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Questioning My Success (2 Year "Maintenance" Anniversary)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Maintenance is so much more frustrating than losing weight.

Science says that the longer you keep off weight loss, the more likely you are to keep it off in the future. In the two years since I hit my goal weight, I *have* managed to keep off 100 of the 115 lbs I've lost. This is what I wrote about maintenance last year on my 1-year anniversary:

"Adding weight training makes you gain weight. In the past year I have fluctuated between 167 and 174 lbs, which, you will note, is above my goal weight. However, I’ve lost inches and am wearing clothing that is 2 sizes smaller than I was a year ago."

You can read the rest of the blog here:

So why am I so discouraged this year? This year I've fluctuated between 164 and 174 lbs. In my eyes, I look exactly the same as I did a year ago, although some of you will argue that I have more definition. A dear SparkFriend put it into perspective to me on my recent bikini comparison photos:

"KONRAD695: Let me see if I understand this correctly. You've just had a rough patch, overate, fitness has faltered, and coming off a little stress. With all that- you look a minimum, as good as last year. Either moved forward or stayed the same, but didn't go backwards. You will only get better from here. Just my thoughts, Konrad"

He's right. If I compare this year to last year, I've maintained PERFECTLY. I'm in the exact same weight range as last year. I'm stronger and using heavier weights than last year. I can run 2 miles without stopping which I couldn't do last year. I'm wearing the same clothes as last year. So why do I feel like such a failure? I wish I knew. My best guess would be I'm a person who strives to constantly improve myself. I'm improving myself internally, but I'm having trouble with the lack of perceived improvement on my exterior.

Perhaps part of it is the fact that I've been recognized for my weight loss this year. You've heard me mention a magazine article. It's in its final stages and will be out in October. Soon there may be thousands of strangers checking out my other blog, reading my story and seeking to gain some insight. My biggest worry is being a disappointment.

The scariest part of it all to me is the possibility of breaking back under the 100 lbs lost threshold. I got really close to that last month, and it scared the sh*t out of me. I don't want that at all. Unfortunately, I've learned that I've been lying to myself this year. I kept telling myself that I'm not an emotional eater because when I'm angry or sad I don't eat. But I DO eat when I'm stressed. That's emotional eating, too. So I need to find a way to better cope with my stress. It's always at night, too, when I'm tired and my defenses are low. It's something to work on.

I'm feeling less joyous on this anniversary and more introspective.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have to tell you.... this is so helpful to me at this moment..... THANKS for getting things in perspective.... you are such an inspiration !!!!!!
    958 days ago
    You have done so well! Look at where you have come from - that is such an accomplishment. Nothing wrong with challenging yourself to do more, but love your body where you are at right now.

    Can't wait to read the article. Please let us know when it hits the stands!

    PS - The link to your blog from last year is broken. Can you repost it please?
    969 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/29/2016 2:22:18 PM
  • no profile photo MISTY_MOUNTAINS
    First off, I am here always for a chat if needed!

    Secondly, I wonder if maybe you feel disappointed because you have had so much success. I think when people are "done" losing, and they have kind of completed their mission, there may be a feeling of emptiness because it seems like you have nothing left to achieve in the body-world. I definitely agree that some of it may come from the magazine. You shouldn't worry about disappointing anyone other than yourself, but I know that's easier said than done!

    Personally, you still motivate me and make me want to keep going! You have shown me, in a world full of "you can lose, but it probably won't stay off", that it IS possible. It gives me a glimmer of hope, haha. I hope you get to feeling better about everything. I also hope this wasn't all rambling nonsense!
    969 days ago
    This is so me at year two earlier this year. Experimenting with Whole 30 has helped, but maintenance is so tough. Just have to keep at it and push on. And refuse to buy bigger clothes.
    969 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    970 days ago
    You've been gifted with some good wisdom in the responses so far. I'm not sure I can add to that. I know you enjoy running and doing kettle bells, but have you ever considered pilates? That emphasizes a long, lean look, and maybe that's what you're striving for?

    You are not a disappointment to anyone. You've accomplished SO much, and you have a lot to be proud of. The daily work of maintaining is harder than the daily work of losing I think, and yet you don't get the same feedback like you did when you lost a pound. Work your mind around that, and see if maybe you can come up with some sort of reward system for yourself for maintaining. Hmm...and stress eating...need to find something else to do for when you feel stressed!
    970 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    You've managed to find words I needed and couldn't find.
    I'm still mulling this over.
    970 days ago
    I understand what you're putting to words here. I REALLY don't think you/your blog will be a disappointment to anyone, and if you are... well that's definitely THEIR problem and not yours. There will definitely be some that want to know that it's easy and you tell it like it is, discussing struggles and stuff as well, but I think the ones motivated and inspired will far outweigh those looking for an easy fix.

    I can sense some anxiety clouding how you feel... but I could be wrong. We're all rooting for you here and you should be so proud of how far you've come, even in the past year! You're an inspiration to us all :)
    970 days ago
    Your weight loss success is amazing, and you have kept most of the weight off - that is an exceptional achievement. Nobody likes being over happy weight, be it 5 pounds or 5, but success is success!
    People who come to visit your page after reading the magazine article should be inspired.
    If they are not, it is their problem ; )
    970 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012

    There's the external you, the one that everyone "sees and knows" (well, in so far as the amount of attention they pay to someone else's exterior), and the internal you, the one that you "see and know". Is there a happy medium? Sometimes. Most of the time. Except when there's not. And so it goes.

    What can you do then? Be proud of all that you've accomplished so far and celebrate your achievement. There's going to be good days, not so good days, and great days. There's going to be days when you "feel fat" except that "feeling fat" is really code for "not wanting to feel (name the emotion)".

    Also, one of the difficult things about weight loss and maintenance is that we get used to attention from losing weight, and then as we maintain the attention falls by the wayside. In fact, we encounter people who have no idea we were ever far heavier. But there's that little part inside us that still wants the positive recognition and attention... and it's us that sometimes has to be the one to meet that need.

    Then there's the negative chorus in our head that sometimes just needs to shut the hell up and let us chill which is good until we're alone with our thoughts and then it starts up again.

    You've demonstrated so much hard work and determination in achieving and maintaining your weight loss even when coming close to your "scream" weight, that I don't see you throwing it all away.

    Yes, you're spot on by knowing that combating stress through some other way than stuffing it down inside you with food will help you keep on keeping on.


    970 days ago
    You are amazing and inspiring. You have beaten the odds in not regaining a lot of fat, and the pounds you have gained are muscle which is a good thing. Which doesn't mean to stop being vigilant, but enjoy what you have accomplished!
    970 days ago
    I would imagine that once you get to maintaining, you do feel like you're not achieving because you're not "succeeding" by seeing pounds lost. I think that the fact that you are basically one of the magic 5% who HAS kept the weight off, whether its 115 or 100lbs, will make you an inspiration. You are to me anyway x
    970 days ago
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