November 3, 2014 is the 5 year anniversary of the day I reached my goal weight. I have maintained a healthy lifestyle since that time although my size and shape has fluctuated some. I have thought about this day for a long while. The statistics surrounding successful weight loss and maintenance are not promising. I took mental note at the time I was losing weight that somewhere around 50% of people gain weight back in the first year of losing, 90% within 3 years and 99% within 5 years (whether or not that is true, that is what my mind believed).
My journey has taken me through counting calories, intense exercise, extreme soreness, injury, recovery, binges, cutting things out, adding things in… and back again. I’ve hated myself, surprised myself, been proud of myself and, most recently, have begun to cherish myself.
5 years ago, I couldn’t run a mile without walking.
Today, I went 3.1 with a dear friend completing her first 5K without losing my breath.
5 years ago, I was defined by my work and my accomplishments.
Today, I define myself by the quality of my relationships (including the one with myself).
5 years ago, I counted calories and logged my food every day. I ate protein bars and drank protein shakes often. Egg white scramble and oatmeal were staples. My vegetables were usually frozen first.
Today, I eat more healthy than unhealthy from the best places I can (local farms as much as possible). I eat fresh vegetables with more meals than not (including breakfast), drink whole milk and eat whole eggs.
5 years ago, I saw my body as the enemy I could not let defeat me.
Today, I see my body as my temple, the only place I have to live.
5 years ago, I couldn’t imagine my future self.
Today, I stopped trying.
I was expecting this milestone to feel incredible. Maybe not as gleeful as my wedding day or when my baby took his first steps but I was expecting to feel SOMETHING special. Like so many other times throughout my journey, my emotions during anticipation were much more intense than the actual event. I am reminded in this moment that the unexpected makes life worth living.
My only plan for today was to run a race with my friend. I ended up running with 3 friends who all spontaneously came over afterwards while my husband made us breakfast. The frantic tidying I did between the time we got home and they arrived to eat, made my husband and I decide to sell our unneeded books. In the parking lot of the half price book store, we unexpectedly came upon his parents and his brother’s family. Had we been delayed 5 minutes, we would have missed them. After chatting for a while, I insisted on taking the books inside so I could rendezvous with another friend at our appointed time.
While inside the book store, I crossed paths with a kindred spirit from my childhood who I had been wanting to see. She had been thinking of me too! Had we delayed going into the store, I would have missed her. Had she went to the original store she intended to visit, I would have missed her. As it turned out, we connected and talked until I had to leave.
My husband was able to visit with his family while I went to my appointment and we finished up at exactly the same time. When we sat down to dinner together, I needed a moment to just absorb the grand nature of this day. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. We had a wonderful time and deep conversation… I will rest with a full heart tonight!
A new chapter begins for me now. I don’t know what the future will bring and I’ve realized trying to figure it out makes me crazy. I know what I need to do plan for retirement, pay my bills and take care of my health. Those are all daily decisions that add up over time.
The trouble with living in the future is I never get there. No matter how intensely I try or how hard I work, it’s always today when I wake up. The trouble with living in the past is I can’t ever undo it. No mater how intensely I try or how hard I work, it’s always today when I wake up.
So…Living today it is!
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading