On Monday, May 27th, I will be 55 years young. This year also marks 5 years of 60 pound weight loss maintenance for me.
I found/joined SP 6 years ago this month (I had turned 49 and my dreaded 50th bday was looming), but I didn't get serious about the work until 7 months later.
At 49 and close to 200 pounds, I was very concerned about what the next 20 years would bring for me health wise. Now at 55...birthdays aren't so scary. I don't worry about the next 20 years so much. I know that any illness can sneak up on you and steal away your life, but I also know that I am doing everything I can to prevent what I can...and that feels very good.
As these milestones approach, I have been thinking a LOT about how I maintain this weight loss accountability, and mostly, what I've learned these past 5 years.
My accountability partners:
The scale - I weigh daily, accept what it is, the good and the bad...and deal with it.
My clothes - If my clothes (size 4-6) don't feel good...I know trouble is brewing...and I take action.
Leading a Spark Team - I can't fail and disappoint my local team. I never know when I might encounter one of them in public!
My Sparkfriends - So many of you support me and look up to me as a success story...and I love you for it! My plan is to NEVER let you down.
Weight maintenance challenges set by the "At Goal and Transition to Maintenance" SparkTeam - A weekly accountability weigh in that keeps me focused. I keep posting even when I am OUT.
Posting my workouts to facebook...the positive reinforcement is awesome, and I know people from my past and present are lurking and watching. Will she fail? NO...she won't!
National Weight Control Registry - I have to complete a survey every year...I NEVER want to have to admit that I have gained weight.
My co-workers and 3D friends- They have watched me lose weight and they witness my seemingly over the top behaviors every day...like bringing my own food to a catered lunch meeting, lugging around a 2.2 liter water jug, or skipping the KK doughnuts...every time. Some of them see me as an example to follow for healthy living. I must stick with this and show them that it can be done! On Thursday I was paid the highest of complements from a co-worker. "You look younger now than when you started working here 10 years ago." Who doesn't want to hear comments like that? I sure do!
My husband, children, grandchildren, and other family members- I want them to look at my life and say, " My (Wife, Mom, Ghee Ghee, Aunt, Sister) set a good example for me...she rocked it until the end!"
My Health Insurance (Employee Wellness Program) - Yup! If I don't maintain healthy habits, my monthly insurance premiums will go up...and IF I DO maintain a healthy lifestyle...my premiums COULD drop. An employee wellness health screening is mandatory every year. If your employer hasn't started this...get ready cuz it's coming.
My annual physical - My doctor was amazed at my weight loss and the change (for the good) in my lab work. Because of my success, he now tells his other patients about Sparkpeople. I must show up every year for my physical...and with good numbers...so he will remember that this is FO' REAL, baby!
Pictures! How fun it is to see myself in a photo and say, "Yowza! I look hawt!" I NEVER want to lose that good feeling!
What I've learned:
The more accountability partners I have, the better likelihood of success. Please share your accountability measures with me!
In terms of eating, I don't have to be perfect every day, but I do have to do the best I can on most days. I plan my meals and make sure I have the foodstuffs on hand so there is no excuse. We eat out very little, but when I must, I check menus online beforehand, and plan what I will have in advance.
I can enjoy a vacation or holiday break from my eating plan, but I must get right back to the plan as soon as the break is over. Letting it linger does nothing but make the inevitable weight gain harder to shed. I'm always so excited about the break...and equally (if not more) excited about getting back to the plan! LOL!
Cardio and Strength Training...you all know the reasons why this is a must. I get my cardio by interval running/walking and my ST from RIPPED classes (which also includes cardio...bonus!) I shoot for 4 days a week, but If I miss a workout...life goes on.
For a time I believed the lie that I could do this by only controlling what I eat and not exercising. It worked for a while, but eventually my slowed metabolism from not working out caught up with me, and I started to gain. I promptly flushed that lie down the toilet and got off my lazy butt.
Success is up to me. No excuses. It doesn't matter what anyone else does, I am the author of my own life story. I make the final choices, even when it feels like I have no other choice...there is always another choice.
I am grateful for another year of health and happiness. I am grateful for Sparkpeople and the tools and friends here that keep me going. I am grateful for my family and friends.
Happy Birthday to me!