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Old 12-19-2006, 09:02 PM   #1  
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Default My Fourth Anniversary

December 20 marks my 4th anniversary, and I decided to do an anniversary post this year for a couple reasons. First my journey has been a little different than some of the other maintainers here and thus my perspective also different. Second, my path is about to take another twist, and I feel a need for transition, but more on that later.

I started this journey not so much because I wanted to lose weight, although I certainly welcomed that side effect, but because at 289 pounds, there were many things in my life that I wanted to do, like ride a bicycle with my husband, walk my dogs around the block, or not have to prove myself over and over at work, that were just becoming impossible. So throughout December of 2002, I made a plan, figured out what I would do differently, what I was willing to change and what I wasnít, and on December 20, my new lifestyle was born. This is the date I count my anniversary from, the day everything changed. I never had a goal weight, just a goal lifestyle, and it took my body about a year to catch up. To this day, no matter how much I reflect on it, I do not know why this time it worked, and previous weight loss ultimately resulted in weight regain. I know the focus on lifestyle, long term commitment, and de-emphasis of weight as the goal in itself were key, but beyond that I have only vague notions. I find it relatively easy to maintain now, because I love my new life, although to say there isnít a lot of work involved would be inaccurate, but the motivation and commitment are there.

The last four years had a lot of ups and downs for me, from a weight perspective. The first year was initially losing the weight. The second year was very constant. The next year I was pregnant with some moderate complications, and had to change my lifestyle, limited exercise and radically different eating requirements with about 7 months of nausea. This had predictable resultsóa 60 pound pregnancy gain. I spent the fourth year taking that back off. Doesnít sound like a lot of maintaining, except in the context of a lifestyle change which I maintained over that period, and returned to with gusto when DD was born.

My biggest lessons learned over the last 4 years:
  • Consistency and commitment do much more good than motivation.
  • Moving (exercise) is one of the greatest pleasures in life.
  • Good nutrition is about much more than calorie counting.
  • A long term commitment means that there will be major changes in life and sometimes the right thing to do is change with that. Sometimes it is to cling to what worked before. Which is right is almost never obvious.
  • Sometimes when things are very hard, the best thing to do is just survive, do the best you can, and clean up the mess later.
  • Losing weight and being thin arenít moral issues. They might be a health issue, but weight doesn't make anyone a good or bad person.
  • Some things are more important than weight control. It is not OK to throw out the kidís birthday cake because I have a problem with it.
  • Weight is a useful number to track, but in the end, it is just a number and doesn't come close to defining me.

Finally, transition. I find that my life is about to change again. We will be trying for a second child in 2007, and I need to find a way not to remake two of the mistakes I made the first time around: not to gain 60 lbs and simultaneously not focus on the weight gain rather than the pregnancy. I need to start to celebrate my life and my familyís more than my weight loss. I really feel like I need this change of focus. I find it becomes sort of tiring to continually define myself by how much weight Iíve lost. Iím not entirely certain what this means to how much I participate here. I know Iíll be around, but maybe less, maybe more. I think this situation falls under the 4th bullet above.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:19 PM   #2  
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Congratulations, Anne I completely understand your point about how tiring it is to continually define yourself by how much weight you've lost. Now that it really is a lifestyle, it's time to define it as the new "normal" and just live.

Enjoy working on expanding your family

Mel
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:20 PM   #3  
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Congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for the great insights and...good luck on peanut #2!
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:03 PM   #4  
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Anne,

I loved your post. You are a wise and insightful woman, and for my sake I hope that the changes that come in your life do not mean I hear from you less here at 3FC!

Keep up the JOY in who you are and all you can do! You are an inspiration!

Lindy
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:51 PM   #5  
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Congratulations, Anne - on your anniversary and on trying for baby #2. Enjoyed your post very much. I really appreciate how insightful and articulate you are. I wish you the best as you continue on your journey - wherever it takes you.
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:17 AM   #6  
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Congratulations on four years, Anne!

What a wonderful post with such wise insights, full of thought and depth. I always take away something to ponder from reading you. You've been my hero for surviving the major life change of pregnancy and childbirth and NOT gaining all your weight back. Nope, in fact, you buckled down and are right back where you wanted to be a year later, which is just an incredible feat!

I have no doubt that you'll handle #2 with the wisdom and lessons you learned from #1 and have a much easier go of it. By the time you get to #3, you'll be a pro!

No matter where life leads you, we hope you'll have time for sharing your life lessons with us - we all need to hear them.
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:49 AM   #7  
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Dear Anne, My family walked. I remember walks with my parents when I was very small. I walked with my children, (I had one and adopted 7) and I walked with my two grandchildren that I raised. By the time they were two, they would walk a mile through the woods with me. It is not a power walk by any means but it instills in them the need to leave the world of electronics behind. It is so good for an expecting Mom and such wonderous things you and your small one learn as you examine the world together.
Buying food that you know is to be eaten by a child, makes you stop and consider health. The same goes for cooking for a child. If they don't eat refined sugar, they don't crave it and you don't have it around to tempt you!
How I wish there were a small person in my home. SOOOOOOOOOOOO much work but so much joy.
People always say "Have a good day" and I always reply "Every day is a good day. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to live one over."
I love my life now, 150 miles from a Walmart or a McDonalds, with mountains all around but I cherish the memories of small people discovering the world and all that is possible.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:30 AM   #8  
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Anne, congratulations on your 4 yrs. and lifestyle change. I think it's so great that you and your DH are planning for baby #2, that is so exciting. Thanks for sharing the great insight with the rest of us. You have done awesome and are an inspiration to the rest of us. You are 100% right , the number on the scale isn't what defines us individually as people. It's easy to forget this in our daily struggles with weight loss and maintenance. I hope to see you still posting often. You have so much to offer to us.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:24 AM   #9  
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Anne, it never occured to me to count my anniversary date as the day my lifestyle changed, instead of the day I hit goal. But it makes perfect sense. That's when you became successful at your true goal, a healthy life. Thank you for that thought.

Thank you for your contributions. And bless your new undertaking. You have lovely perspective.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:29 PM   #10  
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Anne, and thanks for such an insightful post. I've been thinking about it for several days.
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:30 PM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wndranne View Post
So throughout December of 2002, I made a plan, figured out what I would do differently, what I was willing to change and what I wasnít,
Anne, You really hit it on the button. So many posters wonder what the key is to losing weight. You have to plan. You have to want to do it. I did a similar thing (only my planning phase took more like 4 months! ). After the planning, of course you have to give yourself the time to accomplish your goals.

I have no doubt that you will get through 2007 and have your new baby, with fewer complications and you won't gain as much weight as the first. Why? Because you're planning it. Best of luck to you and your family.
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