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Celebrating Six Months of Maintenance--A Pictoral Journey

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do people who are alcoholics or those who have quit smoking celebrate anniversaries like this? I am so excited that six months ago today on April 15, I hit my weight loss goal of 160 pounds. This represented a loss of 168 pounds from my high of 328 lbs., and I was so proud--because it was the FIRST time I had ever hit a goal. Never before had I made it that far. I always quit before I got down to that preset weight, that magic number that I hoped would show up on my scale. Of course my thinking on previous weight loss attempts was entirely different than this time as well. I just wanted to diet, get the weight off and be done with it. I was hungry and wanted to go back to eating my candy, cookies and chips. This time, I knew I couldn't return to that lifestyle. There was no end to the "diet" this time. If I wanted to be healthy for life, I needed to just keep doing what I did to lose the weight. And this time I had Spark!

I am still in that mindset. This morning I weighed 144.4! That means I've lost another 15 pounds from my goal of 160. I have been as low as 141.8. That lowest weight gave me the hope that someday I could see the 130's pop up on my scale. But since seeing the 140's pop up was beyond my wildest expectation, I don't know that I will ever make it to the 130's. But I haven't given up hope. I have probably 10-15 pounds of excess skin, and even subtracting 10 pounds from my 144, puts me at 134, which may be as low as I can go. To be honest, I'm kinda bony now, in spots anyway. Like around my neck, I really look like an old woman, and I can feel my hip bones and my rib cage sticks way out when I lay in bed. Of course there's also layers of flab all over. My body is not attractive in any way. I abused it with food for too many years, and now that I'm 60, even though my weight is normal, I have pockets of fat here and there, and loose skin almost everywhere. But I can cover it all up with clothes and now that fall is here and winter is coming, I'm almost looking forward to the cooler weather, so I don't have to feel so weird wearing long sleeves all the time!

I treated myself today to some more new clothes. This morning before I went shopping I was working more on cleaning out my closet, giving away the rest of the 3, 4 and 5x's, and I tried on some of the pretty new sweaters that I just bought last winter. Most of them are XXL, or XL. I swim in them. I thought I would be able to wear the newest sweaters again this year. My son bought me a beautiful plaid jacket for Christmas last year. I put it on, it's huge. I just can't wear those clothes that are too big anymore. I have worked way too hard to get this body smaller, to mask it in clothes that hang on me.'s a good thing I have been building up the wardrobe in the last several weeks. Even without the sweaters I bought last winter, I have PLENTY of clothes to wear this Fall & Winter. I remember last year just after my birthday (1/1), I weighed 188. That was the weight I started at for our Family's Biggest Loser Challenge. So I have lost 44 pounds since then, no wonder those clothes I bought last Winter don't fit. When I weighed over 300 lbs. 44 pounds didn't make much of a difference, but when you get below 200 lbs., you go down a size about every 10-15 pounds I found out. I even tried on some size 8 jeans today. THEY FIT! But they were very snug. Even though I can wear an 8 comfortably in slacks, I decided to stay with the size 10 in jeans. I don't think anybody wants to see a 60-year old woman in skin tight jeans, do you? I did get some with sparkly rhinestones on the back pocket though!

Thought I would share a little picture history of my transformation. The total loss stands (as of today) at 184 pounds. My 144.4 lb. current weight puts me at a healthy BMI (barely). I am off 3 of the 5 blood pressure medications I was on, and hope to eventually get off the last two. I walk miles at a time, and at a much faster pace that when I started out, and my life is 1000% better than it was when I weighed 328 lbs.!

I won't start at the very beginning, but this is me on my wedding day, 9/4/70. I probably weighed about what I do right now, although the pounds have shifted, because this dress will no longer zip up. I know I had dieted the spring before the wedding, losing probably 30 or so pounds, but over the summer, I had gained back some of those pounds (as I always did), and we were all relieved when the dress zipped up that day.

It wasn't long, however and I looked like this:

Then in December of 2009, I heard the fateful words from the doctor, "The EKG seems to show you've already had a heart attack." That was my ENOUGH IS ENOUGH moment. I as tired of the humiliation and embarrassment of being fat, of knowing that everything that was wrong with me health-wise, was of my own doing, from the bad food choices I made, from my lack of discipline, and self-control. Subsequent tests with a cardiologist proved that my heart was fine. I was so relieved to know it wasn't too late for me. I could make a change, I was one of the lucky ones, because I knew with my weight and my age (58, almost 59 then) that it was only a matter of time before my luck would run out.

This is me on my 59th birthday (1/1/10), at Olive Garden, celebrating with my family. I ate too much that night, but I got right back on my healthy eating the very next day, and never looked back!

This was taken in Feb. of 2010, about 2 months into my journey. Not much difference yet. I probably lost close to 100 lbs. before many people noticed.

This is from April 2010, 4 months after I started my new lifestyle. The 5X blouse is starting to get a little baggy.

July 2010, in my new jeans, size 22. I was in the 240's by now, a loss of close to 90 lbs.

Also in July 2010, swimming in our backyard pool, for the first time in many years!

