Sunday, October 5, 2014

Transitions on the Journey

153 lbs.

This past week I finished my last regular Optifast class.  I've been attending for 40 weeks, and it feels like a graduation of sorts.  Only one of my original classmates will be continuing on.  The rest of my original classmates went on to take the 8 week maintenance class and are now freely living in the world of their own healthy choices and ways.  I won't start my next class until October 21st, so I have a couple of free weeks.  During that time I have a trip to NYC planned, and my husbands grad school reunion in Connecticut.  I'm so excited to heading out on this trip with him!  We have a couple of special shows planned, as well as lots of walking and hiking in the beautiful Fall weather.

I'm looking forward to my maintenance class, though.  I received the advice that it would be best to be completely off product for a number of weeks before attending maintenance class because I would come back with experience, and probably with lots of questions.  I think that will be the case.  According to my former leader, the person teaching my maintenance class is a personal trainer, and should also be able to give advice about my fitness goals.  This is my new focus, so the timing is perfect.

I admit that the process of reintroducing food has been very experimental for me.  Balancing my caloric intake with my activity level has been interesting.  Since I log all of my food and activity into MyFitnessPal, at first I was perplexed and worried by my eating only 900 calories, working out an hour per day, and still maintaining my weight.  I wondered if I would ever be able to eat more food.   Well, slowly, either by circumstance or intention, I've increased my calories over the last three weeks, and I'm averaging about 1500 kcals now, give or take, and I actually dropped a couple of pounds this week.  I think it's a normal fluctuation, but I'm now eating at a level that makes me happy and feels normal, so if I need to keep this caloric level, that would be great.  There is room for a nice treat every now and then, and I know I wouldn't want to feel like I have to be a good girl ALL the time!

All of this is taking my full attention though.  In fact, I feel like this whole weight loss process has required me to re-prioritize my energy (in a good way, though).  When I was obese, I didn't give a thought to what I ate or when I would exercise.  That left more time to devote to kids, work, friends and the house.  Nowadays, I would say that it's a tie between attention to my kids' needs and attention to my healthy needs.  Those two things take up a lot of space in my life.  Other things have fallen by the wayside.  I'm still making time for friends and some work, but my home is looking a little scrappy at times.  I'm sure it will sort itself out and become streamlined as I develop habits, and feel comfortable with my own personal eating philosophy.

It sounds funny to have an eating philosophy, but for me, it's helpful.  I operated very well under the structure of Optifast, so having a new structure seems like a good idea for me.  For me, it is simple and uncomplicated.  I'm trying to avoid grains and processed sugar.  This would be very difficult if my husband wasn't also eating this way, but he is still in weight loss mode, and he has chosen a low carb lifestyle that is working for him.  We plan to continue this way going forward, and I have to say that I haven't found it too difficult to maintain my weight while eating this way.  Our kids still get sandwiches, treats and rice every now and then, but we are all eating more vegetables, meat and fruit.  I can't see a downside to this way of eating in our home, but I'm also not going to freak out when it's time to have a taste of home made birthday cake or a special regional treat when we're on vacation!

I never made it to my strength class last week, since I forgot that I was teaching art to my younger son's class.  This week I get to start over and will aim to fit that in, while still keeping up with hiking and C25K (I love those two things!).  That's my goal and I know that strength training is important.  Add that to the never ending list, though!

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