I was standing over the stove yesterday whisking a cheese sauce for a new recipe I was trying (Baked Spaghetti Squashand Cheese…totally worth the time to make!) when it occurred to me that I used to sit down to whisk a cheese sauce when I weighed 300 pounds. My lower back killed me any time I stood longer than a few minutes.
I’ve written more than a few times about how there’s no way I’d be where I am today – 150 pounds lighter than I was 8 years ago – without the support of some pretty amazing people, both in my “real” life and online. As I was losing weight, I was in touch daily on the Weight Watchers 100+ discussion boards, sometimes posting for hours in order to work out a difficult food or body issue. My friends and family were always there with words of encouragement and to help celebrate a milestone.
In maintenance, the support I need is more subtle. In fact, I often don’t recognize support as “support” until the moment has passed. At this end of the scale, support is a reminder, an experience, an appreciation. It’s remembering that at 300 pounds, my back ached while whisking cheese sauce or, in the case of this photo, rolling out lefse. I remember exactly how I was feeling and thinking at that moment my aunt told me to smile. I wanted to cry my back hurt so much, but I refused to sit down because I refused to let others see that my weight was causing me such pain. After all, I wasn’t really THAT overweight! (Oh the lies I told myself…)
Support is a friend sharing her own realization that I could appreciate and make my own. I had lunch last weekend with my friend, Chris, whom I had met on the 100+ boards eight years ago when I was just starting my journey and she had already lost more than 100 pounds. During lunch, she lamented a bit about how she’s gained some of her weight back, then almost in the same breath, she corrected herself and focused on the positive.
“It’s been 10 years since I weighed over 300 pounds,” she said. “I’ve been maintaining a weight far below my highest weight. That’s a huge accomplishment!”
Yes, it is. And her “Eureka!” moment was all the support I needed to remind me how far I’ve come as well. While I, too, would like my scale number to be a little lower, I have maintained a large weight loss for more than six years. While I can’t rely on that reminder alone to keep the weight off (yes…it still takes daily concentration and dedication to maintain), it’s sometimes a good idea to step back and look at the big picture (pun intended).
Each of us can be our own best support system. Even if you’re still in the process of losing weight or if you’re stuck on a plateau or feeling blah in maintenance, support yourself by reminding yourself how far you’ve come. Maybe do it the next time you’re at the gym or out for a walk or run, or even when you’re standing at and not sitting by the stove whisking a cheese sauce.
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!