Email from a Reader: How to Think about Weight Maintenance

by Andie Mitchell on January 9, 2012

Read the rest of this series: Email from a Reader: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

“Hi Andie,

I’ve been following blogs for quite a few years now and this year I had the delight of finding yours.
I’ve read your story on your weight loss and you are a true inspiration.

I’m 21 and at the age of 17 I first embarked on my weight-loss journey. I had weighed 207lb and within a few months I lost around 30lb. I felt great, looked better and my confidence began to grow. I kept it off for a few months. At 18,  my weight began to rise again and was into the 190lbs. I started again to lose weight and got down to the lowest weight of around 170lb. But then I gained again. Lost again. Gained again. Lost again. Each time I would lose the weight with the help of Weight Watchers. Now at the age of 21 I’m at an even higher weight. At the beginning of December I weighed around 215lb and before Christmas I managed to lose around 8lb. But then came Christmas.

I can’t seem to find the right words to explain my emotional attachment to food. But since I was a little girl, food was my answer to everything; if I was good I deserved something sweet, if I was feeling sad I needed something comforting, when I was sick I needed fast food. My mum tried to help but it didn’t help that I was and still can be, an extremely fussy eater. My diet consisted of French Fries and Chicken Nuggets. Bread. Coca Cola. Chocolate and Sweets. No Vitamins. No Fruit. No Vegetables. No Goodness.
At dinner time I’d eat multiple slices of bread ‘to fill me up’. But after I always managed to find room for ice cream or sweets. Exercise was out of the Question.
For years I suffered, I was constantly unhappy, tired and had absolutely no confidence. Until that day when I was 17 and took the first step into that class with the help of my mother. In the first week I lost 8.5lb.

Granted when losing weight with the help of Weight Watchers I still had treats, but some days I’d find I would use many points on treats, and then eat nothing else because I’d wasted the points on junk. My emotional attachment to food is like a three headed dog that rears it’s ugly head when my emotions come out to play; it eats everything it can get.
Today I can’t walk up a small hill without gasping for breath or breaking a sweat. I feel constantly tired and depressed. Finding clothes is a nightmare. Most days I don’t want to leave home. Physically I always feel bloated and nauseas. I have constant stomach cramps and headaches. The years of abuse I’ve caused my body through overeating and emotional eating must be extreme. I’m afraid to even know what damage I’ve really done.

At the age of 17, I wanted to lose weight to look good. At the age of 21, I want to lose weight to feel good.

I want to be healthy and fit. But I’ve no idea where to begin.

I’ve thought about Weight Watchers again, but counting points can be… tedious. I’ve thought about using the ToneItUp Plan, the South Beach Diet, Skinny Bitch…. The list is continuous.

I also know I have to make a conscious decision and effort to incorporate more exercise into my everyday life and my 2012 goal is to walk 500miles (I hope too stay motivated on this one)

What I’m really, really afraid of is maintenance, when the time comes… the thought of never tasting fast food or chocolate or something junk food related again, simply frightens me. I don’t want to stop enjoying food, and to have eat food because I need to rather than wanting too.

Thank you for writing your wonderful blog,
It gives me hope.

Kind Regards,

H

P.S. My apologies for the long email”

…………..

 

H,

You are fantastic- your honesty, your openness with me- this is the kind of interaction I hope for.
I hear you.

I started on Weight Watchers for the first six months of my 135lb weight loss and then I transitioned into calorie counting. Weight Watchers was a blessing in the ways it taught me proper portion sizes, the breakdown of food in terms of nutrition- fiber/carbohydrate, fat, protein. I learned to read labels and pay attention to what I was buying and biting. For these reasons, I would recommend Weight Watchers to many people as they start their journey to losing weight.

But somehow, for this lady, I found calorie counting to be more freeing. With the simplicity of numbers, I needn’t always pay attention to the balance of carbs and protein and fat. I needn’t worry always that I’m without my point tracker. Calorie counting was, and is, easy addition. It was more of a daily tally than a total quota.

Sometimes, I just want a calorie to be a calorie. Sometimes I want Reese’s peanut butter cups to just be 220 calories and not anything more nutritionally threatening. I want food to be food to be food. And while most of that food is wholesome, I like knowing that sometimes an ice cream sundae is the same as lunch, when eaten in the most loving way.

