One big problem with maintaining the gains and motivation I had earlier is that, after I had settled into an acceptable routine, my schedule at work changed, which threw my routine into chaos. It was sometimes hard to find an acceptable window of daylight to fit a workout into between sleep and work. Also, as I mentioned before, the slow cadence workouts I was trying were killing my focus and motivation.
So I took a full week off of strength workouts while I tried to decide what to do. I've had a general bias against doing workouts overnight, but it looks like I'll have to rethink that. I'm also going to increase the speed on my reps, or maybe alternate fast and slow sets to help my motivation.
Another problem is that myfitnesspal (the app I use to track my food) recalibrates your calorie targets every ten pounds lost. I had established an eating routine that put me just under that target number, but having hit the 20 lbs off mark, my new target is getting harder to hit. I could pad that number by running more frequently, but I run into that time crunch problem again, unless I'm willing to run after dark, which is not the best idea in my neighborhood, I'm thinking.
Part of me wants to make more radical changes in my workout schedule, or even throw it away and start fresh. Based on past experience, I'm worried about trying it. The reason I've been able to sustain for almost four months is that I've developed a routine, which is how you get past that early rush of enthusiasm and borderline obsession.
Starting fresh means having to renew that enthusiasm and obsession again, until I've settled into the new routine. I've never been able to accomplish that successfully before. With luck, coming back to a tweaked strength workout after a week off will help the stale routine feel a little fresh again without completely throwing me off track.