Teetering on the brink of success
Saturday, October 08, 2016
Today's weigh in got me to a very important number. It's not a nice round number weight, and it isn't a nice number of pounds lost--I already celebrated 50 lbs with Spark people, and 75 lbs over all (a bit of that was before Spark people). Nope, for my height (short), 163 is the dividing line between obese and overweight.
I set my big goal (not the smaller 5% type goals) at 160 because it was the nice round number just under that obese/overweight line, a number I was sure I could live with, and a number I hadn't seen in at least 25 years. It was so far away that I was sure it would be quite clear what my next goal would be by the time I got this close: lose more? Get below the overweight line? Hold steady at 160 and practice maintenance? Now that I only have 3 pounds to go to the big goal, I still don't know what I want to do. It's not clear at all.
The longer I do this, the more I agree with Dean Anderson (a fitness and behavoir expert here at Spark People) when he says that weight loss is mostly mental. Sure, exercise helps, and what you eat is critical, but the way you choose both of those things is mental and emotional. More important, the way you KEEP choosing the healthier foods and activities, without tipping into obsession and perfectionism, is all mental/emotional.
The big scary thing for me is that only 5% of people who lose significant amounts of weight keep it off long term. My 75 pounds is significant not just to me for appearance, but from a health standpoint. It's critical to my health to keep the weight off, and even more importantly, I owe it to everyone who cheered me on, and has listened to my tales of woe, to keep it off. They have invested in me more than I had any right to expect, and in some cases (especially my children) more than anyone might believe.
OK, I'll just admit it, I'm terrified. My Dr. said losing anything over 30 pounds was just an excellent bonus, but if I demand a final goal I'm sure I'll get one. The path I'm more interested in taking is the practice maintenance for a while while I decide how much more I want/need to lose. I'd like to get the image that I have in my head of what I look like and how much space I take up to catch up with reality. I keep being surprised that I fit into smaller spaces, and that people treat me more respectfully. And to be totally honest, while I'm pretty proud of my "bat wings" and droopy belly skin/flab (it took a lot of work to get those!), the idea of making them worse, is, well, not a priority. Maybe I'm just tired of all the work and tracking though, and it's laziness talking?
Also, I have no idea what maintenance involves, and if the habits and attitudes I have developed are anywhere near the required behaviors to be in that elite 5%. I don't know what it takes to maintain this (admittedly largish) size.
Still, I know how to lose weight, finally, so it make sense to continue doing what I've finally gotten the hang of, and it would simply slow down and then stop at a certain level, at which point I should reach a natural equilibrium...right? Automatic maintenance?
All I know is that I really should be enjoying my successes, and losing those last 3 pounds should be a joy. Instead I'm full of angst and fear and indecision.