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08 January 2016


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I am glad to see you update this topic again. I certainly don't have the history that you do, but I find myself about five pounds heavier than I'd like, with snug pants, and lacking the motivation to do what needs done. I *know* what to do, I've done it before, but sustaining the effort for the required time is more that I care to bother.

Not to complain too bitterly about being short, but my normal, weight-maintenance meals are already small. If I eat to lose, we are talking child-sized portions which is a drag without significant motivation. So I button the snug pants and sigh and wonder if I will ever be motivated to do it again. Of course I could just get pregnant and delay the pain for two or three years. Ha!


You can complain to me about being short all you want. It's a rather depressing realization to make: child-size portions forever. Or at least until I age into the Senior Menu.

(I mentioned that at my current weight and activity level, it takes 1850 cal/day to maintain, approximately, according to the Mayo Clinic calculator. At my goal weight it is 100 calories less, so I lose access to a caloric load equal ro a quarter of my lunch. I suppose that means if I stick to 1750/day I will get there asymptotically.)


I've been thinking about you and this recently, wondering how/whether you tried your 6-week period of working with 14-hour fasts.

My #6 baby turns 1 at the end of next month... I turn 39 in May... I'm about 10 pounds away from still-nursing "goal" weight. Not stressing about it yet--just trying to make small choices.

Anyway, I'm interested to read about your experiences.


I didn't keep up with the 14-h fasts as a regular duscipline, but I played around with it for long enough to realize that the world will not end if I don't get to eat breakfast.

Which was actually a very useful thing to have learned.


You look great.


I wish I *felt* great.

I suspect that part of my difficulty here is my (reasonable) unwillingness to go into the mental space that the effort requires. I mean, I have other things that I want to read more than blogs about eating and not eating.

But I can't seem to just let it go, either, and say to myself, "You know what, it's fine to just stay where you are for now and make the effort later."

And the reason for that is that I am very, very afraid that my weight will creep back up to where I used to be. And that this will prove that I never was as (virtuous? together? smart? self-controlled? competent?) as I let myself believe.

The part that I dislike most about this underlying feeling -- and I hope that by putting it out there in the name of honesty and trying to develop my own right-thinking I don't add to it -- is that it is sheer fat-shaming, something that our society could do with a lot less of. The fact that it is self-directed does not make it any less poisonous. I hate that I have internalized this.


I went to look up the Mayo Clinic calculator to see my numbers. Man, is that depressing. My current weight and activity level calls for 1750 calories a day and my preferred weight is 1700.

I went with the light activity level because, hey, I don't sit all day anymore and I do walk around the house. Really I should be much more active, but I can't find the mental space to add that in with all the other changes around here.

For your fear about creeping weight, can you make a deal with yourself? Can you decide on a weight that would trigger your attention and then try not to worry about it until you see it?

For me that weight is 125. I'd prefer to be under 120 even though I'm not, but if the scale hits 125, I start paying much more attention to my food in order to drop a few pounds and then go back to not worrying about it. The trigger weight allows me to keep things in check without *always* worrying about it.

I am right about the age when my mother's weight exploded so I am very wary about letting things get too far gone.


Well, unfortunately I am currently right at what I would normally call my trigger weight...


Ah, but is it the old trigger weight when you weighed your preferred weight or is it your temporary-until-I-find-the-mental-space-new-normal-haven't-quite-lost-the-baby-weight trigger?

When I was at my preferred weight, 120 was my trigger weight, which worked until I had too many balls in the air. I readjusted the trigger up to 125 to account for the fact my weight is relatively stable, if not what I prefer, and to give me breathing room to not have to worry about it right now.

Obviously, you can't continuously readjust the trigger point for it to be meaningful, but you have to set the trigger based on your life right now and not the way it was three or four years ago.


This is a good point. I could probably derive a new trigger based on available data.

Christy P.

I am already freezing nearly all of the time and can't imagine limiting calories in winter despite being over a reasonable trigger weight for my height. To everything there is a season.


I completely understand, Christy, I find I am cold in the summer, too, though, so it isn't much better...


Would it help to make a different fitness goal that you could feel good about working toward, rather than lowering weight? Like running faster, or lifting more weight, or lowering your resting heart rate? Because I doubt the 10 extra pounds are detrimental health-wise; slightly overweight people even have lower all-cause mortality than normal-weight people, right?

Christy P.

Sarah, I like the way you think. Especially since, if I get stronger, I will likely weigh a little bit more.


Definitely, Sarah has a better way to think.

(I want to be clear that I am not holding up my mental processes here as an example of a good attitude to have; just trying to be honest about the attitude I often feel trapped in.)

My resting heart rate is already classified as bradycardia.

Honestly, my fitness goal at this point is to show up to the Y regularly 2-3 times per week instead of irregularly. Which given the demands on my time, these days, means I sometimes have to get up early to do it. Hard when it's freezing out. Am rewarding myself for the showing up by doing things I like when I am there, like swimming.


Showing up and doing exercise consistently is probably the single most important thing, yes, absolutely, and I bet doing something you enjoy increases the mental health/general well-being benefits, too! Was just trying to think of something that would work with the "I want to have a quantitative fitness/health measure to focus on" idea.


I've been reading your blog for years, but I'm not sure if I have ever posted a comment. I really appreciate this post as I'm currently losing weight and worry about maintaining. Previously, I lost about 20 pounds and kept it off for several years, but slowly the weight crept back (plus 10) so I'm working on it again...

I'm trying to read weight loss articles and books to keep me focused, and I recently found the book and blog "Refuse to Regain" by Barbara Berkely,MD. http://www.refusetoregain.com/
I really have enjoyed reading her perspective about how much we really don't know about maintenance and how that's what the medical professionals should be focusing on, rather than weight loss. I especially like her perspective that your best guide is yourself - what worked for you in the past, what is working now...

Just thought I'd share. I think you look amazing, and you have inspired me over the years. Thank you!


Yes, I have read Berkely's book. I agree with you (and her) that there isn't nearly enough emphasis on whole-life maintenance. Probably worth noting that Berkely is, more or less, on the paleo bandwagon.

It's seriously difficult work. I might be casting about to blame my circumstances instead of myself, but I really felt derailed by the change in habits forced by my last pregnancy -- it's like I feel a compulsion to eat like a pregnant person.

Could be that the fact I'm still lactating has something to do with it.

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