A Little Scared

Where should I be right now?  In bed, long asleep.  Where am I right now?  Sitting on the sofa a little drunk and a lot confused. 

I know that I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’m at a point that I never, EVER thought I would get to.  The point where I have to decide if I’m done losing weight.  I know that, again, this is a great problem to have, all things considered, but it’s still weighing pretty heavily on my mind.  There is no real way to know if you will cross the line from healthy to sickly, weight-loss-wise, until you actually do it.  I would really rather not cross that line and so I’m having to tread gently as I move forward.  You see, according to the BMI Calculator I am just on the very inside of being Normal Weight (which means I’m on the borderline of being overweight).  To get right to the middle of my Normal Weight Range, I would have to weigh 150 pounds (which is another 22 pounds down) and that is just not reasonable for me. 

Realistically I realize that I cannot keep losing weight forever and still expect to be healthy.  In fact I think I’m probably right on the borderline right now as far as what will continue to look good and still serve me, health-wise.  I could easily continue right along the road that I’m on and keep my intake low and my output high and the weight would keep coming off, probably indefinitely.  There comes a point though when it truly is no longer necessary to keep taking weight off.  I realize all of that.  It is completely another thing to actually do something about it. 

I can look in the mirror now (sans clothes) and I’m pretty pleased with what I see. I realize that no amount of further weight loss is going to change my body type.  That’s something that I never really realized until just very recently.  I have the exact same body type and problem areas that I had when I was 75+ pounds heavier.  It’s all still exactly the same, just smaller.  I still have a tummy, it’s just much smaller.  The only way that I could ever expect to get rid of that is to do a whole bunch more exercise and start tightening and toning things up.  And then?  It might never be completely eliminated.  I’m actually alright with that.  I know where I came from.  I know how much good I’ve done for myself and I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed of the fact that I don’t have a model’s body.  I will wear a swimsuit this summer and not be horrified to let anyone see me in it.  I feel good and I’ve done well.  I’m healthy and I work at my fitness and I make good choices and I cannot expect my body to be anything that it is not. 

It’s the matter of now stopping the weight loss.  You see, I’ve been getting on the scale once per week for 31 weeks and expecting to see it go down.  And it has gone down every single one of those weeks save for 2.  That mind set of reduction is going to be a hard one to change since it’s driven everything that I’ve done thus far.  It’s going to be rough on me mentally to start seeing the scale go up a bit here and there because I am going to be in fear that it will just keep going up!  I have to somehow find a way to maintain my weight in my personal range.  Since my range is 170-160, I will have some room to wiggle around.  It’s going to be a matter of making sure that my weight is IN the range and then not worrying too much about it.  I know it’s actually a larger range than most people would take (WW lets you have a 2 pound range).  Since 160 is probably much too low for me, and I would not want to be anymore than I am now, the actual movement in the range is probably going to be from the middle to the high end (165-170). 

Honestly, this whole part scares the crap out of me.  I am heavily resisting putting the brakes on the weight loss.  In fact I’m so resistant to it that my dear friend suggested that I am walking a fine line of having a bit of a problem.  I truly do not have the kind of problem that he mentioned.  I am simply having a hard time flipping the switch from losing to maintaining.  Losing is an action that I have been really successful at.  It’s always nice to see a new number every week and to make progress, to buy new sizes, to wow even myself when I look in the mirror or look at photos.  It’s actually DOING something.  Maintaining what I’ve already done is the same amount of effort but there is no reward on the scale anymore.  If everything works out properly, my weight graph should just start to show a nice level line.  Since I would probably avoid flipping that switch indefinitely, I will continue to the end of SPRING FORWARD.  Wherever I end up by May 2nd when I go to Seattle is where I will put the brakes on.  Dear friend made a pretty decent point that since I’m going to Seattle that weekend to spend a whole bunch of time shopping and a whole bunch of money on clothes, where I am when I make those purchases should be where I’m to stay for the most part.  A switch of a couple of pounds in either direction shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the fit of those clothes.  The need to keep tailoring my pants and never having anything that fits is driving me batty and that just might be the catalyst I need to flip that damn switch!

I also have to remember that while the scale may not be moving, I am still going to be able to mark off improvement and progress in my running and whatever other fitness I take up.  I’ll be able to find a way to maintain my weight and still push myself physically.  At least that’s the plan!

So Dear Friend suggested two methods of going about this calorie increasing thing (because that’s the only way, short of ceasing to exercise altogether that I will stop losing weight).  The first option was to increase calories for every day of the week, spreading it out across all 7 days.  The second option was to keep everything locked down from Monday to Friday and then relax it all on the weekend.  I’m more inclined to pick the second option because it’s really the best of both worlds.  By keeping it on the level from Monday to Friday I’m keeping myself in the mindset of lower intake and higher output.  I would never really lose the momentum of what I’ve created in the last 31 weeks.  And then on the weekends (which, as I become less single, are going to be more relaxed anyway) I can relax and just let life happen.  Plus, when holidays or vacations come up I’m already going to be used to letting go for a couple of days and then getting right back on track. 

So that’s where I am right now.  Certainly not anywhere I ever thought that I would be.  Too skinny?  Ha!  You’ve got to bloody be KIDDING me!  And yet this spot I’m in of having to make that decision is proof that I did it and that feels good.  If you start out your weight loss journey as I did, knowing that there is never going to be an end point (which is, in my opinion, the only possible way to be successful) and that you’ll have to fight for your whole life for this then this spot that I’ve found myself in is one of the only indicators that the losing phase is over, that it’s time for the focus to change.

As I have done the entire time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve reassessed as I’ve gone along and made sure that what I was doing was still working for me.  I’ve tweaked here and there to get things to work exactly as I want them.  Tweaking this part is just going to take a little more time and focus.  One of the ways that I’m going to change things starting right now is to count points up rather than down.  If you are following WW you know that you start out with a balance ‘in the bank’ and then you eat out of those points all day and ideally you end up at zero by the end of the day.  Well since that need to end up at zero can be incredibely restrictive for me, I’m going to count UP.  We’ll see how that goes.

So as we can see, this is what happens when you have a long talk with a friend, skip exercise in favour of beer drinking and then sit down and type out a post.  Long and wordy!  Fortunately there is no hockey tomorrow so I’ll be doing a good hard run and working some of this stuff out in my head as I do it.

As always, comments are more than welcome!