Some people seem to keep their body weight stable without trying. I don’t know how it happens (maybe it’s in their genes), but one thing I am pretty sure about – I have never been one of those people! A couple of years ago, when I was clearly having a lot of success with losing weight, I thought that once I got to my target weight, I would become one of those effortless people, and all of my problems would be over.
I now know that I was wrong! I frequently have to stay away from home, and when I do I usually put significant weight on. It was like that while I was losing weight, and it is still like that now, even though I have been maintaining for the best part of a year. If I had become one of those lucky-gene types, that would not happen. But, rather than lapsing into my usual habit of beating myself up, I have recently realised something very positive about my situation!
Our nutritionist Emma, that source of excellent advice, pointed out that weight fluctuations are common in most people. Even people who have never been overweight can see their weight go up and down by several pounds. So the penny dropped! It’s no good hoping to become a person who cannot put weight on (I already know for certain I’m not one of those lucky types), but I can and will become like one of those other people – people who put some weight on, but then know how to get back down again.
And I now see that all of those trips away from home have been an opportunity to practise gaining weight, then losing it again. And, after such a lot of practice, I’ve got quite good at doing it (even, sometimes, without getting stressed out about the weight gain).
My latest practice session was last weekend – we went away to Edinburgh for five days. I managed to do a fair bit of walking, but also managed to eat and drink enough so that when I got home I was – believe it or not – 4kg (9 pounds) heavier! Even after such a lot of practice, I was taken aback, but I switched into my ‘recovery diet’ and only two days later I have lost the best part of 3kg. Every time I have one of these up-then-down practice sessions, I know I am getting better at doing it, and when I do go away I can eat with much less guilt.
I do have a major ‘practice session’ on the horizon – a cruise in a few weeks. But I am less worried about that than I have ever been, and I know that after serious practice like that, I can tackle anything!