HEY GUYS. I’m still aliiiive! I’m here today for a very special reason: to celebrate!
On this day, one year ago, I hit my goal weight of 160 lbs.
I remember how bizarre it was to hit that number. I even wrote about it in my SparkPeople blog:
WHAT DO I DO NOW?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!! (yes this deserves the extra exclamation points!!!)
(I know what to do. Just freaking out a little.)
Now up until this point, my exercise was mostly walking. I hadn’t yet discovered kettlebells, yoga or running. I hadn’t joined my walking group, I hadn’t started walking dogs at the animal shelter, and I hadn’t started this blog! A lot has happened in the past year. A LOT. Here’s what I’ve learned about weight loss maintenance in the past year:
In summary, weight maintenance can be a frustrating thing, and it means much more than just the number on the scale. Yes, on paper, someone who doesn’t know me and can’t see me would say that I’ve gained back 10 lbs. What they don’t see, is how I was “skinny fat” before, and now I have a much more athletic build. I weigh more, but am more compact, more defined.
But I was curious, what are my chances of keeping it off? I found a couple of blog articles written by an obesity doctor Yoni Freedoff (“Family doc, Assistant Prof. at the University of Ottawa, Author of The Diet Fix, and founder of Ottawa’s non-surgical Bariatric Medical Institute – a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre.”) regarding whether or not weight loss maintenance is scientifically possible:
Here’s my favorite section:
My weight management philosophy has always been rather straightforward – whatever you choose to do to lose your weight, you need to keep doing to keep it off, and therefore choosing a weight loss modality you don’t enjoy is just a recipe for regain.
And my favorite section from this follow up:
What I’m getting at is that I think what makes maintaining weight loss seem “almost impossible” are the goal posts society has generally set to measure success. No doubt, if the goal set is losing every last ounce of weight that some stupid chart says you’re supposed to lose then the descriptor “almost impossible” may well be fair. On the other hand, if the goal is to cultivate the healthiest life that you can honestly enjoy, subtotal losses, often with significant concomitant health improvements, are definitely within your reach.
So the point is, when I hit goal I’d lost 115 lbs. I’ve kept off more than 100 of that, in fact, as of this morning, I’m 105 lbs down. That’s 91% of my total loss. And I’ve continued to work out, not because I need to lose more weight, but because I love it. It makes me feel good when I finish a tough workout. It lifts my spirits. It makes me feel strong and awesome. Tracking my food and eating healthy is second nature now, and not a chore.
Lastly, I’ve been cleared to run! I have to go slower, and keep my runs short, but I’m allowed! I need to keep up a regimen of icing, stretching and not overdoing it, but maybe by mid-October I’ll be able to run enough to finish a 5K. Fingers crossed!