2014 will be forever remembered as the year I discovered intermittent fasting and began my weight loss journey through “scheduled eating.” 2015 will also be notable as it’s the year I achieved the 70-pound weight loss mark. Now we’re in 2016 and things have gotten interesting. I have about 30 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight and I’m finding this last leg of the race to be the most challenging, especially mentally.
Based on my past attempts at weight loss, I anticipated I might find myself right where I’m at now. That is, feeling pretty good about my weight loss so far and being tempted to rest on my laurels, at least for a while. I’m a size 10. I haven’t been this size for at least a decade, and then only briefly. Although I have more weight to lose to achieve my goal of being within the normal BMI range, I feel pretty good about what I’ve accomplished so far. My health has improved greatly over the last year and I continue to enjoy my new slimmer body and the confidence it’s inspired in me. Many people would stop there. I don’t want to stop there, but I’m also feeling less in the weight-loss mindset than I have been.
At least I’ve been able to (I think) pinpoint the problem. The real challenge in moving forward is that I can no longer operate on auto-pilot with food intake and still lose weight. Now, I actually have to pay attention to what and/or how much I eat in order to lose. And yes, I know that it’s not all about calories. But, unless I feel compelled to try to adopt a low-carb diet for the umpteenth time, or go vegan, or start doing some intense exercise plan, caloric intake is no longer the no-brainer it’s been for the last year and a half. I actually need to muster up some more discipline to lose. How utterly annoying.
The other day someone asked me what my plan is for losing the remaining weight. It’s the New Year and many of us have weight-loss goals as part of our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, I don’t have a plan right now. I’ve been sticking to my five-hour eating window, as usual. Fast-5 has always been the pillar of my fasting lifestyle and it remains the easy part for me. Now I just have to figure out what the next add-on will be to take me to the finish line.
Some of you may be wondering why I don’t just return to the Five Bite diet. I was able to break a four and a half month plateau by incorporating that diet with Fast-5 and lost a total of 24 lbs. in just a few months. I can vouch for the effectiveness of that plan, but what I disliked was the fact that I was hungry, grumpy and more scale-obsessed than I’d been since beginning my weight loss journey. Was it worth the temporary misery? Yes. And I admire those who can grin and bear it for a bit for that ultimate reward. But I’m just not in the same place mentally to go through that again. I also noticed that with Five Bites there was a significant gain once I returned to Fast-5 alone. I gained back 7 lbs. in just a few weeks since my initial loss with Five Bites. Grant it the holidays had a lot to do with it. However, I never experienced that type of fluctuation when doing Fast-5 alone, even when I ate more than I normally did and even through the previous holiday season. The loss with Fast-5 alone is slow and tough to get used to again after experiencing the “whooshes” of Five Bites. But there is give and take with any plan. As someone once told me, “pick your hard.”
I recently read a study that showed that the pace at which weight loss occurs has no impact on maintaining the loss. In other words, whether you lose it quickly or slowly isn’t important. Moreover, the study showed that, even maintenance strategies and follow-up counseling didn’t impact whether participants kept the weight off. Most did not. That means, even having a plan for maintenance doesn’t guarantee you’ll keep the weight off. So what is the key? As this article points out, the key is convenience. The easier it is for us to stick to a plan, the more likely we are to stick to it for the long haul and that equals keeping the weight off for good. So that’s where I’m at – looking for the most convenient add-on to Fast-5 in order to reach my goal. Will I find it? Of course! And you’ll be the first to hear about it.
They don’t call it a weight-loss journey for nothin’ folks. If you’ve been following me for a while you know I’ve experienced the scenic route of the Fast-5 highway, taken a detour through Plateauville, and spent a while in Five Bite land all on the road to weight loss and wellness. I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. It has given me the greatest gift – good health, and taught me so much about myself in the process. I don’t know what’s next in 2016, but I know I will keep going until I reach my goal. Sometimes it’s fun to get on the road without a map, just to see where the road will take you.