At about 20 pounds from goal my mind has been drifting towards maintenance and I was thinking about exercise and eating in maintenance. What should that look like? I don't want to plow my way there and then quit everything I've been doing. So I decided that although my mind is looking towards the future, I need to focus more on today. Since I have been focusing on today, and what do I want to do today, and what can I do to make today the best day not just for reaching my weight goal, but for me as a whole and for my family. What should I be doing right now? When I started thinking about it that way I realized that I want to go spend time at the gym. The kids love going, and I enjoy the exercise. I realized that I'm not giving up something and I'm not wasting my time going to the gym. If I could never lose another pound I would still go to the gym because it benefits the family. It is something we all genuinely like doing. So I don't need to worry about wasted time or whether or not I should go or have to go. In the moment, for each day, it is something that the kids and I both want to do. So lets go do it! I don't need to worry about that or regret time spent there anymore.
I'm trying to live now how I would like to live in the future. I allow myself to eat when I am hungry. Finding true hunger can be a challenge. I am making sure that I am busy in the afternoon and I'm not hanging out in the kitchen, that is a death trap for me. Today I made color swatches of all my nail polish (8 colors). That was pretty fun, now I can see all the colors and what they will look like once applied. It will make it easier when choosing colors for my nails and my family and friend's as well. The kids are sick again so we stayed home today. Those types of days are always more difficult because I am around my food and around the kitchen all day long and it is so easy to spend the day snacking. I made sure to get in a lot of physical activity today even though I didn't leave the house. I danced with Lily and then later I did Zumba. I raked in 822 extra calories according to my fitbit and I was hungry today. I ate 2,015 calories and still managed to be 287 calories under my calorie goal according to My Fitness Pal (My calorie goal is set at 1,480 and you add in 822 calories for exercise that you can choose to eat or not to eat). I enjoyed some banana bread that I had made a few days ago, and I air popped some popcorn in the evening before dinner for the kids while they were watching veggie tales. I put a few tablespoons of real butter on it and I had a bowl. I didn't deprive myself. That is going to be so key in maintaining. I have been restricting and depriving myself for so long that it took a very long time for me to stop gasping for food out of fear that it would soon be on the forbidden list again..... It took me 6 months to get through that phase. But now that I am, I know that I can't just eat everything in sight and in fact I don't want to. I didn't like living that way for the past six months. I didn't like the way I felt, I didn't like being subject to food, it wasn't fun because I could only eat when no one was watching because I didn't want them to know what I was doing. I didn't want them to know how much I was eating and what exactly I was eating (which was usually everything I could get a hold of). It was not a fun place to be in. Even though the food tasted good what do I have to show for it? More fat around my body than before, more money spent on junk food, I don't have any more friends, and I am not more emotionally stable than before. Food cannot solve your problems.
I love that I am focusing on each day as an individual day as well as keeping the big picture in perspective. I have been tracking again every day and I have been eating many of my exercise calories. My fitbit is always about 100 calories under what my heart rate monitor would say, but I love being synced to my fitbit because it counts all your activity throughout all your day. Today when I looked and saw that I had 822 activity calories I earned I was floored. My workout only burned 377 according to my fitbit but I still had 822 calories earned from other activities I had performed that day, not just my workout. So it made sense to me that I was so hungry, because I had done a lot and my body needed fuel! Before I would have ignored all the exercise calories I earned and suffered through the hunger. That is not healthy and it's not sustainable. Who wants to starve for the rest of their life? At first I didn't believe that I had earned so many calories, I couldn't even think of what I had done to earn that much besides dancing with Lily in the morning and doing Zumba which added up to maybe 500. But after I put the kids to bed my body let me know it had worked hard that day confirming what my fitbit said. My legs started to throb and ache. Fortunately I had some massage lotion I could put on my legs that has peppermint oil in it and it helped a ton. My legs still have a dull ache in them but nothing I can't manage now. I'm feeling good, I'm on a high. Hopefully that doesn't mean everything will come crashing down tomorrow. I'm going to keep doing it this way, monitoring my activity and tracking my food and making each day the best it can be. We will see where it takes my weight. I have been going down steadily for the past 4 days, I know I am doing things right so I know my weight will keep going down. Once I plateau we will see where that is and if I need to change something. Then I will. I'm not saying I won't change in the meantime, I'm still improving. I need to drink more water, make healthy choices and all that. Every day is an adventure. It's time to start living.