Darn Maintenance

For years I have chased the ever elusive, utopian state of “maintenance.”  Lose, regain, lose, regain.  Pull out hair.

So you might think I would be happy today, as I sit here typing.  For months now, I have been there.  Maintaining.  Yes, the scale bounces up a few pounds and then (ever so frustratingly slowly) down a few pound.  Over and over again.  But always in the same range.  I’m maintaining!  Woo hoo?  Boo hoo.  Because despite my many past attempts to achieve exactly this situation, I am not trying to maintain now.  I am trying to lose!  Clearly I am not trying hard enough:(

I am eating well.  Most of the time.  Yes, there is that little consistency issue.  But overall, given my workouts, I am in a calorie deficit almost every day.  Hello scale!  Did you hear me?  A calorie deficit, I said.  But what might frustrate me most about this plateau, if that’s what it is, is knowing that many times in the past I had “plateaued” eating a whole lotta tastier crap.  Truth!  That’s why I hate that whole weight loss math thing.

I know, I know.  It’s about living healthy, not about losing weight.  I know.  It’s about my behaviors and how I feel and not about a magic number.  The sane, rational, optimistic (against my nature) part of me knows all that.  But really, people.  Anyone out there who has ever weighed more than she or he wants to weigh can probably relate to me on this one.  When we work hard and do things right we want expect to be rewarded!  And you and I know what reward we want.

I am not perfect.  (Yes, I admit it.)  My eating is not only not perfect but has a lot of room for improvement.  But truth be told, if I’m gonna sit at the same weight day in and day out I might just rather be doing it eating ice cream and cookies instead of fruit and veggies.  Just keeping it real here.

So, I guess the logical conclusion to this post is for me to have an epiphany from self-reflection and to suddenly see where I have been going wrong or slipping up just a bit and then to move on with a great plan that will get me the results I really, really want to see.  Could I be working harder?  Yes.  Could I be eating less?  Sadly, a resounding yes.  Is it time to tighten up my allegorical belt.  Okay, damn it, yes.

Whining over.

blue = weight; green = trend; stats from Feb. 10 – March 17; 3.2 pound variance from high to low



Filed under dieting, making a change

43 responses to “Darn Maintenance

  1. I hear you!! LOUD AND CLEAR!!!! I’m in the same boat right now and it’s so frustrating. I’m ready to bust through the other side of this plateau!

  2. Maintaining is the hardest part. A lot of people think that once you take off the weight, the pounds magically stay off. Well, that definitely isn;t the case. I’ve been up and down the same five pounds for the past 18 years now. While sometimes it is frustrating as hell, it helps when I stop and realize I’d much rather be battling five pounds than the 50 that used to plague me. Karen, you have come such a long way and need to remember that important fact! 🙂 Change up your workouts or make a slight change to your diet (try not eating within two to three hours of bedtime) and I bet that takes off a few more pounds.

  3. Girl,
    I wish I knew the answer. I’m living in that same place right now. If you find the answer, send it to me ASAP!!

  4. Yeah. I know. It stinks. And it’s the reason the math junkies are so annoying. Wait til their bodies decide to flunk math, too. Thennnnn, they’ll be singing a differrent tune! sigh.

    As an experienced weight loser, I know what you’re talking about. Even tho I’m fooling arouind here and there, seriously, I’m eating better than I ever have and at these numbers of cals in/out–even 10 years ago–would be dropping an easy 2 pounds a week. And feeling guilty that it wasn’t 4 pounds, knowing that it would have been 4 if I hadn’t had that one day…..

    Uh-oh. I think I’ve just launched into a post. sorry. Uh-hmm. What you said. 🙂


  5. Ugh. I hate the up and down of the scale. I think I’m smaller than I used to be, but weigh the same. I’m terrible with a measuring tape so who really knows?

    I just feel your pain.

  6. One word: kettlebells. You’ll lose inches, guaranteed!

  7. Hi Karen

    I was thinking about your words – But truth be told, if I’m gonna sit at the same weight day in and day out I might just rather be doing it eating ice cream and cookies instead of fruit and veggies.

    Oh yeah, I’ve thought that before, but then I think I wouldn’t be maintaining my weight if I was eating ice and cookies – I’d be skyrocketing up, up, up. I know you know, but I just wanted to let you know that I have felt this way too….grrr.

