No, not I love you. Although I do.

143 is the weight I saw when I hopped on the scale yesterday, meaning I’ve gained about five pounds.

I mentioned it to a friend at happy hour last night and realized when I said it out loud, that really, five pounds isn’t all that much. And it’s not. And it still puts me in a healthy weight range for my height.

But considering that I put on a lot of weight in my early 20s by “eh, it’s just five pounds,” over and over again, I want to nip any weight gain in the bud. I know it’s a slippery slope for me.

I also stubbornly thought that once I’d beat that weight-loss thing, I’d be done. I say stubbornly, not naively, because I know how biologically hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. But I was–and still am–determined to not be that statistic.

139 was my goal weight of a 50-pound weight loss, and for the past two years, I’ve been hovering somewhere between 136-139. 140 was the line I drew in the sand for the weight I wouldn’t surpass.


Gratuitous beach photo to break up otherwise serious post.

If I were otherwise happy with my body right now, I’d care a lot less about that number on the scale, honestly. But the number on the scale and the unhappiness about my flabby abs is obviously directly correlated. I also went to put on a pair of jeans for my New Balance event the other night and a few pairs of my jeans were way too snug to comfortably wear. I felt like a fraud representing a fitness brand when I didn’t feel so fit myself.

I’ve been making a real effort to clean up my meals, but I know exactly where the other calories are sneaking in–and what’s lacking.

In pretty list format:

Sneaky Calories:

  • Lattes/soy mistos: I feel like dieting healthy eating 101 is not to drink your calories, right? And I know better than to get all those sugary “coffee” drinks or drink soda or other sugary drinks, but there’s a Starbucks in my office building, and their regular coffee is way too strong for my weak jerk of a stomach, so I’ve been getting soy lattes or soy mistos in the morning. Yum, but each of those have 100 calories or more.
  • Nuts. Okay, duh, nuts are high in fat/calories, but they’re good fats, right? Well, no good-for-you food (except maybe lettuce?) is good for you if you eat too much of it. I have no concept of portion control when it comes to nuts, and I remain especially powerless in the face of my favorite trail mix from Trader Joe’s–the almonds, cashews and dark chocolate one. I have a thing of almonds at my desk at work, and until last week, I always kept a bag of that trail mix in my fridge, and I graze mindlessly at both.
  • Dark chocolate: I always have a thing of dark chocolate in my fridge, and I will walk past and break off a square without thinking.
  • Wine: I love wine (and beer), but after a glass or two, I’ve been having a hard time saying no to bar food.

None of those things above are that bad on their own (err, except for maybe bar food), but combined, quite a few more calories are sneaking in.

And the below are lacking:

Greens. I just don’t have enough.

Fruits. Again, I just don’t have enough. Nuts aren’t a bad snack, but they would be more balanced if I had some fruit with them.

So, here’s to more fruits and veggies and less drinking calories and letting the small indulgences add up.

If you’ve lost a lot of weight, have you been able to keep it off?

53 comments on “143.

  1. Beth @RxBethOnTheRun

    This is a great and very brave post! I also have lost 50 pounds since high school and often struggle to keep it all off. I’m about 15 pounds up from where I once was and felt like the best version of
    myself. Lately it has been a battle to get back to a 90% clean, healthy lifestyle (c’mon, no one is perfect, right?). This post has been very helpful and inspired me to look at myself more honestly and realize how much better I feel when I’m 15 pounds lighter. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Meghan

    I am having the same problem right now- maintenance can be really hard. And trying not to get down on yourself when you see things creep up is even harder. In times like these I get obsessive and that makes things even worse, but i am putting the scale away and maknig the best of it Try to remember we are all in this together!

  3. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    I know what you mean about justifying “it’s just 5 pounds.” I am in the process of losing a few extra pounds right now and the thing that helps me is asking myself, “am I hungry?” before I start snacking or grabbing something in the kitchen. As simple as it sounds, it has really help me cut calories.

