Thursday, January 3, 2008

Keeping it Off.

Anyone who's been reading my blog entries knows I'm sort of fixated on maintenance. Even though I am 40+ pounds away from my goal weight I've learned enough to know that really, it's all about keeping it off. Like many here this isn't my first time losing the weight, though it is my first time on Weight Watchers.

Losing the weight is something I know how to do, it's not easy, but I know how to do it. What I don't know how to do is keep it off. I've lost the weight a couple of times. First in 1995 I lost 70 pounds and kept the weight off for about 3 years. In 2000 I lost about 50 pounds and kept it off for less than a year. This time last year I didn't think I had the fight to do it again. I dragged myself into a Weight Watchers meeting with only enough motivation to make it to the meeting. From that day on my first goal is to make it to the meetings. Forever. Period. I have to treat the weight like a disease in remission that could come back anytime if I'm not vigilant.

Another thing I have to do is find fitness activities that I enjoy. I read about a study showing that women who exercise with the goal to lose weight or look better work out about 40% less than those who do it mainly for enjoyment or stress-reduction. Women who hit the gym only to burn calories tend to choose high-intensity workouts they don't enjoy - and eventually, they end up skipping exercise altogether. Proof that I need to find fitness activities I enjoy, that I need to incorporate it as a part of my life that I do for fun, to ease stress, to feel good, not just to lose weight. If we're doing it just to lose weight than when we've lost the weight we'll be done, right? And then I'll soon find the weight I lost.

So I've been focused on learning how to maintain, and losing with maintenance in mind. I even cut my gym days from 5 to 4 knowing I was going at a pace I couldn't maintain. Please share any thoughts you have on maintenance. What's the secret to keeping it off? What kind of mind-frame do you have?

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