Food should be as wholesome, as whole and real, as you can make it. I want to fill my grocery cart, and thereby my belly, with the freshest, most pure ingredients. Because, I feel solid and strong and absolutely vibrant when I’m vegetable-centric. It’s sort of a self-righteous thing. The feeling of vitality, of pride, when you know that you’re eating well and making your body happy- that is indescribable.
The majority of what I eat- and the meals I make here on the blog (those are the foods that grace my plate)- is wildly satisfying in nutrition and num-numminess. Think of my body as a house (or don’t because that’s weird). Nearly all of the rooms are clean and tidy and decorated in my favorite style. I look around each of them, and I’m proud to say they’re part of me.

But then.

There is one room that is crazy messy and unkempt. It’s full of absolute, wild fun. Day glow and desserts everywhere. Essentially, an arcade with candy machines, a chocolate fountain, and a permanent cake-baker on staff. You still following me here? Figuratively speaking, this room is my indulgent, pleasure-beyond-pleasure, room- the part of my personality that lets her hair down and head bangs when she wants to. The room is not a shameful place I need to keep hidden. I don’t wish it would tidy itself, for cryin’ out loud. The room is just what I want it to be. It is the beautiful exception to my otherwise balanced home.  I can’t spend all of my time in there because, well, I’d be on an unfortunate spiral toward ‘Intervention’ meets ‘Hoarders,’ but also because- that zany space would never remain as fun if I never left it. If I never took a breather.
If you’ve made it this far into the metaphor,
Bless you.

I try to eat well almost all of the time (filling my body, and those pesky metaphorical rooms, with healthy things). But I also eat recklessly. I eat with abandon and I eat sweets and treats that might make my mother cringe (I told her about dipping pretzels into a can of Pillsbury frosting and she grimaced). It’s just….I keep these salty-sweet moments contained in one part of my life. I don’t go into that metaphorical crazy-fun-delicious room more than a few times a week. And because of this balance, I can keep that room as messy as I want and then respect the clean parts of the rest of me. I can have both parts, and therefore, I can have my sanity.

The point of all of this

is that

Sweets sweeten me.

I needed them them as I need them now.

As I always will.

Yes, losing weight is painstaking. It’s hard with a bolded, capitalized, and italicized ‘H.’ It will feel like a battle, a constant struggle, and that is the beauty of it- you will have overcome one hell of a war at the end of it. You will have shown yourself how heartbreakingly strong and brave you are.

But the thing I want you to take away from here is: It is not always this hard. Maintenance, uh huh, was scary to me at first. It was very difficult for me to grasp, mostly because while losing I told myself that I would eat seven cheeseburgers with fries in a row when I got to my goal. I viewed weight loss as a race with a decided finish line. I pictured food at the end of it. And once I got there, to that finish line, I was too scared to eat.

I learned, over time, as you will too, to find balance. You will never say goodbye to the foods you love- not fast food, not Little Debbie, nothing you don’t want to leave forever. You’re just saying, ‘See you later,’ for a little while. You’ll come back to them and then, you will learn how to fit them into your life, into your own metaphorical messy room (I’m done with the metaphor, I promise). And you’ll feel okay about all of it.

It just takes time. Trust that it gets better. Honestly, everything does.

Andie

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice January 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

thank you so much for this post! last night i really started freaking out about maintenance (i’m about 10 pounds away) after reading an article about how most people gain the weight back eventually. i love that you advocate balance. and i love that you are living proof that it works.

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Deanna January 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

AWESOME metaphor! Thank you!

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Jessica January 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I did make it to the metaphor…and oh my! You are wonderful! I love love love your blog. It gives me hope too H :)

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Kristina January 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I feel like I’m at a party with friends that really understand me. I am 5’10′ and I weigh 189lbs. I know that might not seem like a lot, but it is the most I have ever weighed. I am 41 and 3 yrs ago I had a total hysterectomy. I used to be able to lose weight quickly, but not anymore. My addiction to food and sweets is out of control. My depression doesn’t help matters. My husband thinks that if you want to lose weight, you just diet and exercise. No shit! He has no idea what it means to have the taste of food in your mouth tied into every thought and emotion. I did make your chicken noodle soup last night. Awesome! I had it for lunch today.. followed by 3 cookies and a mini cupcake that was provided at the after school meeting. I’m enjoying your site, and I hope it can help me get it together. Sincerely, Kristina

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johnny January 10, 2012 at 3:43 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I too have gone back to weight watchers and have lost my first 5 lbs. A small amount considering the 70 I must loose but it’s a begining. I never could loose the weight fast enough before so I stopped. I realize now that it’s a life change. Heard the words before but they never really sunk in. I don’t have a choice now so it takes on a whole new meaning. I love your messy room. I think I’ll keep one too just to reward myself when I reach a goal. I’m into weight loss now but will get back to you when it comes to maintaining it. You are a true friend Andie and I am so thankful for you and this blog! And as for the rest of your blog followers: thank you for all your entries, they mean almost as much and in some cases (dare I say it) even more than what Andie says!

