plank pose for the better part of a day if I had to. (And wouldn't life be cool if a girl were called upon to hang out in plank pose for the better part of a day? I mean, srsly. Think about it.) Attitude-wise, I feel sharper, calmer, and more resilient. I feel happier, more able to cope with whatever comes at me. Losing weight doesn't make life perfect by any means, but it can make the stresses and strains easier to manage.
I've been on maintenance since mid-July, though I actually continued to lose weight through August. My weight has now stabilized smack dab in the middle of the "normal" BMI range for my height. (Insert standard qualifiers about the limitations of BMI here.) What's working? you might ask. If you've been following my adventures in middle-aged embodiment, you already know the answer to this question, because what's working now is what has been working all along: Mindful eating, moderate exercise, and a supportive social network. (Thank you, Goose. Thank you, awesome LAP at Work group. Thank you, Facebook friends. Thank you, sisters [literal and figurative] and yogis.)
Is it really that simple? I feel sheepish and a little surprised to be saying this, but, yes, for me it has been that simple. I didn't need to radically change my diet. I just needed to eat less, drink less, and move more. My life now is not about deprivation and sacrifice. My meals aren't sad little piles of lettuce covered with fake cheese and fat-free dressing, and my workouts aren't daily forced marches. Over the holidays, I feasted on all of my favorites: my grandmother's olives, pecan pie, lobster casserole, chateaubriand (!). My feasting was a little more restrained than it was in years past, however, and I was pretty careful to eat light on non-feasting days to keep things in balance. I was also willing to spend 45 minutes on a treadmill on Christmas day so that I would actually feel hungry when it came time to tuck into that chateaubriand. My rule on exercise continues to be a firm yet flexible commitment to doing what I can when I can. I try to get in two or three cardiovascular workouts a week plus a 90-minute yoga class. Keep it simple. Keep it fun. Make exercise a priority, but don't beat up on yourself if you miss a day. As noted fitness guru Scarlett O'Hara once said, "Tomorrow is another day."
So, yes, the new normal for me is about balance and moderation, but it is also about joy and pleasure. I am not exaggerating when I say that the hardest part of this whole process was stepping on that scale one year ago today. Everything I've done since then has felt easy because I knew it was contributing to my sense of well-being. I hope I never forget the flood of relief I experienced in that moment, as I realized that I had finally formulated the intention to rework my relationships to food, movement, and body. I will do a happy dance today to celebrate this milestone, but in a way I've been happy dancing all along. Thanks to all of you for dancing with me!
For other posts on the emergence of Moose 2.0: A Less Portly Dyke Than She Used to Be, go here, here, here, and here.
It would be wrong to end without an actual happy dance, wouldn't it? Hells to the yeah! Let's bring in a little Beyoncé, shall we? Move your body, baby -- and love it, no matter what. Peace out.