Defining Success

After an hour of aerobic conditioning, I stepped on the scale: 143.2! I had gained 2.2 pounds! Ouch!

“That was fast,” my little voice snarked. “I knew it wasn’t maintainable!”

Ignoring it, I quickly ran through a little checklist:

Had I put anything in my body that was not serving my goals? No.

Had I put too much of anything in my body that was not serving my goals? No.

Had I continued doing what I know works? Yes.

Had I had anything salty for dinner? No.

What date was it? Bingo!

Given the nature of bodies (especially female bodies), not to mention the inconsistencies of measuring devices, I have decided to define success–that is, successful maintenance–as staying within 3 pounds of my target weight (either way).

In other words, like any good statistician, I have given myself a margin of error. As long as I stay within that six pound spread (which is a pretty generous spread) I’m golden.

No why would I do that? Because weighing alone is not reliable. Having an acceptable range (as opposed to number) will prevent me from freaking out or defining myself as a failure and then, either tacitly or explicitly, giving myself permission to quit.

This way, when I hit that upper three pound threshold, I simply know that I need to reduce my calories again. When I go too low, I know that I need to add in more calories of the type that I had been eating when I was losing–that is, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc. This does not mean that I just get to start adding in junk. And this most certainly does not mean that I get to dive head first into a jar of peanut butter!

So, I am at the upper end of the threshold; does this mean I need to stop eating or go back to the gym? Does this mean I should quit and see if I can get those 10s back from Talbots? No, it simply means I need to reduce my calories by about 300 a day and see that tomorrow brings.

I’ll keep you posted.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] under: Uncategorized | I am happy to report that I am back to where I was last week. As noted previously, my approach to maintenance is to stay within three pounds, either way, of my targeted weight. So […]


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