Thursday, May 20, 2010

And the real journey begins: Goal Weight!!

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After six days of vacation, of hanging onto the program by my fingernails amidst receptions, family tension, graduation celebrations, free food, restaurant dinners, hotel breakfast buffets (WITH BELGIAN WAFFLES), and the temptations of Atlantic City, I somehow lost 3.4 pounds this week and weighed in UNDER my 136 pound weight watchers goal. I have been struggling to lose these three pounds for FIVE MONTHS. FIVE. MONTHS. The process was discouraging and I constantly questioned myself. But the questioning caused me to grow and develop; to address a lot of my psychological issues with food, and to change a lot of habits I thought I could leave untouched. And now those pounds are finally gone and I can begin to appreciate my journey.

With this, I switch over to the “maintenance” phase of weight loss. Instead of 35 weekly points on Simply Filling, I get 63. I continue to pay for weight watchers for the next six weeks, and then if I weigh in within two pounds of 136, then I become a “lifetime” member and no longer have to pay for meetings as long as I stay within that two pound range.

I am shocked and thrilled. I felt the Simply Filling technique “click” for me this week -- it was much easier to eat to satisfaction and to recognize my hunger signals -- but I worried that all the restaurant meals would throw me off. I may see a delayed gain next week, but it feels great that the scale has finally “caught up” to my hard work. I am not sure if anything I did this week figured into my goal, but I think three things happened differently this week:
  • I did a great job eating to satisfaction...maybe a LITTLE bit past, but not too much
  • I ate higher-fat foods (restaurant, cakes, etc.) (counting points for extra oil and non-filling foods, but eating primarily from the filling foods list). Some people have theorized that eating higher fat foods for a short time can kickstart your metabolism if you plateau.
  • I finished my final exams and ended a great source of stress in my life. Research suggests that constant levels of stress can cause your body to hold onto fat stores. I wonder if the end of the academic year allowed my body to relax and finally lose those last three pounds.
The great part about my 136 goal is that I am truly comfortable at the upper end of my two pound range, but don’t really like being above that. I think setting a realistic goal weight will help keep me on track during maintenance and lifetime. I expect to adjust it upwards as I age and my body changes/metabolism slows.

I can tell that my challenge for the next few weeks will be figuring out just how many of those extra points I can eat. Simply Filling is a bit different from points in that you can’t always eat ALL your allotted weekly/activity points. The next six weeks will take some experimentation, and I will need to be on guard for the attitude that I can “relax” now that I’m at goal and go back to eating cheeseburgers and buffalo wings several times a week. While I have some more wiggle room now, I also enjoy eating healthier and don’t think much should change now. I have room for a few more indulgences, but my overall behavior and attitudes should stay the same.

But for today, I’m going to celebrate coming to the end of the first leg of my weight loss journey. I am rewarding myself with a shopping trip to Anthropologie -- a trip I promised to myself more than a month ago for the day I hit goal. :-)

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