A monarch caterpillar weighs 8 grams by the time it spins its cocoon. It emerges a butterfly weighing a mere half-gram.
I weighed 296 pounds when I started spinning my final cocoon and 138 when I emerged.
“So, do you suppose I’m done?” I asked my doctor.
“I think you can stop now,” she said.
I weighed 138 on March 12, 2007. (My body lost another 10 pounds after goal). I’d lost 160 pounds in two years, two months, and 12 days. I was now a butterfly, but one in danger of being caught and pinned on velvet since I didn’t know the first thing about flying.
Maintenance was never something I’d taken seriously.
The last time I kissed 138 was in 1990 after losing 40 pounds. A doctor told me I needed to lose at least another 10. I lost the doctor and found some food.
“Finally, I can eat again!” I said and drove through McDonalds.
Every time I lost weight it was like I was a senior in high school. I couldn’t wait to graduate and leave home, so sure was I that life would be easier without homework and parents. Then I paid my first rent check. And electric bill. And car repair. Real life was not sexy.
Neither is maintenance. This time I knew it wasn’t smart to celebrate with a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard and a corn dog. A sleeve of Thin Mints wasn’t a reward. But what rewards were left? I looked the same every day and people forgot I’d lost weight. Compliments came fewer and further in between. I felt like last year’s prom queen.
I realized maintenance had to be its own reward. Instead of celebrating with food, I got in the trenches and found three other women who were maintaining 100+ weight losses. We formed a small online support group (the Maintaining Divas) and became best friends. Dr. Barbara Berkeley (Refuse to Regain) discovered my blog and asked if I’d start a maintenance blog with her, and I did.
Transforming into a butterfly was always the easy part. Learning how to use the wings…that was the real challenge.
But learn I did. I’m still learning, in fact. My weight has fluctuated due to surgery, stress and medications, but I’m still going strong in maintenance, largely because of the support I get from family, friends and – big time! – the blogging community. You (yes, you!) help me every day through your readership, even if you’re a silent stalker…LOL Support, advice, tough love…thank you for all of it and keep it coming!
To my Divas, thank you just isn’t enough. MA, AJ, and Sondra, we’ve been together for years now and you are my rocks, my BFFs and the best ass-kickers I know. I love you ladies.
March 12, 2007, is my rebirthday. Help me celebrate by continuing to dedicate or rededicate yourself to being the healthiest you can be. That’s the best gift ever.