I Cannot Believe It Has Been 14 Years

Fourteen years ago this month I reached my healthy weight of 148 pounds and was featured in our local newspaper for my weight loss success.

I know it’s hard to see, but the date on the paper is March 1998. Soooo long ago.

Honestly, when I reached that weight I was not certain that I would be able to maintain the weight. I remember being a little worried that I was in the paper. After all, what if I gained the weight back and people no longer recognized me as a fit healthy woman, but as an obese woman who briefly lost weight and promptly gained it back.

Little by little as time went by I became more and more confident that I would not promptly regain my weight back.

Years 1 and 2 – 1998 and 1999

Those two years I spent very carefully monitoring my food intake through portion control, I weighed myself every day, and I also exercised every single day when possible.

Year 3 – 2000

I got pregnant with my fourth child. He was born in September of 2000 and I lost all my pregnancy weight by Christmas of that year.

Year 4 – 2001

Pretty boring, but I just kept on maintaining, exercising, and weighing.

Year 5  – 2002

Another pregnancy and another baby. We were so excited, and I gained more weight than I meant to; however, I knew that year 6 would give me plenty of time to lose weight.

Year 6 – 2003

This year I lost weight from the pregnancy. We also moved from one state to another, which could have thrown me off due to the stress of moving the family and a new baby, but I just focused on doing what I knew worked and got back to my healthy weight.

Year 7 – 2004

Another boring beginning of the year. Maintaining, life, etc. I got pregnant again mid-year. (It seems to be a theme!)

Year 8 – 2005

Another sweet baby, another few months losing pregnancy weight. I got back to my healthy weight and was so happy to be a mom to six kids.

Year 9 – 2006

This year we moved once again. Stress multiplied as the house we bought had all kinds of problems that required lots of repairs. Think about that show on Home & Garden Television, Holmes Inspection, and you have our house.

Year 10 – 2007

You guessed it. Another sweet baby boy was born this year. So thrilled and so much weight to lose again. This pregnancy was hard on me because of extreme back pain.

Year 11 – 2008

Boring weight maintenance again.

Year 12 – 2009

Boring weight maintenance.

Year 13 – 2010

This year was hard as we lost our sixth son Joshua when I was 16.5 weeks pregnant. Although I wanted to eat to soothe the grief, the previous years of maintenance held me in good stead as I stayed true to my plan.

Year 14 – 2011

Boring weight maintenance.

So there you have it. A year by year description of my weight maintenance journey. As I frequently tell people, the most important thing about your weight loss journey is not just getting to goal, but rather staying at goal weight and loving the rest of your life at a healthy weight.

I’m beginning to think that boring weight maintenance is a good thing. It means that your weight isn’t the focus of your life any longer. Instead, all the other things that make your life rich are the focus.

Do you have any thoughts on weight maintenance at this point of your journey? Diane


34 thoughts on “I Cannot Believe It Has Been 14 Years

  1. Jill says:

    Thank you for this post Diane. I am still worried I will gain my weight back. It does lessen over time- but the fear is never all the way gone. Your post gives me hope that it will continue to lessen as a worry for me.
    You are amazing. What you have accomplished is amazing. You have taken what you have learned on your journey and you inspire others to follow in your footsteps!

  2. Miz says:

    I often look back too and think “18 yrs? feels like yesterday and seems like I cannot even remember who that person was who subsisted on junkfood only!”

  3. vickie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know it was a very hard one.

    I am very aware of women (now, at this stage in my own life, even though my youngest is 14) who do the very remarkable thing of have the baby and then lose their pregnancy weight. It is something I never did. I also never had a baby bump. I had baby mountains.

    I also tend to get a bit alarmed when weight loss/maintenance people write books. They tend to regain during that process (for a variety of reasons, sometimes it is the pressure or the break from routine, often it is the fact that they wrote the book WAY TOO SOON.). I have been very comfortable with your process because I figure if you can have multiple babies and get back to your maintenance weight, then you can probably handle the publication/publicity process.

    I have ‘my years’ posted on my sidebar (not as many years as you and no babies) and refer to them frequently as time passes so quickly and they all blend together. I think (year thing) this is a very good exercise for weight loss/maintenance people to do and then keep (as I said, mine live on my blog sidebar) to see over all progress.

  4. me says:

    I do think about it now with trepidation. My BFF lost a lot of weight, and I have watched how difficult it is for her in her mind when she gains three pounds. The freak-out of, “Is this the beginning of the end?”

  5. Julie Lost and Found says:

    I will be bookmarking this one Diane.

    I love this statement “the most important thing about your weight loss journey is not just getting to goal, but rather staying at goal weight and loving the rest of your life at a healthy weight.” “loving the rest of your life”

    Your story is so inspiring!

