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Maintenance Phase One

Jen581791

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Unlike what it sounds like, Phase One Maintenance is not actually stopping losing weight, at least for me. Phase One is figuring out what my real actual GW is - where my 5 pound forever range lies. I felt I was at an acceptable weight when I hit 150, so anything thereabouts would feel like a success to me, but I think I will ultimately find myself a bit lower than that. Right now, I'm at 145, and it feels fine. I'm going to shoot for 140 and see how it is there. I might go to 135, depending on how 140 feels, and whether anyone screams "Stop!" at me (that responsibility would have to rest on my husband's shoulders, since I'm not around people I know very well right now). Lots of online weight calculators put me at around 140, based on sex, height, and age, but I'm willing to consider numbers on either side of that. It’s mostly just weird to not have a goal of losing. I took a “What diet is right for you?” Buzzfeed style quiz the other day and it stopped after I put in my stats and said: “You don’t need to lose any weight. Are you just looking for a way to change up your eating habits?” I was like “What?! Oh yeah, I don’t. I forgot.” Like I actually have zero context in my life for what it might be like to not have the goal of losing weight. It’s never happened to me before.

For those who are further away from GW than me, 5 pounds may seem like nitpicking, I totally understand that. That was like less than 2 weeks of losses earlier out for me, and didn't seem to make much of a difference one way or another. However, at this point, 5 pounds makes the difference between clothes fitting and not. I bought a couple of pairs of trousers the day I hit GW, and I'm already taking one of them to the tailor's this week, as they've gotten unattractively loose. They weren't tight to start with (should have gotten a size smaller but they were out), but they went from "Those fit nicely, in a not-tight kind of way," to "Those look sloppy and over-sized" in a matter of three weeks. The other pair of trousers went from tight skinny jeans to comfortable jeans. 

Most of the time now, I feel pretty thin. I feel great, actually! I have tons of energy, I feel confident, and I actually look good to myself when I see myself in the mirror (usually - dysmorphia stuff means that sometimes I look fat to myself - I am aware that this is not correct). It's really shocking to feel this way. Shocking in a good way. I saw myself in the mirror in a store at the mall the other day, and I thought, “Hmm. I look like a thin person.”

I've been shopping a couple of times recently, and it seriously feels like being a kid at Disneyland. I can try on anything. Sales associate asks what size I'm looking for, and I can honestly reply without feeling ashamed (after living in oppressive fear of this question for many years). I'm trying to learn how to pick the right size to try on (no way can I eyeball a piece of clothing and have any idea) and also to try on one more size smaller, just to see if it fits. It's pretty baffling. Everything looks way too small, like it’s a joke. I know that vanity sizing shifts over the past decade or so are working in my favor, but my mind is having a hard time adjusting to wearing size small and single digit pants sizes. 

I'm still going to the gym most days. My knee is healing, albeit slowly (why can’t I heal like a person in her 20s?), so I can do the stair stepper and the treadmill and the elliptical, but just slower than before. I'm finding it more difficult to get my 10,000 steps every day, too, so my average has gone way down. I realize that my knee needs some babying right now, but I'm impatient. I went to the desert this weekend and was worried about walking around in the sand, thinking that would bother my knee, but it was actually great - the sand sort of made it so I couldn’t twist my knee no matter how I stepped. I went for a couple of very long walks through the dunes. Why can't everywhere be sand dunes? I ask myself this question a lot (the desert is my happy place).

So, food-wise, I’m really pretty much eating like I have been for the past many months. I've upped my calories to about 900 per day, most days, with a few higher when I'm doing something like going to a party. I've eaten a few crackers here and there, with cheese, but I haven't gone crazy or anything. I had some sweet potato chips last weekend - again, just a couple of small handfuls and not going crazy. It's nice to be able to have that control. I just don't feel driven to eat in the same way I was, which may very well be a sign that I'm firmly in the honeymoon phase still (thank goodness). With a couple of my social groups, they have clearly identified that I do not eat sweets or most carbs, so they're making a point of not offering anymore, which is fantastic. I feel like I've trained them. “I don’t eat sweets.” My plan is working.

