As of today, I have been in maintenance mode for four weeks! I'm also happy to report that despite some missteps and highs and lows, my weight is steady. My weight is where it needs to be. Weight Watchers gives you a range of plus or minus 2 pounds. That is, as long as your weight is within 2 pounds in either direction you are considered to be maintaining your goal weight.
I didn't fully appreciate that reasoning until now, because if there is one thing I've learned over the past month it's that it's naive and unrealistic to expect that number on the scale to be the same week to week or even day to day. I knew that when I was losing weight: rarely did I step on the scale during the week because it would fuck with my head too much if I saw a small gain, even if I knew it could be traced to water weight or sodium or whatever. The mental shift that comes from losing weight to maintaining weight is enormous. Back then, even half a pound up was a reason for disappointment. Now, though, one pound up is almost negligible. It's a reason to be satisfied and know you're doing things right.
This really is a numbers game. It always was, of course, it's just that the numbers I used to be focused on were Weight Watchers points or calorie counting. I still am paying attention to those numbers, but I'm also paying attention to them in relationship to the number on the scale. Now I am weighing in every morning and even writing it down. I'm also noticing that despite the number on the scale, my clothes are feeling loose. Despite the number on the scale, inches are continuing to come off. Those workout pants are a size Medium. Yes, they are stretchy and elastic, but still. Pants. Size Medium. Never saw that one coming.
While I know that I will always have to be conscious and careful and aware of what I'm eating, I would like to believe that I can get to a point where I don't have to constantly be tracking it all the time. Where, instead, I can use the scale to dictate my choices for the day. If the scale shows the high-end of my range then I know I need to buckle down for the next day or two. If it's on the low range I can ease up just a bit. Maybe put the 80/20 rule in to place: majority of the time I track track track, then say, once a week pick a day where I don't worry or count or do any of that. It's a constant balancing act and there is no formula or mathematical equation for this. Sure, they can tell you how many calories or WW points you should eat, but everybody will react differently and you have to play the trial and error game in order to find your own sweet spot.
One month in, but a lifetime left to go. And I not only know, but I firmly believe I have the tools, motivation, and dedication to see this through all the way to the very end.
Love from the ashes,