Weight Loss Maintenance: What Maintining my "Comfortable Weight" for 1 Year Felt like After Gaining Weight back After Losing

 It's that time of year again: my official weight loss anniversary.  I started my weight loss journey on January 14th, 2014 and here I sit starting to type this post six years later on January 14th 2020.  

What a journey it has been! From blogging monthly during the first year of my weight loss journey where I was learning the ropes and changing my lifestyle, to losing a total of 78 pounds that first year, to hitting 100 pounds down my second year, maintaining my 100 pound weight loss for one year, maintaining that 100 pound weight loss for another year, and then gaining 30 pounds back at my next anniversary.  

So: where does that leave me today? With what I view as a major success story: I've successfully maintained my weight loss of 70 pounds down for one year.  Yes: I could also say I've maintained the "gain" of 30 pounds from my lowest weight: but that is not at all what this post is about or what my focus is moving forward.  I truly feel like I have found the weight that my body is "comfortable" at that is easy for me to maintain, and I'm extremely proud that I have not gained any more weight back and am content for this to be my new normal from here on out!

I wanted to type up this post to share what I have learned about weight loss maintenance this year: what I'm doing the same, what I'm doing different, and how I've been learning to accept my body at the weight it's at currently.  

Food & Diet

When I first started my journey I used My Fitness Pal to log everything that I ate.  I originally just counted calories, but then around my two year mark I switched to the If It Fits Your Macros diet plan to make sure I was getting in enough protein, and eating a proper ratio of carbs and fats.  While I still do generally enjoy this diet plan and am glad I was diligent in tracking and learning about proper food portions and what foods are made of carbs and fat versus protein and carbs, etc.; I'm trying to take a step BACK from over-analyzing and over-tracking my food.  I think sometimes the more you think about, pre-plan and track your food, the more easy it becomes to obsess about it.  Think of a naturally slim person: do you typically see them crunching grams in My Fitness Pal to decide if they can eat one more carrot at lunch or have a protein bar for a snack if they are truly hungry? No! They eat when they are hungry with proper portions, and stop when they are full. 

I NEEDED to track my food when I first started because I had no clue about portion sizes and how many calories were in certain foods.  However after doing this for SIX YEARS - I know how to eat healthy! I eat a ton of the same foods day after day as well, so I have stopped pre-planning all of my food for the day the night before.  Monday - Friday I do typically still log my food as I eat it out of habit, but I've stopped letting it control my life.  I try to hit my protein goal most days, but generally I tend to let carbs and fats fall where they may, and just focus on the overall calories I'm consuming.  If I'm really hungry at the end of the night, I'll have a larger dessert than I have "calories" left for and I won't feel like I've ruined my day.  I NEVER track on the weekends: I still generally try to make healthy choices, but I'm past the point in my life where I need to be guessing the exact macros for something I order at a restaurant or scanning every single ingredient that goes into a recipe and creating a recipe in My Fitness Pal and then weighing out my serving, etc.  I want my diet plan to be sustainable for the long term, and this "tracking when it's convenient and just making healthy choices when it's not" mentality has been working great for me. 

I feel like the less I obsess about tracking and restricting food, the less I'm OVER eating as well.  Yes, I've definitely eaten more than I should have at times this past year, but I've never been spooning peanut butter out of the jar into my mouth on a Saturday night because I'm "not tracking" and need to get it in while I can.  I don't think I've have one true binge with food this past year and I take that as a major win. 

Defining Healthy For Me

For so long my only weight loss goal had been scale based, and this past year really helped me to set goals for finding out what healthy means for me and my body OUTSIDE of the scale.  I've always been a slightly larger person prone to curves and love handles way more than a naturally small frame.  For me to maintain my 100 pound weight loss, I had to work REALLY hard to stay that low on the scale.  After 5 years of chasing numbers on a scale, frankly I'm just over it! I've moved into the portion of my life where I'm just focused on living a NORMAL healthy lifestyle, and for me that has come at 175 pounds.  At this weight I can do the workouts I like and enjoy, I can eat the healthy foods I like and enjoy most of the time, but I still have soooo much flexibility to be able to go out and live my life and not have to stress about calories and macros all the time!

