Today I've matched the lowest weight I've known in the past 20 years or so. Which is really saying something, because I'm 46. My high weight as a working professional who often got 3 meals a day out and no exercise was 230 lbs. Today after 13 months of Sparking (with a 3 month pause and a 2 month screw up) I'm 165. And I earned it, and I know what it takes to get here from both sides. Being 230 certainly wasn't my "me" weight, not where I intended to be, not a body I related to, cared for, and sought to maintain.
I was last 165 just a few years ago, but how I got there was not sustainable. About 7 years ago, we adopted our kids. Both at the same time, from foster care. It was emotionally overwhelming to switch from my corporate life to stay at home mom to a 21 month old and an 11 year old. Two stressed out, anxious kids who could both talk. Constant challenges, both learning basic parenting and working with attachment disorder.
The first 18 months was off-the-charts stressful. I was never relaxed, always up early to shower and be ready to start the all-day delivery of mommy services. My weight dropped from 230 to 165 in 9 months. Some of it was due to positive changes, like sitting down to a home cooked meal every night, long walks at Disneyland, but so much of it was also stress. As things got more comfortable, over 40 pounds crept back on in the next few years.
I was finally able to formulate how I was living this way: I could eat whatever I wanted, do no exercise, and gain about a pound a month. Which sounds like a great bargain! And I was relaxed!
When I explained this to my family, I told them I was tired of buying new pants. I hate to shop. I visit clients infrequently, and it was a bummer to have to check to see if I had professional clothes that fit. And I got tired of the blob like shape I was going back to.
It is powerful for me to realize that I've lost the weight much faster than I put it on. I feel achievement in knowing how I did it, and hopefully establishing the habits to maintain the weight loss.
My ticker still shows my goal about 20 pounds further down, but I don't know where my "me" weight is. I enjoy my frequent visits to the Y, and love that doing an hour of hard cardio is easier than 45 minutes was just a few months ago. I'm a little over a month into low carb eating, and suddenly I see how I can live without cravings, temptations, and "accidents".
As I work to see if my "me" weight is lower, the biggest challenge is that I was last there in my 20's. I have to compete with that youthful body in my head, and sadly it is probably warped by Cosmo magazine covers. What I weighed then was always an accident of circumstance, with big ups and downs coming with changes in lifestyle and activity.