As of this week, I’ve officially maintained 100 pounds of weight loss for TWO years. More importantly, it represents THREE years of conscious effort to take control of my food, my activity and my health. It’s really kind of mind boggling sometimes. I can remember all of those times over the years that I would read about weight loss success stories, where people underwent these massive changes and overhauls to lose 20 or 30 pounds and I would be so discouraged because that seemed like a drop in the bucket of what I needed to lose. It seemed like such a huge task, to lose 100 pounds, that I got afraid to start. I was afraid to try and fail, to try and realize it was impossible. Of course, it wasn’t impossible. I did it and I’m no Superwoman. It wasn’t magic, but it also wasn’t always easy and maintenance isn’t always easy. Looking back, I wonder if I would have been so intimidated to take this on had I known there people out there who’d done it before. That’s definitely what keeps me writing here and keeps me honest and open about what this has been like. If it helps one other person out there who feels like they’ve got too much weight to lose or they don’t know where to start or it’s an impossible goal, it’s worth it.
While I’ve regained about 10 pounds, I’m still 100 pounds down. I’m down 36% from my starting weight. That puts me in a small subset of people maintaining weight loss, but it’s important to know that while the people who maintain >20% of their weight loss are a small group, they exist. It is possible.
From what little research has been done on people like me, I know that the further out I get from my maximum weight, the greater my odds of long term success! Two years appears to be an important break point, so I have a lot to celebrate this week. With every passing day, I get more comfortable with the idea that it is going to be easier for me to regain weight than other people. I’ve still got all of these fat cells just waiting to refill after all. 🙂 It isn’t fair or unfair – it just is. However, with every passing day I also get more confident that I’m not going back to the weight I was at before. I’m not going back to blood pressure medication and insulin resistance and the shame and guilt. Yes, big percentages of people regain but NOT ALL. I can be part of the “bright side” because I know why I do this and I know all of the things I’m free of now thanks to taking those first scary steps three years ago.
If you’re feeling like it is too much, like you have too much to lose or your life isn’t ready for it or whatever else, please know that there are people out there like you. People who’ve struggled and succeeded and failed and succeeded again, but most of all, people who just keep picking ourselves up every day and know that every day we can do a little more to get the healthier “me” we’re striving for.
What should I do to celebrate two years? Cake is out of the question, right? 🙂
More reading on maintenance if you’re interested
Long term weight loss maintenance in the United States From the International Journal of Obesity in 2010
The Real Weight Loss Battle: Keeping it Off Interesting article about the studies on weight maintenance
Long term weight loss maintenance From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005
Is it really scientifically impossible to keep your weight off? Interesting discussion of perspective on the statistics involved in weight loss/maintenance
Four-Year Weight Losses in the Look AHEAD Study: Factors Associated with Long-Term Success from the journal Obesity in 2011