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