When I used to think about August 10th, I thought “I made it another year” and felt like I could exhale for a moment. I’d successfully maintained my 100 pound weight loss for another 365 days! Those first few years were definitely challenging. I had some ups and downs with my weight and at the worst, gained about 15 pounds that took forever to lose again. But for the most part I always stayed around the same weight.
Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:
This year is my 5 year anniversary of that magical date that I stepped on the scale at GOAL WEIGHT. If you’ve ever made goal weight, you know what that feeling is like. It’s a sense of pride, of wonder, of accomplishment, of sadness, of happiness…all sorts of emotions wrapped into one number on that scale. The feeling that is missing from that parade of emotions? RELIEF.
I’ve never really felt a sense of relief with that number on the scale (or at least, it wasn’t a lasting feeling) because I always have to work hard for it. It’s not like I reached goal weight 5 years ago and then gave up exercising, or started eating foods that were bad for me. No, I kept the weight off through doing the things that WORKED to lose the weight in the first place. Those things are simple:
1. AWARENESS and ACCOUNTABILITY. I track my calories. Every day. I do take a break once in awhile; I tend to splurge a little more on vacations; I am always aware, though, what I am eating and if I’m going over board.
2. EXERCISE and PLANNING. I find ways to fit in exercise every day. On my rest days I might go for a walk during my lunch break at work. I plan my week’s worth of fitness ahead of time. I schedule my workouts on my Google calender and I stick to them. I can be flexible and move things around if something comes up but it’s very rare that I ever blow off a workout.
Those things are key to losing weight and keeping it off. It sounds simple and easy, but it takes dedication and hard work. It takes commitment to YOURSELF and to your health to stay on the plan. I know that sounds overwhelming at first, but doing the changes in little stepping stones makes it more palatable. Now I am at a point that I crave healthy foods and feel like crap if I go too long eating “bad” foods and not fresh fruits and veggies. I also crave exercise. It’s my stress reliever. It’s my “me” time and I always feel better after a workout!
What was most astounding with my journey was the fact that I changed as a person. I became very active and grew to love activities like hiking, snowshoeing, running and biking. In fact, when injury sidelined me from those activities, I fell into a depression because I missed doing them. I never would have guessed 10 years ago, that that would be me.
After 5 years of keeping off 100 pounds, I’m at a place now where I feel like that old me is dead and gone. It doesn’t feel real. It feels so alien and so far away. Now, most people who know me or meet me, never guess that I used to be 250 pounds. They are usually shocked if they find out. THIS is me. This present person.
I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago because I had a story to tell. I knew I could inspire some other people who were obese and depressed like I was and just looking for a little push, a little inspiration, to get started. My hope is that demonstrating a healthy lifestyle of moderation and fun fitness has made it seem attainable to you guys. YOU CAN DO THIS. I did it, you can too.
Sometimes I feel like this blog has run it’s course. I sometimes feel like I don’t have much else to say about weight loss and maintenance. I’ve said it all. Then I start thinking maybe it’s time to quit the blog and that’s when I get a very sweet, personal email from a reader telling me how much I inspired them to lose weight and get healthy! That always makes me happy and makes me think “This is why I do the blog.”
So on this 5 year anniversary, I say thank you to all my readers!