Okay, that should actually read: April 1, 2011: 184 Pounds. Woohoo, I lost a pound last month! Actually, I went up and down quite a bit in March while I was sick and afterwards, starting at 185 pounds, going up to 191, down to 186, up to 193 (exactly one week ago) and down to 184 today. Yes, over the last 7 days I stayed 100% on plan with no junk or extras and lost 9 pounds. I feel solidly back on track.
So here's a snapshot of how it's gone over the last seven months, in case you haven't been paying attention to the sidebar:
September 1: 186
October 1: 186
November 1: 175
December 1: 181
January 1: 186
February 1: 185
March 1: 185
April 1: 184
I guess I'd call that maintenance. Sort of. I am *very proud* that I was able to not regain a lot of weight over that period of time. Really, losing weight is hard but people do it... often. But keeping off 90+ pounds? It's hard. In the past I have gained weight very rapidly... 40 pounds in 3 months a couple of times, and 80 pounds in about 10 months once. This little window of struggle, while difficult, does show me what I am capable of. I can do this, and more.
I did it once before... this "sort of maintaining" for awhile. You long timers may remember my post in April 2010: You, Too, Can Lose 0 Pounds in 20 Months (and be happy about it!). The interesting thing, to me, is that I have had four distinct periods in my weight loss since I began this journey. It went like this:
August 2007 - July 2008: went from 278 to 214 (-64 pounds) counting calories, eating healthier
July 2008 - March 2010: went from 214 to 234 (+ 20 pounds) still counting calories, eating healthier, struggling with binges
March 2010 - November 2010: went from 234 to 175 (-59 pounds) on Medifast
November 2010 - April 2010: went from 175 to 184 (+9 pounds) on Medifast, but struggling/going off plan
Interesting to me because I had two really great, nicely-paced losing phases (64 pounds in 11 months and 59 pounds in 8 months) interspersed with two struggling/maintaining phases where I'd gain a bit, lose a bit, gain a bit, lose a bit (first one lasting about 20 months, second one 5 months so far). I would say this is healthy. I have a binge eating problem, and taking the time to *work through* the issues associated with binge eating, overeating, losing weight and dealing with *why* I was morbidly obese to begin with takes TIME. And if I could stress one thing to all the people who read here or email me asking how to lose weight/why they are a failure/how they will ever lose over 100 pounds, it would be: take the time. Yes, losing weight for a year seems daunting. Losing weight for 2 years? Terrifying. How about 3 years... would you put in that much time to get to a "normal" BMI? Hard to contemplate. I am going on four years here, blogging the whole time, doing *something* about my weight loss the whole time. Is it a long time? Yes. But it would have passed anyway. Is it worth it? Oh YES. It is.
So try not to think about how long it might take. Hey, lots of people lose faster than I do and are successful. Maybe you'll be one of those people. But if not, IT IS OKAY. It is okay to have plateaus or small gains or struggles, as long as you don't give up and keep plugging along. Keep going. Just make this part of your daily life and you'll get there eventually. Sooner is better, for our health, but a reasonably slow path can also result in greater personal growth and the ability to KEEP it off. Find *your* path, whatever the time or distance, and make it work for you.
I truly believe I am now in a fifth phase: one where I go from 184 pounds to wherever I land as goal (150? 160? Not sure yet). I am still doing the Medifast plan (5 Medifast meals plus a Lean & Green meal I prep myself and sometimes share pictures of on this blog) which is low carb and really helps me get my focus off food.
Let's make this a good month!
*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. Medifast states an "average weight loss of up to 2 to 5 pounds a week."*
18 hours ago