Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Telling the truth Tuesday - Maintaining weight loss

As those of you know who are long-time readers of this blog, I lost 50 pounds several years ago. It wasn't the first time I did that, but I am certainly hoping it is the last. That means maintaining the loss. This takes diligence. During the time I was losing weight, I learned to weigh myself every day. I know some weight loss plans tell you to only weigh once a week, but I needed to learn my body and how it handles different things. I learned there is a 2-pound fluctuation that happens all the time, no matter what I eat or don't eat. I understood how eating out affects my body - usually a 1-3 pound weight gain from one meal, even with making healthy choices. It is probably due to excessive salt. Takes about a week or two to lose that. Consequently, I don't eat out all that often any more.

I had to find other ways to reward myself, other than food. Now I go clothes shopping or purchase songs on I-tunes, rather than eat. Whereas I used to hate shopping for clothes, now I love it, because things look good (even at 61!).

Learning to say no, not only to myself, but to others was hard. If I am invited to dinner, I choose what to eat and what not to eat, and sometimes people don't understand. My friends do - now. But at first they used to say things like, oh, it doesn't matter just this once. Oh, but yes it does. It is my body and I get to say what goes in and what doesn't. If we're invited out to dinner with friends, I plan accordingly so that I eat less calories during that day.

If the scale creeps up a pound or two, I immediately stop eating out and eat what I know will bring it back down. In the past, I didn't pay attention, and the 1 pound would become two would become four would become 10, etc.

Temptations are everywhere. Saturday at the State Fair was hard - I love those turkey legs, and curly fries and, and, and. But I brought my own lunch rather than eat the fair food. And the funny thing is, I didn't feel deprived. I don't feel like I am depriving myself of things I want - that was an old emotional issue. Rather, I am choosing to take exceptionally good care of myself by eating what I know makes my body feel healthy and strong and fit.

So there you have it. Some of the ways I am maintaining my weight loss. How about you? Do you struggle with food? If so, where are you with that particular issue? If you don't, you are one lucky person.


Jemi Fraser said...

Good for you Karen. I didn't struggle at all with weight until my thyroid went nuts a few years after the birth of my 2nd child. Now it is a battle. Good tips :)

Gail said...

Sounds like you have a good working plan...I have none.

AlexOngNYC said...

I'm struggling with my weight issues and body image issues too. I was on Weight Watchers in August and did pretty well, and just missed food so much in September that I had a total meltdown. I grew up surrounded by food issues, my mom was a bulimic and all my aunts were constantly on diets. I never learned what it was like to have a healthy relationship with food. So now I'm trying to learn. So I blog about it, sometimes. I just get so sick of myself for being so preoccupied with food.

Breakfast Every Hour

Jules said...

What a feat! I on the other hand am at the opposite end of the spectrum, can't gain weight. A bad situation because my immune system is not what it should be.

Shoot, I'll bet that turkey leg you wanted weighs more than me. :)

Congrats on sticking to your guns!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Cyndi said...

Oh brother. Weight has been an issue for me my whole life too. I've gained and lost hundreds of pounds over the years. A few years ago I too lost a considerable amount of weight but have gained some back. I have been reading a lot about emotional eating because I'm sick of the roller coaster and love being a size 6! Part of it is the idea that we attach to food as a reward. In fact it's fuel for our bodies. When we see it as a reward we feel deprived. Sounds like you've beaten that old belief, congrats! When I am maintaining a healthy weight I too have to be diligent and weigh in each day because that 1 pound does become 10 so much faster coming back on than coming off.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Twice in my life, I had to lose a lot of weight. Right now, I am happy with my weight, and I do hope I don't have to struggle with weight loss again.
BUT, I can't control my tastebuds, and I really admire you for being able to do so.

Karen Walker said...

Jemi, it's so much harder with a thyroid issue going on. Good luck with that.
Gail, I just got tired of the struggle and needed to do it differently. I hired a nutritionist who taught me how to eat.
Alex, a huge key for me was losing my obsession with food. The healing was not only learning how to eat, but spiritual and emotional as well.
Jules, in the past I'd say I envy you, but either end of the spectrum is difficult. As long as you're okay with YOU.
Cyndi, oh how sad that we have this much in common! Women, Food and God is a great book by Geneen Roth, if you haven't read it already.
Rayna, it isn't easy to control my tastebuds, but I am losing the cravings for things that aren't good for me. And if I have a craving, I indulge myself, but only a few bites, not a whole piece of cake, for example.