 I've gone wine tasting in the Finger Lakes and drank amazing wine all day.  I've gone out to restaurants on the weekend and ordered what sounded GOOD instead of what I knew had the least amount of calories.  I went to Jamaica on my bachelorette party and literally ate a cheeseburger in my bikini on the beach.  I went out for REAL ice cream over Memorial Day Weekend just because and didn't think twice about how many more carbs it had than low calorie ice cream.  At this weight I truly feel like I have the ability to live a NORMAL life and that has always been an end goal with sustainable weight loss for me.

 Do I just feel "healthy" and "normal" at this weight because it's easy for me to maintain? No - physically I'm still in great shape! At my physical this year, my doctor praised my new balanced lifestyle and had NO negative comments about me gaining some weight back.  All of my blood work came back amazing: I have low blood pressure, low cholesterol, no risk of diabetes, etc.  Physically my body is in great shape still - even if a BMI chart would technically call me "overweight" at my current height and weight.  I'm just going to ignore that and call myself "Super Preferred" - that's the preferred rating I qualified for life insurance recently due to my health and height and weight, and that sounds a whole lot nicer of a classification to me ;)

Healthy for me means treating my body AND my mental health with respect.  It means feeding my body lots of veggies and lean protein most of the time, scheduling time to stay active daily, but still giving myself grace to act and live like a regular human being who has way more important things to think about than weight loss and diets every hour of the day. 

Maintenance Tips

How have I been successful in maintaining this current weight for a year and not watched the scale creep higher and higher with my new, more relaxed mindset?  First and foremost, I still think that having a "NORMAL" is super important.  For all of those fun experiences  I mentioned above: going out for ice cream, eating cheeseburgers, drinking wine all day, etc.: even though they were fun and I have no regret for doing any of them, I still consider them "splurges" and not my "normal." For every cheeseburger or pizza I ate this year I must have eaten 15 other meals that consisted mostly of chicken and roasted veggies or a big ass salad.  For every glass of wine I drank I guzzled 3 more jugs of lemon water on the daily.  I still try to follow a general 80/20 rule with my nutrition: some weeks it may be more like 70/30 or even 60/40 but the important part is that MOST of the time, I'm still sticking to the basic rules of nutrition and exercise that helped me lose weight in the first place.

To be successful at weight loss maintenance,you need to set up habits and routines that are consistent for you - regardless of the circumstances.  For example: I do NOT miss my workouts.  I never sleep through my 4:45AM alarm when I'm getting up early to workout, I never say "screw it" after a long day of work and skip the gym and just go home: I show up daily and make my workout happen, no excuses.  Consistently moving my body keeps me more accountable to stay on track for my goals.  I don't see exercise as a tool to be able to eat more calories: I see it as a tool to keep my body strong and healthy and I find the time to workout at least 6 days a week for pretty much 50 weeks out of the year. If something is important to you, you can ALWAYS find the time to fit it in, and I have consistently prioritized getting my workouts done ever since starting this journey.

Another habit I made at the start of my journey was always turning down the extra food and snacks at the office.  My work ALWAYS has food available: candy bars, donuts, cookies, cakes, leftover pizza, etc.  We literally get emails daily from our "food table" lady letting us know when something has been added to the table.  Just because food is available, doesn't mean I have to eat it though.  I would much rather enjoy my own dessert on my couch at the end of the night instead of a semi-stale donut at the office in-between client calls.  I can literally only think of ONE day this past year that I gave into temptation and had a soft pretzels and Christmas cookies from the food table.  I blame being semi-hung over from my Christmas book club party and being one of the few people in the office that had to work the Monday before Christmas eve for that indiscretion, lol.

Even though overall I've relaxed with my overall outlook regarding weight loss and maintenance, I'm still very consistent in my regular habits.  Every Monday is still back to healthy eating as normal after a weekend where I've had some extra treats.  It's back to meal prep, packing a gym bag for after work, eating lots of veggies, and drinking lots of water. I've made enough changes to my lifestyle now to have regular healthy habits that I can stick to consistently which has helped my maintenance success immensely. 

