & Fitness and my Eating. All be it I enjoy indulgences and enjoy my 90/10 eating practices (that is 90% clean and wholesome foods with 10% of my intake being an indulgence) perhaps there were times where that ratio was 80/20 ...you know on a Camping Trip or maybe when my PCOS was making me Carb Crazy. Maybe I get into my running and work-outs so much and get focused on my fun fitness goals that I run myself TIRED and perhaps overworked and so I have take extra rest days to recover and that impacts my weight fluctuations. Lets throw in sleep, stress and hormones changes and well one like I (and you others with major weight loss) that it's so normal to go up and down a little bit on the scale.
What I'm learning is that You must stay vigilant; we must stay focused at least in one direction in our life. If we lose that focus and we forget where we were and let what comes easiest (like eating unhealthy- fueling emotion or fueling other seeded desires) we can go back to that old familiar place that is not at all healthy physically or emotionally. Yeah I don't want to go there either!
I myself don't fluctuate too much in my journey. I always hover and then go up a couple and then back down a couple, up a couple and back down. Forever fluctuating and surely if it tacks on quickly I'll wonder what was so different that caused it to happen but I learn my body forever more and move on.
What I've enjoyed since gaining these 5lbs is that I loosened reigns, I've slowed down my training and I've tightened the reigns and ran some mega miles. I played with the paleo diet (for experience and curiosity) and I've played with counting carbs, I've gone Gluten Free and Whey Free (which currently I'm Whey free) and I'm learning what my body likes and doesn't like. These are things I couldn't afford to do in my weight loss journey but strong enough to handle now as I maintain.
I keep learning that it's ok to be obsessed at times there really is so much to be concerned about. I realize that my Journey is my own. There are others with their own too. For each person is different and each person has struggles we might be unfamiliar with. What I strive for as I help others is that holistically speaking I view just one path and to me it's simple (as much as it's Wildly complex) and that is focus on DAILY choices toward healthy food & planned fitness.
There are moments when I wonder when someone who is my height makes it to 125-140lbs if I could ever be that small and I just know that I'm too built for that. My muscle is long and thick. I see as I sit here now- and I know that BMI Scales are not for the athletic and not the truest of measures of health. What is Healthy is how my cells feel on the inside. Do they repair themselves daily so I can ward off Cancer? Does my Heart Pump clean and oxygenated blood because it does not have excess triglycerides and cholesterol causing plaque in my arteries. Can I inhale deeply and clearly and does my bowels show me that I'm normal because I expel the toxins and let the nutrients seep in through the intestinal walls. It's all so important to me. I want to stick around people- I want a LONG Life with My Husband & Kids and Grand kids and so forth. I want my imprint onto them and the world.
What I know for me as I sit here at 168 is that 9 months ago I had this amazing epiphany and realized I'm comfortable and I'll love my totally imperfect body. It has housed twins, a singleton pregnancy, my breasts have nourished three children. I treated it unkindly and had myself at over 310lbs at one point. It does not need to be Perfect, I'm not looking to look like anything but athletic and strong. what I focus on mostly for me is how comfortable I feel in all my everyday endeavors. Can I bend over and not bulge? Can I sit behind the wheel in my car and not form a belly roll? Can I do my most favorite things like run really fast and not worry about feeling like I have a tire strapped around my waist. These are things that make me uncomfortable. So you may wonder what sparks this desire to share and talk? First it's just another way to say that one year and half later I'm still here living my best life and even though I'm maintaining- getting stronger there and will likely forever be moments when I'm not feeling perfected and I've craved lately getting to a smaller weight for all the reasons I listed above and maybe just maybe If I really go there I'll discover that much more about myself and find a new level of self love and acceptance. If Not I love my Life. I feel blessed and I'm learning that there is so much more in life I hope to get and stay focused on as well. I'm learning to nourish my spirit and really let go into my endeavors as a photographer and work out all the self imperfect kinks to be the Best Mom & Wife I can be. I'm not there yet friends but I'm on my way!