Aug. 22, 2010, with hubby.

My oldest son and I on the family trip we took to the State Park to celebrate hubby & I's 40th wedding anniversary on 9/4/10. I know my goal was to be in the 220's by then and I made it!

October 2010, in my first Cornhusker t-shirt. I could never find one big enough to fit me before!

Nov. 3, 2010, the day I hit ONE-derland. Gosh, I've been in ONE-derland almost a year now. I LOVE IT HERE!!

Nov. 25, 2010, celebrating Thanksgiving. My youngest son & I went for my first 5K walk earlier in the afternoon, anticipating eating too many calories. Must have worked--I didn't gain any weight. Might try that again this year!

Dec. 1, 2010, in one of those pretty new sweaters I bought last year, that are TOO BIG this year. I remember when I bought them, I would think, "I wonder if these will still fit next winter, I sure hope they do." Of course I was anticipating that I would gain weight and they would be too small. So having them be TOO BIG is a GOOD problem!!

Jan 1, 2011, my 60th birthday. My goal had been to be below 200 lbs. by then, and I think I was weighing in around 190 that day! This jacket is also too big. I LOVED that jacket!!

Feb. 14, 2011, celebrating my youngest son's birthday on Valentine's Day. I was weighing in the 170's by then.

March 2011. I was in the high 160's by then, fast approaching my goal of 160 lbs.

April 23, 2011, just a week after hitting my goal, showing off my much smaller rear end.

May 7, 2011, with my best friend from high school, who is my best friend forever!

May 15, 2011, wearing a skirt and jacket (hope this still fits!) to celebrate the end of our Family Biggest Loser Challenge, Even thought I hit my goal and definitely lost the most weight over-all, in the time the contest took place (Jan-May), my youngest son lost the largest percentage of body weight and won. I still credit that little challenge we had for helping me lose that last 40 pounds! Overall I lost 54% of my starting body weight.

June 11, 2011--wearing shorts for the first time in many, many years.

August 1, 2011, this is the "after" picture that was in the local paper on 9/4/11.

A comparison shot of the size 36 pants I used to wear with my size 10 jeans on top.

And the 5X blouse compared to the size Large blouse (from the Hollister Girl store) I'm wearing in the picture.

Remember.....this is how I looked before

And this is how I look now...

I still can't believe the transformation I have feels like I have shed my cocoon and emerged as a butterfly. I really felt like this thinner person even when I was fat, and now that thinner person is the one you see. But that fat girl is still inside me, and if I gave her even an inch, she would re-emerge. I do not plan on letting that ever happen! I still find the fact that my body is not morbidly obese anymore totally amazing and pinch myself every day to make sure I'm not dreaming. I need to quit pinching myself though, cause if this is a dream, I never want to wake up....I'm having way too much fun now!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your words could very well be my own. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. I so know how you felt and I can't wait to see how you feel at goal! I'm half way to my goal but I know I will get there. Thank you for sharing your journey!
    2377 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/15/2011 5:15:49 PM
    Thank you for sharing pictures of your journey.
    Your transformation is wonderful,
    and so is your 6 month maintenance time.
    2405 days ago
    Thank you for sharing -- what wonderful motivation!
    2406 days ago
    That is so awesome! Congrats on 6 months on maintenance!!!!
    2407 days ago
    It's so fun to look at transformation pics.

    And yes of COURSE we celebrate anniversaries. And your first one is on the list for next TAX DAY!


    2407 days ago
    Having all those pictures is awesome.
    You make it seem so easy even if we all know it's not.
    I love the pictures of your bigger/smaller clothes.
    I'll be following the next 6 months so YOU GO GIRL! emoticon
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    2407 days ago
    I love your picture blog. You have come a long way, lady. Congratulations!

    2407 days ago
    Great job on documenting your amazing journey! Looking at these photos will no doubt help you to remember all the hard work that went into it and like Lise said, to celebrate each and every day. Such a great story...only it isn't a story, is's real life!! Yours!!! Hugs, Jeannie
    2408 days ago
    What an inspiration! When you made up your mind, that was all it took!!! You have every right to be proud b/c you did this for and by yourself!!! Nobody could have ever done it for you!!! emoticon emoticon You have proven that "it" works if you work it!!! It won't happen just b/c you want it to. It takes dedication and hard work! These are things I have, but not in the doses required. I'm losing ever so slowly . I guess that's good in a way, but I am soooo ready to go buy some new clothes!! hehe
    Take care! Be blessed!!
    emoticon emoticon
    2408 days ago
    emoticon on your weight loss. I hope to someday have a story to tell, too. You're a real inspiration....Sharon
    2408 days ago
    congratulations on your weight loss I must say you did an amazing job and even yet you are on maintenance already that is a bigger accomplishment. that must feel so exited when you try your cloths and they are so big. I guess this is a great time to hit the mall and go shopping :). keep up the great work you are a truly inspiration... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2408 days ago
    What an amazing transformation!! Congrats!

