Sunday, January 10, 2010

HCG: Mid-Way Through Maintenance

The first 3 weeks of our 6-week maintenance period are over, the period when we weren't to eat starches or sugars. We haven't been perfect and we haven't always liked the number on the scale. We've done "steak days" (eating nothing all day except a "huge" steak with an apple or raw tomato for dinner) once a week to keep our weight within the prescribed 2-lb range (up or down).
It's been a roller coaster ride.
In the end, I think we've mostly been successful.
The day we left for Mesa (New Years Eve), during the second week of maintenance, I was less than a pound above my target weight (what I weighed on my final day of the hCG drops). I was within the 2-lb plus or minus range, which is good. I had armed myself with sugar-free treats for the coming parties and dutifully packed up my bathroom scales for use in the hotel room, as prescribed by Dr. Simeons, but I was still nervous.
The next morning I was 2.2 lbs above my target weight! It may have been travel bloat, but it was worrisome. So I was extra-diligent in avoiding sugary treats and ordering my fast food burgers without a bun. By the time we returned home, I was actually half a pound lighter than the day we left! Since the next day was Fast Sunday in church anyway, I did a steak day and lost 1.2 lbs more, putting me almost a pound below my target weight.
Week 3 was back-to-work week. I figured it would be easier to maintain once I was back on a schedule. As if! The first 2 days were fine, but over the course of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I gained back 3 lbs! However, I tried not to panic. I was still less than 2 lbs over the target, I was eating right, and I reminded myself that stress contributes to weight gain, too, thanks to the stress hormone cortisol. It was a very stressful week at work. And who knows how my crazed menopausal hormones are affecting me? Relax...relax...
By Saturday morning, 1.4 lbs had dropped back off, and I did another steak day. As of this morning I am again 1.6 lbs below my target weight.
Actually, I think the whole concept of being required to maintain your new weight for a prescribed period of time is a great idea. And not simply because it gives your hypothalamus time to reset to your new weight. I think it's been emotionally healthy to accept the new weight and step back from the single-minded pursuit of weight loss.
I wish I had done this when I lost a lot of weight in the past. Then maybe I wouldn't have regained the weight so easily. When I would get within 20 lbs of my goal weight and hit a plateau, I would become so discouraged that I would eventually give up and the pounds would creep back on little by little over the next few years. How crazy is that? Instead, I should have accepted the new weight, given my body time to adjust, and waited awhile to work at weight loss again.
I think this concept is one of the best things I will have gained from Dr. Simeons's protocol.
Today I decided to celebrate my current size by trying on every blouse and every pair of pants in my closet. Mind you, I have a large walk-in closet with literally 25+ years' worth of various-sized wardrobes, so this task took about 4 hours. I threw away several shabby old biggy-sized pants and shirts (when you're fat and can't easily find clothes that fit, you hang on to everything). I also gave 3 pairs of pants and more than a dozen blouses to Sarah. They're now the right size for her new, smaller figure, but ridiculously baggy on me. I love it!
In the photo above are the many blouses that haven't fit me since about 5 years ago, and a few I bought but never wore because I never lost the weight I intended to lose at the time I bought them. It was so fun and exciting to find so many clothes that now fit perfectly!
Add to those the other pants and blouses I was able to start wearing 4 weeks ago, and I have a great wardrobe to enjoy now! (Not shown in this photo are 7 more blouses in the washer--clothes can get pretty dusty hanging in the closet for years! I sneezed a lot while modeling all these shirts.) For the past few years, I have typically had a selection of 6 blouses and 5 pairs of pants to rotate and wear to work each week. Now I can literally go a month without ever wearing the same blouse twice! And it didn't cost me a thing!
It's also fun to think that someday Sarah will be able to choose from these clothes as we both continue to decrease in size and I move into the next-smaller wardrobe in my closet...
As much as I'm enjoying the new me, I still greatly look forward to continuing to shrink. The blouses in the above photo are still too small, varying from slightly too snug (on the left side) to "Did I buy these in the children's department?!" on the right side. The smallest shirts are from the mid-1980s. I'll need to lose 45 more pounds to fit them. That's just 2 more hCG cycles away. It finally seems obtainable.
Finally, I thought it would be interesting to compare one of the smallest blouses in the closet to a shirt I was wearing to work only 2 months ago. That cute little blouse looks like it belongs to a child! Was I really that small once upon a time?

The dream remains alive!


Jill said...

I am in total awe over you and Sarah. I always knew you were tough Mary, but this is out of the ballpark. I could never have that kind of will power.

LORI said...