Maintaining Weight After Weight Loss: Constant Vigilance

The boring part of the story is that I lost 100 pounds in 2014. I know! How is that the boring part of the story? It is boring because it is nearly April, and I had accomplished my weight loss goal by January 2015. It is old news at this point, but that doesn’t mean I am any less proud. Here is the side-by-side before and after picture, anyway:

Before (left) and After (right)

Maintaining your weight after accomplishing a drastic weight loss goal can be just as frustrating as the original weight loss journey. Don’t fret, because it is not consistently frustrating in the way the original journey is.

3 Things Especially Frustrating About After:

1. It seems as if you are always looking over your shoulder. It sounds dramatic, but it is, at least figuratively (and partially), true. Truthfully, it only feels like “always” when you’re having one of those days. It is a creeping fear that has a tendency to lurk from time-to-time; Oh my god, I’m going to gain all that weight back! It’s a rational fear because it happens to people often. However, you have control over at least one of those people and *SPOILER ALERT* it’s you. I try to take everything weight and health-related one day at a time. I still track my calories, even though I am no longer creating a deficit. When I have a bad day where I have eaten more than I should, I try not to be too hard on myself. It is just a matter of making sure one bad day doesn’t turn into two or three in a row. Sometimes I get that gut-twisting fear that I am going to lose all I have accomplished and put that 100 pounds back on. Then I remember what my wife told me that spurred me into such a successful calorie-counting/exercise based journey: “My love, as long as you put out more calories than you take in, you can’t fail.” I just remember that, even now. As long as I am aware, I can’t fail and there isn’t any small slip that I can’t fix.

2. People still have to say something negative to say. It is hard not to punch people in the throat some days, especially after a successful and difficult weight loss journey such as my own. No, not because they can eat an entire box of Little Debbie snacks and remain thin. No, not because they have done something outside the realm of health that has earned throttling (though that guy that cut me off the other day should be required to like and follow my blog). It’s hard not to punch them directly in the throat when they make comments like these:

  • “Wow, I think you’re probably a little too thin now.”
  • “That can’t be how you lost all that weight” (after asking how you did it)!
  • “Well, it is easy when you are [insert any age]” (I say [insert any age] because it doesn’t matter how old the successful weight loss individual is, even older people will claim it is because they are younger).

I just lost 100 pounds in a year. That is an amazing accomplishment. People across the United States have done even more amazing things than that in the realm of weight loss. Still, people have to come back and say something negative or something that discredits the person’s accomplishments.

3. The entire family won’t necessarily make your same lifestyle changes. It could be that your husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, or other relative is naturally thin. Perhaps they can eat that box of Little Debbie snack cakes and it doesn’t touch them (heck, that used to be me!). It could be that you have a family member who isn’t looking to make any changes, whether a doctor would tell them they need to or not. My wife (and I have her permission to say this) is a big lady. I love that big lady! I tell people all the time, I met her when I was thin and she was big, and I fell in love with her thin. She loved me when I was big, and she loves me now that I am thin again. Weight is not a limiting factor for us. There are no ultimatums. My wife loves herself just as much as I love her (as she should), and she isn’t looking to make any upcoming changes. This can be frustrating for both of us, which might come as a shock to you. It is not just that I sometimes have to watch her eat a calorie-rich dish at a restaurant when I am eating something more modest. It is also that she has to sit there and wait, tapping her fingers and growing ever-hungrier (especially right now, since she is pregnant) as I sort through the restaurant’s nutrition facts. This frustration goes both ways. She feels comfortable snacking as we watch a movie. I know I can’t afford to snack on empty calories during this type of activity. She’d love to split a nice piece of pie with me every once in a while, or head to the fair and eat a ton of fried food. We don’t do these things for my sake, though. My point-it is frustrating to my toes, but this particular aspect is frustrating in both directions.

So, there you have it. That is the interesting part of the story. I don’t know if it gets easier after an extended period of time. I will have to tell you that later on, as I am only about four months into my weight maintenance journey right now. I’ll keep you posted and keep on posting…

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