    You should check out CLICK protein powder for your coffee fix. I am not a big coffee drinker (prefer lattes) and love this stuff. I have been drinking it in the morning, its only like 120 calories with protein and tons of good stuff, and it keeps me full all day which means I’ve been snacking a LOT less (and answering the “am I hungry?” question no a lot more!). Not to sound like an infomercial, but I LOVE this stuff!!

  4. zynp

    5 pounds is too easy compared to 50 that you have lost. I think picking one item from your list and just limiting that would be enough to help you loose 5 pounds. It may sound weird but I tend to gain weight when I keep healthy snacks at my desk at work. When I know it’s there I eat it mindlessly. So no snacks in my drawer, especially no big packs πŸ™‚ If I feel hungry I just go to nearest deli or market. Sometimes I put my snacks just for the day and measure it so that I don’t over eat.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @zynp: No, it’s true. I used to not keep food at my desk, and that definitely helped. Or, I need to just portion out my snacks in advance.

  5. Beckett

    I’m another 50 lb-loser from 15 years ago. The problem with maintenance is that there is just no way to get the same kind of motivation to lose 5 lbs that it takes to lose 50 lbs! When I was overweight, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, unhealthy, worried about getting morbidly obese, etc. As someone who weighs 5 lbs more than I want to, I’m still healthy and still feel great all the time. Other than vanity, I have no “reason” to lose weight. So yes, it’s normal to gain a little weight and to be bummed out about it. But don’t worry, you’ll get back under 140. And you’re not a “fraud” for gaining a few pounds! This is real life – you’ve lost and maintained for over two years! Take it easy on yourself and keep following the healthy lifestyle. And keep writing about it, because your readers need you!

  6. Bianca

    I know how you feel about trying to resist the (wonderful) temptations of Starbucks! I have one connected to my apartment building and one directly across the street. I do enjoy their coffee so the lattes aren’t much of a problem BUT sometimes when I crave something sweet but don’t want to indulge with an (expensive) sugary beverage I opt for their vanilla tea with a splash of whole milk. It tastes creamy and sweet and feels like I’m treating myself.
    You are so inspiring to me because unlike a lot of other health/fitness bloggers you started at a higher weight and successfully lost it while still maintaining a fun social life. Being a 22 yr old college grad I am struggling a little bit to keep up with my social drinking and shedding a few pounds/toning up!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Bianca: Thanks! Yeah, I think I would have had a really hard time losing weight in college, so props to you!

      Ooh, vanilla tea sounds good!

  7. Kiersten

    That is a little weird because I stepped on the scale this morning and saw the exact same number and said to myself “something has to change.” I have gone from drastically underweight to slightly overweight, where I am hovering now. It is a constant struggle to want to get back to a point where I feel good about myself again without resorting to unhealthy and dangerous habits to lose weight.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Kiersten: I just clicked through to your blog–YOU RAN THE ANTARTICA MARATHON? Damn girl!!!

      If you can do that, you can do anything πŸ™‚

    1. Theodora Post author

      @KymberlyFunFit: My abs definitely aren’t strong, which is part of the reason the number bothers me, since I know they go hand-in-hand–any weight I gain goes straight to my stomach.

  8. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    I find that sometimes I just get really tired of watching what I eat. I mean, I love healthy food, and the way I feel, and I never want to go back to where I started, but it’s easy to get stagnant/bored/tired when you no longer have the losing itself to motivate you. I feel like this is just a slight kick in the pants to rejuvenate your motivation. It isn’t something to feel embarrassed or shameful of, because, like you said, it really is only 5 lbs. It’s the choices you make now that matter more than the reading on the scale.

  9. Lizzy

    Oh dude, I totally feel you. When we ran that half last summer I was around 140 which was my highest weight.(funny saying that now since I gained like 40 more pounds during pregnancy!) I can’t wait until I can workout again so I can lose weight. We should try to motivate each other to get back to the low-mid 130s. I know we can do it!

