Tuesday, March 05, 2013
A group of five maintenance bloggers have recently joined forces and every so often, they each address a specific topic. Their new group is called AIM (Adventures in Maintenance). This week, their subject was, "What made this time different." I would say 99% of us have lost weight in the past, then either hit a goal, or as in my case, just QUIT trying, and regain all the weight I lost plus some more! They each had great thoughts on the subject, and I decided that even though I'm not a member of their sorority, I would write my own blog on the topic. With almost two years of sobriety....er maintenance...but it is almost the same....I feel I've earned the right to write as a maintainer too.
We'll start at the bottom like David Letterman does and work our way up to the Number 1 reason THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT!
10. My age. I am 62 years old and recently retired. Not only do I feel like a lifetime of obesity has taught me so much about how I no longer want to be, but I feel mature enough finally to be able to handle a new lifestyle permanently.
9. My age. I am 62 years old and am facing all the health problems of an older woman. I know if my weight is lower the problems will be less and the ones I will still have will be easier to take care of, without the humiliation of my obesity.
8. My age. I know at, yes 62 years old, I am too old to do this again. Even though in my heart I also know it's never too late to change your life, I also know I don't want to waste another moment of the time I have left, as an obese, unhappy woman!
7. I actually hit my goal weight this time and then went BELOW that goal weight! That was a FIRST! Although I am currently about 15 pounds above my all time low weight, that weight was over 20 pounds below my goal weight. I would be more comfortable if I was about 10 pounds lighter and I'm working on that--I am still below my goal weight, and that magic number I finally reached on April 15, 2011, will forever remain my beacon in this maintenance battle.
6. I have been at this weight loss/maintenance far longer than ever before. In the past, my longest losing experience was a little over one year, before I gave up without hitting a goal weight, and returned to my old eating patterns. This time I have been at it for over 3 years, and really feel like I will never go back to my old habits.
5. The notoriety I have received from losing 178 pounds and keeping it off for a while is wonderful. It is also daunting! I could not bear facing people who have complimented me for being on TV, on the radio, in magazines and cookbooks and the local newspaper, if I gain back a significant amount of weight. It would just be too humiliating--and that helps me with my maintenance!
4. The joy I receive from being able to fit into smaller, prettier clothes again. It had been such a long time since I liked looking in the mirror, since I enjoyed shopping, really since I could even go shopping, since walking was so difficult. My goal when I started on my journey was only to get healthier. I often call it my journey to get healthy. I had no goal weight in mind for a long time, I just wanted to be able to get my BP down, to avoid full blown diabetes, to not worry constantly that I was having a heart attack, to be able to walk a little bit, to not always be humiliated at the doctor's office. But this added benefit of caring once again about how I look was a surprise! At 62 years old, (I know you're tired of me saying how old I am), I have re-embraced my femininity and enjoy feeling like a girl again! My full closet of pretty little clothes makes me want to keep the weight off forever!
3. I never want to give up being able to go places again and enjoy the world around me! Not only can I take walks down the road in my own neighborhood for the first time since we moved here 20 years ago, but I have explored New York City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and I regularly attend volleyball and football games right here in Lincoln to cheer on my beloved Cornhuskers! I have plans for more trips and am really looking forward to being able to see the world in my retirement. Before I lost weight, I was worried I would need a walker or even a wheelchair in retirement. NO MORE!
2. Simple pleasures that normal sized people take for granted: crossing my legs, fitting into booths in restaurants, and small arm chairs in waiting rooms no longer frighten me. I can buy stepstools and step on them confidently without fear they will collapse under my weight (that happened years ago when I was trying to hang curtains in my bedroom--there is still a gash in the closet door and I have a permanent bruise on my leg as reminders). I can fit in all the rides at the amusement park. No longer do I glance at the weight limit on an elevator and mentally calculate how much weight is on board, fearing I have put the group over the weight limit and we will crash to the basement floor! I don't need a seatbelt extender on a plane and seatbelts in cars now fit me easily! I can have fun with my grandkids, playing with them, waiting on them, taking them places and not have to sit down to rest all the time. In the past when I would get my weight down a ways, I would love it so much, but knew in my heart it was momentary. I knew, because I was once again eating too much, soon I would be as fat or fatter than ever. It broke my heart, because it was so wonderful to be close to a normal size, and yet I seemed incapable of stopping the inevitable weight gain. That feeling of powerlessness is horrible and today I don't know why I ever felt that way. Sure it was overwhelming to think of all the weight I needed to lose, but once I realized I did have the power to make the right choices, that I was in control of myself, it was like a light came on in my head. WOW! I CAN do this! Okay--that is more than a simple pleasure of being normal sized--that is a huge realization--and one of the main reasons this time is different.
But the #1 Reason that THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT:
Spark! The support I get here has kept me going in the dark times, in the triumphant times and all those times when I was struggling. I love reading your comments on my page and my blog, they help me so much and keep me going every day. I read so many of your blogs too and love hearing the stories of your successes and even struggles. I hope I am encouraging to some of you, I really try to return what I have been given here. That's why, three years after I joined Spark and discovered this wonderful community, I still come here every single day. I feel it is a vital part of my maintenance now, and was certainly integral to my weight loss. There are other weight loss sites and blogs and I visit some of them too. But Spark continues to be the guiding light in my maintenance and for that I say thank you to each and every member of the Spark community!