Beck's Chapter 12 is a blockbuster, frankly -- and I see now that I absolutely blew it off last time. It's all about "how to stay at your new weight" -- that is, once I determine what the lowest sustainable weight is. And once I stop messing around with trying to maintain the lowest achievable weight -- which Beck reminded me yesterday is NOT maintainable!!
That's what I tried to do last time -- and it didn't work, for me.
So, to stay at the new (sustainable) weight, she recommends that we make two new cards. I didn't do that last time.
The first card is a new maintenance version of the Advantage Response Card -- the first card -- the list of reasons why I want to LOSE weight. Now I am to prepare a card with the list of reasons why I want to MAINTAIN my new weight.
I've done that. And yup, there are five reasons. And yup, the first and foremost is still, "this is the best possible chance of avoiding (estrogen-positive) breast cancer recurrence". (Although I do know, it's not a guarantee. Not at all. I just don't want to have to blame myself if there is a recurrence for not having done all I could.)
Second reason -- my clothes all fit now. (Yippee! I really really like that actually!!)
Third -- I've got higher energy and am enjoying moving more, in my own skin. (Which I am also really enjoying -- now that the flu and cold have finally just about gone, anyhow . . . ).
Fourth -- I'm feeling more upbeat and optimistic. (OK, patches of sulkiness, rebellion and just plain brattiness -- but overall optimistic -- and overall is as good as it gets, right?)
And fifth -- I look better. (For a 63 yo, that is -- let's get realistic. But: better than looking worse, no??)
All right then -- did that and a Maintenance Advantage Response Card is clearly pretty key. I need to keep reminding myself of why I want to maintain!!
Next step -- which I also did not complete last time!!!!! what was I thinking???? -- is to prepare a final Beck card which lists the things I've gotta do to maintain. Duh. Sounds self-evident, right? And now I've done that too.
Here's my version.
To maintain I must:
1. Weigh myself every day. (That's me. Some people don't have to, I'm sure -- but when I stop weighing it's because I don't wanna see the number -- which I "know" is creeping up).
2. Resume vigorous dieting if my weight is up 3 pounds. (Three pounds is Beck's "magic number". And frankly, I've let my weight crawl up more like 10 pounds, even 12 pounds or more, before "paying attention". Not because I'm weighing, but because my pants get tight. Gahhhhhh.)
3. Expect maintaining to be hard at times. (Wah wah wah. It's unfair. It shouldn't be this hard. How come other people -- mythical other people -- don't have to work this hard? And so forth. The sabotaging thoughts aren't going anywhere permanently. They'll keep trying me on. Anything to get me back into those potato chips!!)
4. Give myself credit, every day, and multiple times a day. (OK this seems so undeserved. But, "Good dog, Charlie" works for him, right? So, "Good girl, Watermellen!" Worth a try.)
5. Keep on tracking. (Beck says she's personally never worked with a maintainer who could use hunger as a guide rather than planning what to eat or at least sticking to a general routine of meals/snacks. And I'm absolutely sure, despite eating pretty much the same stuff most of the time, I'm not a natural "intuitive" eater -- although I'd like very much to delude myself about that, and "graduate" to the big leagues of star maintainers who can manage intuitively!!)
6. Keep exercising!
Those are the six things I need to do to keep on maintaining -- once I figure out what my lowest sustainable weight actually is. Not my lowest achievable weight. Not my fantasy weight. If politics is the art of the possible, and requires compromise, including sometimes compromise of fundamental principles for the greater good -- so too is weight loss maintenance. The art of the possible.
So: thanks to those of you who've slogged along with me through this tortuous process. I'll spare everyone and particularly me the burden of ongoing Beck blogs. But: this time I'm going to continue.
I'll read my Maintenance Advantage Response Card.
I'll read my card with the list of things I have to do to maintain.
And I'll read all my other cards as needed. NO CHOICE.
Because there really is no magic. And it really doesn't get a whole lot easier -- and that's disappointing I suppose. But not as disappointing as the alternative . . . .
Oh well. Oh well. Oh well.