By George, I think she’s got it! Maintenance, Week Four

This past week has definitely been the best so far and I’m not just saying that because I was down 1.2 pounds at my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday. Well, maybe a little! It is nice to be getting back to where I was last month.

Plus, I’m starting to really feel the balance that I have to apply to stay on track. Once again it all comes down to course correction. I’ve got a goal and I keep looking at where I want to go and if I’m not on track, then I have to analyze the course and make small changes until I get back on track. Big changes will just be overcompensation and I’ll veer off course in the other direction. So small changes – tweaks to the system.

That system is the one that I have been building, one brick at a time, for over three years. Healthy habits, good routines or mindless rut? Call it what you will, it is the foundation that my current health is built on and that foundation is strong!

Here’s what I “mindlessly” did every day this week:

Got up, drank water, ate oatmeal, blogged and worked out. Got dressed, packed up my lunch and vitamins, went to work, had vitamins, water, light therapy, morning snack, water, lunch, water, vitamins, water, walked, afternoon snack, water, went home. Drank water, had dinner with my family, watched tv, evening snack, read, went to bed.

Yes, there were off track moments: I had two afternoon snack attacks this week: 1 bag of Sun Chips (original) and 1/2 a bag Frito corn chips. I had one evening of mindless snacking where I went through a lot of healthy snacks and ate more than I should have because I was eating in front of the television. NO EATING IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION.

Still something I have to work on but it wasn’t every night AND I was aware of it because I’ve been journaling and tracking my food this week.  I saw my Nutritionist this week and I committed to daily tracking for three months. Me, three months? I haven’t had very many WEEKS where I tracked every day, so this will be challenging.

But I’ve read the studies, the books and the blogs. EVERYONE agrees on this one point: people who track what they eat are more successful than those who don’t. Period. That one criteria keeps coming up again and again in the research. Track and win. Track and win. Track and win.

I want to win. So I’m going to track. Simply, huh? Well, that and I lost 1.2 pounds. A couple more weeks of maintenance like that and I’ll be back to my lowest weight from last month. Not that I’m doing this expecting to lose. But to me, this is adjustment weight, not weight loss. Does that make sense? I had already lost this weight when I was on plan to lose. But I got off track and gained it back and now I’m back on track, so that re-gain is coming off. Once that is gone, I don’t think I’ll lose any more until I crank up the exercise and cut back on the calories starting January 9th.

Of course, I’ve been thinking about my first goal for 2011. I’ve already decided that I’ll follow the Weight Watcher recommendations and focus on the next 5%.  5% of my current weight of 174 is 8.7 pounds. Which makes me want to round that up to 10, but maybe I should just resist that urge and lose the 5%? Over-achieving, perfectionist tendencies are some of the things that got me to 321 pounds in the first place.  So on January 9th I’m going to weigh myself and whatever that weight is, I’ll set a goal of losing exactly 5%. Then I’ll go on maintenance again for a month. Then I’ll set another 5% goal.

This will keep me from getting too thin, which is unbelievably, a concern once you’ve had gastric bypass. Because you have not only reduced capacity for eating, you also have reduced absorption. So no matter what I eat, I absorb fewer calories, fat and sugar, but also fewer vitamins, minerals, fiber and the calories I need for energy.  I’ve seen and heard too many stories about what can happen.  I don’t think I’m in any danger there, but staging the remaining weight loss over time will make sure my body adjusts and that I’m not pushing myself to some unreasonable, chart-based goal. My nutritionist’s recommendation that I shoot for a waist size of 1/2 my height for a measurement of health sounds like a good goal to me.

Well, I’ve got a workout with the trainer this morning, then a reward of jacuzzi and steam before I take my favorite instructor’s yoga class. I’m so excited about that – can’t wait!

Think about what you are doing mindlessly that is good for you. And watch out for the mindless behavior that is not good for you. Have a great Saturday!

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