Maintaining weight loss and healthy habits can be difficult after the high of dropping the weight wears off, but it’s totally achievable and today I’m sharing my 5 healthy tips for maintaining weight loss, even without a scale!
Whew…this is a post I’ve been wanting to put together for a long time. It’s also one where I open up about a whole bunch of feelings–“I’m an actress! I have all of them!“–anyone else have The First Wive’s Club memorized? I watch it about once a month. Anyway, first a little history lesson if you’re new around here.
- In 2008 I began my weight loss journey. This was actually round 2 for me after dangerously and unhealthily dropping about 50 lbs in high school, then gaining it all back + about 30 more.
- I started at 230 lbs. About a year in, I had lost 60 lbs and hit a big, huge, annoying plateau. I finally was diagnosed with Hashimotos, and with the combination of figuring out my meds and starting to run, I lost an other 10ish.
- Now I live anywhere from 155-160ish. I’m embarrassed to admit that, and I know that’s stupid. In fact, I didn’t want to put it in bold. Sometimes it makes me feel like a healthy living hoax because I have this idea that I should weigh less.
- I never expected this to be my maintenance weight. And I still wish it wasn’t. Like, everyday wish it wasn’t. But this is where I can eat dessert, and not count every single calorie. This is where I can work out hard, eat mostly healthy, drink wine and bourbon, and eat fro yo. I made the (hard) decision that I wanted to feel freedom more than I wanted to hit what I thought was my goal weight.
- I also threw out my scale. So for my weight, take it with a grain of salt. I don’t get weighed at the doctor, and I don’t weigh myself at home. If my pants start to feel tight, maybe I’ll rethink that, but I have truly never been happier than when I broke up with the scale, and *gasp* I didn’t magically gain 30 lbs when I did it either.
- This is me. This is where my body lives, and I’m learning to accept that. I’d be lying if I said I was totally thrilled with this, but I can do a lot of things that lots of “skinny” people can’t. I can lift heavy things, and I am running faster than I have ever run in my life. I am always looking to improve my health and fitness, but I accept that this no longer means a number on the scale, and I am so much more interested in seeing a number at a finish line.
Okay, so let’s actually talk about maintaining weight loss because it’s a beast of it’s own. I had a hard freaking time when my weight loss stopped. I am a numbers person, and I had measured my progress for an entire year by seeing the number on the scale drop. This is the moment when so many people give up and gain the weight back. I’ve seen it so many times, and the one thing I know is that I don’t ever want to have to start my journey all over again. I feel like it’s a fear we all have, right? Anyone who has lost weight has the fear of gaining it back. Just like if you’ve experienced a running injury, or lost your job–it instills this fear of it happening again (and again, and again…).
I’ve put together a few tips that have worked for me to maintain my weight loss (even sans scale).
Set new goals: For me this meant running goals, and now goals at CrossFit as well. I was so bored with my normal workouts. The scale had stopped. I needed something. I decided to train for my first 5k, then my first half marathon, and now 2 full marathons and a half ironman later, I still have to constantly set new goals for myself so I have something to work towards. This can be a new time goal, a new workout plan all together (that’s how I fell in love with CrossFit), a new lifting goal, or even just upping your workouts from 3x per week to 5. There is seriously nothing better than knowing you succeeded in completing your goal!
Have fun in the kitchen: This little blog has been a life saver for meal boredom. Food is meant to be enjoyed. I am not one of those food = fuel people. We have 5 senses, and each one is meant to be enjoyed. I love to look at beautiful things, listen to music, and eat delicious food, and that’s not something I plan on trying to change. Figuring out healthy ways to enjoy your favorite foods is key. Look for inspiration to keep from getting bored, and challenge yourself to try new things in the kitchen, even if they intimidate you!
Make healthy friends: I am a social butterfly. I love to talk. In fact, my friends at CrossFit are constantly making fun of me for being so chatty. In fact, when I told them I have a friend that talks more than me during workouts, they told me I was never allowed to bring her in! Anyway, I love spending time with friends, and having friends to run and workout with makes me want to do it. Also, having friends that share your values makes it so much easier for dinner parties / going out to eat /staying accountable. Not to mention, some of my favorite people have come from a mutual passion for healthy living.
Find new ways to track your progress: Okay, so this is kind of similar to setting new goals, but I used to literally see the scale drop every single time I stepped on it. It has been a loooong time since life was like that (it was AWESOME!), but I do see progress (almost) every single week at the track. Track workouts are my favorite thing. I get to run with friends, and I can see my improvement so clearly. For example, a few weeks ago I had 3 mile repeats that I completed at 8:49, 8:39, 8:32 and I was thrilled. This week at the track I did 3 mile repeats in 8:17, 8:09, 7:47. Now, I’m not saying I see that much progress every time (this was particularly excited and shocking for me), but I can always look back at previous track workouts and see my progress. This is equally exciting to me as seeing the drop in the scale, and it keeps me motivated to stick to my healthy lifestyle so I can continue to improve. Have you ever tried to improve your fitness while eating like crap? Yeah…it doesn’t work out very well. So whatever it is that you enjoy, find a way to track some progress and celebrate your improvements!
Ditch your old clothes!: Ummm, if your new clothes start getting tight, are you going to drop a bunch of money on a whole new wardrobe, or are you just going to reign in your diet a little? There’s no point in hanging onto clothes from the past “just in case” because just in case isn’t going to happen. You’ve made it this far, you know what to do, there is no going backwards!
What about you? Any tips or advice for keeping it off?