Aug 112014
 

6 Years

When I think back to when I started my journey to lose 100 pounds, I don’t think I ever thought about the “After.” Not really. I think part of that was that I’d never really been skinny and part of it was that I doubted whether I’d ever reach the “After.” I had a goal in my mind and I naively thought that all my problems would thus be fixed when I was “skinny” and while they weren’t magically improved, there was a lot of improvement in my life. The biggest improvement, obviously, was my health. I was no longer pre-diabetic and I didn’t have high blood pressure. Mission accomplished. But when I was steadily truckin’ along, losing a pound here and a pound there, I couldn’t really see my future as a “skinny” person and now that I’ve kept the weight off for 6 years, I have a hard time picturing myself as I used to be. It’s strange how your reality and perception changes.

Over the years I’ve had ups and downs in my weight. I gained 15 pounds a few years ago and it took a really long time to lose that extra 15 pounds but I did it. Despite the occasional body image issues I still struggle with, my weight has been maintained in the same 4-6 pound range. Sometimes it’s more of a struggle to keep myself in that range. I am no longer naive about weight loss and I KNOW it takes hard work and honesty.

Honesty is the hard part. When you’re obese you’re not honest with yourself, or others, not really. When I was obese I would sneak food,  I’d eat in private, I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t losing weight, I’d make excuses to other poeple– “No really, I don’t eat that much…I don’t know why I can’t lose weight…”  (Read these posts: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?An Excuse to Eat, and Overcoming Exercise Obstacles.) Once I faced that I was lying about everything and that I hadn’t REALLY tried to lose weight, I had renewed desire to really succeed this time.

I had to change the way I thought about food.

I had to change the way I thought about exercise.

I had to change the way I thought about MYSELF. No more excuses. 

Was it easy? Hell no! There were so so so many plateaus. There were set-backs. There were some very frustrating times where I felt like I was being punished because I couldn’t eat the same things everyone else was eating. Is it easier now that the weight is gone? Nope. It’s still hard. I still have to make an effort. I can’t just let things slide. I will probably always have to count my calories or do some sort of food tracking. I don’t think as a reformed binge-eater I can just stop doing what worked to lose the weight and keep it off and not expect to gain it back. So the hard work continues.

before

Don’t take that as a negative. Sure I’d love to not be AWARE of how many calories are in foods and wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and binge eat a carton of ice cream? Or half a pizza (or, ahem, a whole pizza) like the old days? But I can’t unlearn that knowledge and I know how my body feels when I eat junk and when I eat good, healthy foods. I dislike that feeling of overeating now and when I go too long without eating fruits and vegetables I feel ill. Most of the time my healthy choices are second nature and I don’t give them any thought. On those times when it does feel like my willpower isn’t as strong as I’d like, I try to cut myself some slack. It’s ok to take a break sometimes.

It’s my 6th year anniversary of reaching goal weight. I’m now at the “After.” It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I still feel that same giddy joy when I remember that moment when I stepped on the scale and saw GOAL WEIGHT. That feeling is still there and it helps keep me motivate to keep trying when things get rough.

Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:

My 100 Pound Anniversary

100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years

100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years

Another Year Gone By — 5 Years

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Things are changing in my life. Priorities are shifting, goals are changing, but the fact remains: I love my fit life and I will always make myself and my health a priority. It has to be that way. If I’m healthy, my family is healthy. In a little over a month I will be marrying the love of my life. I expect we’ll start discussing family planning in the next year or two and that will most definitely effect my weight loss/maintenance journey. My sincere hope is that I can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life and hopefully pass on my love of healthy living to my future children.

For now, I keep truckin’ along. Another day, another week, another year goes by and I can happily say “I’m at goal weight.” That’s enough for me. Skinny isn’t necessary. I’d rather be healthy and fit.

Thanks for reading all these years!

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Apr 212014
 

Back in February I posted T is for Truth where I admitted I have been struggling this winter. There were a lot of reasons (excuses) for the weight gain–I’ve been more sick this winter than any other (getting a cold/sinus infection three times!), I took a month off from weight lifting due to an injury, the typical holiday eating packed on some pounds, there was some stressful bullshit going on (those issues have since been resolved) and that led to some stress eating. I also changed my birth control–which cleared up my acne but caused some very unfortunately weight gain.

I was up to 149. 1 pound from goal weight. That buffer area is important to me. I like having some wiggle room between my current weight and my goal weight–it allows me to indulge once in awhile and not see the scales tip. I usually fluctuate between 144-146. That 149 was scary. I decided I needed to get my act together.

I wasn’t feeling good about myself and that was making me not feel good about everything else in my life. It sounds whiny, I know, but feeling uncomfortable in my skin colors how I see the rest of the world/go through my day. I wish I was stronger and didn’t let the self-esteem issues effect me in such a way. But when none of your clothes fit, it’s hard NOT to look in the mirror and feel disdain. Then Lori at Finding Radiance confessed that her self-esteem had taken a beating lately. It was nice to read that another maintainer was feeling similarly and it was comforting in a way.

I cleaned up my diet in a number of ways. I reduced or eliminated the liquid calories I was consuming. Having one glass of wine on a Friday and Saturday night is sufficient. Drinking during the week isn’t necessary and just packs on the pounds. I also took a look at my sugar habit. It was a little out of control this winter! I finally finished that tub of Nutella (it only took me 4 months) so that temptation is out of the house! I’ve stopped buying ice cream and other desserts. I do have dessert but I’m trying to make better choices and not eat it every night.

Last week I weighed myself for the monthly check-in. I was anxious. I’d been doing well with my food for weeks but my pants were STILL TOO TIGHT. Like skintight. I didn’t have high hopes. I was happily surprised! I’d lost a few pounds; weighing in at 147. I’ll take it. Progress is progress, even if it’s just a little bit.

I’m confused and frustrated that my pants don’t fit. I’m only 3-4 pounds higher than I was this time last year when my pants all fit. I find it hard to believe that 4 pounds could really make such a difference that my pants won’t button now. What is up with that??

set and reach goal concept

For awhile I will try to post once a week discussing my progress and making goals. I think I’ve gotten out of my funk and I’m ready to get serious.

This Week’s Goals

ACCURATELY track my calories each day–this means all the bites, nibbles, sips, snacks. It also means not lying to myself when I KNOW I ate more than one serving of something…

Drink at least 3 water bottles of water at work in addition to the water I drink at home and at the gym.

Strive to leave 200 calories left for each day in my “bank.” On days I work out I do eat more calories and I often justify the extra treats. Many days I have less than 100 calories leftover for the day. That’s not creating any kind of deficit. I think 200 calories is a good number to be left for the day.

how-to-set-goals
I will check in next week!

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