Some things I've been eating a lot lately: pomegranate seeds in my Greek yogurt -yum! And nicely crunchy. Tuna with chopped pickles and Hellman's light mayo (I can't taste the difference, and it has about 1/3 of the calories, so hey. Thank goodness I can find that and Vlasic pickles here - globalization has its benefits, I guess). Indian food sauce in a jar with shrimp, or fake chicken, or paneer, or tofu added - it's nice and spicy, I can control exactly how much I eat and know the nutritional info, and it's quick and easy. Scrambled eggs are getting easier, so I have them sometimes now. I'm trying to add frozen chopped spinach and other veggies to lots of things to get more fiber and iron. But mostly more of the same: protein drinks, Greek yogurt, cheese cheese and more cheese, nuts, fake vegetarian meat, shrimp, and some salads and veggie sticks. I honestly don't feel too bored with it. My husband has been channeling his energy into cooking for himself (he usually cooks Indian food, but carbier than what I want so I usually just have a bite), and he remarked the other day that he's happy we're not eating out so much now, since we eat better at home and we're saving money better this way. I thought that was quite strange, since we used to eat out a lot, but hey, if he's happy. He’s definitely losing some weight, too, which he’s pleased about.

In case this blog entry didn't seem like it had anything very exciting, here are some pictures of the Empty Quarter to make you feel better about reading this far. It's a gorgeous place - sand for a thousand miles.

 

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I am glad your knee is on the mend!  I know how frustrating it is when you have an exercise routine that is suddenly thwarted by an injury.  These pics...omg!  So pretty!  And that last one of you is gorgeous!  You need to print and frame that for your hubby.  Thanks for the additional insight into Maintenance Phase One.  As always, I am enjoying and looking forward to your posts <3

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you know I was reading how that 5# made such a huge difference in the fit of your pants and I couldn't fathom that....but you know it will be foreign to ALL of us...why?  Because we lived so long (or forever for me) overweight, that we don't even KNOW what it FEELS like to be at the "correct" body weight....and for us, being at 250# doesn't mean our clothes get too big at  245#, but being as small as you are, 5# is a much bigger percent of your body weight so it is bound to make a difference, I just have never been there!!!  Pretty incredible to imagine!!!  I am happy for you experiencing this novel thing!  It must seem so cool (minus the hassle of having to get them downsized!)

btw, you look so happy (and beautiful!)  And what kind of shoes are you wearing while walking the dunes?  Any at all?  I think I would love that....the only experience I have had walking in sand is at the shore and usually it is so darned hot you can't tolerate it so you have to run real fast (not pretty for an overweight woman in a bathingsuit..even with a coverup!) so instead,  you keep sneakers on and just get over to your spot and dump the sand out.....but I LOVE the feeling of sand and having my feet in it...so I want to walk those dunes with you!!!  (also it is amazing to me that you all just drive in the sand to get there!)  

Glad to hear your knee is healing, but you're right, it still needs babying so keep going a little easy on it!  

Anyway, sounds like you are doing great figuring out your maintenance....just keep posting it so when I get there I have your example to follow!! :)

ps...just curious, when did you start working out at the gym?

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11 hours ago, TammyP said:

I am glad your knee is on the mend!  I know how frustrating it is when you have an exercise routine that is suddenly thwarted by an injury.  These pics...omg!  So pretty!  And that last one of you is gorgeous!  You need to print and frame that for your hubby.  Thanks for the additional insight into Maintenance Phase One.  As always, I am enjoying and looking forward to your posts <3

Yes, it feels sort of unfair to be stopped from working out so much now that I finally want to! I’m on the mend though. 

Thanks for your nice compliments :) 

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11 hours ago, Chefman77 said:

Great pics Jen, you look great! You really seem to be in a good place. Keep doing you.