  10. Christine

    I think you are being way too hard on yourself! You are fit and in great shape, I wouldn’t worry about the number. It’s not even a high number. Once I had children, I realized that life is more than a number from the scale. Enjoy your life!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Christine: Thanks. I know it’s not a high number, and if I were happier with my body in general, I wouldn’t care (as much?) about the number, but it’s the combination of feeling flabby and not liking the number.

  11. melissa (fitnessnyc)

    I appreciate the honesty of this post. i’ve been feeling the same way for many months and instead of bucking up, I’ve been failing to actually make changes. Thanks for the reminder that you have to identify the problems and make steps to change them.

  12. Mattie @ Comfy and Confident

    Good for you! It is smart and brave to recognize you need to nip it in the butt! Those sneaky calories are the worst and the weekends are the worst for me. I always eat SO much on the weekends. thats my goal for June, to be better and more consistant on the weekends.

  13. Mom

    Remember persistance pays off!!
    You can do anything you put your mind to!!!
    Eating healthy is a way of life for you now, you have a
    very active life and you can do it and you will!
    Believe it, I believe in YOU


  14. Carrie@familyfitnessfood.com

    So many of us are in the same boat. I’m up about 10 lbs. from where I’d like to be (after losing 40, but being too thin and having medical issues as a result). I’d take a loss of 8 and be happy. While I know I’m fit and healthy, my problem is dinner. Just eating too much. My clothes don’t lie, I really need to get those same 5 lbs. off to make them fit properly. I’ve been writing everything down lately and also making sure to get in exercise at least 6 days a week. So far so good.

    Great job taking the first step. You can do it.

  15. Abby @ BackAtSquareZero

    I know exactly how you feel I lost about 25 pounds and was doing great keeping it off for the past few years. Then this fall I started training for my first marathon which meant I thought I could give myself permission to eat EVERYTHING! It was ridiculous, but in my head I was sure I’d burn it off. Not the case. At first it was, “Oh, I just gained 5 pounds.” Then up to 10 and finally a dozen before I stopped it.

    Now I am back on track. I found that calorie counting using the myfitnesspal app really helps my keep track of all the sneaky calories. I record everything! Plus I started my own blog to help keep me responsible. Now I am only 3 pounds from my normal.

    I know that you can do it too. Just be more conscious of what you’re taking in. I love your story and your dedication. Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  16. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Weight maintenance is not an easy thing. And quite honestly, something that I struggle with as well. Wine and beer find their way into my diet more often than they probably should by temptations from friends to just “grab a drink.” And now that I’m counting calories as part of the FitMixer bootcamp, I’m finding myself about to snack mindlessly because I’m bored. I honestly think it just comes down to awareness.

  17. Anne

    I lost 60 pounds in 2007 and it is much harder keeping it off than taking it off. Increasing activity is the key, but like you said, nipping any gain in the bud is critical. You can do it!

  18. Laura

    Maintenance is constant work! It’s great that you’re being honest with yourself about where you can improve.

    I haven’t stepped on a scale in awhile but was becoming unhappy with how my clothes were fitting. I realized I was snacking way too much, so I’m trying to cut back…even though that means fewer Yoforia breaks at work. πŸ™ Over the last seven years, I’ve found conscious eating to be the key to maintenance.

    Good luck! I’m certain that five pounds will be easy for you.

  19. Kristy Doyle

    I, like you, have lost a significant amount of weight (70 lbs), and I go through periods of gain like this, where I gain about 5 lbs and freak out. The important thing is you are aware of it, you know how to fix it, and you WILL fix it! I can tell from your post that you know you can beat this (you’ve done it before!)

    I set an UGW of 130 lbs. Right now, I’m about 145 and I have been between 145-150 for about a year. It’s HARD to lose weight when you’re so close to goal. You have to make SERIOUS changes, but what I’ve found is that I’ve become really, really good at MAINTAINING my current weight, so I know that if I clean up my diet and push my workouts, I’ll lose that last bit of weight. It’s just a matter of DOING it that is the problem! I actually did manage to lose about 3 pounds recently, but now I’m back to maintaining.

