Like many of my friends and family, with age my metabolism has slowed down. Once I could eat whatever I wanted, and as much as I wanted, and my weight was stable. In my mid-thirties, I noticed a slow but steady weight gain. At one point, I was 25 pounds heavier and decided I would need to change my habits.
Losing weight proved fairly easy, and I took of 12 pounds in 12 weeks, but maintaining the weight loss was a challenge. After regaining 11 pounds, I accepted the fact that I was going to need to change my long-term habits around and relationship to food.
The second time I took the weight off, I decided to be more scientific about the process. What had been so effective the first time and what had I stopped doing that prompted the weight gain?
One thing that had been extremely effective for me was tracking what I ate. I found that by writing it down, I stayed mindful and could lose the weight. On the other hand, I felt a sense of deprivation as I was losing the weight the first time around, and had a faulty attitude that once the weight was off, I could return to my old habits. This time, I decided to figure out how to integrate eating everything I liked, in moderation, into a long term eating plan, since deprivation wasn't going to work.
I joined weight watchers in June of 2013 and took 4 months to reach my goal weight, which I set at a healthy but attainable number. I decided to find a way to integrate the foods and drinks I wanted to include in my diet so that I didn't have foods that were forbidden. Sometime I want a piece of chocolate cake!
When I think about my goal weight now, it doesn't seem out of reach or impossible to maintain. In fact, I have spent most of the last three and a half years 2 to 3 pounds below my goal weight.
I liked that weight watchers has an iPhone app that lets me track what I eat easily, and look back at my eating history to see what foods fill me up while I lose or maintain my weight.
Now, I have a step-by-step method to manage my weight, and I am not longer relying on my feelings, appetite or chance to maintain my weight. I have a measure of control, and know what variables to watch. I also accept that just as I need to continue to attend to the poise of my head, I will need to continue to attend to what I eat and how much in order to maintain my weight. I have accepted this fact, rather than wrestling with habit and appetite. My weight certainly fluctuates and there are times of year or periods of time when I eat more or less, based on hunger. Now, I have the means-whereby to manage those fluctuations without undoing my results.
(This post originally appeared on brookelieb.com)
N. BROOKE LIEB, Director of Teacher Certification since 2008, received her certification from ACAT in 1989, joined the faculty in 1992. Brooke has presented to 100s of people at numerous conferences, has taught at C. W. Post College, St. Rose College, Kutztown University, Pace University, The Actors Institute, The National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dennison University, and Wagner College; and has made presentations for the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Scoliosis Foundation, and the Arthritis Foundation; Mercy College and Touro College, Departments of Physical Therapy; and Northern Westchester Hospital. Brooke maintains a teaching practice in NYC, specializing in working with people dealing with pain, back injuries and scoliosis; and performing artists. www.brookelieb.com