Maintenance still needs Constant Vigilance

Steve Marshall | 22 Jun, 2017

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I started my weight-loss journey with Nutracheck nearly four years ago at 148.5kg (23st 6). By March 2015 I got to my target of 85kg (13st 6), but that soon dropped further to 83.5kg (13st 2). I decided that I was going to maintain at that lower weight, but allow myself to bobble 1.5kg (3 pounds) either side of the 85kg.

Since then I've often blogged about my big weight gains and losses, and it certainly doesn't seem to take much for me to gain several pounds, only to lose them pretty quickly as well. You may even remember that after Christmas 2016 I was worried because my Christmas weight was not dropping off, and that Sprog and I did a joint blog because she was in a similar situation. Well now I have a slightly different problem (always some problem with these whinging men!)

I did finally get a grip after Christmas, and it was a successful grip, because by the middle of April I was recording weighings of nearly a stone less than three months earlier. How did I do that? It was various things, including starting to take alcohol consumption seriously, and making many small but permanent changes to my diet. Also Sprog, wife Ann and I did a detailed analysis of our calories for a three-way blog, which gave me a new focus on things. And the analysis also needed me to complete my food diary in detail, something I had not done for a long time. There were no huge changes but, taken together, they made so much of a difference that I even celebrated my 65th birthday in great style for three whole weeks (including a cruise) and I still ended up weighing about 78.5kg (12st 5) - remember that I had decided that I was going to maintain 5kg higher than that at 83.5kg (13st 2)!

Just to be clear, I have not upped my exercise and I do not have any health problems - these new low weights are purely because I have acquired more and more weight maintenance habits, and I am still acquiring others because I am very interested in the subject. In fact my BMI rarely goes below 23, so I don't have a problem of being unhealthily underweight, but I do have a problem of these low weights not really suiting me (in Ann's opinion too), as well as a problem of knowing how to stop. A nice problem to have, you may say, but if I carry on with my current 'good' eating habits, I will be a very scrawny old man, and I don't want to be.

So what am I doing about this nice-to-have problem? The first thing to say is that there is no pat answer - I have devoted a lot of my waking hours for the last four years to driving my weight down, I have changed my eating habits completely, and I am not going to risk going back to my old habits. But one thing might help - I am driven by targets, and I have set my new target at 80kg (12st 8). I don't want to go below that without a good reason, such as because I know I am going to be going on another cruise soon! But beyond that, it needs a change of mindset, to know that on some days I should have garlic bread because I need to exceed my calorie allowance for the day. This is weird and scary stuff for someone who has been a fat guy for most of the last 60 years! It also means that, because of all this fine tuning of calories, I will have to carry on with my Constant Vigilance, and continue with completing my food diary.

My progress so far? I've lost two pounds in ten days. OK, OK, nobody's perfect - I promise I will have pizza and a couple of beers tonight!

Steve lost a massive 10st with Nutracheck. He now regularly writes about how he maintains his weight loss.

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