This weekend meant I passed the 2 year mark of doing The Tracy Anderson Method and basically 3 years of my weight loss journey. And whispers very quietly I did it. I have kept it off.
Something like 80% of people regain back all of their weight plus a few extra pounds within 2 years of losing it. Of the people who do maintain for any length of period, over 90% do at least an hour of exercise per day.
To maintain your weight over a significant period is not an easy task but I knew from quite early on that if you want to keep the pounds off, you have to be prepared to sweat. And so I sweat -- about 1 1/2 hours a day at least 6 x a week. Occasionally when I am holiday, I do take time off but I will put the days in before I go and then when I get back... It is also better for my mental health. No matter how I'm feeling, I always feel better when I've done my TAM.
Doing so much exercise also allows me to eat more liberally. I see lots of people who are constantly on a diet or denying themselves things. It does get much easier when you don't have to but instead listen to how your body responds to various foods. This means in general I try to limit my dairy, in particular milk and rich cheese. I limit my intake of processed foods and very rarely have fast food.
On a day to day basis, I have learnt I do better with something in my stomach before I exercise. So when I'm exercising first thing (most mornings), I start with a large glass of water and a banana as bananas are easy for my system to digest. I will then eat a proper breakfast -- generally fresh fruit with flaxseed after I finish. Lunch tends to either a salad or soup and I do try to incorporate healthy whole grains such as quinoa or barley. Supper tends to whatever my husband makes but he cooks from scratch. If I eat bread, I try to make it homemade. If I eat cake or cookies (which I do, possibly too often), they tend to be homemade.
I have significantly decreased the amount of dried fruit I eat as it kept sending my stomach into knots and my blood sugar everywhere. If you want to maintain your weight, it is much easier when your blood sugar is stable.
Drinking lots of water also helps.
I tend to drink green or herbal/fruit tea instead of my old ordinary tea with milk.
BUT the underpinning to everything is TAM. I do 45 min of Muscular Structure work and then 45 min of the Dance cardio. By the end I am drenched in sweat. One thing I love about TAM is that my mind is constantly challenged and the brain to muscle connection is always being worked on. Every ten days, the Muscular structure changes. The challenge for this level 2.3 L7 for me is the hoop on the working knee fire hydrants while balancing both hands on upturn weights. I think I have finally got it -- really seriously invert the supporting knee...but tomorrow will be the proof.
I'm not sure I'm a good dancer. I just enjoy myself. When I first started, the dance cardio was something I had to do but now it is an enjoyable part of the experience.
And I do like wearing my UK size 8s (US size 4). To remind you all I was US size 20 when I started. It was a hugely sobering moment when I realised the LLBean red shorts which fit were a size 20.
Finally TAM has been hugely empowering for me. I think it is the whole mastering various levels. But it does provide more brain to muscle connections because after all dancing is the one physical activity that helps ward off dementia. ( you see the research from Stanford here ) I figure the more brain to muscle connection and pathways I have, the greater chance I have of having fewer senior moments as I age.
I have also been surprised at how my over all health has improved. I have far fewer colds, flu and gneral lurgy these days than I did before.
Anyway onwards towards the five year mark...I determined to maintain my size and the most important weapon in my arsenal is TAM.