Now that I reached my weight goal, what should I do now? As I mentioned before, reaching my goal didn’t feel like a big deal once I got there. It was just another day of the week, and I didn’t feel much different than the day before. Here, I’ll address maintenance goals and some other miscellaneous stuff that didn’t fit into my other articles.
As I mentioned before, I stopped losing weight about 5 pounds before I reached my original goal. I’d been thinking a lot about where to stop, and it just felt right. Now that I’m not actively trying to lose weight, I’ve loosened things up a bit. I’m sticking to all the principles I wrote about in this series, but without actually counting calories. Instead, I’m trying to enjoy foods and eat mindfully.
It was easy to stop writing things down, but it’s been hard to eat only when I’m actually hungry. Covid-19 has been really stressful, so it’s likely I’ll end quarantine with a few pounds added back on. I remind myself every day that 2 months will not undo 18 months of work. Despite what Instagram says, I do not think that now is the time to worry about gaining a little weight.
Eventually, I’d like to get a point where I never weigh myself and rely on healthy habits, not numbers. I’m not there yet, though. I’m going to have to let go of that slowly because it’s been a habit for more than half of my life. My good habits will keep me at a healthy size, even if I don’t own a scale. I don’t trust myself enough to do it yet, but I will get there.
Miscellaneous: On Enjoying Your Food
Over and over, I realized how important it is to love what you’re eating, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s more than just the taste of the food, though that matters too, of course.
- I heard a tip about eating from a bowl instead of a plate, and I found that I prefer it! A bowl makes it seem like there’s more food. It makes it easier to mix things together, too, which is something I really like to do.
- Try eating variety over a week, not at a single meal. You’re less likely to overeat and will get to enjoy many different flavors. (I get maximum enjoyment from eating exactly how much I need, not more or less.) I especially like planning theme nights for our meals because I never have to come up with something last-minute.
- Create a space where you can enjoy your meals. Eat at a table with no distractions, not on the couch or in your car. The social part of the meal contributes to how satisfied you’ll feel after eating it. Sometimes, I’ll eat breakfast or lunch alone so I can enjoy it more. Kids are stressful dinner companions!
- Keep in mind that liquid calories do not fill you up. Try to eat your food instead of drinking it, and take your time. If you do want a drink, make sure it’s really worth it. For me, that means the occasional homemade lemonade or milkshake. I really do prefer water 99% of the time. 🙂
- Only make healthier versions of things if they will still make you happy. I personally do not make low-fat baked goods, and I never replace flour or rice with vegetables. I prefer to think of what I’m adding to my meal, not what I’m subtracting from it.
Ultimately, after lots of hard work, it’s time make peace with your genetics and metabolism. I changed all the things I could, but I still didn’t end up looking like a supermodel. I’m (mostly) at peace with my soft, squishy look. If I don’t get the hang of maintenance yet, that’s okay. I have my whole life ahead of me to keep improving myself.