As part of my new focus on maintaining my current weight and healthiness, I’m hosting a series of interviews with other maintaining bloggers. The goal of The Maintenance Series is to show that reaching your goal weight doesn’t mean dropping your healthy habits, and like weight loss, there’s no one answer for everyone.
1. When did you realize you were ready to shift from weight-loss to maintenance?
I realized I was ready to make the change when I cared more about miles run, workouts done and how I felt than what the number on the scale said. I hadn’t lost anything in nearly a month when I finally made the decision that healthy living was no longer about losing weight for me. I never hit my weight goal, but in reality, it doesn’t matter to me because I’ve achieved so much more than those three numbers.
2. What has been the hardest part of transitioning from losing weight to maintaining your loss?
The hardest part has been changing that mindset of losing to maintaining. I lost all of my weight by following Weight Watchers and going to meetings. I decided to keep following the Weight Watchers plan while transitioning. I don’t go to meetings anymore, but I track my points online. Now that I’m no longer losing, it’s been hard to shift my mindset from "oh my god, if you eat that tablespoon of peanut butter you’re going to gain a pound this week" to "that tablespoon of peanut butter has a lot of protein and fats that you need in your diet as an athlete." It takes baby steps.
3. What have you found most surprising about maintenance?
Maintenance is a lot harder than I expected. I thought I would just coast through it if I just stopped counting points and eating healthy because I still run and workout every day. Not true. I immediately gained back eight pounds (which might have something to do with ramping up marathon training, but let’s be real). It really surprised me that maintenance takes real work too.
4. What motivates you to continue maintaining?
Running motivates me to continue doing pretty much everything in my life, especially maintaining. I can’t compete and do well and reach my time goals if I don’t take care of myself and eat right.
5. Do you still weigh yourself? If so, how often?
I still weigh myself, only about once a week. I used to weigh myself literally every time I went into the bathroom, even though I knew you’re not supposed to do that. Now, I don’t let the numbers on the scale get to me, there are more important things in my life.
6. What is your approach to food now?
My approach to food now is all about eating healthy, fueling my workouts and trying new things. All three go hand in hand. I’m trying to learn how to cook, cook well and cook healthy. If I can learn how to do that, I’ll continue having a healthy attitude about food and maintaining will become easier and easier.
7. What is your next health or fitness goal?
My next goal is to finish my first marathon on October 17 in Columbus, Ohio. I never ever in my life thought I would lose weight in the first place, let alone become a runner and run a full marathon. But my ultimate health and fitness goal? It’s to be completely happy with my body and my weight. Even though I’ve lost the weight, I’m still uncomfortable sometimes with how I look in clothes and what sticks out and what makes me look bigger. I’m not sure I’ll ever make it to be entirely, 100 percent happy, but working on myself and learning to love who I am is a part of growing up and a part of life. I still have a lot of learning left to do!