After 3.5 years, I've lost 45 lbs going from 220 to 175 through a series of lifestyle changes. First I started walking and lifting. I slowly added in some daily calisthenics. Those changes took off the first 10 pounds with no other changes. In November 2019 I had my last sip of alcohol. Another 10 pounds came off like magic. Since the pandemic, I started focusing on CICO and tracking my calories. It was a long process to develop this skillset, but over the past 4 months I've been 90% + successful in tracking my calories and have finally hit my goal weight while continuing to lift and walk with some jogging thrown in a couple times a week. I still hit my calisthenics. I typically walk at least 10K steps a day (desk treadmill) and it's not uncommon to exceed 20K steps. I'm grateful for the number on the scale, and all the benefits I've seen. Skin problems like eczema have cleared up. My joints don't hurt. No lower back or knee pain anymore. I can "get after it" in life with a lot more zest and vitality. I can't lie, I love the comments I receive from people I haven't seen in the COVID shutdown and don't recognize me and I'm proud of how I look.
But I am much more proud of the changes that have been made in between my ears. How I look at food. How I deal with stress. How I manage discomfort. How I am able to pause. How I am able to make a plan and stick with it. How things that once became hard became just another part of what I do without thinking. These changes are much more valuable than any number on the scale and I can and do apply them to other areas of my life.
Now I look at the road ahead and want to stack the odds in my favor. I was a lone wolf on losing it, but my research shows that keeping the loss is fundamentally the maintenance of a new lifestyle for the long haul. One of the best practices is to find a support network and MFP is repeatedly named as a great one. Now it is time for me to invest in my future by getting a little bit more involved here.
On a practical note, my plan is to keep tracking and add back in calories from my current deficit at 100 per week until I can stumble on my maintenance. I weigh myself every morning after using the bathroom, but I really focus on the 14 day moving average since the number on any given day can vary up to 4 lbs. So I'll be watching that moving average.
Anyway - no need to respond. Just reading about the rest of you swimming up stream in our food obsessed culture is inspiring enough. My plan is just to lay it out here once and a while in this thread to hold myself accountable. If it's helpful to others - that is great as well.
One last thing - thanks to all each of you do everyday to take responsibility for yourselves and all you've done to show me the path. The stories and best practices I've seen on this forum have been a big part of me being able to find that path for myself. Take some time this holiday season and feel grateful, not just for what you've done for yourself, but what you've done for others including me.