Monday, January 5, 2015

Maintenance: Year Five

It comes as the tiniest of shocks to me that Christmas has come and gone which means the fifth anniversary of making my goal weight has also come and gone. It didn't quite exactly sneak up on me this year, but it was one of the last things on my mind. My focus right now is growing a healthy little Peanut, which means my current weight is pretty low on my priority list. Besides, weight was never the sole measure of my health. The whole concept has become even more comprehensive over the years and my weight is a much smaller part of it. Two years worth of running injuries have taught me that focusing solely on numbers alone isn't going to cut it. It's taught me that you can never be to proud to return to humble basic exercises and that you're never as balanced as you think you are.

Five years ago the idea of only weighing in once a month would have filled me with dread. That's not to say that watching the number go up isn't unsettling; it is but I've already covered that in a previous post. What I find most remarkable is the fact that I feel like an entirely different person than the first day at my goal weight. Until recently, I never knew what to call the thought process that I adopted and continue to use daily. About a month ago though, I took a mindfulness meditation class on a whim. While the instructor was describing what mindfulness is and how it can be used, I realized that's what I've been practicing ever since I decided that I wanted to lose weight.

The fascinating part of mindfulness, at least the way I've been practicing it, is that it has applications far beyond weight loss and the subsequent maintenance. I know I pay far more attention to my own moods, feelings and reactions in the moment now. That allows me the chance to quickly acknowledge I feel that way and then let it go so that I can move forward. It also lets me understand how certain situations or things will trigger particular feelings and gives me a chance to reflect upon my reactions, adjusting them as appropriate for the future. Perhaps it's  just part of growing up, but for the first time in my life, I'm happy and stable. I've suffered through my lows and I've danced through my highs; I know I'll see more of both throughout my life but I feel confident that I'm mentally equipped to handle them.

Previous Maintenance Posts:
Maintenance: Year One
Maintenance: Year Two
Maintenance: Year Three
Maintenance: Year Four