Thanks! Good place mentally, physically, and geographically.

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10 hours ago, CheeringCJ said:

And what kind of shoes are you wearing while walking the dunes? 

Barefoot, until the weather gets hot. Normally I kick off my flip flops as we enter the sand and don’t put them on until we leave. So nice. This is wide open country and you can drive, hike, and camp pretty much anywhere you like. No fences. We didn’t see another soul for three days. The ultimate peace and quiet.

I started going to the gym in Ausgust, when I got to Oman (too hot and muggy to walk outside then). I’m mostly doing cardio machines, and need to incorporate more weights. 

 

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7 minutes ago, cinwa said:

I love those pictures Jen but I have to tell you, you are one stunning lady.

Thanks, @cinwa! That's very kind of you to say :) I was at a really low point in my life at this time last year - what a difference a year makes!

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13 minutes ago, Jen581791 said:

Thanks, @cinwa! That's very kind of you to say :) I was at a really low point in my life at this time last year - what a difference a year makes!

There's no doubt that life has a tendency of throwing a few curve balls our way Jen but I speaking from experience, being slimmer and healthier has helped me cope far better than I would have done otherwise. 

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You look so fantastic, Jen!  I'm sorry your knee is still giving you trouble, but so glad you can still go for walks in the dunes.  The desert looks amazing.  I hate heat and like a vampire, I'm not supposed to let sun touch my skin - but those pictures make me want to go there anyway!  ;) 

And I'm laughing a little, too - that water bottle is almost as big around as you are now!!!

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Witnessing your weight loss surgery journey here at TTF has been both wonderful and inspirational.  You are living proof that the claims of some naysayers that weight loss surgery does not work or that you can only lose 75-80% of your excess weight through surgery are simply false. 

I hope that you find a comfortable goal weight soon.  Once you set and reach your goal weight, you should find that you can add some more calories to your daily diet without gaining weight.  Life at maintenance as a thin, healthy and active person is truly great.  However, at first it can be odd mentally to finally be in a place where you are not trying to lose any weight.

Thank you also for posting the amazing photos!  Visions of warm sand are nice when one is in cold and snowy Boston!

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On 1/10/2018 at 8:42 PM, Kio said:

You look so fantastic, Jen!  I'm sorry your knee is still giving you trouble, but so glad you can still go for walks in the dunes.  The desert looks amazing.  I hate heat and like a vampire, I'm not supposed to let sun touch my skin - but those pictures make me want to go there anyway!  ;) 

And I'm laughing a little, too - that water bottle is almost as big around as you are now!!!

Thanks, @Kio! The desert is amazing. I'm like a lizard - I cannot abide with the cold, so I put up with the hot in the summer to avoid the cold in the winter :) 

To be fair, it's a 2L water bottle ;) but I'm getting smaller, no doubt.

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On 1/10/2018 at 9:43 PM, kristinwitha_k said:

You look so lovely and happy! The jarred Indian sauces as a food option had not yet occurred to me, so many thanks for that little suggestion. Yum! 

Thanks, @kristinwitha_k

Yes, the jarred Indian sauces are a savior. I like spicy food and can't be bothered to cook it from scratch when I'm only eating 1/4 cup of the sauce per serving... 

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On 1/11/2018 at 3:43 PM, Res Ipsa said:

Witnessing your weight loss surgery journey here at TTF has been both wonderful and inspirational.  You are living proof that the claims of some naysayers that weight loss surgery does not work or that you can only lose 75-80% of your excess weight through surgery are simply false. 

I hope that you find a comfortable goal weight soon.  Once you set and reach your goal weight, you should find that you can add some more calories to your daily diet without gaining weight.  Life at maintenance as a thin, healthy and active person is truly great.  However, at first it can be odd mentally to finally be in a place where you are not trying to lose any weight.

Thank you also for posting the amazing photos!  Visions of warm sand are nice when one is in cold and snowy Boston!

