Yesterday, I made a decision. I have not been happy with the "cushion" I've picked up in maintenance, because it has sent me up into a range (the mid-150s to the low 160s) that is simply not my ideal weight. The experts suggest, "The ideal human body weight has been a topic of debate for a very long time. Hundreds of formulas and theories have been invented and put to the test, but the answer is still debatable. The ideal weight should be unique for everyone. The major factors that contribute to a person's ideal weight are height, gender, age, body frame, body type, and so on." When I first began my journey in 2014, I used a BMI calculator to determine what weight I should be, and I averaged the answer from various sources. The thing is, with the weight loss I've undergone, some of the factors that determine ideal weight have actually changed--like my body type and body frame, to an extent. So, I decided to pay Dr. Google yet another visit. The "Ideal Weight Calculator" I looked at (there are bazillions of them lurking online) had this to report:
Based on the Robinson formula (1983), your ideal weight is 145.5 lbs
Based on the Miller formula (1983), your ideal weight is 147.0 lbs
Based on the Devine formula (1974), your ideal weight is 151.0 lbs
Based on the Hamwi formula (1964), your ideal weight is 148.8 lbs
I know for a fact that 145 is too low. In 2003, when I got down to 145 lbs. (I started at a lower weight and was only in my 30s then), I did not feel well, and was told by many loved ones that I didn't look well either. A horrible picture of me, taken for our church directory at the time (remind me never to have such a helmet hairdo again) tells the story: I looked and felt as if something had been slurped out of me. I enjoyed the last few weeks of that weight-loss effort, but I didn't enjoy the tail end of it, with my bony tail end. Sorry, Mr. Robinson, but I won't be traveling to 145, because I know that's just too low for me. I will, however, be doing some traveling.
What I find funny is that now, none of these weights are the 155 lbs. I initially wanted to get to. In fact, none of them even fall within the -2/+3-lb. cushion (153/158 lbs.) I had determined would be my maintenance plan. For this reason, I am back to Sparking like I know how to Spark, because I've set a new goal for myself. All of us know that weight loss, particularly substantial weight loss, and maintenance of that healthy weight requires a lifestyle change, a lifelong dedication to even out in a good place. I arrived at my destination, but I've come to realize there's a much nicer resort a little bit further down the road, and I have no problem getting there...and that resort will give me a little more wiggle room to work with from here on out.
I have averaged these four suggested weights and determined that my new goal, my new magic number, is 148 lbs. With the -2/+3 cushion, that means that after I hit this goal (notice I didn't say "if"), I will do my best to maintain a weight of 146-151, where I will feel comfortable from a body image and physical standpoint. I have an advantage of having gone through extensive weight loss before, so this lets me know that range will be good for me. Not only that, but now I can put a couple things into my get-into crate again, like a cute dress for Cissy's graduation - and no, it will not be that god-awful lilac color that bleached me out so bad in 2003, only adding to my Skeletor-with-helmet-hair rendition. Not only that, but I haven't been in the 140s for a dozen years, so that will be an awesome place to travel again!
"I hit my goal of losing 174 lbs. by using Spark for 831 days." That's still my story, and I'm sticking to it, but in toying with a few caloric variations and lifestyle adjustments, I've learned that at that weight I so happily hit, the cushion is a bit too fluffy. I am literally "writing the book" on losing weight as a normal, everyday person who doesn't move much and can't cook a lick (trust me, no one wants to lick anything I cook), and I've got so many thoughts running through my head about that book that I've begun scribbling my notes haphazardly on every writing surface, even on the back of a tithing envelope today at church and in one of my daughter's school notebooks. In fact, this book has been in process for the entire time I've been on my weight-loss journey, and the blogs I've been writing on Spark are the culmination of some of the things I learned as far back as 2014, so some of you have read the rough drafts already! Before I "write the book on it," though, I want to make sure I'm where I need to be. For me, that is in the neighborhood of 148 lbs.
So what does this mean? It means that as of my last weigh-in on Wednesday, at 160.7 lbs. (yes, a gain of 5.7 after goal, due to complete oblivion on Mother's Day), I have 12.7 lbs. to lose. It may not seem like much, but to put it in perspective, it's the equivalent of a sizeable house cat, about 1 1/2 gallons of water, or an average-sized bowling ball. That may not even seem that big of a deal, but it's actually somewhat lofty at this point; bear in mind that it took me from November of 2015 to April of 2016 to lose that amount before. That's right, folks. With all the ups and downs of 2015, some major grief and stress, the holidays and celebrations, and life in general, it took me 138 days to peel off that last 13 lbs. I know this 12.7 I want to take off now may take a while, but I'm all in...and I know how to do it. My goal is to be independent of that 12.7 lbs. by Independence Day, and I'll light a SPARKler in celebration
I still consider myself as a success story, because I did what I set out to do with Spark, and I got to that 155 lbs. I wanted to get to. I cried when I lost that 174 lbs., utter tears of joy. I started this journey at 329 lbs., so even what I weigh now is a blessing, and I'm still less than half the weight I was. If I hit this goal, I will have lost 181 lbs., and that's almost 14 bowling balls!
No matter what point you are at in your journey, you must be willing to make adjustments, back up, start over, hop back on the wagon, modify your goals, and do whatever it takes to get you to the point where you feel and look your healthiest. That should be the one goal we all share, no matter how much we have lost or still have to lose and no matter our hurdles in getting there. Scoot over a little, folks, because it looks like I'm back on the wagon with y'all...and, no offense, but I hope it's not for 138 days! !