LOVE YOU ALL!!! :)

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Mindy January 10, 2012 at 5:01 am

I love your very colorful metaphors…they are so vivid and I understand exactly what you are getting across.

Quick question…do you count calories every single day? I’m in maintain/health phase (boy, oh, boy – so much harder than I thought it would be….still trying to make peace with that) and I’m weary of the counts. I feel like I have a good grasp on servings, portions, etc., but can’t get past what the “perfect” daily number is, if there is such a thing. Just curious how/what your approach is??

You are ever so gifted….keep writing and sharing – so blessed to have found your blog!

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Amanda January 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

I just love that your website is constant reassurance. I lost weight, I’ve gained it again; since Christmas has just passed, I may be at my highest weight yet (I’m afraid to check). But my New Years resolution is to roast vegetables all the time. They’ll fill up most of my house.

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Megan January 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

I have been reading this blog for a few months and I am glad I discovered it, and I have never commented before, but wow this post really completely relates to what I have been going through the past few years, even pretty much the same weights as well. Thank you for your wonderful posts, they keep my motivated. :)

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Katie January 10, 2012 at 5:59 am

I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and I feel like you’re my thin twin! You express so many of the feelings that I have and have had before, during, and after weight loss. Can I ask how many calories you took in while losing weight and while on maintenance? I know everyone is different but I love to hear how different people have done it.

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admin January 10, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thank you Katie!! I ate about 1500 calories a day while losing

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Sam January 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

I love your writing and have been reading for several months now (and I’m made more than a few of your recipes ;). I’m curious as to whether you’ve read any of the recent and rather disheartening articles written about studies on maintaining significant weight loss (e.g. Tara Parker-Pope’s article in the NYTimes Magazine on Dec. 28th and the follow up article in the Atlantic Monthly by Megan McArdle). I found the research to be startling and shocking, if not a game changer in the way I think about weight loss (although I do take everything I read with a grain of salt). I’d love to hear your thoughts on the articles – they were certainly thought provokers, and I’d love to talk about them with somebody :)

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admin January 10, 2012 at 9:04 am

Hey Sam! I will find and read the articles today and get back to you :) Can’t wait to discuss!

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Sonya April 30, 2012 at 7:35 am

I looked up this article and while I won’t respond to everything discussed in it, I felt compelled to comment. While I won’t disagree that genetics can, to some degree influence a person’s ability to lose and keep weight off I have a difficult time putting much stock in this authors “research” considering she begins the article with a group of obese people who lose weight by consuming only 500 calories a day.(!!!) (which by the way is absolutely insane) They were practically starving themselves and the researchers were “surprised” to discover that their bodies then kicked into starvation mode?
To say that your geneics are “stacked against you” and give up on that basis is unfair. This article actually makes me really angry. After eating poorly for many years, yes I am sure your body’s chemistry probably does change and might make the weight loss & subsequent maintainence more challenging, but I don’t know one single person who eats well (80/20) and is active that cannot maintain their weight loss.

Andie, what do you think of this?

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Carole January 10, 2012 at 7:22 am

It is so wonderful to finally have someone write about the FEAR that plagues so many of us trying to lose weight. I have felt like such a loser because I was scared of being hungry all the time. It sounds so silly, but there it is. No one at Weight Watchers ever talked about this and I thought I was the only one who experienced it. I was also the only person who raised her hand when asked if we were hungry on the plan. Out of 25 people, I’m the only one?

*Thank you* for addressing something that most weight-loss plans simply ignore. It means even more coming from someone who’s walked the walk. (No pun intended. :)

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Sarah January 10, 2012 at 7:31 am

This is such a great explanation. I also feel like after a few weeks of eating ‘whole’ foods most of the time and filling up on vegetables, I don’t want the fast food, ice cream, etc, nearly as much or in as big of a quantity. I also find it rewarding to just have a dessert of a small piece of dark chocolate or chocolate covered almonds to quell the sweet craving at the end of a day instead of several cookies. Also, totally second the calorie counting, I’m still amazed what some foods will amount too (granola!).