  6. Susan says:

    As I have maintained my orginal loss I know in my head and heart that I am a different person than the person that was 197 pounds. The me of 2012 exercises, keeps a food journal, pays attention to what I eat and why ie is this emotinal eating?
    I have been maintaining this loss of 40lbs since 1999. I know there is no going back nor would I want to! I am comfortable in my skin now, and I had four surgies for medical reasons since then so there were times when i could not exercise yet I still did not gain the weight back I feel it is gone for good now so long as I stick to my new permanet behaviors.

  7. blackhuff says:

    I read what you say in each and every year you have posted and applaud you for maintaining over the years. But I want to know, was it difficult or is it still, to maintain the weight? I’m in my second year and I must say, it’s difficult to maintain weight, more than it was to lose it.

  8. Sharon says:

    Of all your posts, I think I most loved this one! What a story and what inspiration. My weight loss timeline has some ups and downs, but I’m headed right now to write a similar story in my journal about my own journey. It’s something that needs to be recorded and kept to encourage me AND maybe to encourage others, just as you’ve done for me!

  9. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Diane – amazing & I love to read the chronology!!! This should really help people!

    Like you & Miz, it is hard to believe I have been at this so long but for me, it is just life! 🙂

  10. Holly says:

    I am sorry for your loss and can understand how difficult it must have been not to eat through the grief. Wow you have done so great and you are a great example of long term success. It is so important to see people maintaining and succeeding long term!!

  11. Lori says:

    Congratulations! It is possible to keep weight off – and you are proof of that. You can’t just get there and automatically stay at goal. It takes just as much dedication to keep the weight off as to lose it.

  12. Jeremy Logsdon says:

    First of all, let me express sympathy for your loss. My wife is presently in her fifteenth week of pregnancy, and at the moment, I can’t imagine anything more disabling than a miscarriage.

    However, in happier news, I LOVE getting to read about fourteen years of maintenance. It makes me realize that it can be done.

  13. jeanette says:

    Diane you are such an inspiration to us that have not been maintaining but for a few years. All we hear about and read about is that odds are stacked high against us but then, there you are, to show us it CAN be done and done well! Thank you.
    (I also lost my son Justin at 32 weeks…..29 years ago. )

  14. Dawn says:

    Loved that even during losing the pregnancy weight it was still “maintenance”. I know for myself still being in the first few years of maintenance if the weight creeps up I want to call it “weight loss” again when really it is just maintenance and getting comfortable being here 🙂 Thanks for the reminder and what an amazing journey. Very very sorry for your lost too.

  15. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    First, I had no idea that you’d lost a baby! I am so sorry…

    Second, as someone who never had a baby, I used to “joke” that I couldn’t blame my weight on pregnancies and, to be honest, am in awe of women who lose a tremendous amount of weight and then go on to get pregnant. Thank you for being such a wonderful role model in that area!

  16. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    I CAN believe it! Because of all I have learned about you from your blog:) I am still trying to define my own maintenance. For me it seems to be the hardest part, maybe because I need to still find the balance of eating as a lifestyle.

  17. marie says:

    I agree that ‘boring’ maintenance is key. But it’s really not boring at all because you are living a full life with love and work, trials and adventure all around. The fact that you went through pregnancies and such a hard loss and still managed to stay in control is so inspiring.

  18. E. Jane says:

    Congratulations on this amazing accomlishment! I also want to thank you for posting a timeline of what was going on in your life and how you maintained. Also, I am sorry for your loss, which must have been very traumatic. You have done an amazing job, and I am so grateful that you share your process with us every week on this blog forum. How generous of you! My best to you with gratitude and best wishes!

  19. John - Diane's Husband says:

    Diane, I am so proud of you. You have been though a lot these last 14 years and yet you have stayed committed to maintaining your weight loss. You never give in to excuses. If your foot hurts, you ride your bike. If there is an unfriendly dog in one direction of the neighborhood, you go the other way. I have seen you walk in the snow and in the rain. Whereas I often look for excuses, you find ways to succeed. What an inspiration for me and our children. Love you, John

  20. Taryl says:

    Wow, it has been a long time! I find your history and that of other maintainers, just doing the life thing and monitoring their weight or correcting it when stuff (like wonderful babies!) happens to cause a gain, a very encouraging thing. It is under our control and we can adjust and tweak and keep at it with success – that is the maintenance message we all need, not how many of us fail, but how with daily vigilance and permanent habit changes it IS doable.

    You’re always so encouraging, thank you!

  21. 'Drea says:

    Congratulations on 14 (sometimes boring) 🙂 years of success.

    “Do you have any thoughts on weight maintenance at this point of your journey?”

    Yeah, I’d like to finally get rid of about 10 or 15 more pounds and maintain at that point but I haven’t gotten to my goal yet….

  22. cookie says:

    You did really great, especially considering being a mom of seven children. It would have been easy just to give up, but you didn’t. Great!

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