Hi everyone!

Today I’m celebrating a whole year of successful maintaining; and it feels amazing that I’ve actually managed to do it after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

So what made the difference after reaching goal this time?

For the very first time, I didn’t treat myself with food on the day I reached goal.  That’s what I’ve usually done in the past – gone out and bought all those chocolate bars I’ve resisted for months.  I can also remember a time when I celebrated in Costa – with four of their chocolate cakes!

After reaching goal last September, I carried on with the No Count plan (which I’d been following for about a month).  I’d reached a weight (9st 12lbs) that I never thought I’d see again so I wanted to continue eating in just the same way as I was determined not to let the weight creep back on.

However, after that initial excitement of reaching goal, I realised that maintaining was not going to be easy.  Gone was the ‘goal’ that I’d been aiming for and, even though outwardly I was being very positive, paranoia was beginning to seep – in that if I allowed myself any extra points while maintaining, I’d start to put weight on.

By December I’d dropped down to 9st 4lbs through a combination of No Count and walking/running.  I was over the moon at reaching this weight but realised that I needed to be eating a bit more as I really didn’t want my weight to go any lower.  That’s when I decided to follow the No Count plan for six days a week and have one day (usually a Saturday) when I don’t count any points.  I may have a meal out, some chocolate, wine or a pizza.  This has worked really well and is definitely a way of life for me now.

But maintaining is also about realising that it’s nigh on impossible to keep your weight exactly the same each week.  Today I weighed in at 9st 4.5lbs but my weight has fluctuated between 9st 1.5lbs and 9st 5.5lbs this year.  I don’t panic if I’ve gone up a lb or two, I’ll just walk a bit more the following week and cut a few carbs out too.  It’s a fine balance and it can take a while to find out what works for you.

It’s about learning to love the new you too.  I remember reaching goal and looking in the mirror thinking that all my wobbly bits would have gone.  They hadn’t!  By walking/running I’m more toned now – I know I’m never going to look like Ursula Andress as she walks out of the sea in Dr No but I’ve managed to make the best of the body I have.

There are more maintaining tips on the website at: www.lovingnocount.com/maintaining-on-no-count/ which I hope can be useful to those of you who are nearing goal or are maintaining at the moment.  I am full of admiration for everyone who’s maintained in the long term, it’s not easy by any means but it’s definitely worth it!

Next week’s new recipes will include:

  • No Count Fishcakes
  • No Count Lemon ‘Oaties’

Finally, I’d like to say a massive thank you to you all!  The amount of support I’ve received this year has been phenomenal.  If you’re reading this now, thank you for supporting me in my venture into the world of web design and promoting the No Count plan.  I’ve loved every minute of it, and creating all these recipes certainly helps to keep me motivated – even more so when I see them being enjoyed by you too.  Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you send in.

A big thank you also to everyone on Connect – I certainly wouldn’t have reached goal without the incredible support from all you wonderful people on there. I’ve made some wonderful friends and am looking forward to meeting more of you next year.  And finally, to my amazing Fitbit buddies: without your motivation and great senses of humour, I certainly wouldn’t be walking/running as much!

I hope you all have a fabulous and successful week ahead and good luck with all weigh-ins!  You can do this!

Helen xxx