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jodie January 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

as corny as that metaphor was, it was also such an aha moment! it’s so easy to get tangled up in my mind what i can and can’t have and feel like some things are on the “naughty list”. eating them feels like cheating myself. i don’t know if this is the right thing to do, but for 21 days i am going grain-free. i know you don’t really advocate that sort of thing, and i don’t intend to maintain it indefinitely…. i’m doing it as a way to gain a clearer conscious while i make some decisions about how to go about losing my weight (roughly 40 pounds).
i love the way you described the house with all its rooms, in a way that only you could. :) you’re so adorable and easy to read and fun and you’re still DOING IT! you’re still a person at the end of the day who LOVES food and who has found a way to not be a slave to it.
i’m reading as much geneen roth as i can right now and i just love her… her writing feels much like your writing… only yours is sweeter. :) i do love her insight though – that woman has some clarity when it comes to food!
anyway, i’ve read here for a while now and rarely comment but i love what you’re doing… i love that you’re writing about it… i love that you’re funny and don’t make alot of grammatical errors! :) teasing, sort of. :) i’m a english snob (who makes many a mistake anyway) and i appreciate good writing is all i’m trying to say here. :)

thank you so much — please keep writing… you may not know it, but your words are helping pull me down the road to the life i’ve always wanted.

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admin January 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Thank you so very sincerely Jodi :) Geneen Roth will change your life as she did mine

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admin January 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

..aaaand see that? I spelled your name wrong. *Jodie

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jodie January 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

that is my deep and sincerest hope.

(as for the typo, forgiven.) :)

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jodie January 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

see what i mean about the english errors? i said “a english snob”… oh the irony. :)

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Carol @ Lucky Zucca January 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

You’re so brilliant Andie! I haven’t necessarily struggled at the same level as many of these emailers/commenters, but still find your advice moving and motivational. Thank you for everything you do!

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TJ January 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

I love reading post like this. I always go away inspired. Thanks

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LG January 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I’ve struggled with both undereating and bingeing ED behaviours(like, for about 8 years), but I’m now at a similar place to Andrea. It takes time, patience, PRAYER, introspection and constant learning and experimenting, but now sugar and processed foods are “once in a while” foods that I really enjoy, like when I’m having dessert at a friend’s house. But I don’t feel like I need or want them every day. It took me SO LONG to get to this point, but I feel so much better eating healthy foods 90% of the time, and I try not to feel guilt about the piece of b-day cake or ice cream cone I have now and then. I would have NEVER thought I could be in this place, liking what I eat, liking my body, and feeling generally at peace, but it IS possible.

Small note: eating as much protein as possible has really helped with the cravings, as has always having fruit on hand and adding lots of veggies to meals.

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admin January 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

LG, I so appreciate your candor. Thank you for sharing and offering such hope and support to all who read :)

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LG January 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Aw shucks. You seriously have a way of explaining things so well (with the “rooms” analagy in this post – amazing!) You’re miles ahead in “living it out”, but are able to write in a way that gives folks an idea of just the very next step to “normal eating”, which is so helpful and down to earth. *round of applause*

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Mary January 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I really liked this post. I too had wondered what you had done to lose weight. I also think its really interesting that somebody else finds ‘release’ in calorie counting. I love it, it keeps me balanced and does allow me to treat myself. I am still really scared of maintenance (if I ever get there) but I experimented with it over the past 4 months to see how I did and I totally agree with so much of what you said. I think part of me thought that once I ‘get there’ I can go back to the way I used to eat. Nope, you can’t eat like that and NOT gain weight. The reality is that 80/20 rule…I have to watch what I eat 80% of the time, but still leave room for other things. I do find healthy food to be tasty – for me its more about the moderation and that will be a life long struggle. I am getting more and more ‘okay’ with that reality.

Thanks for the awesome post.

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Rachel @healthy_chicks January 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Your email from a reader series are quite inspiring, as are YOU my dear! It’s amazing how many people you are effecting, and what wonderful of a role model you really are. Keep up the amazing work, lady!

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Pom Pom January 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Andie, YOU are a smart cookie (or carrot)! What a great metaphor! I’m with you. If we say NEVER, well that’s just sad. GREAT perspective. Thank you for your goodness.

