60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 66,590

Maintenance: There's A Lot to Love!

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Friday, October 26, 2012

In the past month, I've slipped into a noticeably different stage of maintenance than I've experienced in the nearly eight months since I reached goal. I'm actually starting to feel relaxed about maintaining and my confidence that I can do this for the long haul has soared. In celebration of this wonderful new stage I've entered, I though it would be a nice idea to sum up the things I like best about maintaining a healthy weight.

1. I've reduced my risk of preventable disease to virtually zero.
Back when I weighed 240, or worse 260 at my all time high, my risk of developing pre-diabetes by the time I was 40 was almost a given. I was also at increased risk for many types of cancer, heart disease and a slew of other conditions--none of which are pleasant. As an ex-smoker, I was putting my health in even greater danger. With a BMI of 23, a healthy diet and lifestyle that no longer includes smoking, I've whittled my risk of preventable disease to almost zero. As a matter of fact, the one thing I need to worry about, low blood pressure, is actually generally considered a positive thing.

2. I have almost no aches and pains.
Carrying around almost 100 extra pounds of weight puts a huge strain on your body. When I was heavy, I suffered from chronic back and neck pain, achy knees and regularly got pins and needles in my legs. I was only in my early thirties but I felt like an old lady. Now that I'm at a healthy weight, I no longer suffer from any of these things and no longer feel like I'm ready for the nursing home just yet.

3. I feel ten years younger.
Not only do I not suffer from aches and pains anymore, but I also feel as though I've turned back the clock ten years. Although I don't necessarily think I looked older when I was heavy (thanks for the good genes, Mom and Dad!), I definitely looked older than I needed to. Now I have so much more energy and feel like my healthy habits are reflected in my more youthful appearance.

4. I finally got my leather pants...and I wear them regularly!
I've always wanted to wear a pair of cool leather pants but never in a million years thought I could pull them off. In celebration of my six-month maintenance anniversary, I went out and finally got a pair. I love them so much that wear them every opportunity I get. I feel like a rock star and think I don't look half bad in them either!

Beyond the leather pants, I love being able to walk into just about any clothes shop and knowing that not only will I not have a problem finding something in my size but chances are most of what I try on will actually look good. That's such a great feeling when you've spent years dreading trips to plus-sized shops hoping to find something that simply won't make you look awful. I'm also much more open to experimenting with trendier styles and am sometimes shocked that the clothes in my closet are mine.

5. I feel relaxed.
Don't get me wrong, maintaining your weight when you've spent 30 years yo-yo dieting requires vigilance. But I'm finally starting to feel as though my healthy habits are just those--habits--and I don't feel like a few bad decisions are going to hurdle me back to 200+ pounds in an instant. I overdo it from time to time and I often plan to overdo it. But since I'm not overdoing it every day and at every meal anymore, I know I can have a really big meal about once a week with absolutely no guilt because my habits the rest of the week are sound. And if I slip and overeat when it's not planned, that's okay too. The scale might be up for a few days but I know that it will never result in anything I can't handle.

6. I feel in control.
I've never really felt like my weight was something I could manage. I've been up, down, up, down my whole life. I've finally reached a place where there's very little fluctuation in my weight and I finally feel like I'm in control of a part of my life that's always been wildly erratic.

7. I just feel normal.
I live in Northern Italy where there are very few overweight, let alone obese, people. When I was heavy, I always felt like I stood out because of my size and that's not the kind of attention anyone wants to attract. Now that I'm at a healthy weight, I feel like I finally blend in. I love going to classes at my gym and not feeling like I'm by far the fattest person in the room. I love being able to fit in the (much smaller than American-sized) seats on boats, buses, trains and planes without a problem. I love that people no longer ask me when my baby's due or think that my Janis Joplin costume is Mama Cass. I love not living up to the stereotype that Americans are all obese. Most of all, I just love feeling normal.

When I really stop to think about it, these are all of the things that I hoped to achieve by losing weight when I got started more than two and a half years ago. Only now, instead of just dreaming about how wonderful it would be to accomplish all of these things, I'm actually living them. I'd say I've got a whole lot to love about maintenance!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon emoticon
    1771 days ago
  • MIMOSA88
    That thing you said about the gym... I was thinking exactly that yesterday at the gym... But I am confident that this will change very soon :) Thank you for your great blog! And congradulations on your weight loss and maintenance!
    1783 days ago
    1785 days ago
  • TASNIM81
    Great blog, thanks for sharing!!
    1786 days ago
    And you do look great
    1788 days ago
    You give me hope! Thank you!
    1789 days ago
    Congrats and thank you for sharing your inspiring progress!
    1790 days ago
    Great blog. Congrats on your success and enjoy your well earned leather pants.
    1792 days ago
    This blog is glowing with health!!! Physical and emotional! And I think these are the most important things you've earned by reaching your goal and managing to find a way of life that can actually keep you at your goal. No health issues and a balanced emotional state and attitude concerning all the things that are influenced by weight and size.
    Thank you for showing us once more that it's achievable and it's worth it!
    1792 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    What a great list and just what I needed to read. I have only been maintaining for six weeks and so far so good but there are moments when the emoticon comes and tempts me to eat those sugary calories that my body does not need! Your list reminds me of all the wonderful NSVs I have experienced too and that will help me to keep the food emoticon away!
    1792 days ago

    Great list, even though much of it doesn't match up with the list I might make. But I can see many of the same benefits in my achieving maintenance, even if they don't have the same emotional punch for me.

