Four Years At Goal

My recent WI on March 4th not only completed my WI for the month of March, but also marks the anniversary of reaching goal.  I actually reached my goal weight on March 14th four years ago.  I looked back at my weight record to confirm the date and noticed at that time I also weighed 174.8.  That is the same weight from this Monday. 

I have learned so much during my Maintenance Journey and each year teaches me something a little different.  Regardless of what I have learned or how much I grow, each year has the same outcome….I not only lost 130 pounds but I continue to keep the weight off!
This is my WW Walk-it Shirt from 2011.  I still get compliments on it when I wear it.

My first year of goal could be classified as the Best Year of Maintenance.  Instead I will call it my Skinny Year of Maintenance.  I never actually added in the extra points WW suggests to allow your body to learn to stop losing and really focus on just staying in a goal range.  Plus, EVERYBODY wants to lose “just five more pounds.”  I was included in that everybody category.  My goal weight is a doctor’s note weight.  I always knew I didn’t want to be 155 pounds, but I wasn’t sure 175 pounds was where I wanted to be either.  I also had the strong desire to work for WW and in order to do that, I had to continue to lose weight.

I was able to continue to lose getting to an all time low of 165 pounds by my 30th birthday.  In some ways I do miss being that low of a weight.  I was wearing a size 12 jean and even a size 10 in some pants.  I also didn’t worry so much about my muffin top.  However, I was spending a lot of time at the gym.  It really can be similar to any other type of addiction and I was at the YMCA working out a lot.  I was also eating really low point foods and still a lot of processed foods with less emphasis on whole foods in general.  For those reasons, I am glad I am no longer that low of a weight.  I am not even sure how realistic it would have been to stay that low.
This is a comparison photo of me in the sitting position and about 165 lbs

The second year of maintenance was really the Learning Year.  I learned so much and grew so much this second year.  Denise (Goingskiing) and Deb (who’s user name has slipped my mind) were a HUGE help to me on the message boards.  I started posting the typical newbie posts and both were so kind to continue to promote healthy eating and the benefits of whole foods and proper nutrition.  My second year of maintenance is when I really started to get away from the low point foods and the processed foods.  I started focusing on nutrition more than just points values and started eating a lot differently.  This was also the year that my dispatch center merged taking on extra troops with no extra staff.  We were working 5 days one week and 6 days the next week and the shifts were a mix of 10 and 12 hours.  I was not nice on my 6th day of work.  It was no surprise that the scale started to creep back up and I was losing a grasp on my large 10 pound cushion I had created for myself being below goal.  I wasn’t at the gym as much as I used to be.  I was tired.  I was just doing whatever I could to get by until we could hire and train more staff.  I also learned that I didn’t need to be so hard on myself.  I learned that it is okay to get extra sleep and skip the gym when necessary.  It is okay to give yourself a little slack in the healthy eating department, but not use it as an excuse to overindulge.

The third year of maintenance was the Year of Acceptance.  This is where I really learned to just accept myself...loose skin and all.  I learned to accept that I would no longer be 165 pounds.  I learned to love myself as I was and not to overshadow all my progress just because I “used to be 10 pounds below goal.”  I even would tell that to people when I would talk about my WW journey.  Why did I feel the need to tell them where I used to be?  What matters is that I was still maintaining my loss and I was still a WW success story.  I also learned to accept that I needed to buy bigger pants and finally went out and got some size 14 slacks and jeans again.  I tucked my size 12s away knowing I had them if I never did need them again.  I also spent five months ABOVE the 2 pounds limit WW allows to be a free Lifetime member.  It was a very rough five months.  There were many tears and many cuss words said.  I just knew I couldn’t give up.  I wouldn’t give up.  I accepted that I would be paying $9 a week until I could get my weight back into goal range.  And each week I did just that. 
This is a comparison photo my husband put together for me.  The before photo is taken at Las Vegas the month before I joined WW and the after photo taken during a trip last year.
My fourth year of maintenance is where Lindsay Got Her Groove Back (is that copyright infringement??).  At the start of 2012, I made a personal decision to give up milk.  I was drinking milk in my coffee along with flavored creamer each morning.  In doing so, I was consuming 19 grams of sugar each day.  Wow…I might as well just have a donut!  Okay, not really serious about that comment.  I gave up milk and creamer and started using half and half and actually enjoyed the taste of coffee again.  I also started eating more eggs and egg whites in the place of milk.  I also got serious again with my YMCA membership and started getting back into the group exercise classes I love.  Suddenly my weight started to drop and I was not only back in goal range, and a free paying member again, but I was actually sitting below my goal a few pounds and finding it pretty easy.  I really do feel the fourth year of maintenance is where I just found my groove.  I learned how to balance my eating and activity to stay in goal range and I also learned that increasing the activity kept my weight on the lower end.  I went a whole year without having to pay for a meeting and earned myself another shinny LT key for my key chain.
Turns out, after not paying for a full year I had to pay for my first meeting of 2013.  Sure, that hurt my pride more than my pocketbook but having to pay for a meeting does not mean I am a failure.  It just means I am human and sometimes we are not rewarded at the scale for our hard work or a perfect week of eating clean.  Sometimes it also means we have enjoyed a little more then we should or just got back from vacation.  Regardless, it is just a number.  I will always strive for being healthy.  When I am healthy is when I am happiest!  My grandmother was 95 years old when she passed away.  If I am lucky to have such a long life as well, I have 58 more years of healthy living ahead of me.


Nichole Black said...

Oh Lindsay, this was wonderful to read. So happy for you, and so happy to learn from you all the time.

LinHou said...

Lindsay, I love your blog. I just wanted to let you know I have Deb (goingskiing) blog saved as a favorite on my phone & computer. Deb & Rainbow Deb helped me so much as well. They gave me so much advice thru their thread replies to others. Because of them I made this a lifestyle & decided if it took 10 years to lose 50lbs & learn the tools i needed to maintain said loss & make this a lifestyle , then that was what it was going to take. You are becoming another voice of reason to me like they have been. I appreciate the time you take to write this blog. Linda

Lindsay said...

Thank you so much for your kind words and putting me on such a high pedestal. I am so glad my experience can help others. We are all rowing the same boat and I am so happy for my support groups and WW friends.

Lindsay said...

You know I love you Nichole!

Anna said...

I am new to this blog, and in fact, I have never posted anything before. I recently joined WW, after a tough couple of years, and I don't have a lot to lose-but I have always really struggled with my weight, both on the inside and the outside.
This time, I have a new approach, that is focused on what's right for me- a novel concept, and sadly at 45 I have never been in touch with that. It is an effort, and I am working on it every day. Accepting myself for who I am now in my life, and finding the skin that reflects that place.
I have been sitting here, drinking my coffee, having my breakfast, and really enjoying and relating to you, even though we seem to have very different lives and journeys through WW .
Thank you for your inspirational and warm , positive posts. You have a very positive approach to weight loss and maintenance.