I know that dieting is usually a start and stop process. You get really into wanting to lose weight, manage to keep it up for a month and lose 5 pounds, and then old habits creep back in and you're right where you started. That's not how my mindset works for anything in life, weight loss included.
If I set my mind to something, I HAVE to finish it. I've been like that since I was a little kid. Getting into programs in school, getting into my #1 choice college, getting a job in the career I wanted. It was never a question of "if" this is going to happen. I knew it would if I worked at it. So I approached my next big challenge with weight loss in the same mindset. I had just started my job right out of school and I knew if I didn't change my habits now, it would be MUCH harder later. New routine I had to get used to, new city, more money to buy healthy food and such. It was the ideal time to go for it. And I did 100%. It was pretty awesome that the weight came off without too much difficulty. It also helped that I didn't have much of a social life in DC yet, so I could focus and not eat out in restaurants too much. After about 9 months of successfully losing weight, I was down to around 155 in October of 2010 and I met my current boyfriend.
Year 2 was SO completely different than Year 1. I was down to 150 last February, in a relationship, rocking an entire wardrobe of new clothes that were size 6 (when I started a size 16), and I was training for a 5K! Seriously? Me... running... 3.1 miles?? Yeah, I thought I was nuts too. But May 1st I ran my first 5K without stopping in DC, along Pennsylvania Ave and past the Capitol Building. I did 2 more that spring with my best time of 35:26. I wore a bikini this summer! And I did all of this while maintaining my weight loss.
I admit this fall got a bit chaotic, I like to eat dinner and have drinks with the boyfriend every weekend. A few pounds crept back on from the holidays, but I still kept up my habits 90% of the time, working out at least 4 days a week. It's helping me realize that you can't stop living your life forever. Sometimes you have to travel for work, eat a delicous dinner your boyfriend cooked you, or just enjoy a few beers. And while I battled with feeling guilty and angry with myself for "giving in," I need to learn that it's part of life! I always use the term Diet Hermit and it's something that I don't think is realisitic. It's great for getting weight off more quickly in the beginning, but it's not something that can be done long term.
So here I am with the first day of Year 3 in this whole thing. I'm right around 155, still fitting into my size 6 clothes (which is awesome because it's really expensive to keep buying new clothes). I admit my habits haven't been as stellar as usual in the past 2 weeks, but that doesn't stop me from getting right back on track today. I have another 5K scheduled for March 25th and it's helping me keep in focus. I still have a goal around 145 in mind, which is 10 pounds away. It seems SO far, even compared to when I was 200 pounds and looking at my 150 goal as INSANE! But I did it. And I can do it again. Even if it takes all of Year 3, I know I'll get there at some point. And stay there! I just have to keep reminding myself of where I started.
And where I am today (well, this was taken in October on my 25th birthday, exactly 3 years after the picture above).