  8. sunnydaze

    I’m right there with ya’.

  9. Jan

    Well, yes, you could be eating ice cream and cookies but then you would gain for certain. Whatever you are doing is working for weight maintenance.

    You could think about the quality of your calories, or not. Isn’t wonderful to have choices? I’m not being sarcastic, honestly.

  10. JourneyBeyondSurvival

    Don’t beat yourself up! Yes, you need to work. But, I believe that stalling is a signal. That we are not okay in our head or our hearts. You sound like things are maybe sorted.

  11. Yeah. I gained 2 lbs this week, and I’ve eaten OP and run way more than I have since… October. Haha. Go figure, right. But – just like everything – it will ctahc up with you and you’ll get there. Just have faith 🙂

  12. I can understand the frustration of maintaining at a higher weight than you would like. I think in the past they called it a set-point and the idea was that to break through you did have to work harder/eat less which is so obvious and yet difficult when you are already working harder and eating less than you want!

  13. OK, Karen, I know you know what I will say…. here it comes! 😉

    We are older now so things do NOT work the same – plain & simple fact. You have to work harder at it & eat better or cleaner or whatever you want to call it. With age, I had to up the intensity of my workouts & I had to change up the food program even though I was already doing everything right.

    I think if you look hard at this, you may find that yes, as you wrote: Could I be working harder? Yes. Could I be eating less? Sadly, a resounding yes. Is it time to tighten up my allegorical belt. Okay, damn it, yes.

    Karen, I know it sucks but I had too & I was doing pretty much everything right & honestly, the older I got, the more I had to keep working at it & changing my food plan & it goes on & on….

    But being healthy is important & often the scale does not say it all…. keep on trying but you may have to put a bit more into the trying BUT don’t hurt yourself with the past injuries… being able to do things is much more important than being sidelined by an injury!!!

    • Karen

      You know what?! I actually forgot about the aging thing for a moment. I guess it is because my memory is going too, thanks to aging:) Sigh.

  14. Ewa

    It is an endless journey. Don’t give up. It might be the type of food you eat because it is not simple calories in and calories out. Our bodies metabolize different foods differently.
    It will be also easier once spring arrives in full force.

  15. Plateau’s are of the devil!!!

    I’m just getting started back in my weight loss attempts, but I already dread the plateau’s I know will be in my future.

  16. Yup yup yup. I hear you! ahahaha, seems like I hear you a lot lately. 🙂 I’m trying to lose weight too but when I look on the past four months, I’m really just hovering around 145, going up, going down, staying just about the same. boooo. We know what we need to do. The hard part is buckling down and doing it.

  17. Well, I understand what your saying and everyone here has said it you’ve done such a wonderful job. Guess what, I understand that isn’t enough sometimes. I too would be happier if I could lose more body fat, but the question I have is “am I willing to sacrifice what I eat now to do it?” So far the answer is no because I’m still eating more like a maintainer than a loser. You can do it if you really want too. I know it. 😉

  18. You are a stronger woman than I. Three weeks into lots of hard work exercising and eating clean… and losing 2.1kilos, and in the next week, I gain 300grams – a measly 300grams – but BANG, poof…. straight to the chocolate aisle. Plateaus? BOO. No treats? WAH. I hear your whine and join you. WHINGE. WHINE. AAARRRGGGHHH… #*$%!!!!

  19. I don’t know what to say. Except consistency even in the face of plateau frustration…is necessary. You have to believe in yourself, your plan, and the system. It could be hormonal. It could be your days off plan outnumber the days on plan. Same with exercise. Only you yourself knows…and might not even. Maybe it’s too much sodium, even if you don’t salt anything, you can still be getting too much. Maybe you snack more than you want to admit. Maybe your portions are too big and you need to use a food scale more regularly. All possibilities. But in any case, keep eating healthy, and exercising 30 min. a day more days than not. That has to stay consistent. Over (more) time, if you do that, your body will cooperate. :: hugs ::

    • Karen

      I do get more sodium than I probably should. Love cheese! But, Sunny, I am actually working out 2 hours a day right now. Two hours! Something is screwy with my math. Gonna get serious. And read more about intuitive eating:)

  20. Move on over, because I am SO there with you. I adjusted my eating because I can’t exercise, but the numbers are still not moving.

