Thanks so much everyone
I appreciate all your kind words. Most of all, I'm absolutely thrilled to know that my own progress or the little thoughts that float around in my head and occasionally get spewed out on 3FC might help or encourage somebody on their weight loss journey. That would truly mean the world to me.
A few people have messaged me asking me more about my plan, so I thought I'd reply here (as I told them I would). I truly don't have any specific details on food I eat or exercise that I do. I don't think I do anything much differently than anybody else. I have learned to embrace baked chicken breasts and steamed veggies on a whole new level just like many of us have. I focused on whole foods, lean proteins (lean cuts of meat, egg whites, beans, etc), high fiber bulky foods (non-starchy veggies), complex carbs (oatmeal and popcorn are both completely whole grain by definition...love 'em), and while I do eat fairly low fat, I do understand the value of healthy fats from sources like salmon, olive oil, and avocado. I calorie count and stay between 1100 and 1800. I build up a deficit during the week and eat a bit higher on the weekends. My once-a-month planned indulgence day keeps me on track during the month because I feel like I have to "earn" it, and having a day when I can eat whatever I want for a whole day removes any urgency to eat junk every other day. As I said, my exercise is pitiful. I am active for 60 minutes a day. 15-minute walk right after I wake up, then the rest of it might be vigorous cleaning (vacuuming or something), walking around the store or the mall, or more walks...things of that nature. So that's it, my plan isn't all that specific. Eating balanced healthy and whole foods within a calorie range, moderate exercise, and planned occasional indulgence.
Perhaps if I had to elaborate a bit more on my actual philosophical approach to the whole thing, I would repeat "One step at a time." Sometimes that has been actual physical steps away from Mrs. Field's Cookies. I have truly been in the mall spurring myself away, step by step, away from Mrs. Fields, haha, each step farther away got easier. But in a less literal sense, I like the one step at a time approach because it implies that one can either succeed or fail at any given moment, and it is not dependent on past successes or past failures. And future success or failure is not dependent on the past. Just because I slipped up and ate a candy bar yesterday doesn't mean that I have to fail today also. Or, just because I lost a pound last week doesn't mean I'm immune from gaining it back. All I can do is choose to make on-plan decisions at that very moment. I cannot control what Megan-in-6-months will do, all I can control is right-now-Megan. I focus all my energy, or at least strive to, on focusing on making the best decisions I can at each and every moment. I try not to worry about what I did yesterday or further back, and I don't obsess over what I might be doing in the future. It's kind of a freeing mindset, really. It frees you from the burdens of past failures and fears about what may happen in the future. Reality is, you can only control yourself moment by moment. If you make enough good decisions, it will set you up for success in the future and work on undoing damage from the past.
Anyways, thanks again for your words. And I'm definitely not going anywhere...I will attest that maintenance is every bit as challenging at times as weight loss, and I still need the advice, support, and occasional butt-kicking from 3FC