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.