Thursday, April 7, 2011

Maintaining Vs. Fluctuating

To help illustrate the title of this blog, I've put together some random before and after pics:

Throughout my late teens to early 30’s, my weight bounced between 135 to 150 lbs (+/- 3 lbs).

For the past 3 years, as I am getting closer to 40, I’ve not only managed to get into the 120’s, but my weight fluctuates only 5 to 10 lbs rather than 15 to 20 lbs.

I’ve shifted my focus from counting calories and quick weight loss, to trying to maintain balance through hydration, nutrition and exercise. By eliminating or greatly reducing my intake of things like caffeine, soda, corn syrup, dairy, meat, processed foods, salt, fast food, and empty calories, I’ve noticed an improvement in my overall health and my ability to better moderate my cravings.

One of the best things I did was I finally started using my juicer. I replaced all soda and most non-water drinks with fresh vegetable and fruit juices. I didn’t restrict how much I had and I did not lose a lot of weight solely by doing this. However, my complexion immediately improved and I felt better physically, emotionally, and mentally. Soon I started replacing almost all my treats with fresh juice. I’ve been steadily alternating between slow weight loss and maintaining. I’m by no means perfect with my diet, and I give in to cravings, but the juice is a good way to get me back on track. It’s one of my basics.

I’ve allowed myself to jump on the scale as often as I want to monitor fluid retention and progress, as long as it didn’t cause negative feelings. If I’m having a fat day or week, it’s better for me to focus on eating healthy and staying active. Sudden weight gain, for me, is usually due to fluid retention and will quickly balance out once addressed. If I obsess, I eat and then the weight gain is real. As I’ve gotten older, I’m less willing to put myself through the emotional rollercoaster that always accompanies unhappy body image.

I’m fortunate that most of my obsessions had a positive impact on my health and my life, although I’ve had my share of “life’s little lessons” from poor choices. Also, at my age, it’s harder to get away with self-damaging behavior and there are too many people that would call me out on it (not to mention my nagging internal voice that never lets me get away with anything). I like being thin but I have no desire to tread on the side of self-destructive. But no doctor has expressed any concern for my weight. In fact, the last time I weighed in at the gyno was 122, and I was congratulated for this achievement. Plus, I have never shown signs of being under nourished or diagnosed with an eating disorder. I do obsess over my body image, but that’s partly due to my obsession with numbers and random data (that’s a whole different topic). If someone close to me were to express concern, I am willing to be proven wrong.

Do I have a desired goal weight? I don’t know if I can give an honest answer, as this is a loaded question. I do not think I’m overweight and I’m not sure if it’s realistic to see if I can be 118 or 115. Maybe five years ago, I would have said, “Hell yes! Let’s see if I can do it.” I love a challenge and I love to push myself but this kind of need for control can be destructive, for me at least. Right now, I prefer sanity to vanity. Plus, at this size, if I were to suddenly loss 5 to 10 lbs, I would bring a lot of unwanted attention to myself. At this time, I believe my goal is to find a truly manageable weight. I’m hoping 125-130 is realistic, but I think 130-135 is a more ideal goal. Deep down, my guilty pleasure fantasy is that I can be 115-120 and exceptionally healthy.

I’m as capable of self-sabotage as the next person, but I feel like I have a positive and healthy approach to improving my self-confidence and I try to be mindful of negative thoughts and behavior. I’m human, so, there’s that wrench that will always be thrown into the equation.


  1. You look amazing! And I'm glad you're posting again!


  2. Thanks, MLM. Me too. I'm working on new posts so hopefully, I will keep it up. I sincerely enjoy your blog, btw.


  3. I'm glad that you're back posting again. I like your mindset & outlook, that's where I hope to be someday (soon!).

    ~ Harlow

  4. Holy cow-- you look great! And you're doing it while still taking care of yourself, which is so important. I think a lot of younger girls forget that their health isn't always a renewable resource. I look forward to hearing more from you!