My 100lbs came off slow. It took 18 months of evolving how I ate, including things I loved, learning (and it was not easy at 250 lbs) to love activity and doing it all how I knew THIS was going to be my new life.
I never got extreme while losing my weight. The hardest part of my maintenance has been the times I dieted for shows because everything had to be extreme compared to how I live. If I had to lose my weight and live like I did when I competed I don’t know where I would be.
Moderation taught me how to live, make mistakes, learn and balance. The extreme side had good lessons like food prep, pushing myself very hard when I didn’t want or feel like I could, and showed me I could eat a lot fresher and cleaner than I thought. But the extreme side failed to teach me to think and feel for myself. After competing I didn’t trust myself to keep the weight off because I relied on unrealistic menus, amounts of exercise, and denial of simple things like yogurt to be on stage.
The good news is that I came out fine but most don’t. Extreme diets just dont have big success rates longterm. its a shame because that is a lot of work and often suffering to finally wear those sexy shirts and goal jeans.
When you lose a lot of weight you carry emotional baggage. If you don’t deal with a new lifestyle on the way down the scale your old insecurities and habits will kick in when there’s nothing left but to march in place. The weight loss doesn’t magically show you how to…
1) eat out with friends again because for months you stayed home not learning how to make healthy choices.
2) take time off from exercise because your body needs it. In the extreme land you don’t miss even if everything is screaming stop.
3) make menus each week that includes lots of variety and fun. Extreme diets teach you to be super hungry and eat bland crap.
You see, you need to learn how to have a LIFE while you lose your weight. I’m not saying every day is a rose, that you will never have a day you feel hungry and that there are some days you need to shut the excuses up and work. We all have those moments. MOMENTS is all that should be. If what you are doing always feels like a chore then you aren’t building a life. You are putting off learning how to be healthy forever.
Let me tell you, when you no longer have the scale moving, the inches dropping and new sizes to keep you motivated with how you live, well, you better like how you live or you just feel like its work. It’s hard to keep up what you did to lose weight when the payoffs are gone. For me, it was one of the most difficult things to understand: maintenance looks like weightloss. The only real difference for me is about 200 calories a day, I can skip the occasional workout when I want to, and I drink more wine. 90% of what it took to turn my life around I do every day. Luckily I did it in a way that doesn’t piss me off.
The article below inspired this blog. Read it. She does a marvelous job of proving why moderation is a key to your weight loss game.