Well, I am ready to declare that I am transitioning to maintenance. I say this with some trepidation. Thank you for the resources shared in the Big Page of Links* and to those members that have responded to my questions. You know who you are.
A year ago I began walking with a co-worker to reduce my stress levels. My focus was not weight reduction. I knew that I needed to reduce my stress to improve both my mental outlook and improve my physical health. I had allowed myself to gain 70+ pounds over the course of 25 - 30 years and I was close to an obese BMI. Mentally, I was a wreck.
For 6 months I focused on establishing and maintaining a regular walking routine. Near the end of that 6 month period I took a Health Assessment provided by my health provider and decided it was time to address my nutrition. It was at that time that I returned to SparkPeople. I had been introduced to the site in 2010, spent a brief time here and then allowed life events to derail my attempts at improved health.
I have made great strides in improving my nutrition over the past 5 months, have continued a regular walking routine and added strength training. During the past year I have experienced challenging life events that would have derailed my efforts in the past. Not this time.
Yesterday, I started using some of the tools shared (weighted averages, trend lines, etc.) to explore my past and current progress as I transition to maintenance and establish a goal weight. Honestly, I don't know what that number is going to be which makes me nervous. But, I realize determining that number will be a process of discovery for me and I am on my way.
Upon reflection in recent days, it seems to me that I never traveled this road before because I believed that it wasn't possible. I knew no successful maintainers in my life until coming across this site and team of people. So, I figured why bother. People lose weight all the time; but, they never keep it off. I trust that you are "real" people sharing "real" experiences and are not "virtual" creations. You have given me hope and provided inspiration.
I cannot say "THANK YOU!" enough to my co-worker and friend and those of you that have supported me in my journey.
Looking forward to joining the ranks of the maintainers...
*I am referring to a link shared by the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team here at SparkPeople. I attempted to embed the link, but was unsuccessful. So, if you're interested in learning more, take a look for the team's logo on my SparkPage and click through to the team from there.