    I do know there are certain foods that no matter how calorically okay I am I won’t lose weight eating them … cheese is one.

    At 2 hours a day of exercising maybe you should just go for being buff. 🙂

  21. I can empathize. Actually I am planning to post about this on Monday. I have basically stayed the same for two months. I know it is the fact that I am not eating below my 1200 goal because I am traveling so much. My exercise is fantastic, just need to take less calories in. So, I, too, am good at maintenance, it is juts not the right time for it NOW!

    • Karen

      I’ll be interested to read that post, Michele. You know how I feel about the numbers. One thing I have always wondered – I have heard (from Dr. Oz and elsewhere) that no one should eat below 1200 calories. But does that mean if we exercise away 500, for example, we should not eat below 1700? I find 1200 a tough goal. But I guess that is why I am not losing:)

  22. I can SO relate. I lost 70 pounds on Weight Watchers 8 years ago and have mostly maintained ever since. Right now I’d like to lose a few pounds that I packed on over the winter but I just can’t seem to stick with it. There’s always some excuse to start the diet “tomorrow.” I’ve been using MyFitnessPal, a website that also has an iPhone app. It’s free…but I just end up not sticking with entering everything I eat.

    • Karen

      Good for you! I did WW about then and didn’t stay on the plan after I met lifetime and gained it all back:( Wish I had a smart phone for easy tracking.

  23. Remember muscle weighs more than fat. Also if you are working out 2 hours every day, you need to give your body 1-2 days of rest to recover and relax. The rest time does make a difference … try it. 🙂
    Stopped by from SITS for Share fest Sunday!
    Have a great week ahead!

  24. I am going to have to say DITTO to what Jodi and Sheri said and add remember we are also women. Sometimes being female is so frustrating!!! GRRRR!!!!!My husband could be eating the same as me and we workout together and he is visibly losing but not me! It seems we have to work twice as hard and be twice and conscientious about everything we do. So not fair! But like someone told me yesterday “it is what it is”. Think about the question Sheri asked “What are you willing to sacrifice?”

    My question for you is. You achieved maintenance based on original goals what is making you want more?

  25. Karen~
    A big, giant bear hug goes out to you right now because I feel your pain! It’s almost as though my body gets lazy while maintaining…..like I’m ‘bothering’ it for wanting it to do more. And we know that our bodies are capable of more. Hang in there. It will come.

  26. Been there, done that.

    But when I’me eating poorly and still maintaining my weight… I feel like my weight is distributed differently – my tummy is a little bigger, and my legs have a little more fat… in comparison to when I’m maintaining the EXACT same weight while eating well.

  27. LOL, well… I have been there. I always think I would like to be 10 pounds lighter, but for better or worse, my body loves to lose the same 3-4 lbs before gaining them again with no rhyme or reason.

  28. haha I love the way you’ve written this. Loosing weight isnt easy…if it was, we’d all be perfectly fit. It takes dedication, and that’s pretty much it!!! And it looks like you’ve got that covered, so you’ll have your ideal body in NO TIME!!

  29. Pingback: Adapting to Change | Fat Girl Wearing Thin

  30. I can so so so relate. I know exactly what my problem is, tho. Too many calories and not enough water and right type exercise (as in any, hoho). Even with what I learned recently – that long tern straight running is bad for your heart (isn’t that wild??) and it is better to do 20 minutes of 2 minutes steady and slower speed then 1 minute spurts or bursts of straight speed, for 20 minutes – I haven’t managed to do that faithfully yet. I just have to start DOING not talking!!

    • Karen

      I have heard lots of great reasons for interval training but that heart business is a new one. I did like “jogging” (since it was too slow to call running, me thinks) intervals when I tried them in the past. I have never run even a mile! But even those burst hurt my knees and feet and back. Sigh.

  31. Oh, here’s one article on that “too much cardio bad for heart” – http://tinyurl.com/48rvrcv

  32. Ugh i’m so with you, i’ve gone back up to my old plateau in the last couple of months and it’s so hard to think about getting back off it for a second time that at the moment i’m just inhaling wine and trying not to think about it. I need a plan to kick start again…just don’t know where to find one!

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