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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Royal Fatfighting Tournament Tools: #1--Accepting the Unmerciful Numbers

Yesterday, Diets in Review's Brandi hosted an interview with that lovely fatfighter Roni of Roni's Weigh blog. In it, Roni addresses some of the frequently asked questions about the Weight Watchers program.

Here is a portion of that which ALL of us who have been used to EATING LARGE, as evidenced by our BEING LARGE, need to read. It's one of those things we just have to face up to, pull up our knickers, and get on with adapting to hard truths:

10. I’ve reached my goal weight. How do I determine Points to maintain my weight?

The maintenance plan is tricky. Weight Watchers has you add 4 points to your daily target for a week and then evaluate your weight. If you’ve gained, then drop your new target by 2; if you’ve lost, add 4 more. Most people I’ve talk to in maintenance eat about 10 points over their weight loss target to maintain.

11. Is the weight range for Points goal weight or current weight?

Current weight and as you lose it will change. I started at 26 I think, by the time I reached goal I was at 20.

Now, you may be wondering why I'm excerpting a part about maintenance, when this tournament is for those who are in the LOSING phase.

Well, take a look at how little Roni ate while losing and how little most folks get to eat to MAINTAIN the loss.

Read it again.

Roni wasn't as large as I am (or as some of you are) in the losing part. But still, she ate about 1300 calories to start, and by the end of her losing phase, she was eating about 1000 calories.

If maintenance is roughly 10 pts more per day than in the losing phase, then she's eating about 1500 to maintain (ie, 30 points).

Ponder that. Fifteen-hundred calories is not a lot. It requires planning and learning to eat much less than what one ate to get fat. Maybe half. Maybe more than half. Maybe 2/3 less to get to a slim weight like Roni's.

If you have harbored any notion that this is the hardest part, think again. This is the part where we can see changes DOWN on the scale, in with the inches, up with the confidence. But eventually, if we're very fortunate and work very hard, we can get to a weight we're happy with and then we have to hold it. Hold it for years, decades, the rest of our lives. And that means eating a lot less than we'd want, planning meals for however long we're on Earth, giving up some of our favorite treats except for rare days.

You and I won't maintain a slender weight by reverting to old eating ways. If we can't resist those snacks now, we won't resist them then.

This is the University of Weight Loss. We get our degree when we reach goal weight. We get our Master's when we've kept it off for five or more years. We become the elite, the top echelon, when we keep it off until we die.

Knowing the numbers is a tool. It's not fun, but necessary. Eating less now is not temporary. Eating fewer calories/points is the way it's gotta be.

Say goodbye to supersized meals--or stay fat.
Say goodbye to junk food--or stay fat.
Say goodbye to sneaky treats--or stay fat.

Truth is a tool. Maturity is necessary to face it.

Can you see the long road ahead? Can you live with the harsh reality of the numbers?

Then grasp the future with your mind and imagination, and tell the numbers you accept them, even if you are full of fear and dread about them. Overcome the fear. Then, knowing that limiting those calories expands so many other parts of your life, head into that future with great expectations.

This month is a new beginning.

Onward and Downward!


Katschi said...

Great post!
This is why I feel that we have to find the foods we can eat for the rest of our lives! In Thin for Life, most maintainers eat the same foods now that they did when they were losing. It IS a fact that we have to come to terms with, I agree. I think if you gain activity points, you can eat those points, so that would be a way to eat maybe 1700 cals a day at maintenance. I think it's exciting to finally GET IT *g*

Donna said...

This is a great post, I especially like thinking of this is working towards a degree. =)

Thanks for the truth, and reminding me how important it is to be mature about this weight loss.

Donna said...

ps You're my new quote of the week!

Once Upon A Dieter said...

I'm still working on that "what I can live with", Katshci. Modifying pasta and pizza is a priority. :D

Woo hoo, I'm a week-quote! hee


Chrissie said...

Great post and oh so true! You know my WW leader always tells us if we are drinking water and sucking on a tooth pick to lose weight then we will have to drink water and suck on a tooth pick to keep the weight off. So I figure I need to find something that I can do the rest of my life to keep this weight off.

SeaShore said...

Actually, I'm not sure I can totally give up junk food, or promise myself that I will exercise an hour a day forever, etc. I'm all about baby steps and moderation this time 'round.

I do realise that I may never get to my ultimate goal, or that it may take a very long time (with gradual changes and periods of maintenance) to get there. We all have our own path.

As Chrissie's leader pointed out, don't do anything to lose weight that you aren't willing to do for the rest of your life. Right now I'm losing with 29 points, and I'd be happy to have that many to maintain on!

You're right Princess, maintenance is the hard part. I've lost weight before but never kept it off for more than a couple years.

Excellent post! Very though provoking.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

I'm with you, Seashore, in that I may need to make compromises. For instance, instead of aiming for svelte (which would be, what, 125 lbs), I'm aiming for merely overweight, not obese. :) I know I couldn't be happy with miniscule calories.

Whatever I can maintain on roughly 1800 to 2000 calories is what I'll stay at. I'm no martyr.

But I do realize that even that level of intake, abo ut 36 points, is half of what I WANT to eat. It's still a sacrifice, even though it seems like a lot. It's not a lot to me. :(

So, either way, it's a sacrifice.

We all have to decide how much we're willing to let go of.

The P

Heather said...

very interesting! that is why I liked the plan that LAWL had set up. you eat one way to lose weight, then you go through stabilization, where you add one more serv of a food group into your diet for 6 weeks, to find the right balance of what you can eat without gaining but not losing either. Then you go into maintenance where you eat that right amount forever or until you want to lose weight again. So I like that I can add more food into my diet when I am finally done losing weight.

Cyndi said...

This is a great topic and probably the most important and difficult aspect of weight loss. I have lost and gained the same 30-40 pounds several times over because I could not maintain my goal weight.

The primary reason was exercise - lack thereof. In addition to making healthy food choices a permanent lifestyle change, I believe exercise needs to be a permanent fixture in that lifestyle too. It never has been for me and here I am again!

Also, I think this is why most WW leaders will encourage people to eat those 35 flex points each week, so that your body can lose weight while eating more food. That will make maintenance a little more 'do-able', allowing a higher calorie intake to maintain.

Great post!

SeaShore said...

I should clarify: 29 points are good as long as I still have my flex on top of that, and 0 point foods, too! I track on fitday, as well as count points, and my average over the last month has been 1842 calories per day.

Still, I know what you mean Princess, it's about 1/2 of what I could (and would) happily eat too :(