Hello whoever might be reading, I'm definitely not an expert on health or weight loss, but I wanted to share my progress, my experiences, and just get some stuff off my chest. I have always been a big girl and I don't really remember my initial motivation to stop being clinically obese (it probably related to a boy), but it's been quite some time now. The PHOTO: the left picture is 6 years ago and the right is from a couple months ago.
I recently noticed that I have spent over a year fluctuating around my healthy goal weight ~165lbs, which is apparently around what a 6'1" woman is supposed to weigh. While it says that I started at 222lbs, it was actually something like 245lbs about 4 years ago...scary to think that 80 pounds lost! I sometimes put on a backpack with 20 pounds worth of books in it and walk around to see how much harder it is with just an additional TWENTY pounds.
I hate exercising with a fiery passion, so I lost and maintained the weight in the only way a numbers-oriented math geek knows how...by writing down EVERYTHING I eat and trying to approximate how many calories. If my weight is up too much, I only eat things that have nutritional information on them or raw foods I can look up, just in case. I have my weight journal for every single day for the past 2 years and could look up exactly what I ate/drank on any day...breakfast/snack/lunch/dinner. If I'm DOWN too much, I just eat more calories.
The upside is that it worked and that I feel good - I mean REALLY good...much better than I used to! The downside is that to maintain my weight, I will have to, at minimum, write down the foods that I eat for the rest of my life...my body still doesn't know if it's hungry or full. That makes it annoying to go out to a normal restaurant (no calorie counts) if my weight is a bit up and this "pickiness" frustrates my husband endlessly!
In addition, I believe in that story where the body has a certain weight where it's used to being. Anything below that weight and the organism feels like it's starving. Eventually the body gets used to the new weight, but that might take a few more years. My husband and I also finally QUIT smoking...it's been about 2 weeks and we're still going strong! Relating to my weight, this means that my metabolism is slowing down by about 200-250 calories per day. So instead of my usual 1800-2200, I'll need to take in 1600-2000 and be more rigid at least until the cravings go away. Feels good to stop though, and I still have not put on any weight because of it. Should probably take more walks!!
It's sometimes hard to have been "successful" for so long - and scary to think how easy it would be just to stop writing down my foods and eat a whole pizza by myself, like I did 4 years ago. I'm scared of how EASY it would be to reverse these years of work, self-control, motivation, progress...but I also know that I should not lose anymore weight - I already naturally have toothpick/stork legs haha! Maintaining is definitely harder than losing, but I plan to stay strong, remember how important this is for my heart, and continue to do my best.
"All is not lost--the unconquerable will
And study of revenge, immortal hate
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?"
-"Paradise Lost", John Milton