For the first time in my life, I am working on maintaining my weight. It is a very strange position in which I find myself, considering I have alternated dieting and gaining weight for all of my life. It has either been trying to lose weight or eating like a mad person, with nothing in between. All or nothing.
Now, I find it odd every time I step on the scale and the number is in the same range. I’m trying to find a balance between thinking about what and how much I’m eating too much and not thinking about it at all. I need to think about it just enough to keep doing it, and not enough to occupy too much of my time or feel like an obsession. I’m trying to keep food and exercise on the level of hobby- something I enjoy doing but not a career.
The strategy I am following is to focus on exercise. Luckily, I love to exercise now and I look forward to it. It is a habit in my life to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. This is not something I want to give up. And I can’t really just maintain the status quo with exercise. Half the fun is pushing yourself and reaching new athletic goals like a longer or faster run or a heavier lift. For eating, I am focused on listening to my body’s signals that tell me when I am hungry and when I am full. In the back of my mind, I know that I will eat more on days I exert myself more and my hunger signals also correlate to this expectation. Through repetitive training, I have reset my hunger sensors as well as my fullness sensors. I no longer have a desire to eat past the point of fullness.
So, for now, I seem to be easily maintaining my weight. I weigh myself each morning and I fluctuate in the expected 5 lb range.
This is good. There is only one thing that is somewhat melancholy about it and I only recently realized it. Throughout the weight loss, I made many online friends on a weight loss support site. And now I find I am an outsider looking in. I’m not on the same plane as everyone else. I’m like the parent who can say “I remember when I was your age” but the child never believes that. It is hard to believe that anyone has been in your shoes when it appears that person has it all under control. I understand this and it is inevitable. I’m not working on losing weight anymore. It’s almost like because I’ve made it to the end of the journey, the weight loss portion anyway, people don’t believe that I was ever “one of them.” They don’t think I truly understand or relate. I get that and to be honest, most of them don’t relate to me either. I’m in a different place mentally about the whole thing.
I tried searching for a new forum that is focused on weight maintenance, or even “healthy living” or some such thing, but have not had any luck yet. That doesn’t really surprise me, I guess. We are a nation of yo-yo dieters. It never occurs to anyone that maintenance isn’t a passive proposition but an active choice and one that has it’s own challenges and rewards.
It occurs to me that perhaps I should start the forum I am seeking myself. Not that I know anything about running a forum, but how much more difficult can it be than writing a blog? I will continue to search and continue to think about this.
I feel a bit like an island now- I don’t know anyone personally who has been in my position, having lost an extreme amount of weight, and I feel that support has been and still is valuable, but I’m not sure where to get it. I don’t want to be the “outsider” or the “parent.” I want to talk to my peers who are going through the same thing… whoever and wherever they may be. I know they are out there somewhere.