Now that I’m done losing weight, I need to increase my daily calorie intake to maintain my weight. My brother has told me that I’ll need to eat about 1900-2000 calories a day to maintain my current weight. My gym/workout schedule will mostly stay the same, so the amount of food I eat will be the only thing changing. And I have to admit, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with this. I’ve been eating about 1200 calories a day for the last two or three months, and I’ve gotten pretty used to that. I have a hard time picturing myself eating 700-800 MORE calories PER day! And I have this irrational fear that I’m going to gain the weight back if I start eating this much. Logically, I know that wont happen, but it’s a hard concept to get on board with. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to start eating Big Macs and pizza all the time (except it will be nice to indulge occasionally) I’ll continue to eat healthy. I plan to increase my calories by just eating more of the same foods I’ve been eating to lose the weight. I’ll add healthy fats and calories like nuts and avocados to meals, and having more frequent snacks throughout the day. It’s going to be a learning process I think. And I’m not going to increase to this many calories in one day. I plan to slowly increase to this amount over about a week or so, so my body can adjust to it better.

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I came across this picture a few weeks ago, and I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. This was taken on August 8th, 2012, my son was 4 months old. I started going to the gym 14 days prior to this picture being taken.

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And this picture was taken Thanksgiving day. Owen was 7.5 months old, and this is almost exactly 4 months after I started working out.

I need visuals like this to keep things in perspective for me. I don’t even feel like these pictures are of the same person (they are though, I promise). I can’t believe the difference, especially in my face. So that is my fear, going back to where I was in the first picture. I’ve told my husband that when I was that size I didn’t feel like my “real” self. I felt like Ashleigh, but in a fat suit (a la Gweneth Paltrow in the movie Shallow Hal). I feel like I’ve found myself and I don’t ever want to go back to that place again.

What fears do you have in your own personal weight loss journey?

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