Another year of maintenance, another post from me with a year in review. I’ve come to look forward to this little tradition.
Five years ago this month, I hit my goal weight. But as has been made clear to me (painfully at times) over the years, losing the weight is only the start of the journey. The goal weight isn’t a finish line – rather, it’s a checkpoint on the life long road to maintain and build good health. If you lose weight smartly, you’re creating a lifestyle for yourself, learning habits that will help you keep that weight off.
Six years ago, after a decade of near isolation and fresh off my divorce, I trundled down to Chicago to hang out with fellow geeks at ChicagoTARDIS, a doctor who convention. I had my first fancy cosplay and a ticket to meet three Doctors. I ran around all weekend, meeting new friends, hearing actors talk about my favorite tv show, running around in costumes and getting my picture taken.
But ugh, those pictures. So many happy memories and those pictures just wiped the smile right off my face. I was fat. Logically, I knew that. But I had spent my 20s avoiding that fact, burying my head in the sand and gaining gaining, diet, gain, gaining and more gaining.
The pictures made me so unhappy BUT they were also the final straw. I don’t know why this was what tipped me over the edge and finally motivated me to lose weight. But this was it. After trying so hard and failing for my entire adult life, it all finally clicked and I did it. I moved more. I ate less. I started biking to work. I went to the gym. I weighed my food, logged it all. I didn’t give anything up – Popeyes was and still is my favorite fast food indulgence – but I learned that my body needed a whole heck of a lot less food than I had been giving it. I worked hard over the next year and hit my goal a year later in time for ChicagoTARDIS 2014.
These last 5 years have been great – lots of cosplay, lots of biking, and lots of wibbly wobbly weight up and down. It was easier to control what I ate when it was just me, and I don’t do as well portion and calorie control wise when I’m eating with my significant other of 3 years. Gain a little, lose a little, gain a little, lose a little, slowly wobbling my way upward.
Alas, this is the first year I’m not attending ChicagoTARDIS since 2013. And 2019 in general was a tough year. I lost my beloved first cat Squeaky in February, and have been in a funk that has taken me a long time to pull out of. I had planned to do my first half ironman triathlon this past summer, but I’m a back of the pack triathlete on my best day, and without diligent training in the winter/spring, I knew I wouldn’t finish. But, I’m picking myself up and dusting myself off. I’ll get a half ironman sometime in the next few years.
I did bike across the state of Wisconsin in one weekend in August (~240 miles from La Crosse to Green Bay). And boy oh boy, would I have appreciated lugging less weight up the hills. So after that ride, I kicked my behind in gear again, am working on getting a control on my portion size and have lost 15 of the 30 lbs I’d like to get rid of. I’ve also started lifting consistently (currently on the last 1/3 of the beginning Strong Curves program), which I tend to neglect. I’m an endurance athlete. I loooove my cardio - my long run, long swim, and especially my long bike ride. Consistently lifting weights is something I am still trying to figure out.
Even if 2019 was a struggle, I’m glad I’m here, I’m healthy and I’m still kicking it. Ready to face 2020!
So, you’re somewhere on your weight loss journey. I’m here to tell you it’s possible. You can do it. You can lose that weight and keep it off. Take a leap of faith and trust in yourself that you can do it. It’s not going to be easy. You really do have to change your life. There is no happily ever after. You keep working on it day in and day out. But you will be better for it. I know I am.