So here is my honest confession to the Blog-world about my "maintenance" since March 30 (I just checked my weight log and it showed that I reached 170.8 on 30 March... so the situation is worse than I originally thought....)
When I reached 170 lbs, something clicked inside me. I felt that I arrived. I knew that my original target was 150, but as soon as the much maligned BMI chart turned green on my tracker, showing that I'm considered normal when it comes to my bodyweight, I gave up on losing. Gave up without a conscientious decision to give up. It just happened. I didn't start to gain. I'm at the same weight ever since apart from minor changes depending on how much water I'm holding at the time of the month. It does feel easy. I eat anything and everything. I bake. I make ice cream. I cook Mexican dinners. And I eat them too. I buy the occasional doughnut from Krispy Kreme. And I become a card carrying member of the Chocolat Tasting Club (not kidding). Yesterday I ate a whole tub of Haagen Dazs... (spank me - I was bad).
I'm still at 170. Nearly 6 months. My exercise level fall somewhat (as opposed to Jan-Feb this year), but I'm a gym member again and I started doing 10k training. I do Zumba once a week and I'm immersing myself in my yoga practice occasionally. I did a 5 day yoga retreat in August. I probably exercise 2-3 hours a week. I meditate a lot (not like that helps losing weight... it helps me stay sane.) On the other hand, I do measure my food every time I eat. And I log my food every day on MFP. These are now habits. They used to be activities I HAD to do, now these are habits I'm doing without thinking. More on this later.
So, is this maintenance? I believe so. I could go on living my life like this for ever (well, for a long time).
My new doc told me my weight loss chart shows the poster-girl curve for lap band surgery (oh yesssss, I presented all my charts, logs, reports, comparison pictures, etc. at my first appointment with him. I believe I impressed him. Or he just put me in the "loony" pile straight away... I'm not sure.).
Now all this sounds good and well. That number (150) still bugs me. Can I do it? Could I do it? Should I do it? Would I do it? All these questions................................ What's the real answer?
That I am totally happy with my size right now?
That I feel sexy for D and he tells me how beautiful I am every singe day?
That I fit into all those dresses I couldn't dream of a year ago?
That I now buy size 12(UK) clothes, which is below the average UK size for women?
That at my new workplace no-one can imagine me 65lbs bigger? They think I'm "normal size" - full stop. No questions asked.
That I'm extremely happy that I can get away with bad food choices occasionally because I know I can "atone" for them in a day or two? Or just run like a maniac on the treadmill until I work off whatever I ate?
That I look into the mirror and I don't know how the f**k did I get so awesome? (that's from Pinterest, my dearests - I printed and posted it on the fridge. I love it!)
But all the above still leaves my wondering: can I be 150? Ever? CAN I DO IT? I would like to try. It's not like I haven't been bothered about the fact that I haven't lost a pound since March. Because I have been. Every Saturday morning I step on the scale and I hoping for 160something... Hasn't happened yet. And I think "bummer", but that's it. My train of thought stops there, because I'm content with 170.
And the reason for this is that I lost something important - I do not have the drive any more. I do not have the CRAVING for losing more (for the reasons listed above). I do know what I would need to do and how could I (possibly) lose some more weight if I really wanted to. But "really wanting" something requires a craving for that thing. Getting from 235lbs to 170 and size 20 to 12 satisfied my craving. From that point of view 150 is just a random number, picked out of thin air when I had no understanding of what it means or how would I feel when I get there.
Well, that's not exactly true... I did have some vague idea about how I'd like to feel and look - but I've achieved those at 170. So what extra benefits does 150 hold? Why shall I push so hard to achieve it?
Example no1: I walk into Tesco to get something for dinner (healthy and tasty cooking I still do). The scent of freshly baked maple and pecan plait is wafting towards me from the bakery section. My "old" reaction: oh, let's get one! My "WLS" reaction: it smells great, but we are focused on losing. My "new" reaction: well, you are 170 and happy with it, so why not - let's get one.
Example no2: Haagen Dazs Praline&Cream is the devil's food - if I get one, I will eat the whole tub in a very short time. A tub is 430ml here in the UK. I can easily eat a tub in one sitting. "Old" reaction: well, there was none and I just bought the stuff whenever I wanted to. "WLS" reaction: I avoided even thinking about it because seeing a loss every week on the scale was my main driving force; and I was successful for well over 10 months not having any at all what so ever. "New" reaction: "and what if you eat it? You can work it down" - but I only buy it if it's on sale; then I proceed to eat it within 3 days...
Enter the book I'm reading right now: The Power of Habit from Charles Duhigg.
It gave me an interesting insight into what I've lost and why have I've given up on my fantastically effective eating and exercising WLS habits since March (they are fantastically effective, as they made me lose 65 lbs in total).