A Maintenance Revelation

Late last week I finished writing my guest post for Katie over at Runs For Cookies.  It had been a very long time since I’d written something lengthy about my thoughts on maintenance for a new audience.   I debated on whether I should just concentrate on a specific topic for her readers, or touch on several things so they would get to know me a bit better.  I finally chose the latter, and I’m happy with the way it turned out, though I think some might find it a tad long for a blog post.  What can I say, I’ve got a lot to say on the subject!  Smile

There was something I noticed while writing that I had to stop and study for a moment before choosing to leave it in the post, and I have to tell you – what I wrote not only surprised the hell out of me, but the fact that I felt confident enough to leave it in has absolutely changed me. 

This is the final paragraph of my post.  It reads,

One final thought: you may have heard maintainers say that it’s harder to keep the weight off than it is to lose it. I completely agree with that statement. I used to be terrified that I was always one cookie away from gaining all 100+ pounds back. These days however it’s all about teaching myself to SIT. Stay In Today. The past doesn’t matter; it’s the present that counts. Today is all I have, and I do what I can – here in the moment – to continue improving my life. That’s all any of us can do, really.

 

…a little less emotional baggage these days, perhaps? 

 

Did you all catch the part that I ‘used to be terrified that I was always one cookie away from gaining all 100+ pounds back?’ As I finished writing those thoughts I sat with that sentence for a long while.  I kept wondering if I should find another phrase.  ‘Used to be…’ referred to a feeling I wasn’t currently experiencing.  Was it really possible that I was no longer as fearful of becoming ‘the old me’?  If this were true, I’d just stumbled across something I should have already recognized as a major shift in confidence.  Instead, it took Katie’s request and my willingness to revisit that part of my life to see that the fear I’d been carrying for the last 8 years has truly diminished – considerably so. 

I am still processing this whole thing, but I intend to explore it further and find out what brought about this change within me.  I have a couple of ideas that I’ll share when I completely understand them myself, but for now I just wanted to share these thoughts with you because they are new and exciting, and it feels as though a nearly decade long burden has been lifted from my shoulders.  For the first time since the inception of this blog, I do believe I’ve had a Maintenance break-through. 

…many thanks to Katie for helping me sift these thoughts to the surface, and to Roxie for introducing me to SIT – Staying in Today.  That tool has been invaluable to me.  Keeping myself in the moment, not worrying about the future or wallowing in the past is some good medicine if you’re up for it. 

Have a great Monday, everyone.  Please feel free to check out my post on Katie’s blog.  Ellen’s Guest Post on Runs For Cookies.

16 thoughts on “A Maintenance Revelation

  1. vickie

    Darlin’ sometimes I read posts exactly like this and someone has actually mentally decided TO regain. Decided in that sense that they have stopped taking care of themselves. I am not saying we should all walk around being terrified. I am not terrified. I am just saying that sometimes it is denial. . .it is a very fine line.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Oh, ‘famous last words….’, right? Don’t think I didn’t suddenly hear the world shift when I wrote those words down, Vickie – lol. I thought for sure I must be jinxing myself by even breathing it aloud! It’s not really that kind of ‘revelation’, I guess – but more along the lines of me feeling that I have a better relationship with food than I used to. I feel more control than I’ve ever felt, really – and I am starting to think this has something to do with my hysterectomy. My mood swings were SO extreme before, and therefore my emotional eating became a fixture of that out of control feeling…but since then I have had less of those, and therefore less desire to overeat. I still need to take all of this in and see what it means, but I may be headed in the right direction.

      Reply
  2. Karen@WaistingTime

    I love that you are still having epiphanies! Thanks for the link; I’ll go off and read the post. I for one do think it is in many ways harder to maintain. I’m not sure someone who doesn’t have food issues would understand it. I do feel I might be one bite away… from overeating. But I refuse to think that I will regain again; I am done with the yo-yo!! The biggest thing for me was really and truly finally realizing that I just can’t go back to eating certain things or a certain way.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      It’s amazing that we can live with these thoughts for years and then one day something just changes.
      I’m so glad to hear that you are doing so well, Karen! Using all our energy for fear isn’t the way to go – even if we think it’s a ‘good’ kind of fear; I’ve done it way too long now. I’m so glad to read that you are doing well!

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Katie, I’m confident it will happen to you. SO confident. It may sound discouraging to some that reads it’s taken me nearly 8 years to come to this place in my life but that is simply because I haven’t been able to get a handle of my own fear until now. I don’t know if I’d call myself confident, but I do know I’m finding that I’d much rather use that energy being grateful that for today, I’m at a healthy weight. Just remember, Katie – any time you have doubts about whether or not you can maintain, know that you are doing just that! You are doing it. Some days will feel hard as hell and some days we may slip, but we know what it means to be a maintainer, because we are maintainers. ((hugs))

      Reply
  3. Kyra

    Yay for you! :) When I was at maintenance, I never had the fear I’d slip back. I think I was overwhelmed with other things, so it didn’t process the same way. Of course, maybe at some level it has to at first. Congrats!

    Reply
  4. lisa

    It was a wonderful post! I can so relate to that one cookie line! I am 16 weeks pregnant and terrified at that number rising like it is! I have a plan in my mind after the baby comes and i hope and pray it goes as well as I invision it lol!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Thank you, Lisa! That’s very kind. Pregnancy is the one thing I’ve never had an experience with, but when I first achieved goal I wondered what it would feel like gaining weight because of a pregnancy. That is something which requires a completely different mindset. You almost have to separate yourself from your fears because your body is being borrowed for a while and the weight is a necessity for the survival of your child. Congratulations, by the way! I’m sure you’ll be a fantastic Mom and I can see you exercising with the baby in tow!

      Reply
  5. tree peters

    that’s so great. Fun, right? To discover something new….
    That SIT-ing is big for the losing weight too. I will ponder and put it in my bag of tricks.
    thanks.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Angela, thank you for the compliment on the post. I worked on that for weeks. There were SO many things I wanted to write about, and I was amazed I was able to cut it down to where it still made sense.

      Reply
  6. Lynn B

    When I was anorexic I used to justify every pound I lost with the idea that I was providing myself a ‘cushion’ for the inevitable weight gain that would come with middle age. I could not separate the fear of being obese (something that ran in my family) from the dangers of starving myself almost to death. I felt it was one or the other with no middle ground. Starving myself to somewhere around 75 pounds (I am 5’4″) was followed by binge eating with a rapid 90 pound weight gain and while being around 165-175 pounds isn’t HUGE, it was a drastic amount of weight change for me. I feel I’ve been on both sides of the disordered eating spectrum…they really aren’t all that different.

    Coming to grips with and overcoming this fear (of weight gain or losing control or whatever) isn’t the same as ‘giving up’…it’s a healthy process that FINALLY allows us to live in the moment, as you said Ellen. Once upon a time people ate to live and their bodies adapted and kept a natural balance…they didn’t obsess over food or the number on the scale. Many of us have forgotten HOW to eat and the purpose it really serves. There shouldn’t be a fear of food in my opinion. I love that you have found this out and have confidence that as you explore this realization you will discover so much more peace and happiness. <3

    Reply

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