MAINTENANCE IS TOUGH, VERY TOUGH! It is, by far, the
absolutely, positively, hardest part of
the whole process. It's made even more difficult by how easy it was to get to
Let's start off with some good news. I had a physical again in
the summer of 2000 to see how I was doing. Excellent I might add (see my
stats on my LC main page). If there are
negatives to this WOL, you can't see it by me. My doctor said to see him again
at 45! However, I plan to have a complete physical next year, just to make
sure everything is okay. Everyone should have a physical every couple of
years, more often if you have a problem. This is my excuse why I need to go.
I've been on LC for
over 2 years. Maintenance is the most critical part of the entire process. Although I have been successful, the body
wants to go back to old habits. Here's what I've found over the years.
Daily weigh-ins. I knew that it would be critical, and it is! This is the only way to make sure you stay where you want to. When you gain a
few pounds you have instant feedback to reverse the effect. I have missed very
few weigh-ins, and they are when we are on vacation or away for a few days.
Maintenance weight should be a range. It's too difficult to maintain your weight to the nearest pound. You are either under, or more likely
over! It's much easier to stay within a range. In my case, the range is 140-145. Unfortunately I have been
pushing 155 for several months.
The effects of eating increased carbs does not always show up the next day. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 days. But there always is an effect!
Since I know that, simply cut back for a day or two and you'll be okay.
If you add sweets back in at all, it is VERY VERY difficult to limit yourself.
Fat-type foods (such as meat) have an automatic self-limiting effect.
Candy and sweets do not have that feature. If you're going to go on a binge, set
a limit (eg: ten minutes) and force yourself to stop after that. Have a
glass of water. In another ten minutes you will be over it.
To those of you on an exercise program: Do not stop. Ever. I made
that mistake. I have been pretty good about staying on low carb.
However, due to several reasons, I cut way back on my exercise program. I
gained 10 pounds (155), and probably another 10 pounds in lost muscle (muscle
weights a great deal more than fat). I went from a 32.5 waist to a 35. I was
nowhere near my 185 start, but more than halfway to my 37+ waist. Ouch. I
have tried several times to get back on the program, and I think I'm finally
there. I feel much better and my pants are getting looser again! I
have not changed my eating throughout the process. Now that I'm back on
plan, I feel much better. You forget how much better you feel when your
exercising. And you can blow away 80% of the rest of the population your
age when you are playing volleyball or the like.
Here's another thing. Take pictures at the beginning, the middle, the end, and
then if you change at all. Last summer (2000) when I was at my all time
best (145, 32 waist, exercising 4-5x week) I was still disappointed with my
body. Those damn love handles would not go away completely. I think I went
to crazy trying to get rid of them, got fed up, and stopped the exercise program
for several months. Now, here I am. Moderation did not rule. However
everything is relative. I wish I had pictures to compare to now! I think
that would be a huge motivation. Wow, that was me! I can do it again!
Over the past couple of years, a dozen or so other people were on the program
with me (on and off). I now stand alone. I am the only LC person left. That
tells you just how difficult changing your habits are. I still swear by it, and
can't see myself giving up my meat, eggs and cheese just so I can have carbs.
For me, it's a big ol' slab of meat and a little veggies. When I think of
people eating a big ol' plate of vegies and a itty bitty piece of meat, I know
that I was not meant to be one of those people. I am glad I found something I
can live with.
185/154/145 (as of 8/26/01; LC since 5/21/99)