Yeah yeah yeah. Happy Fourth of July and all that jazz. But did we forget? This blog is all about me LOL. And I am celebrating today. It has been five years since I reached my ‘goal weight’ of 168 pounds.* (*wrote about this goal weight here and here.)
I have mentioned a few times on this blog that when I started losing the weight 6 1/2 years ago, I had this idea that if I could MAINTAIN a weight loss for five years, I would be in remission from the chronic disease of obesity. So for the last half year, when I have struggled more than ever with maintaining a weight loss, I have been at turns frustrated, anxious, and most of all disappointed. In fact, for quite a while I planned to title this post, “I’m disappointed.”
Make no mistake about it–I was very mistaken to think that I would be in remission after five years of working on weight maintenance**. And I have worked on it. I have read. I have tried new foods. Actually I have completely changed the way I eat and the foods I choose to eat. I have exercised. Hard. I have talked. I have blogged. I have worked with a personal trainer.
So when I realized this date was fast approaching, and my weight was STILL 8 pounds over that stated goal weight, dang, that was not what I wanted. Since I claimed that goal weight last October, I have weathered the holidays, followed by a trip to Africa, followed by the illness and death of a parent, along with the stress of continuing to work until my retirement. I’m not excusing myself, just stating the facts.
But today. Today I decided to celebrate. I feel strong. I feel fit. I am comfortable in my own body in public (as long as its clothed LOL.) I talked to my brother this morning, who said, “That is still a phenomenal achievement. Don’t settle, continue to work on it. But recognize that what you have is still good.”
I made a little plan last night, when I went to bed early. This morning I went to the gym! For the first time in two months (since my dad died.) It felt so great. I knew there wouldn’t be too many people at the gym on Sunday morning. I hit my favorite machines–choosing ones that would not hurt my back or my thumb, set the weights just a little lower than the last time I worked out, and did higher reps. Oh it felt so good! At the end I went in the little studio to stretch, and there was another woman in there, and she struck up a conversation about a lot of the different classes at the gym and how she adjusts to work at her level since she is ‘not 40 any more.’ So I have some good recommendations on classes to try. And then, when I got home, I made myself try on my swimsuit. Yeah baby, I’m gonna hit the pool too! Celebrate!
I am celebrating that at 56 1/2 years (hah–1/2 years still count even at my age LOL) I can walk long distances and feel strong. One of the best compliments I ever received was at the assisted living center where my dad lived (remember, 90% of the people use walkers in that place.) I was walking across the parking garage, and an older lady was standing there with her walker watching me, and she said “You walk good.” CELEBRATE!
I am celebrating with good food. Yes indeedy. Brussel sprouts, beets, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, and various types of lettuce all have regular rotations in the meals around here. Fruits of all sorts, new kinds of whole grains, and the ever present homemade yogurt have found their way into my diet and my heart. CEL-E-BRATE!
So. No remission from chronic obesity. Like Dr. Kessler said, “[For some people] the greatest challenge comes after reaching their sought-after weight, when they recognize that their struggle will never be completely over and that the battle with conditioned hypereating is lifelong. Accepting those realities helps to keep you vigilant. Keeping relapse at bay is not about being strong enough to beat the temptation of eating stimulating food, but about being smart enough to deal with it.” I’m glad I kept that quote since I gave the book away LOL!
Today I celebrate. I will end with a great quote from Debra:
People should live joyfully most of the time, eat healthfully most of the time, exercise most days, then treasure the body that happens, regardless of its BMI category.
**Other maintainers have written about their experiences recently: