Today is my 8 year anniversary of reaching goal weight.
I almost missed it!
I used to get reminders from my At Goal team but eventually -- last year, I think -- broke down and asked them to remove me from their spreadsheet because I didn't view myself as successfully maintaining, and receiving congratulations made me not only feel like a failure but a fraud as well. It didn't feel like I was successful or maintaining when I was steadily gaining weight.
Today, I feel more successful on my maintenance anniversary than I probably ever had. I'm still 40 pounds over the high end of my maintenance range, yet I feel in control mentally, and that makes all the difference. For 8 full years, I maintained a 45-pound loss, or 17% of my body weight. As of today, I am 66 pounds (26%) down from my highest weight.
I think the lessons I've learned in the 8 years of maintenance struggles are going to make me stronger and better able to maintain in the long run. I now think that maintaining a significant weight loss IS successful, even when it's not the full amount I lost.
It occurred to me as I was taking my lunchtime walk outside today -- a daily habit for almost 5 years, regardless of the weather, btw -- that I am succeeding in ways that I did not succeed in when losing weight previously.
Then vs Now:
- I was, at best, underemployed, and at worst times, unemployed. I didn't know how to really balance physical activity and the investment in healthy meal prep/cooking/eating with a full-time job.
- I did not really have any social life to speak of and didn't know how to reconcile social situations with a healthy lifestyle. During the past 8 weeks of renewed weight management, I have discovered that my social circle is incredibly supportive, encouraging, and accommodating, both of my efforts and my success.
- I was not independent. I lived with my parents, wasn't financially independent, and didn't have to deal with all the stresses that come with keeping a roof over my head and dealing with the day-to-day problems of such. Now I am completely independent and am balancing weight management with the demands of adulthood.
- I did not feel like I was competent or successful at anything other than weight loss. I couldn't extricate my value or my success from my weight. Since then, I have accomplished so much -- much that most people, including my own family, didn't think I would ever accomplish.