    Good luck!

  20. Megan

    Another 70-lb loser (from about 7 years ago) who must be constantly vigilant to keep her weight down, too. I’ve kept most of it off but regained a few lbs about 3 years ago and have been ever so slowly whittling my way back down since then. I think my biggest culprit is the same as one of yours. If I drink alcohol, not only am I taking in those extra calories, but my willpower dissolves and I overeat bad foods.

    In the summer I am so tempted by iced coffee drinks, so I make my own at home. I actually make them the night/weekend before a work week, bc I tend to rush around on work mornings. Make a pot of coffee the way you like it, let it cool. Add your milk, soy milk, half & half, etc. of choice, sweetener of choice, and I love Torani or DaVinci brand syrups in my iced coffee, which come “regular” or sugar free. They have a salted caramel flavor that is heaven in a cup. I just plunk a few ice cubes in my cup in the morning and go, and know exactly how many calories I’ve consumed. I’ve also heard a lot of people love Keurig (sp?) coffee makers. Maybe one of those at your desk, and stocking it with your preferred coffee fixings, would help you stay away from the Starbucks and extra calories. Good luck!

  21. Courtney

    Wow, we seem to be having the exact same problem. I lost 110-ish pounds to hit my goal of 139 last fall. It’s been a struggle since then.

    I’ve been bouncing all around the 140s since last December (even hitting the mid-150s after the holidays, I was so unhappy with my body), and I’m really trying to clean up those nasty habits that are sneaking in – extra snacks, little add-ons to my meals that are adding up (small desserts to finish a meal, cheese on salads, extra piece of fruit with lunch, etc.), sneaking more junk food, and DRINKS!

    It’s a constant struggle, and maintenance is much more of a battle for me than losing was, by far.

    I’m also sitting at 143 now, and that’s been my lowest weight since Christmas. I feel so “thin” compared to how I’ve been feeling all winter, but still so angry knowing that last fall, I would have felt so unhappy with myself at 143.

    Little bit at a time. It’s always harder the second time around.

  22. Nicole

    I stopped drinking a couple of years ago because I was getting headaches from wine–within a month of stopping the wine, I dropped 10 lbs. Didn’t change anything else.
    I follow the Abs Diet mainly eating the “power foods”. I recently incorporated lean meat and dairy back into my diet after vegan for 9 months–I had put on a few lbs and was getting soft. Within just the last couple of weeks the bloat is gone and I feel back on track.
    You’ll find your balance!

  23. Tracy

    Being overweight (lost 13lbs thus far) I found strength in your blog. Your blog shows me its ok to love yourself, learn to except flaws, and live a healthy and happy life. With weight loss it’s hard and you can get lost and fail to relize how far you’ve come. Thank You!

  24. Steph

    I’ve recently gained back some weight that I lost and to remind me to make a healthier choice I tend to think “Eat to live, don’t live to eat”. This reminds me to pick something with good nutritional value more often than something junky, I also don’t expect perfect eating all the time only 90% so you can still have less healthy stuff.

  25. Kimra

    I hear you on the lattes (are Americanos an option for you?) and the nuts/trail mix. Snacking is definitely my downfall. The first 10 pounds I lost were by doing the “easy” stuff — cutting out my daily (yes, daily) Skittles, soda, etc. The last 10 are, um, still here. I’m hoping this summer I can figure out the lifestyle changes that will banish them for good.

  26. Joyce

    If the starbucks coffee is too strong for you but you can stomach the espresso, maybe try an americano (espresso+water), maybe add a sugar free syrup and then you can add a splash of skim or soy milk on your own. Or you can just be like me and develop a sickeningly high tolerance for caffeine and then their regular coffee won’t bother you!

