As I made my way through maintenance and my unintentional/intentional bulking (it’s complicated), this was it. This was the only thing that I asked for. My pants to fit.
I was ready and willing to do anything that my coach laid out for me as long as my pants still fit. That was my sole requirement. Well, at least that is what I said to him and to myself. It did get a little shakey along the way with the scale and I did have moments that I needed to be talked off the ledge of diving face-first into a deficit again.
And… disclaimer that I have also mentioned before… I didn’t do everything that he laid out for me. I made my own choices and I have my own consequences, but it doesn’t take away from the value of setting terms to maintenance or even growth.
Here’s how things have gone.
- Leveled out post-show June 26th-Sept 9th
- Surplus through December
- Maintaining from January to May
- Life’s curveball of a cross-country move from June to September had a bit of unintended surplus due to emotions, ability, and choice.
These are my pants.
They are stretchy and I loved the way that they fit at 132 lbs.
Surprisingly, I loved the way that they looked at 141 lbs and even 152 lbs.
I say surprisingly because I had no idea what my body was going to do with the added calories and the added push I could give all of my training with the extra calories.
They definitely hung in there for a long time with me and they still fit now but they are not as comfortable. I am currently in the process of a mini cut right now with my coach because I am pushing the limitation of my comfort.
To give you an idea of what the growth and these pants fitting still have meant…
With all of this in mind when you are looking to set out to the great unknown of maintenance or growth, try to find flexible ways of limiting the journey.
Your weight is going to change (See Part One). This has always been the case and it always will be. Have you ever weighed yourself multiple times in one day to just see the fluctuations that happen with food consumption, hydration, activity, and all else that changes your weight? It’s crazy how much the body’s weight can shift throughout the day. You can even weigh yourself, drink an entire water bottle, and then weigh yourself again to see.
With my clients…
- We set a range of bodyweight that they feel comfortable with BUT when it nears the top, I begin to question how they are feeling in their body and their clothes.
- We pick a piece of clothing that has give but not that much give. If the body is changing and filling out clothing better, great! You can get to be a certain physical size and weigh heavier due to the addition of muscle and loss of fat mass. If it is not changing a lot in maintenance, great! This is a win-win. But if the piece of clothing is getting to the point that it is tight or uncomfortable, it initiates the process of course correcting before we need to go into a full-fledged diet phase again (See Part Three).
- We set up scheduled audits every so often to check in on weight, clothing, habits, and all else. This is to help with the fact that sometimes we don’t put on “real pants” or maybe we pull away from weighing ourselves and go by feel instead.
These practices allow us to stay aware of where our bodies are outside of the diet phase when we are paying much closer attention because of our goals, but with more space for ebbs and flows. It is really a practice in self-love and self-compassion to provide ourselves with this flexibility and room to live.
For other help in the process with room to live and self-compassion, look for those NSVs!
I’m so appreciative of you getting to this point and coming on this journey with me.
Full Maintenance Series:
- Maintenance Part One: How I Screwed Up
- Maintenance Part Two: Losing the Leanness
- Maintenance Part Three: GAH! THIS IS FOREVER
- Maintenance Part Four: How I wish I would’ve started
- Maintenance Part Five: My pants need to fit!
- Maintenance Part Six: Do I even know what I am doing?
- Maintenance Part Seven: Mindless Means Mayhem