AIM: Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine

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This month the girls and I have decided to go our separate ways! That is, we are each going to write about an aspect of our lives that is unique to us. I was elected to discuss maintenance in retirement. It occurred to me today that I am also single, so that is an over-riding feature of my life that definitely does impact my ability (and inability sometimes!) to maintain a large weight loss. I’ll probably discuss that a little bit too.

In case anybody is new to my blog, I worked as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse for 25 years. It was the most rewarding, punishing, happy, sad occupation you could ever imagine. I loved that I could do it. I considered it a miracle that I even made it through nursing school, much less WORKED IN A HOSPITAL for 25 years (I had a major little paranoia about doctors and hospitals.) So it goes without saying that it was a stressful job. That is not why I was fat. It probably contributed to the difficulty of losing and maintaining weight loss. Nevertheless, in January 2005, I started this last weight loss journey as a NICU nurse, and lost 100 pounds in about a year and a half.

Oh wait. This post is supposed to be about my RETIREMENT! Okay. Fast forward a few years, and in June 2011 I retired from nursing. I remember being worried about how I would handle food in retirement. I even wrote to Georgie to ask her opinion, and she was quite encouraging.

I have to say that, if anything, it has been easier to make wise food choices in retirement. I have plenty of time for food preparation and experimentation, a hobby that I enjoy very much. Of course, being single, I can eat what I want, when I want. That could also be a problem. But mostly it works in my favor. I also don’t have the built in stress that came from my job, nor the built in treats that came with my job.

For many people, retirement is synonymous with traveling. I have actually written quite a bit about travel and food choices and the challenges of being on the road. In fact, one month it was the topic of our AIM blog.

So I think I’ll address another issue in regards to traveling and maintaining weight loss that I have been thinking about lately. I was going to write a different post called “Room for Improvement.”

So far this year I’ve taken three longer trips (Haiti, Ohio, and Oregon,) as well as various and sundry shorter trips to visit family. And then there are the day long shopping trips. Unfortunately for me, travel and food treats are inextricably linked in the hard-wiring of my brain. So when I make the conscious decision to just “go with the flow,” or “eat like the natives do” (haha–I’m referring to the Amish, NOT the Haitians!) that is not a wise decision. Especially if you are trying to lose weight (which I am.) Because a week of eating out of balance can negate 3 weeks of S-L-O-W weight loss. And one day of indulgence can negate any weight loss for that week. If you are “only” trying to maintain your weight, but your retirement includes an increased travel schedule, and you use the aforementioned “go with the flow” plan, you could still end up with a slow but steady weight GAIN. So I am going to review some of my older posts on travel and food, and put a few of my healthy living tips back into my travel plans!

And I suppose I can bring this all around to weight loss maintenance in retirement by saying that it is almost natural to gain weight when you turn into an old lady as you age, and it is also more difficult to lose weight as you age. But it is not impossible.

It is fun to experiment with various recipes and “flavor profiles” (who watches waaaay too many cooking shows?) I love seeing a classic combination, such as strawberries and rosemary, or lemon and raspberries, and start to think about how I can fit those flavors into a healthy low calorie treat. Now that I am retired, I have plenty of time for my food experiments. I saw the combination of lemon and raspberries on Georgie’s blog. Then I saw Lori’s recipe for Ricotta Puffs. I don’t ever have ricotta around the house, but I always have cottage cheese.  So the next morning, I came up with this new recipe for Raspberry Lemon Cheese Puffs. A delicious, filling breakfast treat for about 200 calories. Enjoy!

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To read about how maintenance looks different in different lives, be sure to check out my AIM friends:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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10 thoughts on “AIM: Show Me Your Maintenance and I’ll Show You Mine

  1. ahhh aging. it IS natural to gain and harder to lose…Id love a series from you on just that?
    the emotional and physical experiences as too many pretend it’s “JUST FINE” when I believe it is a challenge for us all.

  2. YUM! Those raspberry lemon cheese puffs look really good!! 🙂

    I also would love to hear what you have to say on aging and losing weight!!

  3. One thing I don’t miss from working are the built-in job treats – hoo boy, at my last job, the amount of food treats we had on a daily basis was ridiculous.

    While I can’t be bothered to actually cook much, I do enjoy seeing your creations, and I like how you experiment with flavors and textures. Your puffs look so appealing! That said, I’ll never make ’em. 😉

  4. Agree with Miz and Debby. Aging and maintenance….sigh…It must be talked about.

    When I “go with the flow,” I seriously end up gaining WAY more weight than something steady. This summer has been ridiculous that way. Travel, even 60 miles in one direction, has my food plan all out of whack. A day in the kitchen is like a vacation from the craziness. I need to try those puffs 🙂 (P.S. Shelley, don’t bother making them, I’ll send you one :))

  5. Those puffs look good!

    I am getting at that point of perimenopause and that has really kind of thrown a wrench into the works, as they say. I feel hormones much more now than when I was younger (WHY????).

    I usually try to go with the flow all the time. It’s just too stressful for me to not do that.

    • You are the model for going with the flow! If only I could control myself a little more, I would prefer that. But if I am going to travel this often, and I still want to lose weight, I can see it just isn’t going to work for me.

  6. Where’s the line for ordering puffs? I’ll take a dozen.

    I’m a mostly-go-with-the-flow person, but I do take a moment to consciously think about it and formulate a plan for turning off the faucet. 🙂

  7. I’ve been blessed with good genes when it comes to body weight. Even so as I’ve aged I seem naturally to gain about 10 pounds a decade. I’m 5’9″ and in my 20’s I was around 125, in my 30’s my weight hovered in the mid 130’s, in my 40’s I was around 145 most of the decade. Now that I’m almost 50 my weight is around 156. I’m definitely curvier and sometimes I’m critical about the extra pounds even though I’m still well within range of a healthy weight. But when I loose weight, which is rare (usually when I am stressed or depressed) I don’t think I look as good. If I were down to my mid 120’s again I would look gaunt. I do have to work harder at keeping my weight stable, but I am learning to love the extra weight that I’m gaining naturally as I age.

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