Like many of my friends and family, with age my metabolism has slowed down. Once I could eat whatever I wanted, and as much as I wanted, and my weight was stable. In my mid-thirties, I noticed a slow but steady weight gain. At one point, I was 25 pounds heavier and decided I would need to change my habits.
Losing weight proved fairly easy, and I took of 12 pounds in 12 weeks, but maintaining the weight loss was a challenge. After regaining 11 pounds, I accepted the fact that I was going to need to change my long-term habits around and relationship to food.
The second time I took the weight off, I decided to be more scientific about the process. What had been so effective the first time and what had I stopped doing that prompted the weight gain?
One thing that had been extremely effective for me was tracking what I ate. I found that by writing it down, I stayed mindful and could lose the weight. On the other hand, I felt a sense of deprivation as I was losing the weight the first time around, and had a faulty attitude that once the weight was off, I could return to my old habits. This time, I decided to figure out how to integrate eating everything I liked, in moderation, into a long term eating plan, since deprivation wasn't going to work.
I joined weight watchers in June of 2013 and took 4 months to reach my goal weight, which I set at a healthy but attainable number. I decided to find a way to integrate the foods and drinks I wanted to include in my diet so that I didn't have foods that were forbidden. Sometime I want a piece of chocolate cake!
When I think about my goal weight now, it doesn't seem out of reach or impossible to maintain. In fact, I have spent most of the last three and a half years 2 to 3 pounds below my goal weight.
I liked that weight watchers has an iPhone app that lets me track what I eat easily, and look back at my eating history to see what foods fill me up while I lose or maintain my weight.
Now, I have a step-by-step method to manage my weight, and I am not longer relying on my feelings, appetite or chance to maintain my weight. I have a measure of control, and know what variables to watch. I also accept that just as I need to continue to attend to the poise of my head, I will need to continue to attend to what I eat and how much in order to maintain my weight. I have accepted this fact, rather than wrestling with habit and appetite. My weight certainly fluctuates and there are times of year or periods of time when I eat more or less, based on hunger. Now, I have the means-whereby to manage those fluctuations without undoing my results.