I can remember watching the Dr. Oz 100 episode.

The one part that stuck in my mind was watching my friend Diane.

She was talking about her tricks of eating right, and she pulled out a Dixie cup and showed how she limits drinking juice.

Diane has lost over 150 pounds. She has kept it off for over 10 years. She has done all of this while having a family.

When I saw that Dixie cup, she helped me.

Seeing that helped me more than any words I have heard.

Welcome to the wonderful world of maintenance.

Losing weight is very structured. You have different phases, you track yourself every day…every week…every month.

The scale can tell you how well you are doing. Seeing a one pound loss is just like a “Sweet job Tony!”

My big misconception was when I thought I would have figured everything out after losing the weight.

The maintenance part. The one where there is no plan. Just keep that weight off.

That is where I learned the most about myself.

I learned I never want to be 400 pounds again.
I learned that I would always have a weird relationship with food.
I learned that the gym is important to me. Believe it or not, more mentally than physically.

The last year and a half has not been that easy. I still struggle with portions from time to time.

There are days where I wish I could be like normal eaters. I mean, I look like one, why can’t I do the same thing?

But I am not normal.

You know those people that “can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound”. That is not true.

Those people eat small portions for anything they want. They do not eat two whole Pizza Hut pizzas. They do no eat $10 bucks worth of “Dollar Menu” double cheeseburgers.

I did.

I could fool myself. I could tell myself I will only have a 400 calorie slice of pizza. But I know.

After over thirty years of living with myself, I know.

I do not want to lie to the man in the mirror.

I have lost 200 pounds. I have kept off 195 of them for close to two years.

I know, I know. I should be talking about how to eat right, how to drink your water, how to do better.
I should be talking about the importance of a fit life, the love of the gym and how it gets easier.

But for me it does not. It is not easy.

But I will be damned if it is impossible. I will be damned if I will not live the rest of my life under 400 pounds. 300 pounds. 230 pounds.
Because something is hard does not mean it is not worth it. I am not making excuses. Because I know my limitations makes this more realistic.

Sometimes when I write this point of view, I will get a “I feel bad, I hope you get a normal relationship with food”.

Do not ever feel sorry for me. I live a great life. I have a wonderful family, a great job, and the fortune of having people read my life story.

So I will write down what I eat. I will go to the gym a lot. I will stay away from processed foods as much as possible, and I will document my life as much as possible.

Those are my Dixie cups. Everyone has them.

Once you think you are better than the Dixie cup, you have lost what you worked for.

I will struggle. The key to maintenance for me is telling you this at 225 pounds.

Not at 420 pounds.

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