Switching gears here somewhat, I uploaded my Christmas pictures last week and that got me looking through pictures of Christmases past (because my OCD self has a Christmas file further sub-categorized by years...don't you?). My weight has rather dramatically fluctuated both ways through the years and it was interesting to see. So I thought I would post some Christmas (although a few aren't noticeably Christmas-themed) pictures here, starting in 2005 (only because that's when I started with a digital camera).
2005: Around 250-260 lbs I think, edging towards my highest weight then of 270 lbs. It was a lethal combination of the stress of nursing school combined with shopping for my own food for the first time.
2006: My most successful weight loss until now. I had started going to the gym and eating a lot better. By the time I graduated college in May 2007, I was at my lowest adult weight of 170 lbs.
2007: And...good habits are so easily put aside. Got my first nursing job, didn't make time to work out or eat right, promptly gained a bunch of weight back. Depressing how quickly the weight came back on!
2008: Obviously, I had gained even more weight, but this was also the year of the steroids (for my asthma, not the other kind!). Can you say moon face?
2009: I lost some weight that year with Weight Watchers.
2010: And then I gained the weight back (and more) just as easily.
2011: Nearing my highest weight ever of 328 lbs. I was under a gigantic amount of stress that year, and to say I may have used food to dull my emotions somewhat would be an understatement.
2012: The year I took control for good! I was about 6 months into my weight loss journey then and was just starting to feel comfortable having my picture taken.
2013: The journey continues! I feel pretty good about how I look here.
I think looking back like this can be really helpful. It's easier to see the patterns that make you gain or lose weight. For example, now I know more than ever that I am a stress eater like nobody's business. That feeling hasn't gone away now; I've just learned to (usually...I'm not perfect!) channel what I'm feeling into an activity that is healthier than eating junk. I also noticed that that I had never before had 2 Christmases in a row where I was losing weight or even just maintaining. You can see that if I happened to lose weight one year, by the very next year I had already gained it all back and more. So that makes me feel pretty awesome that this year was my second consecutive Christmas losing weight. It makes me feel even more like this time it's for good. So what do I hope to look like next Christmas? I'm not going to lie, I really do hope to be 35-45 lbs lighter than I am right now. But even if I don't lose any more weight, even I look exactly the same next Christmas, that would still count as a victory for me. Because the way I am right now is okay too, and I am healthier than I have ever been. And then I hope to see pictures of Christmas after Christmas of me at the same weight, happy and healthy, for a long, long time.