To begin, some maintainer’s statistics…
Weight that I decided to maintain at: 85.0kg (13st 5)
Average weight since getting to my target: 83.1kg (13st 1)
Average weight in the last month: 82.5kg (13st)
Away Eating days in the last month: 13
Average daily steps in the last month: 9,626
This is not quite as good as recent months – my weight is very slightly higher and my steps are very slightly lower – but I am pretty pleased with it because I have been eating away from home for 13 days. Not far off half of the month, and no drastic slide (phew!)
At one of our many recent meals away from home, Ann and I started to think about what I now eat when out of the usual home routine, and then onto how things are different from the sixty years before that. I remembered that, three years ago, when I started my (hopefully last) weight-loss journey I decided that I would completely cut out those calorific things where lack of self-control would stop me from reducing the amount of them that I ate – things where one taste would lead to another and another etc! Don’t get me wrong – I know that this is not recommended by Nutracheck, or anyone else either, but I thought it would work for me so that’s what I did. I may have forgotten a couple, but I think the list was… bread, cheese, bacon, pasta, battered fish, chips, oil (added to cooking or in things such as butter, spreads or dressings), pies, pastry, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream and cake.
Quite a list! Everyone told me I would never eliminate these from my diet and, in any case, did I really think I would never eat any of them again? But I was determined, in my stubborn way, and that’s what I set out to do. The last four on the list – biscuits, chocolate, ice cream and cake – were quite easy because I was never very fussed about them anyway. But the first nine seemed a taller order. To cut a long story short, in the twenty months it took to lose my ten stones I did not even once touch any bacon, pasta, oil, pies, or pastry. And as far as I remember I touched bread and cheese twice, and had fish and chips three times.
I managed this, and it wasn’t too difficult – in fact for many things it was very easy. The big worry was what was going to happen when I got to my target weight, and started to maintain. Was I really going to cut out some or all of these things for good? But if I didn’t, was I going to reintroduce them into my diet, lose control, and end up back where I started? After not very far off two years of maintenance what has happened is that I have still not touched bacon, pasta, oil, pies or pastry and I don’t miss them in the slightest. I have eased off very slightly on bread, cheese, battered fish and chips. And, as before, I eat almost no biscuits, chocolate, ice cream or cake because they don’t really interest me.
In fact I don’t have any of the things above when I am at home. The little I do eat off the list is strictly when we are away – my ‘Away Eating’. I don’t really think of them as ‘treats’ but, if I do, I suppose I have limited all treats to when I am away from home. And, maybe strangely, what I have found is that even those ‘treats’ no longer do as much for me as they have for most of my life. Every few weeks now I might have a chocolate sundae or fish and chips, but they don’t thrill me, and I would probably prefer what I might have at home instead – fruit, yoghurt, vegetables and grilled salmon. Who knows what lies ahead, but after three years it is now beginning to look as if those calorific things on by ‘blacklist’ will really become things I am not interested in eating any more. If it does happen, it will certainly make my weight maintenance easier.
I must say again – I am not recommending what I have done to anyone! I have followed my instincts, and it has (so far) worked out very well for me. But even if you would not want to follow my example, maybe something in my story might be interesting to you.