|The sun is setting on season 23!|
Sustainable: that word gets tossed around a lot in weight management. And, in weight loss.
I think one of my successes was letting go of what I saw in my minds eye as what was "sustainable" for the super long term and more for the short term. I saw my foods and activities as dynamic.
I like that idea- Michael Hyatt talks about it as "seasons" in a recent podcast. Season 0 was in beta... I can relate.
This time I made an early decision not to sustain the food template that I lost weight on for more than just losing weight. I used package foods knowing that what got me through weight loss would NOT get me through weight maintenance. "This is for weight loss only and that is OKAY" What got me through early maintenance would NOT sustain me through later weight maintenance. What gets me through my late 40's now (I'm 48) won't get me through my late 50's. It's going to change up, so will what sustains me.
I saw it as phase 1 and I also could see, in my minds eye, that I would need to experiment, develop, and work on the next phases- 2 transition. Phase 3 the first year of weight maintenance. I hear "I HAVE to be able to do this for the rest of my life". Nope, maybe for the next 6 months to a year. Yeah, probably that long. That's it. There are some basic things that, yes, I'll have to do for life. Abstaining from wheat, sugar, and dairy. Yes.
Then vs Now: The foods I ate in weight loss are not the foods I eat now in long term maintenance. The foods I ate in early weight maintenance are not the food template of now.
The foods I ate in the second year of weight maintenance are more like the template of now.
I was a lot more snacky and moderate carbs. That sustained me then. The transition to year two brought a tighter carb window. Rightly so with all my hormonal changes.
During the first 1.5 years of weight maintenance, I had to really fine tune my food template to deal with my emotional/binge eating. So many people say it's not about the food. Well, for me, it starts with food, then with my mind. I can't get a clear mind to work out long term weight maintenance without a clear food template. In that order. No other order is sustainable for me.
Rightly so, my brain chemistry and genetics , life in general demand it, as far as I can tell. Some of it I choose, some of it I get without a choice. I can choose to change up or I can choose to stay the same. I choose this! As best I can.
My 2 cents: Be willing to keep an open mind about sustainability both in weight loss and weight maintenance. Seeing it as a dynamic process and not static. I found THAT to be sustainable. Keep an open mind. Always. Tricky, challenging, but rewarding.
What's working now:
1. Lower carb window 40-50 grams per day for weight management and good sleep
2. Letting go of what worked early in weight maintenance and loss
3. Abstaining from wheat, most processed sugar, legumes, dairy, and nuts
4. Keeping a very open mind for the future steps (known and unknown) for a sustainable weight management plan
What did not work in the past:
1. Trying to maintain my weight using a higher carb window 70-120 that I used in year 1.
2. Trying to go back to my old moderation habits during my WW days in weight maintenance
3. Not connecting the food connection to my long term sustainability for body and mind.
4. Just looking at the short term and not changing to match my aging body, health conditions, etc.
What ideas about sustainability have you found? Does it pan out to the long term or do you change it up. Are you willing to change it up to meet the challenges- known and unknown? Here's to developing and being willing to change what is sustainable for yourself. In all life's seasons.