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Stephanie January 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

This response is brilliant! I LOVE the way you think about things, & how balanced you are. The metaphor was perfect (& yes, I stayed through the whole thing) ;)
Love reading your blog, you continue to inspire me more & more each time I read! <3

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Kate January 11, 2012 at 5:47 am

I. Love. This. Post. Thank you for writing…both of you! I love the email and I love your response. My girlfriend and I actually cut and pasted portions and emailed to each other. You are truly an inspiration!

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Michal January 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’m sending lots of support and warm thoughts to “H.” I’ve been struggling with body image and weight loss for as long as I can remember. I literally don’t have a memory of a time when I wasn’t on some form of diet. It doesn’t help that I’m from the deep South, where food is how we socialize, gain status, love one another, medicate, etc etc etc. So the thought of living without it was worse than being overweight. My position has been, if I can never again eat another piece of cake, I don’t want to live anyway. Then I read French Women Don’t Get Fat. Her attitude about food’s place in life is very much like yours, Andie, and it was an absolute revelation. I appreciate SO MUCH that people like you are able to break through the American standard of yo-yo dieting and prove to the rest of us that moderation is possible. Thank you, thank you, and again thank you.

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Andrea January 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

Andie, again and again I am amazed by your wisdom and the beautiful way that you spin your words. I absolutely love your messy room metaphor! I am now working in a bakery, which I absolutely love in every way, but constantly being around that much goodness and trying to be self-controlled is hard. However, when I think about the truth that sweets and desserts are enjoyed TENfold more when kept as indulgences rather than thoughtless snacks, I am able to 1) reason myself into not snacking on wayward cookie crumbs and 2) enjoy lovely, sweet, decadent desserts so much more when it is the time for them.

Thank you for sharing your journey and your wisdom with all of us! :)

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Cara January 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

I’m very much with you, in knowing that we CAN have all our favorite things while maintaining. In fact, I think maintenance is a heck of a lot more fun than weight loss. Your reader is right, how sad would a life without chocolate be! Thankfully that’s just not something we have to experience when we do it smartly :)

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bethany January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Thank you so much for this. It is exactly what I need right now. I LOVE the metaphor and plan on remembering it each and every day.

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Olichka January 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Andy, thank you so much for your well-thought answers! your wording and metaphors are perfect -they help give hope and inspire many poeple, including me that this weight-loss journey tunnel does have a light at the end.. that it does pay off in many ways and that maintenance after weight-loss doesn’t consist of gray days of fear to re-gain weight and stressing over calories and crazy exercising. You put that spark into my day to help me re-focus on living a helthy lifestyle now and not give up trying,(and not completely banning my love for choloate):) THANK YOU and be blessed! :)

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blairyates January 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Andie, I love you(in a non creepy way)!

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Gloria January 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I love your house metaphor. It’s a great way to think about food in your life. I just discovered your blog recently (via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures) and am really enjoying your posts. Very inspirational.

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sarah January 13, 2012 at 1:38 am

you are amazing, THAT was amazing. Your blog posts are always fantastic, but that was so true in every single sense of the word xxx

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Kristin Murdock January 13, 2012 at 5:55 am

I so appreciate your openness, as well as other readers’ openness about this topic. I am encouraged by your words here – particularly about putting certain foods away just for a little while – not forever. I always feel as though if I can’t have something now I will NEVER be able to have it again — which makes me want to eat about 10 of it “now” and “now” becomes every day. It’s a journey, that’s for sure.

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Bethany January 19, 2012 at 3:33 am

This post just blew me away.

I’m new to your blog, and so grateful to have found it. Like others who’ve commented, I’m a life-long struggler.

Thank you so much for the insight, the (totally freaking awesome) metaphor, and the hope.

Mostly the hope. Ü

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Alice October 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

I just read this post for the trillionth time. As I chomped my way through a 200-calorie packet of Minstrels for my afternoon snack. (Please tell me you have Minstrels in the States)

At this current stage in my weight loss, sweets are important. Vital. Two ginger cookies with a cup of decaf tea before bed (100ish cals) are a ritual that help me keep my sanity. I can pass on the salty, savoury snacks. I want sugar at the end of my day. (And a few days a week, I want it at 3.30pm as well).

In practically all of my responses to Andie’s posts I stress how much I want to live and not struggle with a restrictive diet. I want to bake, I want to set up a cake shop, I want to make my best dishes, I want to get drunk on port at Christmas and eat all the truffles in the chocolate box and have a large chunk of my own birthday cake. But I still want to be slim. I think these things are compatible (maybe not ALL the truffles) but only if I stop using food like a blankie, or a hug, or a punchbag. Because I’m only hurting myself.

