This maintenance battle has gotten serious! For the first few months, no one really knew about my weight loss. I mean I posted on Facebook that I hit GOAL, but that's the extent of the message. I didn't brag to people, but I did accept compliments from people who saw me.
And then....I sought out publicity. I applied to be in a cookbook and was accepted. I got to do a photo shoot, and have someone professionally do my hair and make-up for that. It was fun. Plus, I bought a new outfit. That was in June of 2011, two months after I hit my goal weight.
The summer progressed and the weight kept coming off--that was GOOD! In August, our local newspaper asked people to send in motivational statements or phrases that they might have posted in their work areas. I had something very inspirational that Shauna from dietgirl.org wrote on her blog a while back. It basically says that there's enough dodgy things that could happen to a person without voluntarily shortening your lifespan with crappy lifestyle choices. I sent her quote in to the newspaper along with an explanation about how her words (and blog and book) had motivated me to lose over 175 lbs. I attached a before and after picture. The morning of September 4, 2011, I woke up to read the Sunday paper and there on the front page of that section were my pictures--HUGE! (I remember the day, because it was my 41st wedding anniversary.) There were lots of quotes, but I was the only one who sent pictures I guess. So now it was OUT. I had done my bragging. People knew. But still I didn't feel that extra pressure.
But now....now I have been on National TV. I bragged to the world, well at least the U.S., that I lost weight. I showed off my weight loss in another new outfit and once again got to have my hair and make-up done professionally. I LOVED the whole experience. The trip was absolutely the high point of my life and I do not regret one moment of it.
I do, however feel extra pressure now to keep this weight off FOREVER. How could I stand the humiliation of gaining it back, now that I have put myself out there and boasted about my great achievement in front of everybody? I simply CANNOT! People who did not even know I had gained so much weight, because I had not seen them since high school or college, are now aware of my battle with obesity and think I have conquered my demons.
But those demons are still lurking everywhere. It is a battle every single day. I remember back when I first started this journey--almost three years ago--that I dreaded every day. I hated waking up in the morning and having nothing to look forward to except having to restrain myself from eating everything I wanted, the way I had for the last 30 years. I hated having to be self-disciplined about what I ate. It was really difficult, and I was tempted to give up as I had so many times in the past. But something kept me going.
I will never really know what made this time different, but I no longer dread every new day and the deprivation I live with. Somebody on Spark told me to look forward to how much I get to eat every day when I wake up. To think about those 1,500-1,700 calories I allow myself every day now with anticipation. What will I get to eat today? For some reason it no longer seems like deprivation. I do relish the food I get to eat, I still LOVE food and LOVE to eat, but now I eat differently.
Even hubby knows how important it is that I NOT regain. All during this journey, he always had my back, and was encouraging, but I don't think he actually realized what it was going to take to keep this weight off forever. He was one of those who would say, "Oh you can eat this or that, just this once." I always politely said NO, but I know he only wanted me to be happy. Now he knows me being happy hinges on keeping the weight off and has changed his tune. We had a big bowl of popcorn at the volleyball game Friday night. It was so delicious. We drank water with it, but it's been a very long time since I got treats like that anywhere. And I won't lie, I ate mindlessly from that huge vat of popcorn until it was gone! Then I had a salad with a chicken breast and low-fat dressing for dinner after the game. The next night at the volleyball game, I wanted MORE popcorn. I headed to the restroom and hubby got the refreshments. But all he got was a bottle of water for us to share. I didn't say anything about him NOT getting popcorn, but I did realize he was watching out for me.
It would be so easy to slip back. That greasy, salty popcorn was so easy to mindlessly munch on. I haven't done that in a very long time. But hubby realized I did not need another huge vat of popcorn. He was strong for me, when I was weak.
Later we went to an old favorite restaurant in Omaha that we have been going to for years. I don't think I've been there since I started my journey to get healthy, but in the past, we probably ate there once or twice a year. It's a seafood place and our favorite dish there is an appetizer. Baked Shrimp Havarti. It is delicious. It's made with big old shrimp, garlic, LOTS of butter, and Havarti cheese melted all over it. It's served with a loaf of fresh bread (to soak up the butter), and we both love it. I used to make it sometimes at home, of course it was never quite the same.
I wanted to order that yummy appetizer Saturday night. But hubby said NO, we don't need it. And we didn't. I would have probably tried to just eat one or two of the 6 gigantic cheese-topped shrimp, and most likely I would have tried to refrain from eating any bread. In fact they brought out the loaf of bread with our meal, and I didn't have any. I almost never have bread when we go out to eat. Instead of indulging in the high-caloried appetizer, I had a Bloody Mary to drink. I rarely get anything to drink with calories in it, but I know a Bloody Mary is one of the lowest-caloried mixed drinks. For dinner, I had a nice spinach/strawberry salad, with an almond crusted chicken breast. It was very tasty, served with a non-low-fat strawberry vinaigrette. I splurged on the dressing since I didn't have popcorn, and I didn't have baked Shrimp Havarti and I didn't have any bread, even though I probably would have had all three if not for hubby.
It's nice to have somebody else looking out for you. Encouraging you NOT to eat those things you know you shouldn't, when you have a weak moment. I used to resent that. But no more. I know I can use all the help I can get.
As I have often said, my hubby has loved me through thick and thin. It was mostly THICK. And he would love me again if I got fat. That's what my old high school friend told me Friday night. We met her and her husband after the volleyball game for dinner, because they live in Omaha. I showed her the article that was in the Lincoln paper. She read it. She had seen the Today Show, as well. When she turned the page over and continued reading the article, and saw my "FAT" picture on the back side of the paper, she said, "I liked you when you looked like this, and I like you now." She said, "I know you feel better now, but I have always loved you." And THAT is why she is my best friend forever, and that is why I love my husband so much. They never judged me on my size. They saw what was inside and loved me for that.
My BFF and I, a year and a half ago, when we spent an entire day together!
But hubby now realizes how important it is for me to keep the weight off, not only for my health, but to avoid the humiliation I would endure if I did regain. He is willing to actively help me fight the battle. He has my back! Have I mentioned lately, how lucky I am to have this wonderful man in my life, and how lucky I have been for the last 42 years....and counting?
Had to add this picture of hubby and me, just to show him off!