Today marks 2 years since I reached my goal weight and my overall goal of improving my health. When people hear that I have lost 98lbs, they are impressed, and whilst I think it is a great achievement and one that I am proud of, what I am most proud of is that I have kept it off for 2 years and I have not slipped back to my unhealthy ways.
The top row of pictures were taken 2 years ago and the bottom row of pictures were all taken over the past couple of weeks. As you can see, I haven’t put the weight back on. You can’t see my health in these pictures, so you will just have to trust me when I say that I am still just as healthy as when I reached my goal 2 years ago – maybe even more healthy.
My weight fluctuates around 7lbs either way depending on many factors and my shape has changed in those 2 years (as my workouts have changed), but I am very, very happy with where I am now. In fact, I am much happier than I was 2 years ago because my head has caught up with my body now and it is finally getting used to all the changes that have happened.
Keeping a large weight loss off is hard. Really hard. You only have to look at all the TV shows that follow weight loss, like Biggest Loser, to see that many of them don’t keep it off. There are also loads of statistics flying around about how many people put the weight back on after they lose it. But, do you know why those statistics are so high? Because most people don’t lose weight in a healthy way. Biggest Loser contestants workout for hours every day on very little calories and when they go back home to their normal lives, they can’t sustain that and they put it all back on (and sometimes more).
I don’t have some kind of super power that stops me from being part of that statistic. I just lost weight the healthy way – by taking it slowly, watching my portions, eating better food, moving more and changing my attitude. I didn’t take any pills or supplements, I didn’t go on a really restrictive plan and I didn’t use any kind of body wrap. I started off the way I intended to spend the rest of my life, by creating a healthy and sustainable relationship with food and finding workouts that I loved. I truly think that is the “secret” to me keeping the weight off.
If you gain back some of the weight that you have lost, look at the way you lost it rather than blaming yourself for being a failure. Not every method is going to work for everyone.
Of course it is not easy. I struggle a lot and I always have to remind myself that I am not finished, or done. I never will be. I can never go back to how I used to eat and I will always have to work hard to stay were I am. But it isn’t punishing. It is rewarding. I look at what my body can do now and focus on how much healthier and happier I feel and it makes it worth it.
One thing that has really helped me to keep the weight off is that I focused on the mental aspect of being overweight whilst I was losing weight. This is the problem I have with a lot of diet plans – they just focus on eating less. What about the mental side of it, which is the reason why many of us overeat in the first place. Whilst I was losing weight, I worked through my emotional eating problems and that continues to help me now. Knowing your triggers and knowing why you are overeating can help you address those issues.
Planning, preparing and scheduling helps me a lot too. I do some food prep on a Sunday, I loosely plan my meals for the week and I schedule my workouts (although I don’t stress if I have to change them around). If I just went into a new week with no plan at all, it would be so much easier for me to eat the wrong food, or skip a workout. That would be a slippery slope back to where I was.
I have found a balance that works for me now and that is one of the most important things. I have found a way to keep the weight off, but still indulge a little and live life. After all, being able to live life to the fullest and for as long as possible was the reason I lost weight in the first place. I never wanted to get to my goal and feel like I was spending my whole life in the gym just keeping it off. At the end of the day, I have reached a place where I am happy and very healthy. If I gain 3lbs back, because I went on holiday, or I had a great night out with friends, I know that it won’t have damaged my health, I will still be healthy and happy, and I will be balanced.
My new life over the past 2 years has taken some adjusting to and it has been challenging at times, but every day it is worth it. Here is to continued health and happiness.
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