Lessons Learned & Learning 2: 60 Days of Maintenance

My 30-day maintenance post is here:

My second 30 days looked like this:


Weight: I had reached my goal weight of 150 lbs. on Dec. 17, 2013. According to MFP, that would place my net calories at 1600 for maintenance.

Between days 31-60, my weight ranged from 147.5 (Feb. 9) to 151.5 (Jan. 19). Like days 1-30, my second 30 days had shown a maximum weight of 151.5; but 147.5 represents a new low weight. It had occurred the day after I was out in raw, rainy weather, at a 5K that had gotten cancelled at the last minute due to thunderstorms. While waiting for the decision I ran and danced to keep warm, but I had no way to know how many calories I had burned. My likely inaccurate net calorie consumption had been 1614: 14 calories over maintenance.

As shown in the graph, my weight had climbed back up from that low fairly quickly. Weight on maintenance day 60 was 149.5.

My average weight for maintenance days 31-60 was 149.83, compared with 150.28 for the first 30 days. My average weight over the first 60 days of maintenance was 150.06. Can't get much more on-point than that.

Exercise Calories Burned: I took four rest days (0 calories burned) during maintenance days 31-60 -- twice as many rest days as during the first 30 days. Even so, my average exercise calories burned for the second 30 days (including rest days) equaled 367/day, only 10 fewer calories per day than my average of 377/day for the first 30 days of maintenance. Maximum number of exercise calories burned in a day equaled 629 on Jan. 16, which had included both running and mini-bike.

Exercise during days 31-60 included 15 miles of running and 2 miles of walking, plus housecleaning and hauling, in addition to my main exercise on the MagneTrainer and DeskCycle.

I also added planks to my routine, specifically this program:

I reached Day 30 of the plank challenge on Feb. 8 and am building up my endurance from there. At the time of this writing I've been holding planks for 3 minutes 15 seconds.

Total and Net Calories Consumed: Total calories for maintenance days 31-60 averaged 1808/day and ranged from 1410 on Feb. 2 (which was also one of my rest days) to 2140 on Jan. 16 (which was also my highest day for exercise calories burned). Net calories (total calories minus exercise calories burned) averaged 1441/day and ranged from 1106 to 1698.

Although the average is still technically below MFP's maintenance of 1600 net, it's within 10 percent of MFP's net and almost 6 percent closer than I had been during my first 30 days of maintenance (which had averaged 1350/day and ranged from 944 to 1559). With a couple of exceptions at the beginning and end of the second 30-day period, my weight has held to within a very narrow range, going no farther than a half-pound on either side of goal from day 40 through day 54. That's a good sign that both my calorie consumption and my weight are stabilizing.

Body Composition: I took measurements on Feb. 11, which showed an additional 1.75 inches lost, from abdomen and hips. According to my calipers, my body fat percentage remains at 25.9 percent, the low end of "ideal" for a woman my age. That's as far down as I want to go.

I also begin to see some definition in my abs, likely due to the planks and perhaps to the running as well.

I've had to make some adjustments, especially with respect to my ischium.

Image from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ischium

The ischial tuberosity, the lower part of the ischium, supports weight while sitting. I don't have the padding down there that I used to, so hard seats and even some softer seats can bring discomfort -- and, if I'm not careful, pressure sores. I've done some research into cushions, but I've found some relief thanks to gel heel cushions:


I spotted these at our local pharmacy. They're the right size, terrifically portable, and I can place them where I need them. They cost less than a seating pad and give me only the cushioning I want. So what if I don't use them on my feet? :laugh:

I've also bought a king-sized pillow, which I use as a mini-body pillow. In particular it helps cushion my knees when I lie on my side.

Running: I did training runs on maintenance days 31, 34, 40, 49, and 60. Day 31's run covered 2.64 miles; the others each covered 3.11 miles (5K).


My route (plotted using Mapquest) is above, with street names erased. Two long hills fall between points B and C and my climb continued past the water tower, up to point E. The rest of my run had some rises and dips, but they were negligible compared to my tower climb.

After my initial time of 42:33 on Jan. 19 (pace 13:37) I ran the route in 39:18 on Jan. 25 (pace 12:35, so far my fastest time); 39:37 on Feb. 3 (pace 12:41, and that after pulling an all-nighter); and 39:30 on Feb. 14 (pace 12:38).

I had planned to do a 5K event on Feb. 8, but it was canceled on account of thunderstorms. The turnout of runners (300+, which means 60+ at the door) and volunteers was amazing in spite of the very raw weather. They waited until the last minute, then decided it really wouldn't be safe to go ahead. On the bright side I got a great stretch/massage in the massage tent, which doubled as shelter from the storm. Danced to DJ music to keep warm. From what I could hear, the event raised $40K for our local food pantry.

(This is my first running bib in 12 years.)

I continue to train, now for a 5K on March 8. Am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather!

Salad Days: I've been asked, "Do you truly eat an entire head of lettuce?" The answer is: Yes! I finally stopped in mid-consumption and took a shot of my typical salad:


Ingredients are a head of iceberg lettuce, a can of tuna, and homemade dressing made from olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and paprika. I have one of these almost every day. Sometimes I use a can of chicken instead of the tuna.

Body Image: Once again I am adjusting, both physically and psychologically, to being a smaller size. Physical adjustment includes the cushions mentioned above. I am also more sensitive to cold and have had to make sure to wear enough layers when I go out in chilly weather.

I spend a fair amount of time looking at my body in the mirror. For me it's a "getting to know you" experience. I need to learn this new picture of myself, to replace the one I've carried in my head for far longer during my life. It's not just my body, either; my current shape is a departure from my family body shape in general. That gives this weight loss another layer of strangeness. Lying in bed I also feel how much closer my bones are to the surface and am adjusting to that kind of vulnerability.

Being post-menopausal represents another change. That makes this weight loss different from those that had gone before, with respect to skin elasticity and other factors. To be honest, I'm fascinated by my wrinkles. In many respects, my body feels like a new and precious toy for me to play with and take care of. I need to keep getting used to it until it feels like the literal second skin it is and until I live in it without a second thought.


  • wild_wild_life
    wild_wild_life Posts: 1,334 Member
    Love everything about this! Thanks for posting!

    I'm also impressed that MFP estimated your net maintenance so well.
  • Helen_Luvnlife
    Helen_Luvnlife Posts: 230 Member
    You are doing such an incredible job. You truely are an inspiration.
  • H2Odaughter
    H2Odaughter Posts: 44 Member
    What a great (and detailed) post! Thank you for this ...
    GSXRGIRL61 Posts: 6,274 Member
    Thanks so much for posting this! It's an amazing amount of information and quite helpful to the rest of us who are new to the maintenance phase.
  • Laura3BB
    Laura3BB Posts: 250 Member
    Very informative and love the graphs :-)
    I'm also close to 2 months of maintenance - and maitaining perfectly :-)