Nearly six years ago, when I weighed 256 pounds and started this whole diet/lifestyle change thing, I remember thinking that reaching 138 pounds would be a good goal weight for me - that seems like a random number, but I believe it was the top of what Weight Watchers recommended for someone my height, so I went with it. I wanted something that was fairly easy to maintain without having to be excessively stringent with my food every single day. One of the 100-pound-plus loser bloggers that I regularly read at the time was, in my outsider's viewpoint, very thin and had to work very hard at staying that way. That was not what I wanted out of maintenance. So I kept that in the back of my mind - I wanted the freedom to enjoy my food without guilt, I wanted to keep off the weight that I'd worked so hard to lose, and I wanted to be normal...not a dieter, not someone who'd recently lost an enormous amount of weight, but just fit in like everyone else.
Of course, all that is fine to say when you are a long way from 138 pounds. Once I hit 150, I started to reevaluate my goal number, all the while continuing to workout with my trainers, plus I was running on top of that. I decided to see how hard it would be to get in the 140s, and guess what? It took a lot of cutting back to get there! The lowest I got down to was 146 pounds, which sounds like a lot for someone my height, but I looked really small - all of that exercise was a huge factor with giving me a lot of muscle.
Circa July 2010, around my smallest weight. Also back when I used to dress up, too!
I continued trying to lose weight, which was ridiculous, because what was I trying to prove? Of course, that was when I was still weighing myself, and even though I looked good, I kept going after a lower number. My body had other ideas, though - I never got lower than 146 pounds - and eventually I realized that I was doing a really good job of maintaining that weight, so I called it a day with the diet and officially transitioned into maintenance.
So, to recap: I never actually reached my randomly-set goal weight. I never picked a day to begin maintenance; rather, my body decided I was in maintenance. I didn't actively choose to maintain my weight until I'd inadvertently been doing so for a while. I took a round-about way to get to there, that's for sure - but I'm very happy that I got to that point, seeing as this was the first time in all of my dieting years that I actually thought beyond the diet.
AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you'd like us to address - here's the link to our Ask Us (almost) Anything form - click here and ask away!