I come back to this post of yours when I feel bleak about the weight loss, fellow A-name. When I can’t see a change, when the week feels long, when I want 20 ginger cookies instead of 2. And I feel a little calmer, a little soothed. Thank you.

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Pam November 28, 2012 at 6:50 am

For me, counting calories and diets are not the answer. A change of thinking is the answer. A change of my relationship to food is the answer. If I am not hungry, I should not eat. If I want to eat even though I am not hungry it’s because I want something from eating. I need to use something else to satisfy that wan (if it has to be something to go into my body through my mouth then I drink some hot water with lemon).

Instead of getting a thrill out of eating something delicious (pleasure food) when I am not hungry, I get a thrill out of choosing NOT to eat. I think of all the good reasons not to eat (I will be healthier and have more energy, I will set a good example for others, I will look more attractive, food will taste better when I wait to eat due to hunger, I will be happier with myself for eating healthy food) and realize there is only one good reason to eat: to get fleeting pleasure from the taste of the food while I am eating it. I know that I will feel better longer if I don’t eat the pleasure food.

If I am needing to loose some weight, I get pleasure from feeling hungry because I know that I am working toward my goal. I know which foods are healthy and which foods are pleasure foods and I CHOOSE to eat the healthy foods and get a thrill out of making that choice.

If I find myself wanting the pleasure foods I analyze that desire. I realize that desire if coming from the child part of my ego. I am not longer a child and I will not let the child direct my actions. Instead, I tell the child that the pleasure food will not satisfy me in long run (a momentary pleasure while I am eating the food is not a good trade-off for the consequences that result!). I get a thrill out of not letting the child trick me into satisfying her while sabotaging the real me.

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Lauren April 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

For me fitness is the only way to keep myself in shape. When I stop going to the gym I immediately gain weight (unless I starve myself). For me all the diets are very depressive, I can not live without sweets and cookies, that’s why I choose fitness. Regular training is very rewarding: I’ve noticed my first results within 1 month, and it was an awesome stimulation for future trainings. When I feel tired I take Navy Seal Formula (manufactured by MGNutritionals) and it quickly restores my strength and enthusiasm. It also provides the necessary nutritional supply, which is vital when you are training intensively. Thus, nothing prevents me from eating occasional cookie or a bar of chocolate when I want it so much.

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Patricia October 2, 2013 at 8:55 am

I. Love. This. Post. Thank you for writing…both of you! I love the email and I love your response. My girlfriend and I actually cut and pasted portions and emailed to each other. You are truly an inspiration!

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Dario November 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

I like all the posts I read, just le me expose a man’s point of view. I personally find attractive the girls that are not scared about what they are, physical appearance is important, but the character and the spirit can really makes the difference. I know girls that are not really very thin, but they are so sexy! Show up your inner temper and half of the job will be done, and don’t listen to the ones who want to push you down

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Jamie March 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Hello! I read a ton of food blogs(I am a true pinterest addict), but I rarely ever comment. However, I HAD to tell you how much this metaphor struck me. I also lost weight, 30 pounds, using weight watchers when I was 17. I became very fit and even more selective about what I ate, not just how much. Like most people though I yo-yoed. It’s like I can only live in one room at a time. Now I am pretty lazy and I dont watch what I eat but I do make sure that I’m not gaining too much weight back. I am going to try my best to stay in my organized rooms and only go back to my messy lounge every once and a while.

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Lorrie Haley October 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

I love your metaphorical “messy room”. It perfectly describes the balance of fun eating and healthy eating. I am transitioning into maintenance after losing 100 lbs. I like you was also scared after I got to my goal. I was so used to calorie counting, losing weight, and working out to “Burn, burn, burn”. Reading blogs like yours helps me feel not so alone on the maintenance journey. I have quit calorie counting for a few months now. It was scary at first because I wan’t sure If I trusted myself and calorie counting seemed to become a way of life for me. I just got to the point after years of it …where I was like ” Do I want to calorie count for the rest of my life?” For me the answer was no. Now I am taking things I have learned on my weight loss journey like…discipline, self control, confidence. But now I’m adding in mindfulness and pure enjoyment. I think life is too short. My goal is to be happy and enjoy food but also keep in mind everything that I have learned during my weight loss.

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