Tara said...

Keep up the good work! I never had a weight issue until being confined to bed for 5 months while pregnant with my twins. It took 6 years to do it, but 2 years ago I lost most of the weight. Still have a little to go. I know I can do it - just have to be in that right mind frame!

Helen Ginger said...

Your strategy clearly works. But what makes it work, I think, is your attitude. That positive and healthy attitude is what I'm taking from your post.

arlee bird said...

I weigh myself everyday. A few years ago I saw my weight reaching a totally unacceptable level. I have curtailed much of my eating and I was walking daily but gotten lax on that--need to resume that after this week's heat wave.
Now I seem to hover at the same weight, which is about 30 pounds more than I would ideally like to be. I eat out too much, but I am eating less. I rarely drink sodas and usually drink water. I need to still cut back on sugary foods and eat smaller servings.
Sounds like you've been well disciplined with your program. Congratulations!

Tossing It Out

Mason Canyon said...

I definitely struggle with my weight. I can think about food and gain weight. LOL Sounds like you have a good plan.

Thoughts in Progress

Karen Walker said...

Good for you, Tara.
Helen, you are right. It took years to develop this healthy attitude.
Lee, sounds like you know the right things to do. Good luck with doing them.
Mason, yeah, me, too. I used to think if I just looked at it, I'd gain weight. Now I know better.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love the way you stay positive, keep to your plan, and resist temptation! Also, I think it's great the way you still find ways to reward yourself...but in *good* ways. Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most people go 'on' a diet and then 'off' the diet when they're done, but it's a lifetime comittment.

Anonymous said...

Karen, you are in inspiration to me. You look fabulous, darling.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

WTG, Karen! I've struggled the last two years...moving was really hard on me. (Excuses I know...) I'm working on making better choices. I've lost a few pounds in the last few weeks, started exercising again and don't plan to stop. Thanks for sharing your story. :)

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, thanks. Yes, it's huge in more ways than one.
Alex, yes, it is a lifetime commitment and life choice.
Simona, thanks. You're a sweetheart.
Sharon, moving is so so stressful. Good for you. All you have to do is one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on maintaining so well, Karen. I have a sweet tooth, and can't seem to cut back sugar. Luckily I'm not a big meat eater, so keep my animal fats down. But home baking is a different story!!

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Karen-- I actually never struggled with food or weight until I weaned my second child...then all of a sudden I gained 10 lbs and I'm having a really hard time losing it. Thanks for your tips and congrats on maintaining!

Karen Walker said...

Lynn, yes, home baking can be hard to resist. I've learned to just check a bite or two. It helps.
Erin, YOu're lucky. Yes, those last 10 pounds are hard. Took me a year to get those off.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sliding a little is one thing, but sliding for a few days or weeks is a big problem! Being a vegan, I know a lot about nutrition and fat and calories, so I know what to avoid. It's not the food that trips me up as much as the lack of exercise - I get busy, it goes out the window.

Julie Musil said...

I'm so impressed that you've kept the weight off so long. It's obvious you've made a choice of how to live your life, and it shows.

I know what you mean about eating out. Lots of salt, portions are huge, plus, it's too darn expensive (I have three boys). We rarely eat out also.

Shirley said...

Funny you should write about this today. I have had to discipline myself using many of the same methods you describe. And some days (today being one of them) I get discouraged by how much I exercise (27 miles of biking today) and how little I eat (three small meals) and how hard it is to maintain a decent weight. I lost eight pounds a year ago for our son's wedding. I lost three more for our daughter's wedding. But now I have gained five back again. Daily weighing in is essential for me. Good luck with your own struggle, Karen. I understand it completely!

Tabitha Bird said...

Good for you Karen. That takes some doing. But it is oh so worth it hey :)

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Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my goodness, Karen, how wonderful to learn about your discipline and will power. I have been putting on some weight lately, and I am not happy about it. Thanks for the lesson!



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