At the end of last March I stepped on the scales and they told me that I weighed 85kg (13st 5, BMI 24.8). In the previous 20 months I had lost 63.5kg (10st), and Ann and I decided that that was a big enough loss, and that 85kg was a good target weight. The next little job was simply to keep at that weight forever! Last Tuesday (29 March) – a year to the day later – I stepped onto the same scales, and I weighed 82.1kg (12st 13, BMI 23.9), so I’ve made a good start at maintaining my 85kg.
It looks as if I am still losing, but really what happened is that I carried on losing for a few weeks after deciding I would maintain, and I quickly came to think of 83kg as my maintenance weight. Since then it has been pretty stable. In fact my average weight in each quarter was 84.1kg, 83.0kg, 83.3kg and 83.0kg, so it certainly seems to have settled down.
I have blogged occasionally that my weight bobs up and down, and in the year my highest weight was 86.8kg and my lowest was 81.3kg, but I now know that that is just life. The trick is to weigh myself daily and, if I see my weight increase, I act on it immediately – so the slip does not become a slide. I think I am getting better and better at doing that. My buzzword of the year is ‘constant vigilance’!
I am often asked what I am doing to maintain, and the answer is that I am doing more-or-less what I did when I was ‘dieting’, but with some tweaks. It really has become a change of eating habits. I still eat a lot, but I am eating a lot of things I didn’t eat much of for the 50 years leading up to starting Nutracheck. As I did when losing my weight, I kick the day off with a huge bowl of porridge (oats and water only), and lunch is a similarly huge bowl of salad. Dinner includes a lot (and I mean a lot!) of vegetables and fruit.
I still don’t use fat or oil of any sort, I have no desserts other than fruit, and – other than maybe every few months – I have totally cut out cheese, bread, chocolate, cake, cream and crisps. Some people say that this is not a good idea, but I don’t miss these foods at all, because I have found a new way of eating that I enjoy very much, and which feels natural and sustainable. It wouldn’t suit everyone, but it suits me, and that’s all that matters – I have got to know my own body much better than ever before.
And not to forget exercise – I don’t do anything other than walking, but over my first maintenance year my walking has averaged slightly more than 10,000 steps a day.
I have blogged every week for the last fifteen months, and a huge thank you to those who have told me that my blogs have been useful. For the blog readers, don’t think that I have given up – I am just going to reduce my blogging to once a month. But every month I will report on how my weight is going, and about any exciting trends (even if they are not good ones). But I am optimistic – things are going well, and with ‘constant vigilance’ ringing in my ears, I am feeling positive about the next year and all of the years beyond.