Maintenance 101: Challenges
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain.”
Life is about challenges. The challenges we face and overcome are what make the rest of life so rewarding. Think about it: you’ve lost the weight through hard work. You feel really good about yourself, right? Yeah! You feel awesome! You did it!! Now, every challenge you face in keeping the weight off is going to boost you up even more when you’re successful. You can accomplish ANYTHING.
Temptations will always be there. You’ll be faced with the choice to eat Girl Scout Cookies at work, chocolate cake at birthday parties, your kids’ snacks…Now that you’re in maintenance mode you can indulge in things a little more–you just can’t go nuts.
Injury is one of the biggest challenges of weight loss maintenance because it can totally derail fitness. One day you’re strong and going to the gym a lot, the next day you’re ordered by your doctor to take 6 weeks off! It can be stressful and scary to not have that outlet while your injury heals.
I’ve been injured many times in the last 6 years of my “athletic career.” I’ve had bursitis in my ankle, IT Band knee issues, Achilles tendinitis, pulled muscles, back strains and a strained sacrum. I tend to go hog-wild when it comes to new hobbies and totally throw my everything into it. This means I might bite off more than I can chew and not really listen to what my body’s abilities are yet. I struggle with finding that “in between.”
The trick with weight loss maintenance while injured is two fold: tighten up your caloric intake while you’re taking time off and/or find a physical activity that you CAN do.
For example, when I had to quit running for 6 weeks because of my knee I panicked. Would I gain back a ton of weight? What was I going to do? I couldn’t run, do the stairmaster, no elliptical, no jump rope, no squats. Basically–don’t do anything to aggravate my lower body. So for six weeks I lifted weights (upper body only) and went swimming. I felt great, I dropped a bunch of weight from the strength training, toned up my body and kept active. It worked!
Some friendships aren’t meant to last a lifetime. It’s a sad fact, but true. Despite that, it’s still painful when a relationship runs it’s course.
A long time ago, I wrote a post called Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends? about my experiences with losing friends along the way. The topic of weight loss and dating/friendship has been covered a lot on my blog because I think it’s something pretty common. When it comes to maintenance, those challenges are still there. Your friends might think that once you’ve reached Goal Weight, you don’t need to eat healthy or exercise anymore. They might be expecting you to go back to your old (often shared) habits of greasy food, eating out, skipping the gym to go to a movie, etc. etc. Some people just don’t understand the choices we make to lose weight and keep it off. They might be Food Pushers.
It’s important for us as maintainers to establish boundaries and let people in our life know that we appreciate their continued support! As maintainers we have to stay strong and continue what we’re doing!
Since I’ve never been pregnant this section with be short. 🙂 My hope for “someday” when I do have kids is that I am able to continue what I already do. I will follow what my doctor says for how many calories I should be eating a day and I’ll count my calories. I will also follow my doctor’s orders per exercise but I’m pretty sure at the bare minimum I can at least swim!
Here are two Guest Posts regarding pregnancy and weight gain/loss:
Pregnancy will always be a challenge for people trying to lose/maintain weight. At some point I think we have to make peace with the fact that weight gain is inevitable. But maybe we can take small measures to make sure it’s manageable.
It’s inevitable. At some point in our journey as weight loss maintainers we will get lazy. We’ll think we don’t have to count our calories. We can skip a few workouts here and there. We can eat the junk food we eliminated from our diets to lose the weight!
I went through this shortly after I reached my Goal Weight. I got lazy. I stopped counting my calories entirely because I thought I had it under control. I didn’t. My instinct is to overeat, so I need that structure of calorie counting to stay in check.
Lazy Counting can happen once in awhile, but when it starts to happen all the time it’s a sign we need to get back on track and do what worked.
Here are a few posts regarding this topic:
Maintenance is a life-long task. The methods we used to lose the weight need to continue with us, even if we aren’t trying to lose anymore. It’s all part of the math game.
QUESTION: What challenges have been the hardest for you?