As I get closer to my weight loss goal, I find myself wondering “what is the right weight for me?”, and “once I get there, how will I maintain it?”
I have been aiming for 150 lbs. That number is somewhat arbitrary, but is also grounded in my personal history.
I have been 5’7″ probably since I was around 15 years old. At that time, I ran cross-country on one of the best high school teams in New England (although it should be noted, I was one of the slowest runners). My vague recollection is that when I started high school, I weighed about 130 lbs.
My driver’s license says I weigh 140 lbs, so I am thinking that by the time I was a junior in high school, that was my weight. My parents were splitting up, and my brother was off at college, so my mom and I were going through our first experiments with “healthy eating”. I remember a lot of tofu pie. Does anyone make that anymore?
Anyway, looking back at pictures from that time, I was certifiably skinny, even if I didn’t feel like it surrounded by all the waifish runners on my cross-country running team. I wasn’t too skinny, just the kind of skinny a girl is when she’s tall, young, and very, very active.
My lifestyle in college was exactly what you might expect — plenty of partying, laziness, and junk food. I didn’t weigh myself much and was never all that concerned with my weight. But by the time I graduated at 21 years old, I was probably in the low 150s. Really not all that far from where I am now. I experimented with being vegetarian for a year or two, but I never really “got” it. I ate lots of broccoli and cheese, and eventually slipped back into eating meat.
When I moved to a ski town after college and met my husband-to-be, my lifestyle changed again. We did the requisite amount of ski town 20-something partying, but I walked miles every day as a waitress, and mixed in plenty of mountain biking, running, and skiing in the winter. As I write this, I realize that is when the yo-yo-ing began. The change of seasons in Vermont can wreak havoc on your habits, so every year I would go into the typical hibernation, no exercise, comfort-food-mode in late October, only to come out in early January feeling terrible about my fitness, and probably about 10 lbs heavier.
As the lightness of spring returned and the partying of ski season melted away with the snow each year, I would get motivated to run, and shed the weight from the previous year. Some years I did more than shed the weight, and by the time I was 27, I even ran a full marathon in October. Not too long after that, I encountered by first battle with plantar fasciitis, and had to take nearly two years away from running. My weight shot up nearly 20 lbs during that time. Not being able to run it off, I knew I had to adjust my diet, so I joined Weight Watchers and lost the weight, back down to about 150.
At 33, I had my first child, and made a return to fitness and losing the 50+ lbs I gained while pregnant my goal. In less than a year, I was back down in the low 150s. Then I had the Little Guy nearly 4 years ago, and again gained 50+ lbs (thanks a lot, Ben & Jerry!!), and I have been struggling to get down to the low 150s ever since.
I am nearly back there now, and knowing I won’t be having more kids has me motivated to get off this diet yo-yo once and for all. I actually am comfortable enough with the way I am eating now to keep it up for the foreseeable future. Tracking my food intake on LoseIt on my phone is easy enough that I don’t see myself stopping when I reach my goal. It keeps me honest with myself and only takes seconds to do. I have a new motivation to get and stay fit that I haven’t had since before I had kids. So, I have a feeling my weight loss may continue a bit past my goal. I realize it is just an arbitrary number on a scale, but I would love to have some extra cushion. So maybe I am not aiming for a number, but more of a “zone”.
Wow, what a ramble! But writing this has helped me identify the times in my life that have caused problems, and actually has given me confidence that I don’t ever have to go back there again. If you read this far… let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I am curious. Thank you!