    Leather pants don't motivate me. But now that I've gone through the pain of lots of clothes shopping, for sure I want to stay this size so I don't have to shop for clothes all at once again!
    1793 days ago
  • BERRY4
    LOVE the pic w/ the leather pants!
    Since I'm only 4 months into "maintaining" I still don't feel "safe". I'm still having to process the thoughts and sort through what to hold on to, what to discard, and what to add in place of the discards.

    But thank you for standing out there and saying in effect, "You CAN do it."
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
    1793 days ago
    emoticon At nearly 60, for me, it wasn't leather pants, but "skinny jeans"... still, I get the idea. Good for you! I do believe rewards for X months of maintenance are a great thing to keep us honest and moving the way we need to.


    1793 days ago
    My motivation has been waning as of late. I've gotten half way to my goal, and now I find myself kind of stuck. Mostly due to my own choices. Splurging more than necessary and exercising less and less. I'm trying to get my mojo back so I can start losing again, and I have to say your blog has really given me lot of motivation to get back to it! Thanks for sharing this!
    1793 days ago
    I can see why you made the comment that writing this blog brought you to tears. This is all good news! Congratulations on these changes. emoticon
    1793 days ago
    Great post and very inspiring!!!

    1793 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great blog, Tina. I empathize with so many of your points. You look great in those leather pants!

    I also look in my closet and cannot believe the clothes in there..so many new styles and colors ..things I would never have worn.

    I am so happy for you ..feeling confident and in control of your maintenance. You allow yourself deviations and are not rigid. You keep in control..

    1793 days ago
    Thanks for the Words to LIVE by. I edited my Spark Page earlier today. Preventable health risks was the focus. Thanks for helping me see what the other side looks like once you arrive there.
    1793 days ago
  • GABY1948
    You are such a great inspiration...thank you for all your tips...I save them each time emoticon
    1793 days ago
    Awesome! Yes, you do look good in those pants. Way to rock them!!!and very cool that you live in Italy.
    1793 days ago
    What an amazing entry!
    I'm in maintenance, too, and you described many of my thoughts and feelings!
    Thank you for sharing!


    1793 days ago
    emoticon Blog. Can't wait until I hit maintenance next summer. There is so much more to look at than the number on the scale. All of the other changes that you listed mean so much more on a daily basis.
    1793 days ago
    YAY for the new leather pants!

    And of course all the healthy reasons, too!
    1794 days ago
    I'm subscribed to your blog...when I get to maintenance (in the spring, Lord willing), I'll need all the encouragement and tips I can get. I've never been there before.
    1794 days ago
    You are a rock star!! I love all the NSV's and how much you enjoy and appreciate your new self!!!! Great blog!!
    1794 days ago
  • -RUBIES-
    I'm very happy for you Tina. Great blog! I especially love #5. I'm celebrating with you!
    1794 days ago
    Fantastic emoticon emoticon
    1794 days ago
    always enjoy your in sites.
    1794 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1794 days ago
  • TGILBERT1364
    Awesome Blog! Congratulations!
    1794 days ago
    emoticon I love your attitude and your approach. Hope to join you in maintenance one day.
    1794 days ago
    I think feeling "normal" would be really cool....but the leather pants are AWESOME!
    1794 days ago
  • DALID414
    1794 days ago
    Great Blog, Way to go!!
    1794 days ago

    You're gorgeous, and you have "success" written all over you!
    Thanks for your thought-full blog.
    1794 days ago
    This is such an awesome blog, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm SO happy for your Tina *hugs* And you look HOT in those leather pants!
    1794 days ago
    What a great motivational piece. I share all that you have written so eloquently except one thing. As a 77 year old male, I will NEVER look as good as you.

    Well done, my friend.
    1794 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1794 days ago
    I love you blog. I can't wait to get to maintaining my weight. I have 82 pounds to go yet. I have lost 107 so far. Just like you my health is improving. I still don't feel normal, but much better. I like that I can walk into a restaurant without everyone staring and manage sitting in a booth with a lot of room to spare between me and the table. I don't have to struggle and squeeze out of the booth, now. To me that is a big victory. I am so happy for you. I hope I am that relaxed when my time comes.
    1794 days ago
    Of course, the health thing always puts the mind at rest, but #3, I'd take a step further. I think I can whip my high school self (and I was an athlete in school). So that makes me 20 years younger and that pays dividends day after day. I couldn't begin to describe to my formerly obese self the dramatic improvement in quality of life.

    Well done and I wish you continued success!
    1794 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/26/2012 8:11:06 PM
    While I'm not to goal yet, some of those things are ones I'm celebrating already. Here in San Antonio, one of the fattest cities in the US, my weight was never super out of the ordinary, but that didn't stop people from treating me differently. I remember exactly what weight I was at when people stopped either staring or averting their eyes, and started treating me like a person again. It happened almost overnight. That was my biggest goal in starting my weight loss journey - to get to where I could be invisible when I wanted to be, and noticed when I wanted to be. It feels great! I still could - and will - get more normal, but I'm getting so much closer and I dont' feel constantly scrutinized anymore, especially in places like gyms and sports clothes stores!

    I love your #3. I definitely looked at least a decade older than my age when I was heavy. Now people are surprised to hear I'm in my mid-30s. That feels good. :)
    1794 days ago
    Fantastic blog and fantastic achievement! Once again, thanks for sharing your experience and insights. As a newbie maintainer, I really appreciate your wisdom and positive outlook.

    1794 days ago
    emoticon Great Blog!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1794 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.