My previous blog was a joint effort with Sprog, in which we talked about recent weight wobbles where our weights had increased, and how we had not been able to get back down to weights we were happy with. My own story following that was that I did manage to lose significant weight, and just at the moment I am going through quite a low-weight period in my maintenance. Make no mistake – maintenance can be a roller-coaster ride!
I think that, for me, a big maintenance difficulty is that it’s difficult to find something to focus on. Losing weight is exciting – there is always a lower weight to aim for, and when you get there, there’s a real sense of achievement and it’s a time for celebration. And then there’s another weight to aim for! With maintenance, there are no new targets – it’s just carry on staying the same. As our resident Nutritionist Emma Clarke says “it’s simply not an exciting business when compared to losing weight”.
I chatted with Sprog about how to put some excitement into maintenance, and of course it will depend on what you find exciting. But what I settled on, at least for the time being, was a way of setting maintenance targets that is much more interesting than “keep the same – keep the same – keep the same”. Now stay with me here, because it’s a bit more complicated than “get to nine stone seven”!…
What I wanted was a weight limit that I did not want to go above. So (and thanks to Sprog for this) every day I was below that weight limit, what if I scored a point? But as soon as I touched the limit, all of my points were lost? I liked this, because every day would matter. And imagine, when points had got to something like 37 – there would be a big motivation not to slip up, gain a little bit of weight, and lose all those points.
Actually, even for me (well-known for being tough on myself) I thought this was a bit too nasty! We all know that weight can wobble up and down for no obvious reason, and to lose 37 points when I had been ultra careful the day before would be a tad irritating. So I tweaked the idea – and here comes the maths – so that every day I counted my ‘weight’ as the average of all weights for the previous two weeks. That smoothes things out, and means that an unexplained gain in weight on one day is not going to make much difference to the number for that day. OK, now relax, the maths has finished!
The computer works out all the numbers, so it’s no hardship, and I started my system nearly three weeks ago. I fully accept that I am a bit of a geek, but for me it is great, and has re-fired some of my weight-loss excitement. I set an ambitiously low target weight to stay under, and so far I have had an unbroken run of 21 points. It is impossible to say if this new target setting has led to my current low weight, because I have also got a better grip on alcohol units, and we have not eaten out much, but I am pretty sure that it has helped – if only because it has made maintenance more exciting. I will keep it going and blog about it again in a few weeks.