In the beginning of my journey, I tried to imagine what it would be like if I actually met my goals. I remember sitting at my computer in the living room, making some of those first posts, and thinking that it was impossible. I wondered why the world I was even trying! Even as I got my first tastes of victory in every pound I lost, I felt like I would ultimately fail. I assumed that I might lose 10 or even 20 pounds, but that I would be unable to maintain the loss let alone continue the trend. It's funny how determined I was to succeed yet how convinced I was that I would fail. Huh...that might be a good subject to explore in the future....
On the rare occasion that I actually dare let myself envision being successful...I figured it would feel amazing! I would be substantially happier with myself! The sense of pride would be great! I would buy new clothes in a size I previously only dreamed of! I would be more confident! I would have energy to run and play with my kids! My eyes would sparkle with the light of ten thousand glittery unicorns! I would develop a spectacular pair of magical rainbow wings! I would dance with moon fairies amongst the twinkling stars!
Some of those things did happen (surely you couldn't possibly guess which ones didn't). But despite overall feeling much better both physically and emotionally....I still have really bad days. Like anyone. It's not like I ever assumed I wouldn't....I guess I just thought that they would be more easily counteracted with pride and a sense of accomplishment by simply comparing where I was to where I am. And sometimes, it is. But occasionally it's not. And I think it just stems from living a good portion of life overweight. That image is engrained into my brain. It will always, always be there. I knew it would be, but without experience I had no way of knowing just how sneaky it would be....disappearing for weeks at a time and then BAM...there it is.
I never imagined that the biggest challenge of sticking with my new healthier lifestyle wouldn't be eating right or getting enough physical activity, but rather battling that image. The image of an obese me. The feeling of being exhausted but not having enough energy to eke out the determination to do anything about it. I can forget all about that image and those feelings for long periods of time, when I'm eating a fairly balanced diet and exercising my mind/body on a regular basis. Then (for example) give me some good ol' PMS cravings for pizza and chocolate, some excessive water retention and couple it with a headache, cramps, and zero energy....and there I am, feeling just like I did when I weighed 90 pounds more. Only not really....there is still no comparison...I logically know this....but in my head, that image and those feelings are still as fresh as they were when they were reality.
I can (mostly) eat right, and I can exercise...no problem, I got that pretty much down. Even when I give in to a crazy craving or go on a binge...I am confident that I can get back on track. But the hardest thing, by FAR, is to keep myself grounded in the present. To be okay with the fact that there will always be "fat days", and to recognize that it doesn't mean I am doomed for "relapse" so to speak. Just because I have a bad day or even a bad week, it does not equate to the person I used to be. It sounds stupid, but it can be hard to remember. I have no clue if that makes sense, but that is my biggest battle.
If you have lost weight and are now mostly maintaining, what is your biggest battle? Or if you have not yet started your journey, or you are still in the middle of the weight loss process.... what do you foresee will be your biggest battle once you get to the "lifetime maintenance" stage?