Thanks, @Res Ipsa. I never really imagined I'd be below goal weight - I mean, I hoped and wished, but never really thought it would happen. The bump up of calories is going to happen soon - it's hard to wrap my head around the idea of working to NOT lose weight, though!! 

The warm sand is a lovely thing, and one I missed a lot when I was away. 

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@CheeringCJ  OK, here's why a few pounds means changing sizes at this point for me. Here are photos of me on GW day (Dec 22) and today, 11 month day (Jan 14). That's just over three weeks, and the difference is pretty clear, at least to my eyes. I lost 7 pounds in that time (whoa! maybe time to slow down!), but have gone down at least one dress size. And, thigh gap? Yup. My butt has gone away, too :( 

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I hope you find your happy spot! You look great and I love the pictures and getting to read about how things are progressing :D I'm glad your knee is healing! I started adding a bit of collagen in my morning drink some days instead of protein, and am hoping that will help my own knee as my activity progresses. So awesome your husband has gotten into cooking for himself - the extra savings and weight loss being excellent bonuses!

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9 minutes ago, delilas said:

I hope you find your happy spot! You look great and I love the pictures and getting to read about how things are progressing :D I'm glad your knee is healing! I started adding a bit of collagen in my morning drink some days instead of protein, and am hoping that will help my own knee as my activity progresses. So awesome your husband has gotten into cooking for himself - the extra savings and weight loss being excellent bonuses!

Thanks, @delilas! Yes, so glad the knee is getting better - I'll have to look into collagen. Knee trouble sucks, and now my opposite hip is always sore from the month of limping around I did :( Makes me really glad I'm not doing the biomechanical damage to myself of carrying around so much extra weight anymore. It would be way worse if I was any heavier.

How are things going for you? Well, I hope! You're at about 6 weeks post-op now, I think? Should be getting a lot of energy back now, I imagine. 

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5 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

@CheeringCJ  OK, here's why a few pounds means changing sizes at this point for me. Here are photos of me on GW day (Dec 22) and today, 11 month day (Jan 14). That's just over three weeks, and the difference is pretty clear, at least to my eyes. I lost 7 pounds in that time (whoa! maybe time to slow down!), but have gone down at least one dress size. And, thigh gap? Yup. My butt has gone away, too :( 

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 3.13.51 PM.png

OH my heavens!  You are so skinny!!! And you're right, that is a big difference. But considering how much percent of your total weight 7 pounds is compared to how much of MY total weight 7 pounds is, it IS a big difference. How did you get a flat stomach?!? I don't remember you mentioning it, but have you had kids yet?  I've had five so I doubt that I could ever have a flat stomach!  But I can dream ;)

Edited by CheeringCJ

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2 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

Thanks, @delilas! Yes, so glad the knee is getting better - I'll have to look into collagen. Knee trouble sucks, and now my opposite hip is always sore from the month of limping around I did :( Makes me really glad I'm not doing the biomechanical damage to myself of carrying around so much extra weight anymore. It would be way worse if I was any heavier.

How are things going for you? Well, I hope! You're at about 6 weeks post-op now, I think? Should be getting a lot of energy back now, I imagine. 

Yup :D I returned to work last week and am finally hitting water and protein consistently. 

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Wow, Jen, your progress is just awe inspiring!! You look amazing, and I'm so happy that you're feeling great!! It's crazy that 5 pounds can make such a huge difference now, isn't it? It's around 10 pounds for me right now before I feel a difference, but I'm about 40 pounds heavier than you still, lol. Way back in the beginning (my pre op period) I lost 34 pounds, and couldn't see or feel one single pound of it. Hard to wrap your head around, but still a great feeling!!

The dunes are amazing!! I can't imagine living in such a beautiful place and having access to walking there any time I wanted to! I can totally get on board with not seeing another soul for three days...such peace must be felt there ❤️

Keep up the great work...you've done it!! Now you'll settle where you are comfortable and you will spend the rest of your life happy and healthy :wub:

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