Accepting a Larger Body

This part of the process has been the hardest and has taken a lot of self reflection and growth to accept.  While I was heavy most of my life and became obese at my heaviest, after I hit my 100 pound weight loss goal and maintained it for 2 years I became SMALL and even though it was strange at first, I got used to it! I loved the fact that I could wear a size 6 in pants.  As someone who was never smaller than a 12 in high school, I gloated in my success.  My weight loss story became part of my identity and I for the first time in my life I felt "skinny" and got used to that feeling.  

For me: the first part of accepting a larger body was learning to accept the lifestyle changes that caused it.  I've written about it before: but I got to the lowest weight ever when my life was in the most tumultuous phase ever: I was going through a divorce at 26 years old and my life was turning upside down.  I had so much going on in my life that I couldn't control that I NEEDED to control my food and my exercise and my body to have a sense of normalcy.  I'm no longer in that position anymore: in fact, I'm happier than I've ever been! This year I got married again to the love of my life and I finally feel so happy, content, and settled in life again.  Through our engagement and marriage this past year I just felt so flexible and free: no longer tied to such rigid diet guidelines and truly able to just live my life to the fullest without worrying about what it would mean for my body.

It helps having a spouse who loves me exactly as I am and doesn't care that I've gained 30 pounds, it helps hearing from my doctor that I'm still healthy and doing great, but ultimately YOU are your own worst critic and I've found that only YOU are the one who is capable of accepting your body again after weight gain.  I've stopped focusing on the clothes in the closet that no longer fit.  I'm not shocked or disheartened that I have to buy a size 10 in pants now. Yes, I've got more love around my love handles than I did before but instead of looking in the mirror and feeling self doubt and frustration and failure, I choose to see and appreciate my body with only love. I chose to embrace my new curves and respect my body.  Do I still have moments of self doubt at times? Of course - I'm a girl: I don't think that will ever go away completely, lol.  But ultimately my body is mine and mine alone, and I don't need it to live up to anyone else's standard for what it should look like or what size it should be.  

Over the next few years of my life I ultimately hope that instead of being known for my weight loss journey I can become known as just Rebecca: that ridiculously girly girl who is always happy and friendly.  I want to known for being a positive and loving person: a good friend, a supportive wife, and hopefully one day a caring and nurturing mother.  I hope my story can still continue to help and inspire people to know that they are capable of changing their life with enough motivation and determination, but I will never allow my life to become so shallow that my success or my happiness is dictated by what size jeans I wear. 

I think I've finally found my "sweet spot" for weight loss.  Even after an extra indulgent holiday season, a honeymoon in Mexico, and various other trips and splurges this past year, after a few days back to my normal routine my body has always naturally settled back down to the 175 mark.  I think the lightest I ever was this year was 168 pounds, and the most was 182 pounds right after New Years.  Realistically though, most weeks I fluctuated between 172-178 pounds without having to kill myself with tracking or restricting my food and spending 2 hours in the gym daily.  My life is so FULL lately, and if that comes with having slightly fuller waistline as well, SO BE IT.  I'm so grateful for all the stages of the weight loss journey I have been on and what they have taught me, but I'm truly happy to be DONE feeling the need to lose any more weight and to just finally accept my body and my lifestyle and look forward to everything I have in store for a happy and healthy future.


  1. I truly appreciate your take on your weight journey. Very balanced... At my smallest, I didn't feel healthy at all. Working on getting back to where I feel 'good'... it's been a lifelong journey. Found you blog via the Inlinkz directory... going over to look at your party now. :-)

  2. This is Everything! Thank you for sharing so candidly and with such positivity that is what is sorely missing these days. The obsession with a number on a scale that might not even be good for your body and definitely not for your mental health. I respect you so much and find you so motivating. You are always active and you care abut nutrition but you don’t let it rule your life and you enjoy it instead. Thanks rebecca!

  3. I've been following your weight loss journey and enjoyed your story today.I'm still struggling but lost 25 lbs. when I was sick for 2 months and trying to keep it off. So far so good but I still want to lose more. I think my goal is to maintain this loss for now. You're so inspiring!!

  4. Congrats!!! You look positively fantabulous!! Thanks for hosting!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration and I wish you much happiness in your new life!
    God bless!