A Change in Mindset

I just posted my weekly weigh-in post and announced that I’m switching my weigh-ins from weekly to monthly.  As I typed away in my post I realized something I said without even thinking about it.  I stated, “I’m tired of not feeling good enough in my weight loss journey.”  The Bible says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and I guess my heart was speaking through my fingers in that one line, because that’s pretty much how I’ve been feeling sometimes.  
The truth is I’m actually pretty pleased with where I’m at right now.  I’ll feel fat when I look at the tummy roll around my middle, but then when I return from a run and see my reflection in my partial-glass screen door I feel amazing.  At the risk of sounding vain, I’ve had to buy some new church clothes lately and when I see myself in some of the outfits, like the one below, I’m very proud of how far I’ve come and how I look now.  (I confess I felt weird standing in this pose, but found out there’s a reason people stand like this in their “after” photos…it’s the most flattering.  lol)
Yes, I’m still 5′ 4″ and 160 isn’t a “healthy” weight for my age and height, but… let me share some things I’ve been thinking about, noticing, etc. this last year.

  • I’ve watched people lose weight, get to that “perfect” goal weight number and then gain back 10-20 pounds.  If I did that, I’d end up right where I’m at now. 
  • Over the summer I listened to some podcasts where plenty of people said they reached a weight that wasn’t their original goal weight, but they realized they felt better and looked better and were at a weight they felt they could maintain, so they stayed there.
  • I’ve maintained a 70-pound weight loss for about a year now and I’ve continued to push myself physically and stay fit.  
  • I’ve never been a fit and healthy person.  Truly, only once in my adult life was I walking daily and was able to get down to 170, and that only lasted for about a year. 
  • I am 37 years old and can promise you I have a slow metabolism.  I’ve always said and I think at my age people should believe me when I say exercise is a must if I want to eat more than 1200 calories a day and stay thin and that I can eat a large meal and not be hungry for hours…unless I just ran for a couple hours.  That’s simply how my body works. 
  • I like to eat.  I’ve trimmed up a lot of how I eat, portions and types of foods, but I still like my treats and I’ve had a hard time cutting back what is necessary to lose more weight quickly.
Sum up those few facts above and I find myself wanting to decide to start saying I’m in “maintenance” now.  
However, I do feel that losing another ten pounds would be better for me.  Shoot, if I could discipline myself to actually reach 140-145 that would be great, and I know it’s totally doable, but I’m just not sure I feel like eating or exercising at the level that would make it easy for me to maintain that weight. 
Easy…yes, I know that’s part of the problem.  I have fought tooth and nail to get this weight off, not fought in the way of eating the best and working out for hours on end, but fought with my own self over how much and what I eat.  I’ve had to break some bad addictive habits.  I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that I need to change, and I have changed. 
But I’m kind of getting tired of always feeling bad about my lack of success with weight loss just because I don’t eat as “good” as some people who are thinner than me.  Oh yes, sadly I do feel like a failure at times because I’m still not at 140, even though I’ve actually lost a lot of weight and kept it off for almost a year now.  I tell myself it’s okay because this is MY journey, but that comparing demon still shoots darts my way trying to cause me pain even when I’ve had great success this far.
So, I’ve decided to change the way I’m thinking about things now.  It may be a temporary change, but I want to see if this mental change maybe helps me.  I’m going to allow myself to switch my mind from “diet” mode to “maintain” mode, while continuing to track my food, striving for a calorie deficit and working towards a downward trend on the scale.  
I may have weeks I do great and the scale drops a lot and I may have weeks I maintain, but I’m going to work at reaching 150 minus the pressure that if I don’t reach it by ______ then I’m a failure.  
I can imagine some of you going, “FINALLY!!” and some of you are afraid I’ll stop losing, or even start gaining.  For those that see me embracing the victory that is 70 pounds loss and staying physically fit (ahem, Lori..my friend. 😉  ) thank you for always believing in me and encouraging me. 
For those that are afraid I’ll gain the weight back.  Don’t.  
I have no intentions of ever going back up the scale.  The food addiction chains have been broken in my life and I don’t plan on ever putting on those shackles again.  I’m just stepping out from under the pressure to be on a “diet” and allowing myself to continue doing what I’m doing and enjoy my new healthier self.    Yes, I said I’m going to enjoy my new healthier self instead of feeling like I’m living in the shadow of that elusive “goal weight” which seems to be the only thing I’ve associated with “success” in weight loss.
I have to say I’ve been kind of stressing about this decision lately and knowing I’m allowing myself to maintain while aiming towards a downward trend on the scale is more freeing than I can say.  The silly thing is that’s pretty much how I’ve lived and lost this weight, but somehow it feels different to actually make a definitive switch in thinking and put it out there for all the world to see.
If you’ve read this far…thank you.  I blog for myself and in the hopes that someone who can relate to my struggles will find some consolation and hope for themselves through my story; but knowing I have a small section of the world cheering me on in this journey is an added benefit.  As a writer and chatty lady this blog has been one of my biggest sources of help in this journey and I appreciate every one of you that takes the time to check in on me.  
Have a great weekend!  I plan to.  🙂
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7 Responses to A Change in Mindset

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well spoken, Leah. I love your whole idea of “maintaning”. It certainly does take away the head beating we do to ourselves on this issue.
    love, MOMa

    Like

  2. Kelly Marin says:

    You Look Fabulous!!! Great Job on losing 70 lbs. you look so good Leah and I hope you are proud of yourself.

    Like

  3. Jodie says:

    Leah! It's been a while – Congratulations on maintaining! You know I've always been a super huge fan of yours and I'm so excited that you've been able to keep it off…I, alas, did not but I'm back on the wagon, so to speak, and starting to blog again! Someday I'll get within 20 lbs of my goal and I hope I'll still be able to say “Well done!” You are an inspiration!

    Like

  4. Kari says:

    Maintenance is way harder than losing (In my humble opinion…)! Congratulations on breaking that need to weekly weigh in. You look amazing. 🙂

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  5. Lori says:

    I think you look fabulous!

    Like

  6. Primal Gwen says:

    Leah, you have to do what works for you. I do warn one thing though…slowing,down,the frequency of your weighing rightmwhenmyou move into maintenance usually spells trouble. Best to go a month or two in maintenance still weighing as often as usual to make sure things are on track. At least that's my suggestion. 🙂

    Like

  7. Leah says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Gwen. I will continue weighing myself regularly, just not posting the weight on my blog weekly for now. For me the scale is definitely a necessary tool to help me keep things in check.

    Like

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