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.
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:
100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years
100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years
Another Year Gone By — 5 Years
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!
Happy Anniversary! This is such a huge milestone, and you’re so smart for realizing early that it’s important to stay on top off every single day. I have so much admiration for all your hard work. This is a great post (and I love that magazine photo!). Can’t wait for your wedding day! Hugs!
Thank you Tiff! I appreciate the support so much! Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years…
Can’t wait to see you guys! 39 days. 😀
So proud of you Lisa! I agree, it’s easy to slip into old habits – these past few weeks with my husbands health and back and forth from Mayo it was all I could do not to bury my head into a deep dish pizza!
Can’t believe the wedding is only a month away – it seemed so far away!
Biz recently posted..Spicy Italian Marinated Shrimp
Oh I bet! You’ve been under a lot of stress and it’s easy to slip back into what is comfortable. Hang in there!
Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me
Happy anniversary! As someone starting out and still see’s my goal weight as something that is so out of this world, it was great to read this post and see someone who has made it to their goal weight. What an amazing amount of hard work!!!
BTW, I can not believe your wedding is only a month away, WHAT?! I have been watching all the wedding planning but only a month to go, how exciting!!
Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me recently posted..Big Changes: Let’s Talk Planning and Eating and Exercise…
Yes, when you are first starting out it’s hard to see the end game. You just can’t picture it. But you will get there!
I know! 39 days!!!
Congrats Lisa – what a huge accomplishment. I was at goal weight for a minute – here I am back at it again. You seem to have really managed that lifestyle/balance thing we all strive for!
Thank you Beth!
I think what has helped the most is two things: sticking with the calorie counting and exercise AND not denying myself stuff. The eating in moderation is sometimes hard but it’s better than giving up everything I love and then failing horribly.
Congratulations Lisa! I admire you. You do such a better job maintaining that I do 😀
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Thanks Lori! And I have to disagree. Where you excel is portion control. I am always so impressed with your food posts. I can tell you take great care to make sure you’re accurate.
I love reading about all your activities. I just started consistently counting calories for the first time in my life in February – thanks to having apps in the world that make it so easy, but also because I was finally willing to be honest with myself!
I’ve found that counting calories is a HUGE motivator to get out there and exercise, to make room for extras like beer or the occasional dessert. I still don’t have a mental picture of my After – I don’t have a goal weight in mind but the BMI calculators think I should drop another 25 pounds to get into the normal range (I’m down 25 from the beginning of the year). That’s so hard to picture I’ve decided to focus on health and fitness and calories, not so much on clothing sizes and numbers on the scale.
I really like reading about your very normal and lovely-seeming life – eating out, drinking alcohol, working out, all in a balance that works well for you. It’s nice to see that it’s entirely possible to have a fun active life AND maintain a desired weight level!
bethh recently posted..On being particular
Great! That was my goal for this blog. I wanted people to know that you could maintain weight loss and still enjoy stuff. It’s not all about restriction. And congrats on counting calories. I agree 100%–tracking calories is a big motivator for exercise. Thanks for the comment Beth!
Congrats at 6 years, Lisa. Whoot! Whoot!!! Um… how about a current photo? You’ve had great current photos. Post one that’s more recent if you have time 🙂
Good luck with your wedding and hope you can find some down time for yourself now and then.
Karen P recently posted..Two and a half years of weight maintenance – what’s working!
Sure, I will see if I have any recent ones. I haven’t been in front of a camera much lately.
Oh! I just thought of a recent photo! This was a few weeks ago: http://www.110pounds.com/?p=43534
Congrats on six years! Such an inspiration!
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Congratulations! I appreciate you sharing your story about maintenance. I’ve lost 49 pounds over the past two years and have another 30 to go but it’s coming off little by little. Like you did, I have high blood pressure and pre-diabetes but I’ve already cut my low dose blood pressure med in half; next step is eliminating it.
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That’s fantastic! You should be proud that your efforts are paying off.
And you did a really great job. Happy Anniversary!
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Thank you Paola!