I wanted to thank Lori for giving me the opportunity to write in her absence and be able to share some of my experiences on her wonderful blog! Every time I read through Lori’s posts, I’m so impressed by the care that she puts into her food choices and the absolute commitment she has to her physical fitness.
In case you’re not familiar with my story, I used to weigh 305 pounds. Twelve years ago, I lost 158 pounds and went from a tight size 26/28 to a size 6/8. Losing weight was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, but maintaining the weight loss for all these years is even more important than the number of pounds I lost.
People sometimes ask me about how difficult it is to maintain my weight. I often tell them that maintaining my weight is the fun part. All the hard work I put into losing weight was for one overriding goal; to get healthy and stay that way to the best of my ability.
Maintenance is a balancing act, especially the first year or two. It definitely took some practice to make some of the following decisions:
- How much more food should I eat to maintain my weight?
- Was the level of exercise I was doing enough?
- How careful did I need to be on a daily basis?
To be honest with you, the first question was the hardest to figure out. To my surprise, I quickly realized that to maintain my new, healthier weight I only needed to eat a little bit more food than I had as I was losing weight. And that little bit of food was probably only about 250 or 300 calories in total. That surprised me.
As far as the exercise went, I am a speed walker for my exercise of choice, so I just continued to do that, with the occasional very slow 5K thrown in. I continued to strength train a few times a week – but not as much as Lori does! She is amazing.
And because I had truly changed my lifestyle, and not just dieted on a temporary basis, I didn’t need to be that careful with regards to my food choices. I had learned how to eat the things I truly enjoyed in moderation and that was so freeing.
So the maintenance years have been 100% enjoyable. It’s been fun to buy clothes in the regular sized departments, it’s been fun to swim with my seven kids whereas before I didn’t even own a bathing suit, and it’s been wonderful to feel like I’m an active woman even as I get older.
No matter where you are in your journey, whether you are maintaining a healthy weight or desire to lose a few pounds, know that in the end – staying at a healthy weight by making great food choices and exercising on a regular basis is a small thing in return for the wonderful rewards of health.
Thanks again Lori – I so admire all you have accomplished!
Thank *you* Diane!