Healthy Habits

I still struggle with guilt and anxiety over not being able to maintain the lowest weight I had achieved. One day an email arrived with a different questionnaire from the National Weight Control Registry. As I went through the myriad questions, I noticed that there were an awful lot of questions that I was able to answer positively “all the time.” Maybe you can identify with making many of these positive changes yourself, and feel better that, although not perfect, you have chosen a whole and healthy life for yourself!


  • During the past month, I set a daily calorie goal for myself.
  • During the past month, I had several servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day.
  • During the past month, I kept a record of the type and amount of food I ate.
  • During the past month, I set exercise goals for myself.
  • During the past month, if I overate, I thought about what led up to my overeating.
  • During the past month, I kept high calorie, high fat foods (e.g., chips, cookies, cakes) out of sight so they would not tempt me.
  • During the past month, I avoided fried foods.
  • During the past month, I kept low-calorie foods (e.g., fruit, raw vegetables, unbuttered popcorn) accessible for a healthy snack.
  • During the past month, I engaged in moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking or something similar to brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • During the past month, I weighed and/or measured the foods I ate.
  • During the past month, I limited my intake of regular soda.
  • During the past month, I kept a record of the calories and fat in the foods I ate.
  • During the past month, I kept a record of my minutes of exercise.
  • During the past month, I ate lower-fat meats.
  • During the past month, I scheduled exercise into my day.
  • During the past month, if I had negative thoughts about my weight loss progress, I tried to catch myself and stop that kind of thinking.
  • During the past month, I chose low-calorie and/or low-fat foods to eat instead of higher calorie options.
  • During the past month, I ate high-fiber foods (e.g., whole grain breads or cereals, fruit, vegetables).

12 thoughts on “Healthy Habits

  1. So, are these supposed to be the healthy habits of long-time weight loss maintainers or of people actively trying to lose weight?

    While I know there are times you wish you were at your smallest ever size, I look at you as a person who has not bounced all the way back up and then some. Because, unfortunately, I know several people who have done just that, including myself! To have kept your weight lower than it’s highest is something to be proud of.

    • This was an extra survey sent out to participants in the NWCR. So it might have been sent to people who are more in an active weight loss phase. And like Lori mentioned, the main topic was “body image,” but this list just reminded me of some of the things I do to try to maintain my weight loss. I know these things don’t work for everybody (counting calories is one) but they are what seem to come almost effortlessly to me nowadays–habits!

      Thanks for the encouragement–most days I am happy that I have maintained a good portion of the weight I’ve lost. And then there are the days where I despair…

  2. I think just keeping a lot of this in the front of your mind helps with maintenance – like, even on the days when I plan an indulgence, I’m still aware of the calorie count and portion size. For example, Jeff and I split a bundtlet (mini bundt cake) from our new Nothing Bundt Cakes in town, but one of our running buddies was aghast that we do that – she said she eats the entire thing. And she’s thin! I will never understand the (un)fairness of this.

    • The unfairness…it does seem it would have been a better plan to pair a love of yummy food with a very high metabolism, doesn’t it?

  3. GOOD MORNING DEBBY……This blog will be soooo helpful…I have made a copy of this one so that I can focus on one or two changes to begin with. I’ve never heard of this registry. must look it up. I agree with your other commenters, just staying BELOW your highest weight is indeed monumental. I hope you know that you are such a positive influence. mickie

    • The NWCR has been around for a long time–they send a survey once a year to people who have maintained at least a 30 pound weight loss. ( am still maintaining 70 pounds lost.) To me their simple findings are a good barometer of how to maintain weight loss. Here’s a link for you:

  4. I took this survey as well and boy do I realize how much my body image has changed for the better!

    Habits, too. The one that said putting out clothes or shoes to remind yourself to exercise and I said never because I don’t have to remind myself to do it. I just do.

  5. This is a great list! I hope this list made you realize that you really are still rocking it. I’m really trying to get in the habit of exercising consistently but man, it’s hard.

    Good for you for maintaining a 70 lb loss – that is something to celebrate!! 🙂

    • Sometimes I am surprised at how consistent I am with my exercise. But remember, no children, no husband, no job. Its a miracle any time you find time to exercise! Give yourself a big high five every time it happens!

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