    2408 days ago
    Those pictures are amazing, you have really taken charge of your health...great job
    2408 days ago
    I too am making sure I take pictures of my weight loss journey.

    You are an inspiration to me!!!!!
    2408 days ago
    You are that butterfly! Your Blog was amazing and should be "required reading" for all new Sparkers, as it is the perfect example of determination, motivation & inspiration!
    Thanks so much for sharing, Maggie!
    2408 days ago
    Wow, really are the incredible shrinking woman! congratulations on staying on target, and coming back every time you veered off a bit!
    2408 days ago

    LISEan> emoticon
    2408 days ago
    Great blog Maggie.
    Love seeing all the before and after pictures.
    You certainly took many more pictures than I did.
    When i look back on my journey now I wish I had documented it with pictures. but to tell the truth I was never thinking about photos then, only keeping on track and losing.
    You have done a fantastic job and I have no doubt at all that you will continue to excel as a example of a women in control and forever be successful maintaining a healthy weight.
    Like you said it's your mindset now, before it wasn't.
    Take care, and keep on walking , thats great exercise.
    Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2408 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    What a journey. I really think the combination of fear of going back to obesity and gratitude for being where you are will keep you healthy. I think it is complacency that tends to get people in trouble. I think you will do just fine with maintenance. If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you? I was just thinking about how much weight needs to be shed to show up in clothing sizes so when you addressed it in your blog, it made me wonder if we are close to the same height. I am 5'3". PS YOu and your husband look like babies in that darling wedding photo, but I guess you kind of were babies, right?
    2408 days ago
  • JKURJACK1944
    Maggie, You look so healthy and extremely happy. Most of all you just look smashing. Love your new clothes. I know that you will never go back because you have changed your way of looking at things and have become a healthy person. Congratulations on your anniversaryl.
    2408 days ago
  • JILL313
    Maggie, You've been a perfect example of how WL should and can be done. You're an excellent role model for me and many others. You have the right mindset to go through life just the way you are now--sweet and slim. You're Awesome!!


    2409 days ago
    Wow!!! What an incredible journey!!!!! You should be so proud!!!!!:-)
    2409 days ago
    Wow I loved reading your blog today! Thanks for sharing! You are truly inspiring to me! The pics are such a testimonial to how hard you worked . . . I am glad you posted them. Congratulations to a job well done. Can't wait until I can get to the maintaining phase.

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    2409 days ago
  • TEMPEST272002
    Happy 6 months of maintaining! Woot! Your transformation truly is amazing & it's no wonder that you feel like you have to pinch yourself. I related to what you said about your body & it not being the shape you expected. But we both must keep reminding ourselves that our bodies ARE beautiful - maybe not compared to a 20 year olds... but in a deeper way. In a way that recognizes how quickly our bodies have forgiven our past choices and are now allowing us to move & do the things we want. All those pretty sweaters... I love what you said - I have worked way too hard to get this body smaller, to mask it in clothes that hang on me. - this is so true. In every picture I see of you, you just get cuter & cuter. Love all three of the outfits in your end pics.
    2409 days ago
  • LISA01605
    Your transformation is amazing. I love the pictures from your journey. I especially love the pictures of the clothes with the smaller on the larger. You are an inspiration!
    2409 days ago
    You are a beautiful woman! And yes, all people in recovery celebrate their anniversary dates. One month is HUGE. Three months signifies a real accomplishment because after that point your habits are getting solid. Six months is really exceptional - and that skin will continue shrinking for the next couple years, so don't give up. I know what you mean about being the same weight and things not fitting the same. I hate the middle-age midrift!! I have ten pounds to goal and would be thrilled if it ALL came from my belly!
    2409 days ago
    Wow. I can see how much happier you are each an every time you reached a goal. Congratulations!!!!
    2409 days ago
    This is such an amazing journey. I've only gotten to know you in the last week or so, so I'm so glad to see what your journey looked like. I can't wait to join you in maintenance land! I've got another 40 or so pounds to lose and it'll probably take me until next summer (I'm a sloooooow loser), but I will get there and celebrate with you! :)
    2409 days ago
    You are an inspiration!
    2409 days ago
  • SUEO451
    Wow again!! Love your story - the pictures are great! You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing.
    2409 days ago
  • SHELL-
    You give the rest of us hope!
    Think I'll take a before picture so when I make my 150 lbs and then less I will have a reminder of the journey and what I achieved. emoticon emoticon
    2409 days ago
    Such great progress and you have done it! emoticon
    2409 days ago
  • RICU1952
    Congrats!! What did you do with that other woman? YOU look great. I'm at two weeks and 6 months seems like an enternity.
    2409 days ago
  • REDSHOES2011
    emoticon wow huge transformation... I loved your journey in photos.. I have a small group called maintenence and what now.. Your welcome to join- more people the merry.. I have been on maintenence since week 9 in 2007.. I am collecting ladies whom have are in for long haul... What is important is getting to know others whom are doing it too and all those questions we wanna ask others doing it. Members are allowed to put up their own questions, there are no rules except enjoy the company..
    2409 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/15/2011 2:31:13 AM
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