And Those Who Are Successful, Be Always on Your Guard.

(song: Celluloid Heroes/artist: Kinks)

June 13, 2012, marked the one-year anniversary of my graduation from booty school. For ONE YEAR my size has been measured in the single digits. And what an incredible year it's been. In November, my butt -- in both its old and new iterations -- made its national TV debut in a segment of the new Brazil Butt Lift infomercial.

Then in April, Leandro chose me as one of two fitness models during his live segment on QVC.

And finally in May, my thighs got the starring role they so long deserved in one of Leandro's fitness webisodes.

So what's next for Formerly Fat Mom? Well, nothing...for now. 

Allow me to explain. I've successfully maintained my weight loss (give or take 5 pounds in the middle of the month) and my post-test-group size for a whole year. But at what psychic cost? I beat myself up when I can't work our for a least an hour a day six days a week. Any indulgence -- food or drink -- that would have been off-limits during my test group days comes with a side order of crushing guilt. I live in constant fear that I'm just one naughty meal away from undoing everything I've worked so hard for. One year later, the image in my head still doesn't match what I see in the mirror. While on an intellectual level I know that I'm not fat, emotionally I am still a "fat girl" -- with all the baggage that entails.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at length with Joanna, who was in the first test group three years ago and continues to take classes with Leandro. I confessed to her how difficult the past year had been and how anxious I was about my maintenance. To my relief, Joanna totally got it. In fact, she is the one who suggested the subject of this blog post: learning how to enjoy living fit. Not just pushing myself because an all-expenses-paid trip to QVC headquarters in glamorous Westchester, PA, looms on the horizon, but pushing myself because it's the way I want my body to be FOREVER. And she's right. She's right because she knows how hard it is to endure once the "newness" wears off, once people stop being surprised by your new figure, once you are forced to simply live your life as a fit person. 

But self-sabotage is what makes me, me. While the mini-milestones I set for myself -- a QVC taping, fitness webisode, 10K in the park, what-have-you -- motivate me in the short term, I go insane once the milestone passes. Completely bonkers. I binge eat for a couple of days. Any workout I do is half-assed at best. And I'm left deeply depressed about everything I did. After the first QVC appearance, I immediately went to a food truck rally in Prospect Park; in less than an hour, I managed to scarf down 5 mini cupcakes, 1 huge ice cream sandwhich, 1 slice of pizza and a bagel with cream cheese. It was not pretty. 

Mini cupcakes - Exhibit A
The next big step for me is learning to be able to have a glass of wine or a mini cupcake or to miss a couple of workouts without being crushed by guilt. I need to find BALANCE, which I can only do once I completely accept that a) this is my body and b) I have the mental and physical wherewithal to maintain it for life. To get to that point, I need patience, the kind of patience I had when I started exercising at 193 pounds. I did not lose the weight overnight, and I shouldn't expect to be "normal" overnight either. Patience helped me lose nearly 60 pounds; this virtue will also help me both keep the weight off and find a healthy mental balance.

Admitting these struggles in this forum was an important step for me. I know there are others out there who have faced the same difficulties, while those still on their weight-loss journeys need to prepared for what lies ahead. Everyone processes crazy in their own unique way, but the uncertainty of "Who am I now?" is universal. ANYONE can lose weight. Keeping it off is a completely new journey; for me, my next goal is finding joy on this new journey.

Despite my myriad insecurities, I really do know I look great. I'm extremely proud of my body for how it looks and of my mind for enabling me to achieve this one-year goal. If I wasn't super-proud of myself, would I let this posterior shot see the light of day?

June 23, 2012 - Ain't nuthin' wrong with that!