  27. Johanna B

    I lost 65 lbs 2 years ago and have kept it off. It isn’t easy because it sure wants to creep back up. I’m with you on what’s lacking though. I’ve been eating more carbs and less veggies. Must rememdy that.

  28. Jenni

    I just finished going through those same “5 pounds” excuses too – I successfully lost about 20 pounds before my wedding last year and afterwards let it all creep right back through a combination of laziness and frequent indulgences. I’m back on the downward track again thanks to exercise, but I need to address those indulgences head-on, particularly wine and chocolate! This week on my blog I’m focusing on mindful eating to try to get control back over my eating again. Thanks for this post, it’s so nice to know that I’m not alone in this fight!

  29. Christina

    I’m in the same EFFING boat!!! It sucks but like you said, we know where the pounds creep in from. I get the same stupid soy mistos (I’m angry they’re so good lol), I’ll munch on dark chocolate because apparently all of a sudden I cannot live without it, and wine? Might as well call it a weekend side kick.

    I kept off my weight loss for so long and I feel like in the past year it started to creep back on. Time to get in gear! I don’t cut carbs but nothing artificial including my beloved wraps (again, I’m mad at Starbucks for their spinach egg white wrap). I stick to ezekiel and basically just eating clean good foods.

    Fitness? I need to kick it up a notch, like for realz.

  30. Alexis

    I feel ya! I lost 22 pounds in 2010, and was able to keep it off no problem for about a year. I struggled last summer when I was working a job that changed my schedule drastically. I had a hard time adjusting my work outs and eating to a schedule that was completely different from what I was used to. (I’m very much a routine type person, so any change is very hard for me!) I started a 90 day program at the beginning of August, and ended up 3 pounds over my original goal weight or 138, but felt like I was in great shape, that I was strong, and that my clothes fit even better (some were even big!) than they did when I was 3-4 pounds lighter. I knew I had gained muscle. But after the holidays (and not close enough to them to blame it on the holidays!) I gained another 4-5 pounds. I feel like I’ve tried a million things to get these few pounds off, but to no avail! Before, I felt like it was muscle; I felt strong. Now I feel like my pants are uncomfortably tight, and no matter what I do, it’s not working. I feel like I’m working out harder than ever, but the scale (and the pants!) aren’t showing any progress! Seems like taking the weight off is easy, but keeping it off is the hard part!

  31. Heidi

    I lost 80 pounds and I’ve kept it off for 6 years. The hardest thing to learn was that I couldn’t ever “go back” to my prior way of eating and living. It’s still a continuous effort to be mindful of what I eat and how active I am! Marathon training has helped me be accountable for my activity levels, and looking at food as fuel for running has helped me make healthy choices. πŸ™‚ I get to join the National Weight Loss Registry!
    Congratulations on your big loss- it won’t be nearly as hard to lose your last five… And you’ll have a renewed sense of pride in your accomplishment! πŸ™‚

  32. Mads

    I totally feel what all of you have said here! I lost around 20lbs two years ago by following a strict elimination diet (cutting out wheat, dairy, alcohol, sugar and all processed foods) which I found surprisingly easy. I can’t seem to get back on track lately – wine being my particular downfall but reading this has really motivated me to get back on track. 50 days until my holiday so hopefully enough time to shift those evil 6 pounds. And i’ve been inspired by this to get back to blogging to publicly commit to doing so!
    Thanks for the great job you do on this blog πŸ™‚

  33. Hazel

    I am with gastric bypass no surgery called ‘Rocalabs”. I have 30 more pounds lo lose and I will be at my weight goal that my doctor agreed on. I have so much more energy now! I totally love being thin. I’m 5’ 0″ I praise each an everyone of you whoÒ€ℒv managed to lose weight and live a healthier, more energetic lifestyle. It’s awesome! Keep up good work,stay motivated! This was the blog I read when I found out about rocalabs. http://myweightlossjourneyrocalabs.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/rocalabs/


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